The three books of the Red River Trilogy—Red River Story, Where the Ghost Horse Runs, A Place Out of Time—have never before all been in print at the same time. What the original publisher called The Red River Trilogy was actually the first and second books with a distantly-related historical novel sandwiched in between. It may have been a sensible short-term publishing choice, but it broke the continuity.
Not just the continuity of time and place and events, but the continuity of characters. It’s rare to find historically-documented characters whose stories weave a living vein through decades of larger events. Not the Captains and the Kings but the people who could be called the non-commissioned officers of this world, those who get their hands dirty and get the job done. It may well be that the snap decisions they make in the chaos of a situation – when the bullets are flying or the floodwaters rising – have more of an effect on history than the grand strategies drawn up in boardrooms and war rooms.
The continuing characters through the trilogy are a pair of Highland refugees and the Scots/Cree orphan who became the first chief of the Métis Nation. They didn’t keep journals or diaries, but periodically appear in legal documents, yellowing old letters or other people’s reminiscences, enough to leave detailed sketches that could be coloured-in.
The writer wanted to call the trilogy The Red River Serial but the original publisher overrode him. So did we.
About the Author: Alfred Silver has had fifteen novels published and many scripts produced on radio and the stage. After toughing out thirty prairie winters and sweating out seven Toronto summers, he now lives temperately in rural Nova Scotia with his wife and assorted wildlife. Relatively temperately.