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Something Old, Something New

January 5, 2018 at 1:59 pm
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The final covers are in on the new two Wild Cards books in the pipeline, and I thought I’d share.

LOW CHICAGO is the second volume in our “America” triad, and will be the twenty-fifth volume in the overall series (at least in the US). This one will feature stories from Wild Card veterans John Jos. Miller, Melinda M. Snodgrass, Kevin Andrew Murphy, Mary Anne Mohanraj, and Paul Cornell, plus newcomers Marko Kloos, Saladin Ahmed, and Christopher Rowe. Featured characters this time around will include John Nighthawk, Noel Matthews, Natya, Will O’ Wisp, Croyd Crenson, Abigail the Understudy, Khan, Meathooks, and Hardhat. The cover art is by Michael Komarck.

LOW CHICAGO is scheduled for a hardcover release on June 21.

Only month later, in August, Tor will be reissuing ONE-EYED JACKS, the eighth volume in the original series, which has been out of print for more than twenty-five years. The original lineup for that one featured Melinda M. Snodgrass, Walton (Bud) Simons, Chris Claremont, William F. Wu, Lewis Shiner, Victor Milan, Stephen Leigh, and John Jos. Miller… but we’re also adding two brand new stories, by Carrie Vaughn and Kevin Andrew Murphy, so the 2018 version of JACKS will be even better than the 1991 edition. The cover for this one is by David Palumbo.

ONE-EYED JACKS will be released on August 28 in trade paperback.

We also have a couple new posts on the Wild Cards blog, from Walter Jon Williams and William F. Wu. Check them out at http://www.wildcardsworld.com/blog/

((Comments open, for discussion of Wild Cards ONLY. Off topic comments will be deleted)).

Current Mood: pleased pleased

Rolling on the River

November 17, 2017 at 1:51 pm
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Hey, hey, hey, Wild Cards fans. Good news. We’re only a couple of weeks away from the release of our latest all-new all-original mosaic novel: MISSISSIPPI ROLL, the twenty-fourth volume in the overall series and the first book in what we’re calling the ‘America Triad.’ LOW CHICAGO and TEXAS HOLD’EM will be following in due course.

DECEMBER 5 is the official publication date for the US hardcover from Tor, and the Australian edition from Harper Collins Voyager (Voyager’s UK edition will follow along next year). Have a look at the two covers:


Tor


Voyager

MISSISSIPPI ROLL features the work of Stephen Leigh, John Jos. Miller, Carrie Vaughn, Cherie Priest, David D. Levine, and Kevin Andrew Murphy, edited by yours truly with the able assistance of my right hand, Melinda M. Snodgrass. You’ll be rolling on the river from New Orleans to Cincinnati with old favorites like Carnifex, the Midnight Angel, Hoodoo Mama, Ramshead, Sewer Jack, Wild Fox, and the Jokertown Boys, and making the acquaintance of Steam Wilbur and the haunted steam packet Natchez. We think you’ll enjoy the ride.

MISSISSIPPI ROLL can be preordered from your favorite local bookstore or online bookseller. Amazon has it at https://www.amazon.com/Mississippi-Roll-Wild-Cards-novel/dp/0765390523

Although this IS the twenty-fourth book in the Wild Cards series, still going strong after thirty years, let me stress that it is not necessary to have read the first twenty-three to understand it. MISSISSIPPI ROLL stands perfectly well on its own, and the story it tells is complete in one volume. A bit of a departure for us, that last…

Oh, and speaking of Wild Cards, there’s a new post up on the WC blog. Kevin Andrew Murphy details the history of Wild Cards Hollywood at http://www.wildcardsworld.com/blog/ Check it out.

((Comments permitted, on Wild Cards ONLY. Please stay on topic)).

Current Mood: bouncy bouncy

Aces Over England

September 2, 2017 at 1:05 pm
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Aces! Jokers! Once more into the breach… or close the wall up with our English dead.

Which is another way of saying that I’ve just finished editing and assembling our latest Wild Cards book, KNAVES OVER QUEENS, the twenty-seventh volume in the overall series (assuming the current projected publication schedule remains unchanged, which might not be the case), and our first in-depth visit to the British Isles.

