download kindle Wild Cards By George R.R. Martin – Stg2bio.co

Just after World Warover New York City, an alien virus transforms human genetics and goes recessive to create super heroes and villains Most victims die, others experience physical or psychic changes aces have useful powers, deuces minor maybe entertaining abilities, jokers uglified, disabled, relegated to ghettos


10 thoughts on “Wild Cards

  1. Mark Lawrence Mark Lawrence says:

    A kind editor pointed GRRM my way when he decided to have a Wild Cards book set in the UK and wantedBritish authors on board Actually as a dual national I m half American, but I ve spent 90% of my life here.Anyway, Wild Cards is a franchise spanning 30 years in real time and 60 years in book time, and sprawls over 23 counting volumes.The good thing is that although all that alternate history and the cast of characters are there to be used, most of the books all of which comprise a A kind editor pointed GRRM my way when he decided to have a Wild Cards book set in the UK and wantedBritish authors on board Actually as a dual national I m half American, but I ve spent 90% of my life here.Anyway, Wild Cards is a franchise spanning 30 years in real time and 60 years in book time, and sprawls over 23 counting volumes.The good thing is that although all that alternate history and the cast of characters are there to be used, most of the books all of which comprise a collection of short stories stand well on their own, as do the stories within them.And the underlying idea of the whole thing can be delivered in a couple of lines.In 1940 ish an alien virus is released It infects a few thousand or tens of thousands then fades away, with new outbursts down the years 90% of those catching it die, 9% are horribly deformed, and 1% are largely untouched but gain super powers Simple So, in preparation for writing my 15,000 word story for Knaves Over Queens, book 27, I read book 1.It s set in the 40s, 50 s and 60s, following the aftermath of the first outbreak and the progress of some of those new super heroes along with the social impact of their activities and of the farnumerous Jokers those who end up sick and deformed who form a persecuted underclass and mostly live in ghettos.There is a focus on real American political events of the period, re imagined through the lens of the virus The political ramifications and events are not discarded but build through the series, giving it a persistent and realistic history that is absent in other superhero franchises where the board is reset regularly and consequences largely forgotten.The political focus can make this first book rather dry, especially for younger readers for whom time has moved the events from recent ish history to somethingdistant and academic.I found the quality of the short stories to be enormously variable This is true of many anthologies, and I guess of many collections of books you might randomly pull off the shelf.It s been a while since I read it so I can t go into detail I remember GRRM s own contribution as being very entertaining, and that the story by the late Roger Zelzany whose books I like a lot left me somewhat disappointed But that s part of the joy of collections, the authors can experiment and you never know what to expect You get highs with the lows and it s definitely worth giving it a try.You re not committing to a 30 book series here, since armed with the basics you can dive into any of the volumes as you please It s an exciting and highly imaginative project with some very different takes on the whole superhero villain idea Well worth it.And of course the volume my story appears in is a must read Join my 3 emails a year newsletter prizes.


  2. carol. carol. says:

