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Wild Cards: v. 1 Paperback – 20 Aug 2001


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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: ibooks Inc (20 Aug 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743423801
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743423809
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 13.6 x 2.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,708,774 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

George R.R. Martin is the author of six titles in the A Song of Ice and Fire series: A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords Part One: Steel and Snow, A Storm of Swords Part Two: Blood and Gold, A Feast for Crows and the long-awaited A Dance with Dragons. A Game of Thrones is now a major Sky Atlantic TV series from HBO, starring Sean Bean.

He has also written Fevre Dream, the ultimate science fiction horror novel, several collections of short stories and numerous scripts for television drama. He was also the co-author of SF adventure tale Hunter's Run. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Product Description

Book Description

The return of the famous shared-world superhero books created and edited by George R. R. Martin, author of A GAME OF THRONES! --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

Normal 0 false false false 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 became 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.

Return to the beginning of the long running shared-world series edited by George R. R. Martin, featuring stories and characters who would go on to become legends. Super-heroes have never been more real.

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 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.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Sep 2001
Format: Paperback
This is wonderful stuff. The premise is that an alien virus infects Earth in 1945, producing "Aces" -super talented people, and "Jokers" bizarrely mutated creatures. They thus survive with the rest of the world, occasionally interfering in real events. A benevolent member of the alien species, Dr. Tachyon, stays on Earth to help deal with the outcome.
The book brilliantly captures the mood of paranoia, as HUAC and Joe McCarthy turn their attention to Aces. It also shows up the shameful treatment meted out to Henry Wallace for being "too" anti-fascist. In the book he employs Aces to overthrow fascist dictators in South America.
Later books show the introduction of drugs, the role of Islamic fundamentalism, the Vietnam war and so on.
If you love serious comics and sci-fi, you'll love this.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Patrick St-Denis, editor of Pat's Fantasy Hotlist on 2 May 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.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rizzo Loris on 3 Sep 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Do you remember how much you enjoyed reading your favorite superhero comics when you were 11? Then you grew up, and lost it. But now the magic is back: these books will make you feel in the same way even if now you've graduated, you've got a family and you're a responsible grown-up in every sense. And the good thing is that these stories take place in the same time when you were becoming what you are now, and reading them will give you a new perspective on the way things were.
The "Wild Cards" series is an alternate history of the second half of the XX century, in a world where superheroes really start to exist after the second world war and they find themselves at the center of the most important events in these last decades from Korea to Vietnam, with gems like McCarthy against communist superheroes, the ascent of a pervert politician with the secret power to manipulate people, comments in the style of Tom Wolfe, the Lizard King charming his audience through lysergic hallucinations until a reactionary Polish superhero fights back, a nerd Berkeley student who turns into random superheroes when he takes drugs. And all this just as a start.
You better buy this book and all the sequels at once, because all George R.R. Martin's books always become cult classics, and there's no way to find them unless they are reprinted. This guy is really a very gifted storyteller, and here he proves to be also an excellent editor: not all contributors are on the same level, but he manages to make it all feel organic, and not just a bunch of separate tales. A grand parade of editorial techniques that make this project a paradigm for mosaic novels. It's a pity that there are "only" 15 novels... I'd love to see these guys in action even in this new troubled millennium, and certainly there'd be no shortage of inspiring events.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ken Hickey on 28 Jun 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I came to this book and this series, after attending a panel by George R.R. Martin, and other contributors to Wildcards, at Eastercon. I am a big Song of Fire and Ice fan, and this other aspect of George R.R. Martin's writing appealed to me.
I was intrigued with the idea of a shared world sci-fi anthology and the super hero elements. What I discovered having read the book was something a whole lot more sophisticated than what I imagined.
The stories exist in a world that is not just a sci-fi setting but also brings in alternative history and political elements. I was very much reminded of Alan Moore's Watchmen.
Each individual story tends to deal with a different Ace, Joker or situation and are of varying quality (though non of them are a bad read). This and the fact that each story can seem a bit disjointed from the next is the reason I gave it four stars. I think, however, that is the very nature of the project and am looking forward to seeing how this develops over the rest of the series. Books two and three are on my shelf and next on the list. Can't wait to read them.
Aces High (Wild Cards)
Wild Cards: Jokers Wild v. 3
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