The books were billed as being written by John Blaine, a pseudonym for Peter J. Harkins and Harold L. Goodwin. Peter Harkins and Hal Goodwin wrote the first three books, Hal Goodwin wrote the rest. Starting in the 1980s Grosset & Dunlap began transferring the copyrights to Hal Goodwin. The rights are now held by the John Blaine/Rick Brant Trust. The Goodwin family has been working to bring the works back in print, starting with the rarer final 4 books.
While Rick Brant had a scientific tone (being bylined as "Electronic Adventures" or "Science-Adventure Stories" and finally "SCIENCE Adventures"), it was realistic science, unlike the fantastic science of Tom Swift, Jr. Hal Goodwin, a popular science writer, had a very strong technical background, which served him well in the Rick Brant stories. This more realistic approach may have hurt the series sales by making it less fantastic.
Goodwin was also a more accomplished stylist than many in the juvenile adventure-series field. The books are genuinely suspenseful, well-plotted, atmospheric, and enriched by humor and acute characterization. Exotic locales--tropical islands, Philippine jungles, the Himalayas--were given vivid and well-researched depictions, as were a variety of specialized hobbies and professions, such as deep-sea diving, infrared photography, home rocketry, and the inevitable espionage work. Like the Ken Holt mystery series, the tales appealed to a slightly older readership than did the typical Grosset & Dunlap title. (Ken Holt had a crossover cameo in The Flying Stingaree, and Rick lent some of his gadgets to Ken in one of the books in that series, by agreement of the respective authors.)
The stories focused on teenaged Rick Brant and his ex-Marine pal, Scotty. They live on Spindrift Island off the coast of New Jersey, where Rick's father, Hartson Brant, heads a group of scientists working in the field of electronics, later expanding to a wider range of scientific endeavors. In this way, Rick and Scotty are able to be involved in various adventures in the US and abroad, solving many baffling mysteries. Series second-banana regulars include a resourceful youth from India named Chahda; Steve Ames, agent of a government spy group called JANIG; Rick's pert younger sister Barbara; and proto-girlfriend Janice Miller.
The publishers were averse to any suggestion of the supernatural in the series. An ambiguous coda to "The Blue Ghost Mystery" was dropped, and an entire book ("The Magic Talisman") was rejected due to its inclusion of ESP elements. This lost tale was eventually published in an independent edition in 1990.
Rick Brant never graduated to any other medium of entertainment, although there are notable similarities to be found in the Jonny Quest cartoon series.
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 The Veiled Raiders 1965
21 Rocket Jumper 1966
22 The Deadly Dutchman 1967
23 Danger Below! 1968
24 The Magic Talisman 1990