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.
After the alien virus struck humanity in the wake of World War II, a handful of the survivors found they possessed superhuman powers. The Wild Cards shared-world volumes tell their story. Here in book two, Wild Cards II: Aces High, we trace these heroes and villains through the tumultuous 1980s, in stories from SF and fantasy giants such as George R. R. Martin, Roger Zelazny, Pat Cadigan, Lewis Shiner, Walter Jon Williams, and others.
On September 15, 1946, the Wild Card virus was released, spreading a wave of mutations around the globe. “Aces” were endowed with extraordinary powers, while “Jokers” were cursed with bizarre mental or physical disabilities. September 15th is now Wild Card Day. With each passing year, the festivities become larger and more fevered. And 1986–the fortieth anniversary–promises to be the biggest Wild Card Day ever. But in New York City not everyone is celebrating: The Astronomer, a twisted, powerful genius, has been planning his own special festivities for Wild Card Day…a day of revenge against those who have opposed him….
Featuring stories from George R. R. Martin, Michael Cassutt, Melinda M. Snodgrass, Lewis Shiner, Kevin Andrew Murphy, Carrie Vaughn, and more!
Forty years after the Wild Card Virus’s release, the World Health Organization decides it’s time to take a delegation of Aces, Jokers, politicians, and journalists on a fact-finding mission to learn how other countries are dealing with the virus that reshaped humanity. From the jungles of Haiti and Peru to the tumultuous political climate of Egypt, from a monastery in Japan to the streets of the most glamorous cities of Europe, the Wild Cards are in for an eye-opening trip. While some are worshiped as actual gods, those possessing the most extreme mutations are treated with a contempt that’s all too familiar to the delegates from Jokertown. New alliances will be formed, new enemies will be made, and some actions will fulfill centuries-old prophecies that make ripples throughout the future of the Wild Cards universe.
Bloat, the boy-governor of the Rox, wanted to make Ellis island a safe haven for Jokers, and made a choice to recruit the Jumpers, supertowned teens outcasts who could steal a man’s body in the blink of an eye. But under the leadership of Dr. Tachyon’s psychotic grandson, the Jumpers grow more vicious and uncontrollable every day, becoming the greatest threat the Wild Cards have ever faced….
Edited by George R. R. Martin, Jokertown Shuffle features the writing talents of Walton Simons, Chris Claremont, Lewis Shiner, William F. Wu, Victor Milan, Stephen Leigh, Melinda M. Snodgrass, and John Jos. Miller, along with previously unpublished stories from Carrie Vaughn and Cherie Priest.
Let the secret history of the world be told-of the alien virus that struck Earth after World War II, and of the handful of the survivors who found they now possessed superhuman powers. Some were called Aces, endowed with powerful mental and physical prowess. The others were Jokers, tormented by bizarre mind or body disfigurements. Some served humanity. Others caused terror. And now, forty years later, as a gang war between the Shadow Fists and the mafia rages out of control in the streets of Jokertown, Aces and Jokers go underground-to wage their own war against the powers of the netherworld.
Here, in the fifth volume of the exciting series, ten of science fiction’s most gifted writers take readers on a journey of wonder and excitement in an astounding alternate history.
Featuring the talents of John J. Miller, Roger Zelazny, Leanne C. Harper, Arthur Byron Cover, Melina C. Snodgrass, Edward Bryant, Stephen Leigh, Pat Cadigan, Walter Jon Williams, and George R. R. Martin.
Since a strange alien virus created the superhuman beings known as Aces and Jokers four decades ago, they have struggled for respect and recognition. Now they are key players in a presidential convention torn by hatred and dissent. Assassins stalk the halls of the convention and one of the candidates plans to use his secret Wild Card power for evil.
Travel on a journey of intrigue and adventure in this collaborative novel edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author George R. R. Martin and written by five of science fiction’s most imaginative talents: Stephen Leigh, Victor Milan, Walton Simons, Melinda M. Snodgrass, and Walter Jon Williams.
Chrysalis, the glass-skinned queen of the Joker underworld, has been found brutally murdered in her popular restaurant, the Crystal Palace. New two men are out to find her killer: Jay Ackroyd, the Ace private investigator who discovered her ruined body, and the vigilante archer known as the Yeoman, who has been framed for the crime.
Their quest leads them on a nightmare odyssey of madness, violence, passion, and political intrigue that will forever alter the fates of Aces and Jokers everywhere.
Experience this gripping tale of mystery and suspense, brought to you from the incredible imaginations of George R. R. Martin and John Jos. Miller in their first collaborative novel.
Something is stirring on Ellis Island, something strange and dangerous enough to subdue even the white-hot tensions between Wild Cards and normal humans. They call themselves the Jumpers: a vicious gang with the power to transport their minds into others’ bodies, using them to commit acts of terror and violence, before abandoning them and leaving their victims to face the consequences. The Jumpers cutthroat ambition to control the Wild Card community will pit aces, jokers, and humans at odds like never before.
One-Eyed Jacks features the writing talents of Walton Simons, Chris Claremont, Lewis Shiner, William F. Wu, Victor Milan, Stephen Leigh, Melinda M. Snodgrass, and John Jos. Miller, along with previously unpublished stories from Carrie Vaughn and Kevin Andrew Murphy.
Now a new generation of heroes has taken its place on the world stage, its members crucial players in international events. At the United Nations, veteran ace John Fortune has assembled a team of young aces known as the Committee, to assist at trouble spots around the world–including a genocidal war in the Niger Delta, an invasion of zombies in hurricane ravaged New Orleans, and a freak nuclear explosion in a small Texas town.
Mr. Nobody wants to do his job. The Midnight Angel wants to serve her Lord. Billy Ray wants some action. John Nighthawk wants to uncover the secret behind his mysterious power. Fortunato wants to rescue his son from the clutches of a cryptic Vatican office. John Fortune wants to catch Siegfried and Ralph’s famous Vegas review. The problem is that all roads, no matter where they start, lead to Leo Barnett’s Peaceable Kingdom where the difference between the Apocalypse and Peace on Earth is as thin as a razor’s edge and where Death himself awaits the final terrible turn of the card.
In this collection of Wild Cards stories, the spotlight is on the most unusual Wild Cards of them all—the Deuces. Their role in the Wild Cards Universe is just as important as that of the Aces and the Jokers. In fact, their actions have affected the course of Wild Cards history. Deuces Down is the one place you’ll find such never-before-told tales as John J. Miller’s exciting 1969 World Series between the Baltimore Orioles and the Brooklyn Dodgers; Michael Cassutt’s first moon landing, when the whole world wasn’t watching; Walter Simon’s Great New York City Blackout of 1977; Melinda M. Snodgrass’s account of Grace Kelly’s mysterious disappearance during the filming of the French Lieutenant’s Woman. It’s a strange and terrifying world, where anything can happen. A world of Wild Cards.