The Rick Brant Series

The Rick Brant Science-Adventure Series
by John Blaine

"Adventure," Rick Brant said, "is kind of hard to define, because what may be adventure to one person may be commonplace to another."

                                                                                                 —page 1, Smugglers' Reef

The Rick Brant series was published by Grosset and Dunlap from 1947 to 1968.  Volume 24, The Magic Talisman, was rejected by Grosset and Dunlap because it contained references to magic and ESP.  It was finally published in 1990 by Manuscript Press.  A companion volume, Rick Brant's Science Projects, was published by Grosset and Dunlap in 1960.  The first three titles in the series were co-authored by Harold L. Goodwin and Peter J. Harkins.  The remaining titles were written by Harold L. Goodwin.

Rick Brant lives on Spindrift Island off the coast of New Jersey with his family.  Rick's father, Hartson Brant, heads the Spindrift Scientific Foundation, a research group based on Spindrift Island.  Rick lives with his father, his mother, his sister Barbara, known as Barby, and his best friend Scotty, Don Scott, who is considered part of the family.  Rick takes an active interest in Spindrift's projects and hopes to be a scientist someday.

Titles in the Rick Brant Series:

  1. The Rocket's Shadow, 1947
  2. The Lost City, 1947
  3. Sea Gold, 1947
  4. 100 Fathoms Under, 1947
  5. The Whispering Box Mystery, 1948
  6. The Phantom Shark, 1949
  7. Smugglers' Reef, 1950
  8. The Caves of Fear, 1951
  9. Stairway to Danger, 1952
10. The Golden Skull, 1954
11. The Wailing Octopus, 1956
12. The Electronic Mind Reader, 1957
13. The Scarlet Lake Mystery, 1958
14. The Pirates of Shan, 1958
15. The Blue Ghost Mystery, 1960
16. The Egyptian Cat Mystery, 1961
17. The Flaming Mountain, 1962
18. The Flying Stingaree, 1963
19. The Ruby Ray Mystery, 1964
20. Veiled Raiders, 1965
21. Rocket Jumper, 1966
22. The Deadly Dutchman, 1967
23. Danger Below!, 1968
24. The Magic Talisman, 1990

The Spindrift scientists often travel to exotic locales and find themselves in grave danger from foreign enemies and acts of sabotage.  Ricky and Scotty become acquainted with Steve Ames of JANIG, which is the Joint Army-Navy Intelligence Group.  Rick and Scotty frequently find themselves privy to JANIG investigations and intrigue.

Rick and Scotty mature as the series progresses.  They act like teenage boys in the early books.  By the later books, Rick and Scotty have a more adult role and often travel by themselves.  They have more responsibility, and their encounters with villains are of a darker nature with more violence.

All of the books feature science in some capacity.  Often, the science is used to help the boys capture criminals or to help solve a problem.  In some books, science plays a minimal role, while in other books, science is described in great detail.  The use of science and technical language causes these books to be more sophisticated than other series books, but just as much fun.

Volumes 1 through 16 were published in hardcover with dust jacket and were later reprinted in picture cover.  Volumes 17 through 23 were only printed in picture cover.  Volume 24 was published in 1990 in a glossy picture cover edition.  Volumes 21, 22, and 23 have been reprinted in recent years.

Prices for Rick Brant books have come down from what they once were, but the last few titles remain expensive even though they have been reprinted.  Expect to pay $200 or more apiece for each of volumes 22, 23, and 24.  PDF files of most or all of the titles in the Rick Brant series, including the elusive final volumes, are floating around online.

Summaries of #1-12
Summaries of #13-24
Cover Art Gallery

My Rick Brant blog posts

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