Wild Cards I Paperback – Nov 23 2010
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“Delicious…. Everything I'd hoped for in a new Wild cards book. The character interactions and plot twists have exactly the complexity, surprise, and unsentimental realism I'd expect out of a George R. R. Martin project.” ―Austin Grossman, author of Soon I Will Be Invincible, on Inside Straight
About the Author
George R.R. Martin is the author of the acclaimed, internationally bestselling fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, adapted into the hit HBO series Game of Thrones. He is also the editor and contributor to the Wild Cards series, including the novels Suicide Kings and Fort Freak, among other bestsellers. He has won multiple science fiction and fantasy awards, including four Hugos, two Nebulas, six Locus Awards, the Bram Stoker, the World Fantasy Award, the Daedelus, the Balrog, and the Daikon (the Japanese Hugo). Martin has been writing ever since he was a child, when he sold monster stories to neighborhood children for pennies, and then in high school he wrote fiction for comic fanzines. His first professional sale was to Galaxy magazine, when he was 21. He has been a full-time writer since 1979. Martin has bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from Northwestern University. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.See all Product Description
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Here's the blurb:
Back in print after a decade, expanded with new original material, this is the first volume of George R. R. Martin's Wild cards shared-world series.
There is a secret history of the world'a history in which an alien virus struck the Earth in the aftermath of World War II, endowing a handful of survivors with extraordinary powers. Some were called Aces'those with superhuman mental and physical abilities. Others were termed Jokers'cursed with bizarre mental or physical disabilities. Some turned their talents to the service of humanity. Others used their powers for evil. Wild Cards is their story.
Originally published in 1987, Wild Cards I includes powerful tales by Roger Zelazny, Walter Jon Williams, Howard Waldrop, Lewis Shiner, and George R. R. Martin himself. And this new, expanded edition contains further original tales set at the beginning of the Wild Cards universe, by eminent new writers like Hugo'winner David Levine, noted screenwriter and novelist Michael Cassutt, and New York Times bestseller Carrie Vaughn.
I remember being concerned about the mosaic novel format when I first read Inside Straight, fearing possible glitches in terms of continuity, consistency, chronology, style and tone. I was worried about how the individual stories would fit and further the plot of the overall story arc.Read more ›
Here's the concept -- in the days after World War II a bomb went off in the skies above New York City, blanketing the people in a virus. Most of them died. Some, the "jokers" underwent a terrible transformation. A select few drew "aces" -- superpowers without a deformity.
Each writer in this collection (an intriguing device martin calls a "Mosaic Novel") tells the story of an ace or joker of his or her creation. All of the stories stand on their own, although many feel very much like a chapter in a longer tale (John J. Miller's "Comes the Hunter" especially) and I hope these threads are picked up in the later books.
As with any collection of diverse writers, some stories are better than others. Martin's own "Shell Games" is my favorite in this volume -- I could have done without the sewer tale, "Down Deep." Even with that lesser story, the concept and execution is wonderful -- I for one am hoping Martin deals out a few more Wild Cards in the future.
The fact is that I grew to care about these characters. I wanted to know more about them, and that need to know drew me deeper and deeper as the series progressed. Now that the series is being re-released, I can honestly say that if you are comic book fan in search of more serious fare, where even the so-called "good guys" can have some unpalatable personality traits, than the wild cards series is for you. If you don't want to blow the bucks for a brand spanking new one, than get one used. I will say that if you dismiss this series without at least trying ONE book, you are missing out on the next level of superheroics.
Try Vol.1 out. If you don't end up loving Croyd (the Sleeper), I'll eat my hat!
Most recent customer reviews
Wild Cards is a great series. This, of course, is not by far the best book in the series; as it mainly serves as a 400 page introduction; but for such an involved and sprawling... Read morePublished on Aug. 27 2002
I read this series when it was originally released. I wasnt happy with where the series eventually ended up late in the series, but the earlier works are fond favorites. Read morePublished on Feb. 6 2002 by Killer Shrike
I wrote this when I only read the First book of the series, almost two and a half years ago. I was somewhat overly optimistic, but generally this still stands. Read morePublished on Jan. 27 2002 by Omer Belsky
Wild Cards has an interesting premise, but in this, the first volume, it fails to realise it's full potential. Read morePublished on Jan. 2 2002
I am a fan of George R. R. Martin, I think he is one of the most talented writers around today. Furthermore, Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" Series is a masterpiece of writing. Read morePublished on Dec 4 2001
I purchased this because I *loved* the A Song of Ice and Fires series, and because I used to love comic books. Well, I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as I'd hoped. Read morePublished on Oct. 23 2001 by Dan Crevier
Wild Cards is a comic book/sci-fi lovers dream. Putting superheroes/villians into the real world makes for the compelling drama. Read morePublished on Oct. 8 2001 by Grant Olson