Past Wild Cards books have taken our characters all over the world (once literally so, on the world tour that formed the spine of volume four, ACES ABROAD), and we’ve called a few times in England and Ireland for a scene or maybe a story, but we’ve never lingered there long enough to see how the virus affected Great Britain and Ireland… until now. KNAVES OVER QUEENS is, in a sense, a bookend book for our very first volume, WILD CARDS. Both books begin in 1946, with the release of the wild card, and both carry the story through the decades up to the present… 1986 for WILD CARDS, and 2017 for KNAVES OVER QUEENS. In the former, the focus is on New York City and the US; in the new book, it’s on the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The lineup this time around:

KEVIN ANDREW MURPHY: “A Flint Lies in the Mud” and “But a Flint Holds Fire,”
PEADAR O GUILIN: “The Coming of the Crow,” “Cracks in the City,” and “Feeding on the Entrails,”
CAROLINE SPECTOR: “Needles and Pins,”
PAUL CORNELL: “Night Orders,”
CHARLES STROSS: “Police On My Back,”
MARKO KLOOS: “Probationary,”
PETER NEWMAN: “Twisted Logic,”
MELINDA M. SNODGRASS: “Ceremony of Innocence,”
EMMA NEWMAN: “How to Turn a Girl to Stone,”
MARK LAWRENCE: “The Visitor.”

If you’ve ever wondered about the backstories of Captain Flint and Double Helix, this is the book for you… but most of the stories will be given over to brand new characters rather than established ones. I can’t wait for you to meet them. By the time you put the book down, I think you’ll be wanting more. I know that I certainly do. And as you’ve undoubtedly noticed, we’ve recruited a bunch of terrific new writers to the consortium ranks as well. Expect great things.

I know, I know, I am hardly objective, but I think we have some great tales in KNAVES, and I’m very proud of this one. I’ll confess, I was a wee bit disappointed when Wild Cards didn’t even get a whiff of a nomination in the Hugo Awards for Best Series, considering that we’ve been doing some great work IMNSHO for thirty years now. Only one thing to do about that: try to do EVEN BETTER books in the future. I think we will…

KNAVES OVER QUEENS will be published by Tor in the US and Voyager in the UK. No publication dates yet, but you’ll know when I know. While you wait, keep your eyes peeled for MISSISSIPPI ROLL, LOW CHICAGO, and TEXAS HOLD’ EM, the next three volumes in the pipeline… and for more all new, all original Wild Cards stories on Tor.com. Oh, and check out the blog on the Wild Cards website at http://www.wildcardsworld.com/ — new content there every two weeks.

Current Mood: accomplished accomplished

Something Old, Something New…

June 12, 2017 at 12:49 pm
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… or rather, the old becomes new again tomorrow, when Tor releases the latest volume in their series of Wild Cards reissues: DEAD MAN’S HAND, the seventh book in the original sequence.

I’ve had some readers complain about my name being featured on the covers of the Wild Cards books because I “didn’t write them.” That’s a bullshit complaint, IMSHO. No, I am not the sole author of the Wild Cards stories, I am only one of… ah, lemme see, I believe it was forty-one writers at last count.

I am, however, the editor of every single one of the twenty-three volumes published to date, and the new ones in the pipeline as well… the guy who recruits all those writers, determines the ‘overplots’ of the triads, solicits proposals, accepts and rejects, and gives extensive notes on rewrites. (And there’s a LOT of rewriting in Wild Cards, to make all the bits fit together so the whole will be more than the sum of its parts). It’s a lot more work than any other sort of anthology, believe me… though I love it, so I don’t complain… too much. I earn those credits, and to suggest that my name is just being ‘slapped on’ the covers while someone else does the work is as ignorant as it is offensive.

Besides which, I DO write for Wild Cards, in addition to editing the series. More so in the early days, admittedly, before Westeros and Ice & Fire arose to eat up almost all of my writing time. Truth be told, I’d love nothing better than to write some more Wild Cards stories. I have some old favorite characters I’d love to revisit (Popinjay, the Turtle), and some newer characters that I’ve hardly written about at all (Lohengrin, Hoodoo Mama)… and I have stories to tell. But all that will need to wait until I’ve finished WINDS OF WINTER, and maybe DREAM OF SPRING as well.

Which brings me back to DEAD MAN’S HAND.

If you’re one of those who hasn’t tried Wild Cards because there’s not enough of my own writing in it, well, here’s your chance to hop in. Because this volume has LOTS of my own writing. The typical Wild Cards mosaic novel features work by half a dozen or more writers and as many characters, but on this outing there were only two of us. DEAD MAN’S HAND is a sort of noir mystery novel, as two very different detectives attempt to unravel a grotesque murder in Jokertown. The stars are Yeoman, the ace of spades vigilante, written by John Jos. Miller… and my very own Popinjay, Jay Ackroyd, a rumpled private eye and projecting teleport.

The Tor reissue has a great new cover from Michael Komarck as well.

