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In frontier America, a man lives with a pregnant woman who is not his wife. One day a stranger appears and advises the man to formally register the baby as his own at Fort James, a fabled military outpost. Setting out on a lonely journey across an arid and hostile terrain, the man leaves the woman in the care of the stranger. Soon after he departs, the stranger kills the woman and her unborn child and then sets off in pursuit of the man.
As their parallel journeys unfold, we learn of the man’s childhood as a boy with his father working on a ship where men survived by cannibalizing their crewmates, their internment on an island and their subsequent life in a port town; we watch the stranger as he assumes many guises to shape-shift his way through history in pursuit of the mana pawn in the stranger’s brutal game rewriting the myths of the American West.
Menacing, visceral and lyrical, Beyond the Horizon is an astonishing allegory about the origins of modern Americaa sojourn into the darkest parts of Western lore, which etches out its own unique place in the anti-Western, gothic tradition.
Ryan Ireland was born in Dayton, OH, in 1984. He lives in the village of Alpha, OH, with his wife and three children. He is a strong advocate for public libraries, with work appearing in Public Library Quarterly and Voice of Youth Advocates. His writing has also been published in Fogdog Review, Seems, and Writing on the Edge. In 2009 he was recognized by Glimmer Train as one of the 25 Best New Writers. Beyond the Horizon is his first novel.