Well, this is an unfortunate accident. In all eight Wild Cards books, this is easily the worst. Which is a shame, because it came after a series of above average Wild Cards novels (Down and Dirty/Ace in the Hole/The Dead Man's Hand), WC 5 and 7, especially, were the best in the series in my humble opinion.
The list of authors was by itself a bad sign: no George R. R. Martin, no Roger Zelazny, no Pat Cadigan or Walter Jon Williams. In other words, with the exception of Stephen Leigh, the heavy guns of the Wild Cards are missing.
Also, Leigh and Miller, who can generally guarantee entertaining stories about their characters, Greg Hartmann and Yeoman Brennan, aren't writing about them. This is particularly irritating in the case of Leigh, because his Hartmann stories are amoung the best things the WILD CARDS have to offer, and in this point in time, we're especially interested in where they're going.
OK, enough about what there ISN'T in this novel. What IS there? well, the sad truth is, not much, and sadly very little we haven't seen before.
About half of the novel is written by Walton Simons, and details the happening of that guy who used to be the giant Ape. I admit to have little urgent wish to learn about him, and his story, while not particularily bad, isn't very engaging. Also the titles, all puns based on the word Nobody, are particularily weak.
(BTW, I got a suspicion that all the stories'names here are based on titles of Rock songs. But that might just be because Lewish Shiner used 'Horses' the name of Patti Smith's classic, for a completely Horses free story).
Anyway, the plot, as far as there is one, focuses on a new bunch of ace kids, who can switch bodies with you and kill you. Sounds unexciting? It is. Not nearly as interesting as villains as the Astronomer was, they seem to be made of the 'forgettable' kind. I'm awfully uninterested in them.
Snodgras gives us another Tachyon soap opera. After I almost learned to like him again in Martin and Miller's The Dead Man's Hand, Snodgras abuses her little character again. She really shouldn't have been allowed to write any more Tachy stories after her very first 'Degredation Rites'. This one is particularily awful, as it involves Tachyon's falling for a doctor in the clinique ( who had LOVE INTEREST written all over her), and Blaise's final move into the dark side. This I found completely unappealing. Blaise seemed much more interesting as a guy who was neither here or there, someone both good and bad. Making him finally a villain just made him tedious. Although, Snodgras does give him some great lines "It was FUN being a terrorist'.
Miller gives us a story about conspiracies within the Shadow Fist organisation. That was pretty well executed, even if it didn't always make much sense. Definetly the best use of those jumper kids in the book.
The best piece here was, not unexpectedly, Leigh's story 'sixteen candles'. A pretty good tale about The Oddity, a threesome locked into one body, and their advanture. It is well written, but it suffers from a tame plot and uninteresting background character. Also the Oddity, as fun as he/she/it is, isn't nearly as interesting as the Puppetman.
All in all, it wasn't terrible, but it wasn't good. The WC, perhaps expectedly, is a really unequal enterprise, and this was on the weak side. Let's hope that the next one will be better.