The character of Henry Bemis, bespectacled and supremely unlucky, first appeared on television in the classic Twilight Zone episode Time Enough At Last on November 20, 1959. The episode is arguably the most popular and well known episode of the entire series, and given the number of high quality stories the show produced, that says a lot about how Henry’s plight affected millions of viewers over the years.
So, even if someone is not specifically a fan of the post-apocalyptic genre, it’s likely that they’re at least passingly familiar with “the guy with the glasses”.
But what is less well known, is that the famous episode is based on a short story of the same name by Lynn Venable that was first published in the January 1953 issue of If – Worlds of Science Fiction. (That same issue also included works by future post-apocalyptic novel authors, Walter Miller, Jr. and Gordon R. Dickson.)
At only five pages, the story is a quick read, but definitely worthwhile if you’re a fan of the episode or of atomic war fiction in general.
The entire issue is on Archive.org, and Ms Venable’s story is available below.Time-Enough-at-Last-by-Lynn-Venable
And here’s an added bonus for those who made it this far down the page. Time Enough at Last was also included as part of the official Twilight Zone radio dramatizations released in the early 2000s. Here’s the episode: