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Wild Cards Books In Order

Publication Order of Wild Cards Anthologies

Wild Cards (1986) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Aces High (1987) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Jokers Wild (1987) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Aces Abroad (1988) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Down and Dirty (1988) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Ace in the Hole (1989) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dead Man's Hand (1990) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
One-Eyed Jacks (1991) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Jokertown Shuffle (1991) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dealer's Choice (1992) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Deuces Down (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Inside Straight (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Busted Flush (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Suicide Kings (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Fort Freak (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Lowball (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
High Stakes (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mississippi Roll (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Low Chicago (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Knaves Over Queens (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Texas Hold'em (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Wild Cards Mosaic: New Cycle Anthologies

Card Sharks (1993) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Marked Cards (1994) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Black Trump (1995) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Wild Cards is a sci-fi/superhero anthology series written by more than 30 Mexican science fiction writers known as the Wild Cards Trust. Wild Card series is set in alternate history of the post second world war United States. It follows a group of humans who got infected with the Wild Card virus, a virus that rewrites the human DNA, those who acquire small or crippling conditions are referred to as Jokers while those who gain superhuman powers are known as Aces.

Wild Cards series originated from along running campaign of the Superworld game by Martin, and the framework of the Wild Card series was developed by Snodgrass and Martin including the creation of the characters with superhuman powers and the card-based terminologies. The first novel in the series Wild Cards was released in 1987 b Bantam Books, and since then more than a dozen sequels have been published. The series has been adapted into graphic novels, comic books, and role-playing games. Set in an alternate history United States after the world war, Wild Cards series follows the events after an airborne virus is released in New York City in 1946 infecting thousands across the globe.

This virus is created specifically to rewrite the human DNA and was developed as a weapon by a noble family from Takis, and is brought to Earth to test on the humans who have DNA similarities to the people of Takis. Dr. Tachyon, of the noble family, objects their move and efforts to stop them; however, his attempt only cashes their ship hence releasing the virus. The virus affects people differently and comes to be known as the Wild Card virus due to its random and unpredictable symptoms. The virus kills 90% of its victims and mutates the remaining percentage. From the 10% remainder, 9% are jokers while 1% are Aces.

Wild Cards

After World War II, aliens arrive on Terra, and they are not any green men, but people like us. That’s why they chose our planet because they needed “guinea pigs” to test their virus, and their Earthlike animals were the ideal beings for this purpose. But not everyone on the planet Takis sees things the same, so the alien nicknamed Doctor Tachyon will try to prevent the spread of the virus on Terra.

Unfortunately, nobody will take into consideration an eccentric little man who is considered alien than when it is too late. Once released, the virus kills the vast majority of the population, and the others affect them in a completely unpredictable way: some get supernatural powers, becoming the so-called Aces, and others get mutations that turn them into monsters, becoming Jokers. And here begins a long history of decades, sprinkled with many moments when new heroes are wooed or frightened, and monsters are marginalized or hardly integrated into society and all this while Dr. Tachyon tries to help humanity adapt to the social changes brought by the virus.

The first book in the series is a compilation of several short stories all which standout and overall makes a beautiful book. Here is an overview of the several short stories. The Sleeper written by Roger Zelazny introduces the readers to Croyd Crenson an unfortunate 14-year-old boy who becomes one of the first victims to contract the virus and each time he falls asleep, he transforms, sometimes an Aces others a Joker. Croyd is forced to grow up quickly in order to deal with his condition and is soon drawn to crime so that he can cater for his strange lifestyle. However, the best thing about his character is the fact that he is always different every time he transforms.

Then there is Shell Games a short story by George R.R Martin. In a gesture of the social awkwardness that Peter Parker exhibits when he is not in his Spiderman suit, the author narrates the story of the Great and Powerful Turtle, and his alter ego- Thomas Tudbury. The Turtle is a powerful telekinetic but who can perfectly function when hidden inside the shell of his custom-made armored Volkswagen beetle. He is described as a character that is crippled by his shyness. This is a different approach on the traditional superhero origin as we the readers get a glimpse of the mental effect of choosing to be a superhero.

Every story in Wild Cards has its individuality and feels the influence of the person who wrote it. Some have chosen to focus on the political side of the new world; others have preferred to talk about a personal drama of a Joker or an Ace, are interludes that emphasize the outlook of the press or society in general. Stories are basically very different pieces of the same puzzle. But it’s the same puzzle, and that’s what it feels like because all the stories together create a much-unified one. The entire volume is an overview made up of many individual views. It’s fascinating, captivating, and cleverly written on every single page.

Aces High

The alternate version post-WWII Earth has been divided by an alien virus known as the Wild Card virus- the super-powered, the deformed an the unaffected. All have their own motives, some even darker than others but the arrival of an alien Swarm threatens all. As the earth becomes a target of constant attacks, several of Earth’s alien allies help the lead resistance, however destroying the Swarm mother might be an impossible task as a group of sympathizers jumps to her defense.

After the debut novel focused on four decades of alternate history with Aces and the Jokers facing political manipulation, discrimination, and questions regarding their loyalties, it’s a beautiful tonal shift to follow that up with a full-scale attack on planet earth. However, it’s this kind of variation that has kept the Wild Card series fun and has led to several adaptations. There stories that makeup Aces High come from some of the well-known sci-fi writers of the 1980’s: Pat Cadigan, George R.R. Martin, Walter Jon Williams, Roger Zelazny. These stories vary from the big epic war tales as the Swarm invades to small-scale stories of back-alley hustling.

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