Charles Beaumont authored several highly regarded short story collections, including Yonder: Stories of Fantasy and Science Fiction (1958), Night Ride and Other Journeys (1960), and The Magic Man and Other Science-Fantasy Stories (1965), and was also the screenwriter for a number of classic horror films, including 7 Faces of Dr. Lao, The Intruder and The Masque of the Red Death. But he’s best remembered today as the writer of some of the most famous Twilight Zone episodes, including “The Howling Man,” “Miniature,” and and “Number Twelve Looks Just Like You.” Perchance to Dream: Selected Stories is a new collection of his classic tales, with a foreword by Ray Bradbury and an afterword by William Shatner. Shatner’s piece recalls meeting Beaumont when he was cast as the lead in The Intruder, and their misadventures on the set together.
It is only natural that Charles Beaumont would make a name for himself crafting scripts for The Twilight Zone — for his was an imagination so limitless it must have emerged from some other dimension. Perchance to Dream contains a selection of Beaumont’s finest stories, including five that he later adapted for Twilight Zone episodes.
Beaumont dreamed up fantasies so vast and varied they burst through the walls of whatever box might contain them. Supernatural, horror, noir, science fiction, fantasy, pulp, and more: all were equally at home in his wondrous mind. These are stories where lions stalk the plains, classic cars rove the streets, and spacecraft hover just overhead. Here roam musicians, magicians, vampires, monsters, toreros, extraterrestrials, androids, and perhaps even the Devil himself. With dizzying feats of master storytelling and joyously eccentric humor, Beaumont transformed his nightmares and reveries into impeccably crafted stories that leave themselves indelibly stamped upon the walls of the mind. In Beaumont’s hands, nothing is impossible: it all seems plausible, even likely.
Perchance to Dream: Selected Stories was published by Penguin Classics on October 13, 2015. It is 336 pages, priced at $16 in trade paperback, and $9.99 for the digital edition.