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FULL HOUSE Is Here!

August 2, 2022 at 8:12 am
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 Aces Assemble!  You jokers can come too.   We have a new book coming for you TODAY

 Our friends at Tor will be releasing FULL HOUSE in hardcover.  

 FULL HOUSE is the thirty-first volume in the overall Wild Cards series, which began all the way back in 1987, before some of you were born.   (Seems like last week to me, though)  This one is a little different.  It is not our usual mosaic, but rather a collection of stand-alone stories:

“When We Were Heroes”                                 Daniel Abraham
“Evernight”                                                          Victor Milan
“Lies My Mother Told Me”                               Caroline Spector
“Nuestra Senora de la Esperanza”                   Carrie Vaughn
“Discards”                                                            David D. Levine
“The Elephant in the Room”                            Paul Cornell
“When the Devil Drives”                                 Melinda M. Snodgrass
“The Atonement Tango”                                  Stephen Leigh
“Prompt.  Professional.  Pop!”                        Walter Jon Williams
“How to Move Spheres and Influence People”              Marko Kloos

Many of those titles may seem familiar to you… if you’re one of our longtime Wild Cards fans.  Yes, all of these stories have appeared before.  All but one of them were originally published electronically on Tor.com.   This will be their first time on paper, though, in an actual book that you can put on your shelf beside all of your other Wild Cards books. 

The sole exception is Caroline Spector’s novella, which originally appeared in DANGEROUS WOMEN, one of the big crossgenre anthologies I co-edited with my dear friend, the late great Gardner Dozois.  (It was a great fit there.  Bubbles and Hoodoo Mama are not to be messed with). 

 Maybe you’re read all of these.   Maybe you missed a few.   Maybe you missed all of them.   They’re some terrific tales, however, and I’m delighted to have them all together between the same set of covers.  And who knows?  FULL HOUSE may get these stories a whole new readership — old guys like me who hate reading stuff on a computer, most like, but what the hell.

 And if this one does well, there have been enough Wild Cards stories on Tor.com to fill two more collections… and more in the pipeline.   So watch for new Wild Cards tales on Tor.com, and enjoy those collected  in FULL HOUSE.   On sale August 2 from your local bookstore or favorite online bookseller… and signed copies are always available from Beastly Books, via their website.

Spread the word, aces.

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Stonemaiden Is Back

May 27, 2022 at 8:32 am
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There’s a brand new treat for Wild Cards fans over at Tor.com.

“Hearts of Stone” is a terrific new novelette from Emma Newman.   It marks the return of Stonemaiden, the Cornish ace first introduced in KNAVES OVER QUEENS.   That was her origin story.   She also appeared, in a supporting role, in THREE KINGS, but that was decades later.   Emma’s new story is more of a follow-up to her debut, dramatizing her introduction to the Order of the Silver Helix.

Hearts of Stone

Stonemaiden is a great new addition to the Wild Cards universe, and “Heart of Stone” is a wonderful story.

Check it out.   It’s FREE.

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Dealer Takes Two

March 15, 2022 at 8:11 am
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Kings and deuces may not be as iconic… or ominous… a poker hand as aces and eights, but it’s not a bad hand to be dealt… and Tor will be dealing those cards to all the Wild Cards fans out there with the release of two more volumes on MARCH 15.

DEUCES DOWN will be released in trade paperback that day, with stories from Melinda M. Snodgrass, Walton (Bud) Simons, Stephen Leigh, Michael Cassutt, Kevin Andrew Murphy, Daniel Abraham, and John J. Miller… from the original iBooks edition, long out of print and hard to find… and brand new tales from Caroline Spector, Mary Anne Mohanraj, and Carrie Vaughn, from Tor’s reissue.  Come join Puddleman and Chuckles, Cash Mitchell, Gary Bushorn, Father Henry Obst, the Jokertown Boys, the Myth Patrol, Aurora, Demise…and Croyd Crenson, the Sleeper.   I did the editing, with the able assistance of Melinda M. Snodgrass.

But we have more to offer than deuces.   Tor will also be releasing the first American edition of our new British adventure, THREE KINGS, in hardcover.  The twenty-ninth volume in the series, THREE KINGS is a full mosaic written by Peter Newman, Melinda M. Snodgrass, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Peadar O Guilin, and Caroline Spector, featuring the Green Man, the Seamstress, Enigma, Double Helix, and Badh.   Melinda Snodgrass edited this one, with yours truly assisting… a reverse of the usual arrangement.

THREE KINGS and DEUCES DOWN will both be available at your local bookstore, and from your favorite on-line bookseller… and of course autographed copies can be had from Beastly Books in Santa Fe at https://jeancocteaucinema.com/beastlybooks/

 

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Turn That Card Again

September 27, 2021 at 8:14 am
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November 9 is going to be a big day for Wild Cards fans.

That’s the day that Tor is going to be releasing not one but two classic hard-to-find Wild Cards novels as reissues.   These are not the usual mosaics, but solo novels by two of the mainstays of the series, John Jos. Miller and the late great Victor Milan.

I have already blogged about John’s novel DEATH DRAWS FIVE (take a look downstream if you missed it).  Volume seventeen in the overall series, it was initially released by iBooks a week before the company went under, and later made available by Brick Tower Press as a print on demand title.  The new Tor hardback will be the first edition to get widespread national distribution.   This will be a great chance for all of you who missed DD5 the first time around to fill that hole in your Wild Cards collection.   And it’s a helluva ride.

But that’s only half the news.   Tor will also be releasing Vic Milan’s much sought after Cap’n Trips novel, TURN OF THE CARDS, as a trade paperback the same day, with a stunning new cover by Michael Komarck.

TURN OF THE CARDS was the twelfth volume in the series, and the last to be released by Bantam Spectra, our original publisher.   Our contract was up once Vic delivered the book, and rather than re-up for more volumes, we moved Wild Cards over to Baen Books.   (Which proved to be a huge mistake, but that’s a tale for another time.   Buy me a margarita at a con some day and maybe you can winkle it out of me).

Unsurprisingly, moving the series to a rival house did not endear us much to the old team, and when TURN finally came out as a mass market paperback, only a month before the first of the Baen volumes, promotion was pretty much non-existent, and sales declined sharply from the previous volume.

Which was a disappointment to all, and a real shame.  Vic was one of the stars of Wild Cards, the guy who started the whole thing when he gave me that SuperWorld game, and  TURN OF THE CARDS is some of his very best work.   Over the years Vic created a dozen characters for us, great and small… but the most memorable and popular of them all was Mark Meadows, a blond bearded scarecrow of a hippie who ran a head shop, wore a purple Uncle Sam suit, and went by the nom de guerre Cap’n Trips.   Despite the colorful costume, Trips seemed to have no actual superpowers.   Most of the people in Jokertown regarded him as a colorful eccentric rather than an ace.  Ah, but Mark was also a genius biochemist who had concocted a number of designer drug cocktails… and he had friends.

Jumpin’ Jack Flash (that’s him above, on the cover).  Aquarius.   Starshine.   Moonchild.   Cosmic Traveller.   Monster.   Each with his (or her) own personality, quirks, passions, and powers.   And the Radical, the first and the last, who combined the powers of all of them.

Mark and his friends were among the most popular characters in Wild Cards, right from the start.

TURN OF THE CARDS is his novel, a globe-spanning adventure that takes him halfway across the world to Vietnam, with DEA agents, SCARE heroes, and all manner of other aces in hot pursuit.

Like as not, you missed it the first time around.   Don’t miss it now.

NOVEMBER 9.  From your favorite online bookseller or local brick-and-mortar bookshop.

 

 

 

 

 

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Death Draws Again

September 7, 2021 at 8:57 am
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DEATH DRAWS FIVE is one of the rarest of the Wild Cards series.

The series started with a twelve-volume run at Bantam Spectra, then moved to Baen Books in the early 90s for three books.   (Not the brightest decision I ever made as editor, but that’s a long story for another day).  The Baen books — the Card Sharks triad — were among our strongest, I thought, but for various and sundry reasons they did not sell nearly as well as the Bantam twelve, and afterward Wild Cards was without a publisher.   Seven long years ensued, and for a time it appeared as if Wild Cards might be dead — to the dismay of all of us involved in the series.   Then, as now, we loved the world we had created, and the amazing cast of aces, jokers, and deuces we had created to populate it.

Then Byron Preiss came to the rescue with iBooks (which had nothing whatsoever to do with iPhones, iPads, or iAnythingElse, let me add).  A fan of the series, he stepped up with an offer to reprint some of the old Bantam titles, long out of print, and do two new originals as well.   The first of those was DEUCES DOWN, an anthology of stories about those the Takisian virus had given small, useless, sometimes silly superpowers.   Volume sixteen in the overall series.   The second original, volume seventeen, was a solo novel by long-time Wild Cards stalwart John Jos Miller: DEATH DRAWS FIVE.