    I haven t readthan a snippet or two from George R.R Martin I could not get into A Game of Thrones , so it wasn t George s reputation that lured me into picking this up It was actually Daniel Abraham s Wild Card short story in an anniversary anthology from Tor He created a haunting vision of a New York superhero and her desire for normalcy Somehow, that lead me to the Wild Card series no doubt late night sleep surfing around Goodreads and the discovery that Roger Zelazny was a contri I haven t readthan a snippet or two from George R.R Martin I could not get into A Game of Thrones , so it wasn t George s reputation that lured me into picking this up It was actually Daniel Abraham s Wild Card short story in an anniversary anthology from Tor He created a haunting vision of a New York superhero and her desire for normalcy Somehow, that lead me to the Wild Card series no doubt late night sleep surfing around Goodreads and the discovery that Roger Zelazny was a contributor As a huge fan of his short stories, I was sold on giving the series a chance First published in 1987, and updated in 2010, Wild Cards I is a shared universe anthology Modeled on superhero conventions, it contains a variety of short stories with interludes and pseudo news pieces written by Martin The timeline is congruent with normal earth timeline until 1946 when an alien virus lands on earth, and an alien from the responsible race in hot pursuit The virus gets released by an evil villain, and huge numbers of people die on exposure One in ten exposed are genetically altered, drawing the wild card Using card lore, those with freakish attributes become known as Jokers, while those that remain human like are known as Aces This first volume is largely linear, beginning with the exposure to the virus, response,the alien, government investigations, fear outbreaks, etc For me, enjoyment was usually proportional to the writer and the writer s focus I found the set up less interesting, and the post war politics dull A lot of the writing is very period, for both the writers and the comic standard ie women without agency highly sexualized It is also disconcerting at times to have the alternate timeline reference larger world events, such as a Jimmy Carter apology, Studio 54 or Watergate, etc The stories that were enjoyable for me focused on the personal and were thoughtful character studies and creative explorations of talent.Background on the series says that they are edited by Martin and Snodgrass I wonder ifinvasive editing or perhaps, the modern resources of the web could have improved the read I wonder if the event references were meant to help root the stories in the anthology s timeline, but it didn t work for me I think I might have almost preferred acomplication type editing that contextualized the following piece.The general theme is straight from the Crash Test Dummies Superman never made any moneyFor saving the world from Solomon GrundyAnd sometimes I despair the world will never seeAnother man like himHey Bob, Supe had a straight jobEven though he could have smashed through any bankIn the United States, he had the strength, but he would not Thirty Minutes Over Broadway by Howard Waldrop missed me It integrated a World War II flying ace, and again, as an indifferent student of history, was a pass It should appeal to those who are versed in the time period and the mythology of early fighter pilots The Sleeper, by Roger Zelazny was a great character study through time Zelazny came up with a great character, one whose attributes change after every time he sleeps Sometimes he comes up aces, sometimes joker Fourteen years old when he first discovers his talent, he meets a dog joker who helps guide him through his talents and making a living Witness by Walter Jon Williams is the McCarthy period piece Originally, four main aces Brain Trust, the Envoy, the Golden Boy and the Black Eagle were recruited by the government to issue in a post war golden age Unfortunately, politics intrude There s a great deal in here about Bolivian fascists, Communist Reds, various governments worldwide that were anti democracy Perhaps part of the story is in the reconfigured history hard for me to say It s a detailed story, done well, and absolutely no interest for me No doubt, this is a personal reaction, largely because of my age and residence being over forty and a Wisconsinite, I ve grown up with the legacy of horrors that was McCarthyism, so it s not a plot line that interests Degradation Rites by Melinda M Snodgrass is an interesting character piece between Tachyon, the alien, and Blythe, the Brain Trust ace Limited by the convention of the 50s and by Blythe s enthusiastic adoption of the government plan, Tachyon and Blythe embark on a romance It gives the most insight into the alien culture that created the virus Bittersweet Captain Cathode and the Secret Ace by Michael Cassutt was a late edition to the book, copyright 2010 It s another character study around the Hollywood scene, a producer and the star of a children s television show, Captain Cathode The back stabbing scene complicated by hidden talents Powers by David D Levine was also a late edition A character study with an ace with a talent for data, but focuses on NATO, Eisenhower and a Russian stand off that only he can fix Less interesting because of the cold war political trappings Shell Games by George R.R Martin is another nice character study of an ace who believes in doing good in an era when they ve been discredited Jokertown is refuge for the changed It s has a nice bromance, a complicated, discredited Tachyon and woman that needs saving One of the better stories, moving and redemptive The Long, Dark Night of Fortunato by Lewis Shiner Um A Chinese black pimp discovers tantric sex superpowers and steps up to the plate for the changed It was well written Enough said Transfigurations by Victor Milan Set in 1969, it is a time period piece about a researcher that wants to understand hallucinogens and the counterculture Awkward, and reads strangely like Forrest Gump and his obsession with Jenny Strangely similar in her predilection for loser boyfriends Down Deep by Edward Bryant and Leanne C Harper was interesting Mob meets subway jokers and a liberal social worker that just wants to help Almost worked, except that the integration of the social worker and her missing roommate seemed ill fitted I so badly wanted it to work The connection of the subway jokers was interesting Strings by Stephen Leigh was a little intriguing, but lacked the emotional content that would take it to another level for me Another one of those period type pieces where the only woman s role is highly sexualized Ghost Girl Takes Manhattan was a 2010 addition from Carrie Vaughn Very likeable, modern UF in feel A young woman hiding her talent gets talked into a night on the town with a wild girlfriend Has a guest appearance from a couple of the other characters Comes a Hunter by John J Miller was one of the better pieces The most emotionally complex piece for me I liked it a great deal but felt the ending needed further completion.Ultimate rating Two and a half, three stars, I suppose It is written well enough but isn t entirely to my taste I ll probably check out subsequent volumes depending on contributors and to see if another decade or two modernizes story underpinnings.Cross posted at


