By Raymond Benson
Renowned science fiction writer Jerome Bixby produced many short stories in the genre, but he is perhaps most well-known for writing a handful of classic Star Trek episodes. The memorable original Twilight Zone entry, “It’s a Good Life,” was based on his short story, as was the same segment in The Twilight Zone—The Motion Picture (1983). Bixby was also responsible for the stories or scripts for sci-fi films such as Fantastic Voyage (1966), and It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958).
Bixby’s last work, allegedly completed on his deathbed in 1998, was the screenplay The Man from Earth. Nearly ten years later (2007), Bixby’s son Emerson helped bring it to the screen as producer. The low-budget feature was directed by Richard Schenkman and starred David Lee Smith as “John Oldman,” a man in the present day who has lived without aging for 14,000 years. Released with little fanfare,