Wild Cards I (Wild Cards Series #1)

Wild Cards I (Wild Cards Series #1)

by George R. R. Martin, Wild Cards Trust

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - First Edition)

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Soon to be a TV show on Hulu!

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.

Now in development for TV!
Rights to develop Wild Cards for TV have been acquired by Universal Cable Productions, the team that brought you The Magicians and Mr. Robot, with the co-editor of Wild Cards, Melinda Snodgrass as executive producer.

The Wild Cards Universe
The Original Triad
#1 Wild Cards
#2 Aces High
#3 Jokers Wild

The Puppetman Quartet
#4: Aces Abroad
#5: Down and Dirty
#6: Ace in the Hole
#7: Dead Man’s Hand

The Rox Triad
#8: One-Eyed Jacks
#9: Jokertown Shuffle
#10: Dealer’s Choice

#11: Double Solitaire
#12: Turn of the Cards

The Card Sharks Triad
#13: Card Sharks
#14: Marked Cards
#15: Black Trump

#16: Deuces Down
#17: Death Draws Five

The Committee Triad
#18: Inside Straight
#19: Busted Flush
#20: Suicide Kings

The Fort Freak Triad
#21: Fort Freak
#22: Lowball
#23: High Stakes

The American Triad
#24: Mississippi Roll
#25: Low Chicago
#26: Texas Hold 'Em

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780765365071
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date: 06/26/2012
Series: Wild Cards Series , #1
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 608
Sales rank: 90,723
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

GEORGE R. R. MARTIN is the author of the internationally bestselling fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire (basis of HBO's popular Game of Thrones series) and editor of the multi-author collaborative Wild Cards series. Martin’s many awards include four Hugos, two Nebulas, the Bram Stoker, and the World Fantasy Award.

MELINDA M. SNODGRASS has worked on numerous shows in Hollywood, including Star Trek: The Next Generation, and she has written pilots and feature films. She coedits of the Wild Cards series and writes writes the urban fantasy Linnet Ellery books (beginning with This Case Is Gonna Kill Me) under the name Phillipa Bornikova.


Santa Fe, NM

Date of Birth:

September 20, 1948

Place of Birth:

Bayonne, NJ


B.S., Northwestern University, 1970; M.S., Northwestern University, 1971

Table of Contents

Prologue / George R.R. Martin
Thirty Minutes Over Broadway! / Howard Waldrop
The Sleeper / Roger Zelazny
Witness / Walter Jon Williams
Degradation Rites / Melinda M. Snodgrass
Captain Cathode and the Secret Ace / Micahel Cassutt
Powers / David D. Levine
Shell Games / George R.R. Martin
The Long, Dark Night of Fortunato / Lewis Shiner
Transfigurations / Victor Milán
Down Deep / Edward Bryant, Leanne C. Harper
Strings / Stephen Leigh
Ghost Girl Takes Manhattan / Carrie Vaughn
Comes a Hunter / John I. Miller
Epilogue: Third Generation / Lewis Shiner

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Wild Cards I 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 71 reviews.
djabko More than 1 year ago
I can buy the paperback for 1.99 but for the nook version its 9.99? Where is the value in that?
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1946, Jetboy begins what looks like a suicide mission to save New York City from the Takisians invasion. The aliens plan to use Manhattan as a mass weapon experiment. He has "Thirty Minutes Over Broadway" (by Howard Waldrop) to prevent the tragedy; he fails. While most died from the virus, nine percent suffered monstrous body changes and one percent became the super powerful beings - Jokers to some; Aces to others. When the bomb exploded he was a ninth grader who is ironically two decades later the "Sleeper" (by Roger Zelazny) who cannot allow himself to sleep; he has become a Wild Card like a few other survivors who must unite as the Swarm from space is coming to the Omni. This is the opening tales from one of the great continuous superhero (and villain) anthologies. Ten of the entries were printed in the original first collection in 1987. There are three new contributions that fit nicely into this extremely dark world; in fact expand on the premise, especially the "Ghost Girl Takes Manhattan" by Carrie Vaughn. Although a couple of contributions feel awkward in terms of the overarching theme as if George R.R. Martin was still experimenting with Wild Aces, none of the entries are poorly written. This is a great return to the beginning of the fabulous Wild Cards Universe. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A collection of short stories covering forty years of history after a virus is released which causes a minority of those infected to develop super powers. Feels not unlike World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War in style (and yes, I know this came first). A lot of the stories detail historical events from the perspective of the important people involved in that event. I think those where the stories I liked the best. There were a few stories that didn't really seem to focus on important events, so much as giving a sense of what this era of American history would be like with super powered individials in it. And those were also pretty good. The stories I didn't really care for all that much were the ones that seemed disconnected from the setting. Here's an origin story for a character that shows how he got his powers and what he does with them, but he's not an important player and his story is generic enough that it could have been put in any era of the forty years covered by the book without much difficulty. But hey, look, he's in the background of some of the other stories that take place after his origin. So I guess we needed a short story to establish local color?
kfrank7680 More than 1 year ago
I love this series and have 1-14 in paperback. As my son has taken them with him when he moved out I look forward to the ebooks. This is a great series. Each book is almost a series of short stories and really draws me in.
ianthealy More than 1 year ago
I've read this book before, but this edition has new material added from authors Carrie Vaughn, Michael Cassutt, and David D. Levine. In short, the new additions are excellent and add more depth to an already richly detailed universe. This book made me want to write superhero fiction. I'm a fan of Wild Cards for life, and hope someday to get to make my own contribution to that universe.
Musicbear More than 1 year ago
Any sci-fi fan should be able to say they've read at least the first one. Good old school collaborative universe...that and it was free at the time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
...don't make the same mistake twice! This is one of the all-time great SF series. Written by a variety of talented authors, and edited and coordinated by George R. R. Martin and sometimes Melinda Snodgrass, there are at least 15 other books in the series. Like any other collaborative compilation it has its uneven moments, but overall the work is superior. The first book introduces some of the main characters who will carry on throughout the series, which avoids the usual pitfalls of serial novels with a constant infusion of fresh and innovative characters. Although by it's very nature, and by the cover design, it might be considered pulp or comic book in style, it is nonetheless superior literature with few exceptions. While filled with action, the action is not allowed to substitute for good old-fashioned character development. It is also an opportunity to catch some of your favorite authors' work which you might otherwise have missed, writers such as Roger Zelazny, Walter Jon Williams, Snodgrass and Martin too. This material would have made an infinitely superior film to 'X-Men' in dealing with the idea of mutation conferring powers onto previously 'normal' people. The idea is much more believably handled in that, in the Wild Card series, one could just as easily become hideous or even die or from the virus-borne mutation (become a 'joker' or draw the 'Black Queen') as become super human ('Ace'). Great stuff, and now is your chance to enjoy it. I wish I could wipe out my memory of the books just so I could read them fresh all over again.
hyborianmike on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm stingy with the 5 stars, but I had no hesitation with this one. Superheroes, alternative history, and a Lovecraftian menace. What's not to love?
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Great writers and great stories in fantastic and interesting world
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sometimes slow. But if you tough it out you find a very engrossing story
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I was so happy to see this released on e-book finally. The addition of new stories blended seemlessly with old. I can not wait for more. Hope new stories get added new ones are relesed; none for book 2 sadly. They mosaic blends a great story and lends to different points of veiw by of each player. People looking for a PURE George R. R. Martin book will be disapointed since he was the editor and contributer, but people who love a great story will not be. 25 years of this series and 21 books in it can not be wrong.
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