  3. Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ says:

    Tor monthy free ebook for December 2019 Sign up at for their ebook of the month club Available until midnight EST on Dec 13 I recommend signing up if you re a SF F reader they ll send you a weekly newsletter but it s actually pretty interesting.I ve seen these Wild Cards superhero stories from an alternative history where an alien virus was dropped over NYC in the 1940s, killing most people, mutating others in harmful useless ways, and creating superpowered pe Tor monthy free ebook for December 2019 Sign up at for their ebook of the month club Available until midnight EST on Dec 13 I recommend signing up if you re a SF F reader they ll send you a weekly newsletter but it s actually pretty interesting.I ve seen these Wild Cards superhero stories from an alternative history where an alien virus was dropped over NYC in the 1940s, killing most people, mutating others in harmful useless ways, and creating superpowered people out of a lucky few around for several years now, but I ve never read this first book, which tells how everything started Wild Cards is a shared universe created by George R.R Martin, where lots of different authors come to play and write stories


  4. TL TL says:

    This series first came to my attention with the free short story on Tor.com,The Thing About Growing Up in Jokertown Read my review of it here if you like At the time I read the above short story and was adding Fort Freak to my wishlist, I hadn t realized it was a series wasn t paying attention, oops and was a little wary of how many books there were but decided to give it a shot anyways.Very glad I did.Many people are fascinated by superpowers superheroes Xmen, Wonder Woman, Superm This series first came to my attention with the free short story on Tor.com,The Thing About Growing Up in Jokertown Read my review of it here if you like At the time I read the above short story and was adding Fort Freak to my wishlist, I hadn t realized it was a series wasn t paying attention, oops and was a little wary of how many books there were but decided to give it a shot anyways.Very glad I did.Many people are fascinated by superpowers superheroes Xmen, Wonder Woman, Superman, Captain Marvel, Dr Strange, etc Most have us have pretended to be these people or inserted ourselves as a mutant or superhero as well.What would psychic powers actually be like though Would it be everything you dreamed of, or would it be a nightmare you desperately want to get rid of resign yourself to living with This book takes a fantastical idea and makes it a reality in each of these compelling stories interludes We get a look and see how ordinary people, good and bad, use their powers or deal with being a Joker and feared scorned by society.Some stories are better than others but there wasn t one that had me thinking God, this is boring I loved how everything was connected and other people were referenced and kept popping up.The Humor some of it too helped balance some stuff out Even though there are many different writers, it doesn t feel that way The flow is uninterrupted and everyone everything in it feels true to who what they are Would have loved to sit in on the idea sessions when putting this stuff together how amazing would that have been Each writer s style is distinct yet blends in with what everyone else was contributing to this universe.I did have some favorites of course Dr Tachyon, Turtle, Ghost Girl,Earl, Croyd,. just to name a few but everyone without the exception of one guy I wouldn t want to be within ten feet of in real life, but he was still fascinating is someone I would have been interested to meet and talk with them.There s a nice display of powers in these stories I won t say what they are so as not to spoil it for you newcomers but you ll definitely have fun A few did remind me of certain superheroes and such but it feltlike just a nod to them without saying anything.The Appendixes Epilogue and what not were interesting though the epilogue had me confused a bit, maybe I m just too tired I do confess though, that the science y one did have my eyes glazing over a bit It wasn t boring but all that talk went over my head if I was in the audience, I probably would have just spaced out while recording it on a digital recorder or something.It does get points for feeling like an authentic lecture though.Would highly recommend


