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Wild Cards I Paperback – Nov 23 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; Expanded ed. edition (Nov. 23 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765326159
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765326157
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 3.5 x 23.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #163,880 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“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.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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 A Customer 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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By A Customer on July 14 2002
Format: Paperback
There are those who have complained that the stories in this book aren't complete, but seem like they're just beginning. This complaint is valid, but the reasoning is inaccurate. Look at the Wild Cards series as comics books told in narrative rather than picture form. A regular comic book series doesn't usually have a complete tale, without clues to the future, and neither does this book. Some of these stories are setups to larger stories, and believe me, that ain't bad. I have read all sixteen books, and in my opinion, while some of the stories ARE weaker than others, the whole is much bigger than the sum of its parts.
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!
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