Though iBooks was a small publisher with limited distribution, the revived series was doing okay…. until Byron Preiss was killed in a tragic automobile accident on the Long Island Expressway.   His company did not long survive him, alas.  The last book they published was… you guessed it… DEATH DRAWS FIVE.   iBooks closed up shop a week later and soon filed for bankruptcy.   We were told that fewer than six hundred copies of John’s novel ever made it into the bookstores.

That was a shame.  DEATH DRAWS FIVE is a damned good read, and it deserved better.

Later, another small publisher called Brick Tower acquired the assets of iBooks in a bankruptcy sale, and issued their own editions of DEUCES DOWN and DEATH DRAWS FIVE on a print-on-demand basis, but those did not get any distribution to speak of either, and the two volumes remained hard to find even for the most ardent Wild Cards fan.

But now… at long long last… DEATH DRAWS FIVE is getting a new lease on life, as a hardcover from Tor.

 

DEATH DRAWS FIVE features John’s popular ass-kicker Billy Ray, aka, Carnifex, and the long-awaited return of Fortunato, one of the most popular characters from the early days of the series.  This is also the volume that introduces John Nighthawk, the oldest man in the Wild Cards universe, and the Midnight Angel.   It’s a wild ride, and one you won’t want to miss.

On sale NOVEMBER 9 in hardcover from your favorite online bookseller or local bookshop.   And yes, signed copies will be available via mailorder from Beastly Books in Santa Fe.

 

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New Wild Cards original on Tor.com

July 26, 2021 at 1:27 pm
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There’s a brand new Wild Cards original from a brand new Wild Cards author up on Tor.com.

“Skin Deep” is from Alan Brennert.   Who is not a new author at all, of course (( though he was back in the mid-70s, when he was a Campbell Award loser just a few years after me )) but he IS brand new to the world of aces and jokers.   I first had the honor of publishing Alan when I was doing NEW VOICES, the Campbell Award anthology that was my first foray into editing.  A decade or so later, he and I worked together when I got my first gig writing for television, and he helped teach me how to write a teleplay.   In more recent years he has been writing novels — his bestselling Hawaii series, and a really wonderful book about Palisades Park in New Jersey.

So go and check out “Skin Deep” on Tor.com.   It’s FREE.

Skin Deep

And after you’ve enjoyed “Skin Deep,” go check out the rest of the Wild Cards stories on Tor.com, and pick up a couple of Wild Cards books from your favorite bookseller.. along with a few of Alan’s novels.   They’re terrific.

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The Candle Is Burning

May 21, 2021 at 5:19 pm
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The Candle is back, in “Ripple Effects,” Laura J. Mixon’s great new novella on Tor.com… for all the Wild Cards fans out there, and for everyone who does not know they are Wild Cards fans yet.

Check it out.   It’s free.

Ripple Effects

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The Candle is Coming

May 2, 2021 at 8:23 am
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Remember the Candle?

No?  Tsk.  Obviously you are behind on your Wild Card reading.   The Candle was one of the contestants on the first season of American Hero back in 2007, as chronicled in INSIDE STRAIGHT.   You missed INSIDE STRAIGHT?   That’s not a problem either.   You can snag a nice hardcover edition from Beastly Books, my newly-reopened (yay!) bookshop in Santa Fe.   At Beastly Books, ALL the books are signed, and INSIDE STRAIGHT has more signatures than most, with autographs from many of the contributors as well as yours truly.

But I digress.    I was talking about the Candle.   For all of you who might be wondering what the Candle has been up to since American Hero… and who he was, and where he came from, and how those amazing powers of his worked… our Hugo-Award-winning author Laura J. Mixon has some answers for you.   So be sure to check out her brand-new, original Candle novella, “Ripple Effects,” upcoming on Tor.com.

It’s a terrific story, and if there is a whit of justice, it should contend for awards.   But you can be your own judge.   “Ripple Effects” goes live on Tor.com on MAY 19, and like all the Wild Cards stories on Tor.com, it’s FREE FREE FREE.

Give it a read, but be warned… Wild Cards has been known to be addictive.