  5. Elizabeth Sagan Elizabeth Sagan says:

    Amazing plot, but I didn t like the execution.I absolutely loved the story which is why I gave it 4 stars It reminded me of The Reckoners by Brandon Sanderson, which is one of my favourite series of all time People with supernatural powers, Government, X Men Chronicle Whatdo you need For a while it was exactly what I wanted it to be It was perfect, things were developing slowly It was an atypical story I m talking about the alternative history and the way the powers manifested them Amazing plot, but I didn t like the execution.I absolutely loved the story which is why I gave it 4 stars It reminded me of The Reckoners by Brandon Sanderson, which is one of my favourite series of all time People with supernatural powers, Government, X Men Chronicle Whatdo you need For a while it was exactly what I wanted it to be It was perfect, things were developing slowly It was an atypical story I m talking about the alternative history and the way the powers manifested themselves , but I liked it and I felt all the potential of a 5 star review Hell, I felt all the potential of becoming my new all time favourite series.But I slowly realised it wasn t going to happen I didn t mind the different styles of every chapter, that was actually OK, because it felt like every character and POV had its own style sort of But it got lost on the way And the last 150 pages or so I only read the dialogue and the beginning of every paragraph It got boring, and that s a shame, because I was really interested in this series and now I don t think I ll read the rest of it anytime soon.I m not saying it s a bad book It s really not You might like it So I kinda recommend it But be warned


  6. Jim Jim says:

    Almost 5 stars Martin, the editor, outlined the universe, very similar to ours except for the view spoiler alien wild card virus in it hide spoiler Then he turned some of the best SF Fantasy writers loose Wow History is rewritten in some interesting ways, but filled with familiar figures Imagine Kennedy, McCarthy, Nixon, Humphrey all dealing with the wild cards Comic, tragic, vile heroic, but all larger than life, these characters bring to life so many of the attitudes issues Almost 5 stars Martin, the editor, outlined the universe, very similar to ours except for the view spoiler alien wild card virus in it hide spoiler Then he turned some of the best SF Fantasy writers loose Wow History is rewritten in some interesting ways, but filled with familiar figures Imagine Kennedy, McCarthy, Nixon, Humphrey all dealing with the wild cards Comic, tragic, vile heroic, but all larger than life, these characters bring to life so many of the attitudes issues we really did face from post WWII through the 70 s, but in ways only masters of the genre could tell us.Note Originally, the book blurb here on GR had a final paragraph that read Now, thirty years later, the victims face a new nightmare From the far reaches of space comes The Swarm, a deadly menace that could very well destroy the planet Putting aside their hatred and mistrust, Aces and Jokers must form an uneasy alliance and prepare for a battle they must not lose. This is incorrect I have removed it from the book description If it comes back due to a sync withor whatever, just ignore it


  7. Jesse Lehrer Jesse Lehrer says:

    Sigh More reason to dislike Martin and most male sci fi authors Under the pretense of a realistic take on superheroes male authors yet again manage to equate reality with lots of rape and prostitutes and passive women who need men to survive This isn t reality These authors have serious emotional problems Whether it s Martin, most of the authors in this book, Heinlein, Frank Miller, etc it s always the same Their talent is just drowned in their own pathetic insecurities written on every Sigh More reason to dislike Martin and most male sci fi authors Under the pretense of a realistic take on superheroes male authors yet again manage to equate reality with lots of rape and prostitutes and passive women who need men to survive This isn t reality These authors have serious emotional problems Whether it s Martin, most of the authors in this book, Heinlein, Frank Miller, etc it s always the same Their talent is just drowned in their own pathetic insecurities written on every page The premise is people get a Wild Card of mutations, meaning it s totally random, and yet nearly every female character in the book has a power focused on either making them weak or making them need sex constantly It s fucking pathetic There s only 2 or so female characters that have anything not offensive, but even they are somewhat problematic.Seriously guys deal with your shit I used to just think the most obvious problems were your issues with women but it is clear there are even bigger issues with yourself These are not real stories about superheros you ve been raised to feel like you should control women, and in the real world you don t, so you write stories where the women are completely dependent on men This isn t the world you want you need to dig deeper and get rid of your privilege and delusions of power, not support them Women aren t objects for you to use however you want and you re not in control of everything in your life Deal with it Face your insecurities and learn to write realistic characters Just when I thought something couldn t be worse than Game Of Thrones I read this It could have been a great book, but god, it s really just pathetic.There are women all over the world who do incredible things and are strong, independent, work hard, change the world, etc Reading books like this you d think every single woman on the planet was pathetically lonely without a man to save or fuck them Respect women Write good female characters Stop calling your power fantasies realistic.Not to mention the blatant racism, total lack of understanding of protest movements, andbut that s a whole other review


