The Traveller in Black

Speculative fiction by John Brunner


The Traveller in Black is a collection of short stories, written in a fantasy vein, by John Brunner. The first edition, titled The Traveler in Black, had four stories and was issued in 1971 in the Ace Science Fiction Specials line. Some stories were rewritten for this book. Later editions of the collection, with the additional story "The Things That Are Gods", are included in The Compleat Traveller in Black.
The series deals with an unnamed protagonist, who "has many names but only one nature" and who bears a staff of curdled light, held together by interesting forces, travelling through a landscape in which Order and Chaos are in conflict. With this, and with the powers invested in him by "the One for whom all things are neither possible or impossible", he is enabled to counter Chaos, although he must do so in answer to the spoken wishes of the people around him, always with consequences they had not intended and often to their detriment. As an example, the Traveler hears the wish of a skilled assassin that he could get the fame to which his expertise should entitle him. Are not all great artists admired and respected?

First Published


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