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The Jokers Are Coming, the Jokers Are Going

April 9, 2021 at 4:48 pm
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Hey, Wild Cards fans… the moon is rising in July.

The JOKER MOON, that is.   The latest Wild Cards mosaic novel, volume thirty in the overall series (but you don’t need to read the first twenty-nine to enjoy it,  I promise).

Theodorus was a dreamer.   As a child, he dreamt of airplanes, rockets, and outer space. When the  wild card virus transformed him into a monstrous snail centaur weighing several tons, his boyhood  dreams seemed out of reach, but a Witherspoon is not so easily defeated.

Years and decades passed, and Theodorus grew to maturity and came into his fortune. . . but still his dream endured.  But now when he looked upward into the night sky, he saw more than just the Moon . . . he saw a joker homeland, a refuge where the outcast children of the wild card could make a place of their own, safe from hate and harm.

An impossible dream, some said. Others, alarmed by the prospect, brought all their power  to bear to oppose him. Theodorus persisted . . .  never dreaming that the Moon  was already inhabited.

And the Moon Maid did not want company.

 

 

Tor will be releasing the American hardcover (above) on July 6.

HarperCollins Voyager will release the British hardcover (below) on July 8.

JOKER MOON was edited by yours truly (that’s me, GRRM, and do not believe the assholes out there who are saying that I no longer edit these books), with the able assistance of Melinda M. Snodgrass.   Our contributing authors this time around are Christopher Rowe, Michael Cassutt, Leo Kenden, Steve Perrin, David D. Levine, Victor Milan, John Jos. Miller, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Walton (Bud) Simons, Melinda M. Snodgrass, and Caroline Spector.

It’s a stellar line-up, and they’ve given us some ass-kicking stories.

So note the pub dates on your calendars, and get your pre-orders in now.

The Deuces Return!

January 4, 2021 at 8:10 am
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The deuces are back.  Puddleman and Chuckles, Cash Mitchell, Gary Bushorn, Father Henry Obst, the Jokertown Boys, the Myth Patrol, and all their friends will be returning… with Croyd Crenson and Demise, and some brand new characters that Wild Card readers need to meet.  Come January 5, Tor will be releasing a brand new edition of DEUCES DOWN, one of the scarcer volumes in the Wild Cards series… with three brand new stories, published for the first time.

The wild card virus, as all readers of the series know, affects every victim differently.   Ninety per cent of those stricken draw the black queen, and die.   Those who survive their transformation are generally classified either as jokers, twisted and malformed by the xenovirus, or aces, who emerge with superpowers of one sort or another.   But there is a fourth category: the so-called deuces, whose powers are trivial, seemingly useless, sometimes ludicrous.   DEUCES DOWN tells their stories.

The Wild Cards series got its start in 1987 with a twelve-volume run at Bantam Spectra.   Then we moved to Baen for three books, the “Card Shark” triad.   After that, however, there was a seven year break in our publication history, until Byron Preiss picked the series for iBooks.   Preiss reissued a number of the early Bantam volumes in new editions, and also published two brand new installments in the series: DEUCES DOWN and John Jos. Miller’s solo novel DEATH DRAWS FIVE.   When Byron was killed in a tragic automobile accident, however, iBooks did not long survive him.    With the company going under, neither DEUCES DOWN nor (especially) DEATH DRAWS FIVE received much in the way of distribution.   Brick Tower Press later acquired the iBooks backlist, but the two iBooks originals have remained very difficult to find… so all of us in Wild Cards are thrilled that the two books will now reach the readership they deserve with these new Tor editions.

The original iBooks edition of DEUCES DOWN was pretty much a straight anthology: a collection of stories about deuces largely unrelated to one another, save by theme.   The contributing authors were Melinda M. Snodgrass, Walton (Bud) Simons, Stephen Leigh, Michael Cassutt, Kevin Andrew Murphy, Daniel Abraham, and John J. Miller.

The new Tor edition will include all that and more.   We’ve added new stories from Mary Anne Mohanraj and Caroline Spector… and an original linking interstitial narrative from Carrie Vaughn than brings all the tales together, to transform the book into a true Wild Cards mosaic novel.   I loved the new content, and I hope you will as well.

DEUCES DOWN will be on sale at your local bookstore, and from your favorite on-line bookseller… and of course autographed copies can be had from Beastly Books in Santa Fe at https://jeancocteaucinema.com/beastlybooks/

 

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