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Wild Cards, Wild Cards, and Wild Cards

April 29, 2020 at 1:47 pm
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Something old, something new, and something else new are in the offing for all you Wild Cards fans out there.

April 28 was the official publication date for Tor’s trade paperback reissue of TEXAS HOLD ‘EM, the third book in our America Triad.   Hop on the bus with the Amazing Bubbles, Rubberband, Rustbelt, and the Jokertown Mob and travel down to San Antonio for a high school jazz competition like none you have ever seen before!   Copies will be on sale at your local bookstore (which is probably closed, alas), but also from your favorite online bookseller, be that Amazon, B&N, or Beastly Books.

That’s not all, though.   We also have a couple of brand new Wild Cards treats coming your way Real Soon Now.

This Friday, May 1, will see the release of the hardcover edition of THREE KINGS from Harper Collins Voyager in the UK.   This one is a sequel to KNAVES OVER QUEENS, and like that volume it is set almost entirely in the British Isles, featuring a cast of English and Irish aces, jokers, and knaves, including the Seamstress, the Green Man, Badh, Double Helix, and Enigma.

THREE KINGS is a mosaic novel.  For those not familiar with that term, or Wild Cards in general, that means there are no separate stories;  each contributor writes from the viewpoint of his or her own character or characters, but the storylines are completely interwoven to create one big on-going five- or six-way collaborative novel.   This time around the contributing writers were Melinda M. Snodgrass, Peadar O Guilin, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Caroline Spector, and Peter Newman.   They have quite a story to tell; I think you’ll enjoy it.   I sure did.

I have been editing these Wild Cards books since 1986.   I have edited a lot of traditional anthologies as well, some by myself (the John W. Campbell Award anthologies back in the 70s), some in partnership with the late great Gardner Dozois (ROGUES, DANGEROUS WOMEN, OLD MARS, OLD VENUS, WARRIORS, and the like).   All of them fun, all of them challenging… but for my money, editing a shared world anthology is the hardest sort of editing there is.   And a mosaic novel… a full mosaic, all the parts blended together into one whole… that’s a form unique to Wild Cards, I think (we did the first one back in 1988 with JOKERS WILD), and it is really really demanding.   That’s why I think it is important to point out here that THREE KINGS was edited by Melinda M. Snodgrass.  My name is larger on the cover, but Melinda did way more on this one than I did.   We had the correct credit on the title page — edited by Melinda, yours truly assistant editor — but the cover, well, the publisher wants this one shelved with all the others, which means under my name.   (This is an issue Gardner and I had to deal with as well, on our collaborative books).

Melinda has been part of Wild Cards since the very beginning (along with Walter Jon Williams, John Jos. Miller, the late Victor Milan, and a few others ), and around the time of the second triad she came on as assistant editor.  She has worked with me in that capacity on almost all of the books since.   On one of them, LOWBALL, she stepped up when other obligations were distracting me, and on that volume, the two of us are credited, correctly, as co-editors.   On the title page and cover both.   On the others, I’ve been the editor and Melinda the assistant editor.  Until THREE KINGS, where we reversed our roles.   I started the ball rolling on 3K, but then I stepped back and handed it off to Snod… and she did an amazing job with it, in my estimation.   The first time I even read the finished stories was when she sent me the assembled manuscript, and I was VERY pleased.   I think you will be as well.

In any case… there will be an American edition of THREE KINGS available from Tor, but probably not for a year or two.   Tor has a number of other Wild Cards books, both old and new, in their pipeline… like TEXAS HOLD ‘EM, above, and the forthcoming reprint of DEALER’S CHOICE.   For the time being, the only edition of THREE KINGS available for sale will be the British edition from Voyager.   Honestly, I am not sure if Americans  are allowed to purchase that… but in this age of the internet, I’d have to think it was possible.   You can read a preview and place an order here:

THREE KINGS is the twenty-ninth volume in the Wild Cards series (by virtue of this British publication, it leapfrogs the forthcoming JOKER MOON, which was actually written and delivered earlier)… but no, you don’t need to read the first twenty-eight to understand and enjoy it.   It might help a little if you do read KNAVES OVER QUEENS, the previous British book, however.

And that’s two… but that’s not all.   A few days after THREE KINGS goes on sale, we will also be debuting  a brand new Wild Cards story on  “Berlin Is Never Berlin” is by Marko Kloos, and features  Khan, half-man half-tiger, kicking ass and taking names.  Khan was originally introduced in the pages of LOW CHICAGO, where he had trouble with Al Capone and Bugsy Moran.  In this tale he faces some more contemporary adversaries.   It’s a helluva trip.

“Berlin Is Never Berlin” will be available on on May 6… and best of all, it’s FREE.   So head on over and give it a read, and do leave a comment or two after you’re done.   (And while you are there, check out some of the other Wild Cards stories on as well, original tales from Daniel Abraham, Cherie Priest, Carrie Vaughn, Stephen Leigh, Mark Lawrence, David D. Levine, and many more.  Those are free as well).

The cover art above is from Micah Epstein.

And that’s all the news that’s fit to print from Wild Cards… for now.  Enjoy the reads.



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