  8. Ana Ana says:

    I started this book last year for the one and only reason that it was directed by George Martin, and I was in love with his style from his now well known and massively mediatized series,A Song of Ice and FireI loved that series, every second of it, so here I was bouncing up and down when I heard that George Martin was the editor to another series, and not just ANY kind of series, but one that took 21 books to be written Wait for me, heaven of long stories, I m just around the corner So I I started this book last year for the one and only reason that it was directed by George Martin, and I was in love with his style from his now well known and massively mediatized series,A Song of Ice and FireI loved that series, every second of it, so here I was bouncing up and down when I heard that George Martin was the editor to another series, and not just ANY kind of series, but one that took 21 books to be written Wait for me, heaven of long stories, I m just around the corner So I got the book on my ebook and I hungrily started reading it I loved the story and the really innovative way to talk about and invasion and all that, but I don t know why, it took me like two months to finish it Twofuckingmonths It might have something to do with the fact that while I m in school I have to pick the books I read really carefully because I don t have that much time to read Of course, once the Christmas vacantion started I fired up and read like four, five hundred pages a day and that s just for starters because I was really hungry for books The thing is, this wasn t written by Martin He was the editor Other people, many other people wrote it and all these passages follow the same story, sort of, but they speak of different things and what s most troubling is that it s written in different styles and you can feel that throughout the pages Anyways, let s get back to the subject Out there, in this Universe, another civilization decides to use Earth as a playground and they release a virus on our planet that is supposed to mess with our genetic encoding and make something else of humans Well, it did But 9 out of 10 people died, and only one in ten of those so that would be one in a hundred, i hate maths really developed something good What was left was that after that day, the day that became known as the Wild Card day because the virus itself did very different things with humans and you didn t know what card you woulkd be given, humanity changed radically The Aces, the Jokers and the Deuces apeared I LOVE LOVE LOVE this way of talking about the virus and the effects it had The Aces were the ones with good powers like telekinesis and hulk uesque powers that could lift houses with one finger of their foot while standing upright on their tongue These Aces kept their human form and could do really good things The Jokers are the men and women and children that got the ugly part of the wild card they became monsters Red skin, burning flesh, animal parts, no powers but just complete filth and ugliness And the Deuces were the ones with really useless powers like being able to transform into a puddle of water. like in case you wanted to be mopped around the floor of a restaurant The story unfolds from there, with government decrees and other really cool things I liked this book, and I have no goddamned ideea why it took me so long to finish it Really None


  9. Kaitlin Kaitlin says:

    I picked this up on Audio and ended up DNF ing it not because the narrator wasn t good, but because the story was just not for me It s set in an alternative history and the style of writing felt quite jarring and irritating to me from the start and I found it hard to connect with the characters Maybe this is because the book has many authors and it s a culmination of many ideas, but for me this style really didn t work and I found myself not wanting to listen to the audio quite quickly and hav I picked this up on Audio and ended up DNF ing it not because the narrator wasn t good, but because the story was just not for me It s set in an alternative history and the style of writing felt quite jarring and irritating to me from the start and I found it hard to connect with the characters Maybe this is because the book has many authors and it s a culmination of many ideas, but for me this style really didn t work and I found myself not wanting to listen to the audio quite quickly and having no desire to pick up the book to try Sadly I think this is a series I will give a miss Ah well, sometimes a book just isn t for you


  10. Claudia Claudia says:

    Started this one out of curiosity when I heard it will be turn into a TV show my POV, I think the movie show will be better than the book Also, had it been a graphic novel, I would have enjoyed it better, I guess But as a book, is too cartoon ish and I wasn t drawn into it Maybe will try another in the series at some other time Started this one out of curiosity when I heard it will be turn into a TV show my POV, I think the movie show will be better than the book Also, had it been a graphic novel, I would have enjoyed it better, I guess But as a book, is too cartoon ish and I wasn t drawn into it Maybe will try another in the series at some other time