DEAD MAN’S HAND goes on sale tomorrow, at your favorite local bookstore and/or online retailer.

Current Mood: cheerful cheerful

More Cool Wild Cards Stuff

April 5, 2017 at 3:46 pm
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A couple of cool new pieces about Wild Cards this morning.

The second installment of Katy Rask’s Wild Cards reread is up today on Tor.com.

http://www.tor.com/2017/04/05/killer-space-yeast-attacks-wild-cards-ii-is-a-superpowered-love-letter-to-science-fiction/

This one is about volume two, ACES HIGH.

Go and join the fun and let your voice be heard. Authors have been known to drop by from time to time.

Meanwhile, over on the official Wild Cards website, we’ve added a new blog post by Mary Anne Mohanraj about the creation of her popular character, Natya the dancer.

http://www.wildcardsworld.com/the-origins-of-natya/

Oh, and I should also mention that Walter Jon’s tribute to Roger Zelazny and Croyd Crenson, originally published on the WC website, is now available on Tor.com as well:

http://www.tor.com/2017/03/31/the-best-wild-cards-character-that-i-didnt-create-roger-zelaznys-the-sleeper/#comment-658746

Happy reading, aces.

WILD CARDS Rocks On

March 7, 2017 at 11:57 am
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PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY just broke the story here http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/book-deals/article/72958-book-deals-week-of-march-6-2017.html so now that we’ve gone public, I’m jazzed to be able to announce a huge new deal for WILD CARDS.

Our uber-agent, Kay McCauley of Aurous, has just come to agreement with the good folks at Tor for nine (yes, count ’em, nine) more volumes, a combination of old and new titles that will keep the series going until 2020, at the least.

Five of those titles will be reissues. Tor will be bringing out new trade paperback editions of volumes eight through twelve from the original series run: ONE-EYED JACKS, JOKERTOWN SHUFFLE, DOUBLE SOLITAIRE, DEALER’S CHOICE, and TURN OF THE CARDS, all of which have been out of print for more than twenty years (as the escalating prices on ebay have demonstrated). That quintet contains the first two solo novels in the run of the series. DOUBLE SOLITAIRE was a solo by Melinda M. Snodgrass, a space opera in the grand style starring Dr. Tachyon, Popinjay, Cap’n Trips and his friends, and the most despised villain in Wild Cards history, Blaise Andrieux. TURN OF THE CARDS was Victor Milan’s solo outing, featuring Trips and friends. In between we have a full mosaic in DEALER’S CHOICE, the climax of the Rox War, with storylines by Edward Bryant (Wyungare, Cordelia, and Sewer Jack), Walter Jon Williams (Modular Man), John Jos. Miller (Carnifex), Stephen Leigh (Bloat), and yours truly (the Great and Powerful Turtle).

Before any of those three, however, we have ONE-EYED JACKS and JOKERTOWN SHUFFLE, volumes eight and nine, which set up all that follows. With those two, our intent is to add some new original never-before-published stories, just as we did with the reissues of volumes one and four, to sweeten the pot and turn the excitement right up to eleven. Stay turned for more news on that front.

In addition to the five reissues, Tor will also be releasing four new books in hardcover.

One will be a collection. FULL HOUSE will reprint all the of the Wild Cards stories that have appeared on the Tor.com website, the first time any of those tales have been on paper. The table of contents will include work from Daniel Abraham, Cherie Priest, David D. Levine, Walter Jon Williams, Paul Cornell, Carrie Vaughn (x2), Caroline Spector, Stephen Leigh, Melinda M. Snodgrass… and a few more players to be named later. Watch this space for more details, and Tor.com for more stories.

Last but not least, we will have three more originals. Assuming FULL HOUSE slips in there as volume twenty-seven, the new books will be volumes twenty-eight, twenty-nine, and thirty of the overall series. (Though, as ever, you do NOT need to read all the books that have gone before to read and enjoy the new ones.).

We’re in very early days in planning the new books, so I cannot tell you much about them as yet… but I will share a few tidbits, so long as you promise not to hold me to ’em. (Things do have a way of changing in this game). One of the new books is going to be another solo novel, from a terrific writer we have not seen nearly enough of in WILD CARDS. Another one promises to take the action back into space. And the third will move the focus across the Atlantic, to the British Isles. To help us write that last one, we’ve added some exciting new writers to the madhouse that is Wild Cards. Wait till you meet their characters!

