Jerome Bixby c. 1954
|Born||Drexel Jerome Lewis Bixby|
January 11, 1923
Los Angeles, California, United States
|Died||April 28, 1998 (aged 75)|
San Bernardino, California, United States
|Occupation||Novelist, short-story writer|
|Genre||Science fiction, western|
Drexel Jerome Lewis Bixby (January 11, 1923 – April 28, 1998) was an American short story writer and scriptwriter. He wrote the 1953 story "It's a Good Life" which was the basis for a 1961 episode of The Twilight Zone and which was included in Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983). He also wrote four episodes for the Star Trek series: "Mirror, Mirror", "Day of the Dove", "Requiem for Methuselah", and "By Any Other Name". With Otto Klement, he co-wrote the story upon which the science fiction movie Fantastic Voyage (1966), television series, and novel by Isaac Asimov were based. Bixby's final produced or published work so far was the screenplay for the 2007 science fiction film The Man from Earth.
He also wrote many westerns and used the pseudonyms Jay Lewis Bixby, D. B. Lewis, Harry Neal, Albert Russell, J. Russell, M. St. Vivant, Thornecliff Herrick and Alger Rome (for one collaboration with Algis Budrys).
Bixby was the editor of Planet Stories from Summer 1950 to July 1951, Jungle Stories from Fall 1949 to Spring 1951 (a magazine which featured stories of Tarzan-imitation Ki-Gor and, briefly, Sheena, Queen of the Jungle), Action Stories from Fall 1949 to Fall 1950, and founding editor of Two Complete Science-Adventure Books (from Winter 1950 to July 1951) and of Two Western Romances from Summer 1950 to Summer 1951 (by which time it was retitled 2 Western-Action Books). All these titles were published by Fiction House, which also published corresponding comic books for which Bixby also wrote and edited.
His best-known television works include four original Star Trek episodes, including 1967's "Mirror, Mirror", which introduced the franchise's concept of the "Mirror Universe"; and 1969's "Requiem for Methuselah", about "Flint", a 6,000-year-old man. His 1968 Star Trek episode "Day of the Dove" is also much respected by some Star Trek fans and others. The fourth episode he scripted is "By Any Other Name".
His short story "It's a Good Life" (1953), adapted as a teleplay for The Twilight Zone by Rod Serling, is arguably his best-known work, in his original prose and in audio/visual adaptations. It was popular enough to be revisited in the 1983 Twilight Zone film, and famous enough to be one of many Twilight Zone episodes parodied by The Simpsons, this one in the Halloween 1991 episode "Treehouse of Horror II".
Bixby also conceived and co-wrote the story for the 1966 film Fantastic Voyage,    Bantam Books obtained the rights for a paperback novelization based on the screenplay and approached Isaac Asimov to write it.
Jerome Bixby's last work, a screenplay The Man from Earth, was conceived in the early 1960s and completed on his deathbed in April 1998. In 2007 it was turned into an independent motion picture executive produced by his son Emerson Bixby, directed by Richard Schenkman and starring David Lee Smith, William Katt, Richard Riehle, Tony Todd, Annika Peterson, Alexis Thorpe, Ellen Crawford and John Billingsley.
Bixby wrote the original screenplay for 1958's It! The Terror from Beyond Space, which was the inspiration for 1979's Alien. The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine seventh season (1999) Mirror Universe episode, "The Emperor's New Cloak", is dedicated to Bixby's memory.
He died on April 28, 1998 in San Bernardino, California, of heart failure at age 75.