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Wild Cards I Paperback – Nov 23 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; Expanded edition (Nov. 23 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765326159
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765326157
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 15.4 x 3.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #58,144 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Patrick St-Denis TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 2 2011
Format: Paperback
Having loved the latest Wild Cards triad (Inside Straight, Busted Flush, and Suicide Kings, I was curious to read about how it all began. And with Tor Books reissuing the original Wild Cards installments, I wasn't going to miss out on the opportunity.

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.
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Format: Paperback
A month ago (as of this writing) I'd never ever heard of this series, but now I'm eagerly awaiting the next volume. George R.R. Martin has assembled some fantastic writers to concoct an entire universe of "Wild Card" superheroes that parallels our own world even moreso than the worlds of Marvel and DC Comics which serve as much of the inspiration.
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.
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By "t_i_r" on Nov. 7 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a reprint of the first book in the Wild Cards series. When I first read the original many, many years ago, I became absolutely enthralled with the characters and the unique style of storytelling. The Wild Cards series is made up of predominantly "Mosaic Novels", meaning that each novel is comprised of short stories written by different writers, each from the point of view of their own characters in the Wild Cards universe, but all the short stories taken together comprise one whole META-story, if you will. When I finished this first book, I began a frantic search to find the rest of the series (they were out of print before I had even read the first book) that took me several years. And, to my surprise, I found that this book, as amazing as it was, wasn't even one of the best in the series! But, it's very important, as it portrays the events that seperate the Wild Cards universe from our own reality, and therefore is ALMOST essential to fully experience the Wild Cards. Most of the series I had ended up borrowing and have never been able to find for sale, so I was overjoyed when I found out they were reprinting it. The reprints contain some really nice art to illustrate the tale as you go along (the best art I have seen of the Wild Cards so far), and they make this book worth the purchase, even if you already own the original printing.
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Format: Paperback
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 saga, perhaps such a thing was necessary. The huge back story had to be chronicled, and there was little other way to introduce such a large gallery of significant characters other than to devote chapters to each without getting into a consecutive story. Even so, this book sets certain events in motion that DO eventually put it into the bigger picture and link this with the two following books as somewhat of a trilogy. Overall, very well written, great characters, and Martin edits it exquisitely; making this shared, multi-author book seem like it was all done by one person.
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