The Black Rider and Other Stories collects three short novels and one short story by Max Brand originally published in magazines and never reprinted before; they appear here for the first time in book form. At first publication the stories often suffered from editors' cuts to make them fit available page space. Editor Jon Tuska has returned to the original manuscripts to restore Brand's full texts. The stories are set in that land Brand calls the "mountain desert," a timeless and magical place for him. In addition to mapping a geographic region, these stories show the extent to which Brand was exploring the corridors of the human spirit. The story of Lucia d'Arquista's confrontation with her own soul, "The Black Rider," originally published in 1925, is set in Spanish California at the time when the eastern colonies of this country were still ruled by Great Britain. The feud between Red Macdonald and the Gregory clan disrupts the quiet town of Sudeth in "The Dream of Macdonald" (1923). As this short novel progresses, Macdonald's dream increasingly takes possession of his very being. In a few deft pages, Brand takes up the challenge of the most demanding form of fiction in "Partners," a 1938 short story that sketches a murderous relationship between two men. "The Power of Prayer," which first appeared in the 1922 Christmas issue of Western Story Magazine, concerns Gerald Kern, a real gentleman who is also a gunman. His tale is not unlike that of the true and imperishable gentleman of darkness from the Book of Job.
Used availability for Max Brand's The Black Rider and Other Stories
August 1996 : USA Hardback
January 1996 : USA Hardback