For a limited time only, Brick Tower Press is offering ebooks of classic works by Alfred Bester, Roger Zelazny, and others for sale on a “pay what you want” basis.
They call it a “Humble Books Bundle,” and you can find it here:
I note it here because the offerings include two Wild Cards titles, DEUCES DOWN and DEATH DRAWS FIVE. These two volumes — books number sixteen and seventeen in the overall series, but essentially stand-alones — are almost impossible to find in their original print editions, as many fans have informed me over the years. When Byron Preiss’s company iBooks picked up the series, after a seven-year hiatus following the last Baen volumes, they reprinted a number of the original books, but also added these two originals. DEUCES DOWN was an anthology of original stories about deuces, wild carders with trivial and in some cases absurd superpowers. DEATH DRAWS FIVE was a solo novel by John Jos. Miller, featuring Carnifex, John Fortune, Fortunato, and introducing John Nighthawk and the Midnight Angel.
When Byron Preiss died in a tragic traffic accident in 2005, however, iBooks did not long survive him, tottering into bankruptcy a few months later. Brick Tower Press acquired all the remaining assets of iBooks, including inventory and contracts, in the bankruptcy proceedings. DEUCES DOWN and DEATH DRAWS FIVE were part of that, along with the Zelazny and Bester titles you see offered as part of the Humble Books Bundle.
The print-runs of the iBooks WC originals were never large, and the distribution was scattershot at best… especially for DEATH DRAWS FIVE, which was published only days before iBooks closed its doors for goods. Brick Tower did subsequently release trade paperback editions, but those were not widely distributed either.
So if you’re one of the numerous WC fans who has been searching for these two titles to complete his collection, here’s your chance… but best move quickly, since the offer will expire soon.