Oh, and for all our Wild Cards readers on that side of the pond… HarperCollins Voyager will be publishing the three new books as well, I’m pleased to announce, as well as the three books that precede them, MISSISSIPPI ROLL and LOW CHICAGO and TEXAS HOLD ‘EM.

With the television show in development, the new web site, the reread going on over at Tor.com, and all these new books in the pipeline, this is an exciting time to be a Wild Cards fan. (And we do hope that you will remember Wild Cards when making your Hugo nominations too!)

We can’t die yet! We haven’t seen the Jolson Story!

Re-Read Time!

March 3, 2017 at 3:05 pm
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The Wild Cards Re-Read has kicked off over at Tor.com.

First up: book one, WILD CARDS. That makes sense.

Go join the fun at http://www.tor.com/2017/03/02/wild-cards-reveals-a-dark-reflection-of-our-post-war-reality/#comment-651329

To Jetboy!

It’s Publication Day…

February 28, 2017 at 2:15 pm
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… for the long-awaited Tor reissue of ACE IN THE HOLE, volume six in the Wild Cards series. Look for it on the shelves of your friendly neighborhood bookstore, among the trade paperbacks, or from whichever online bookseller you prefer.

Set during a dramatic week in Atlanta during the 1988 Democratic National Convention, as a religious fanatic and a secret psychopath struggle for the nomination, ACE IN THE HOLE is one of our full mosaics, featuring the work of Melinda M. Snodgrass, Victor Milan, Walton (Bud) Simons, Stephen Leigh, and Walter Jon Williams, deftly edited and interwoven by yours truly.

The stars this time around are Dr. Tachyon, Mackie Messer, Demise, Puppetman, and Golden Boy. That’s Mackie coming through a Hartmann poster on the stunning new cover by Michael Komarck.

This is one of our best, if I do say so myself. The full mosaic form is incredibly demanding, for the writers and editor both, but I think the results are worth it.

Don’t be frightened, though, ACE IN THE HOLE is purely fiction. No way any presidential candidate so malicious and deceptive could ever be nominated by a major party in real life. Right?

Tor Launches Wild Cards Reread

February 22, 2017 at 11:19 pm
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All you Wild Cards fans old and new… and you future fans as well, who have yet to give the series a try… should head on over to Tor.com, where they will be launching a Wild Cards Reread program on March 1.

Tor has done a number of these rereads of popular series. You can find them all there in their archives. The way it works, a fan of the works in question rereads them, book by book and story by story, and posts their observations, and everyone else chimes in.

It’s always fun, and often illuminating as well.

Katy Rask will be leading the reread for Wild Cards, and who better?

So get to reading! The first of March is almost here.

http://www.tor.com/2017/02/21/announcing-george-r-r-martins-wild-cards-the-reread/

Wild Cards Coming Atcha

February 13, 2017 at 2:03 pm
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Got some cool stuff coming down the pike for Wild Cards fans… especially those of you who came in with INSIDE STRAIGHT or FORT FREAK or one of our other recent Tor originals, and have been seeking high and low for the older books ever since.

Many of those older books are, alas, still out of print. But Tor has reissued the first five volumes in trade paperback, and now we’re bring back volumes six and seven as well.

ACE IN THE HOLE is our sixth volume. Set during the dramatic (and bloody) Democratic National Convention of 1988, this one is a full mosaic, weaving together stories from Melinda M. Snodgrass (Dr. Tachyon), Walton Simons (Demise), Stephen Leigh (Puppetman), Walter Jon Williams (Golden Boy), and Victor Milan (Mackie Messer). Look for the new trade paperback on FEBRUARY 28.

DEAD MAN’S HAND, volume seven, is a companion piece to ACE IN THE HOLE. In fact, the two were actually one book, until it got too big and our publisher asked for a split. DMH takes place during the same week as AITH, the former mostly in New York City, the latter mostly in Atlanta. This one is a mosaic too, but with only two writers: John Jos. Miller writing Yeoman, and yours truly with Jay Ackroyd, aka Popinjay. Which makes it more of a collaborative novel, really. This is our noir novel, a classic mean streets murder mystery with superpowers. It will be great to have it back in print after so long. Look for it on JUNE 13.

((Both of those covers are by the amazing Michael Komarck. Do remember that name when you’re making your Hugo nominations for Best Professional Artist, Komarck is way overdue)).

OH, and hey… on other Wild Card fronts, there’s a cool new post up on the WC website, wherein David Anthony Durham confesses how he stole his IBT character from his son. 😉 You can check it out here:
http://www.wildcardsworld.com/

Fight the good fight, boys and girls. And remember, you can’t die yet, so haven’t seen the Jolson story.