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Jetboy Flies Again!

Coming in November...

For all those Wild Cards fans, both old and new, who have been complaining that the original series is impossible to find, and too damn expenseive when you do find it, I'm pleased to announce that Tor will be releasing a new edition of the first volume in the series, WILD CARDS, this November.

Here's an advance peek at the cover mock-up, which once again features the gorgeous art of Michael Komarck.

The new edition will be in trade paperback format.

If you've enjoyed INSIDE STRAIGHT, BUSTED FLUSH, and SUICIDE KINGS (and if not, you should), and wanted to know how it all began, here's your chance to start at the beginning.

Longtime fans of the series will recall that WILD CARDS is our historical volume, with stories that took us all the way from Dr. Tachyon's arrival on Earth in 1946 right up to the Wild Card "present" -- which was 1986 back when the book came out in 1987. We had forty years to cover, and we covered it pretty well... but of course, there were gaps. Years and even decades of Wild Card history that we simply did not have the space to dramatize.

Tor's new edition will help rectify that. We're not just reprinting volume one as it was first published; we're adding three brand-new, original, never-before-published stories set during some of the "lost years" we couldn't cover last time around. So this edition of WILD CARDS will be fortified with original content, extra fiber, and three news tale:
- Michael Cassutt will take us back to 1956 with, "Captain Cathode v the Secret Ace,"
- David D. Levine will visit 1960, to tell us about "Powers," and,
- Carrie Vaughn will show us 1981, as "Ghost Girl Takes Manhattan."

We think these will be three terrific new additions to the Wild Cards saga, and we're excited about the chance to present them to you.

November is looking to be a big, big month for me. In addition to WILD CARDS, that month will also see the release of SONGS OF LOVE AND DEATH, the big new cross-genre romance/ fantasy anthology that Gardner Dozois and I have edited. AND I'll be showing up in Minnesota for Fantasy Flight's "Days of Ice and Fire."


( 40 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 1st, 2010 01:34 am (UTC)
Wow. "The Secret History of Our Times Revealed!"

I was in Jr. High when that (the original) came out, and a buddy bought it at the comic book store. He was sort of pleasantly puzzled by it and had me read it so we could discuss. "It's..uhh..it's kind of like WATCHMEN" was his assessment. We were both too young to really get Wild Cards (just as we were too young to really get what Alan Moore was doing), but we had fun trying.
Aug. 1st, 2010 01:39 am (UTC)
Any idea when the other volumes will follow?

I managed to find volumes 1-6 on eBay and Amazon Marketplace, but 7 and upwards still elude me, at least for a reasonable price I can actually afford. I really wonder about the people that want to sell a used paperback, with the remark "may be torn" no less, for 140€...

(Living in Europe, I also don't really like to buy from within the US, since shipping is around $15, takes up to 6 weeks (or longer, if the package is checked by customs) and has, in my experience, a rather high chance of getting lost in transit. More expensive shipping methods are neither affordable by me, nor do I feel that the prices are in any way justified.)
Aug. 1st, 2010 01:51 am (UTC)
ACES HIGH will be reissued in late 2011, JOKERS WILD in mid 2012, though those dates are subject to change. Nothing set in stone yet.

Further reprints are contigent on how well these first three sell, of course.

Yes, the prices on some of the original series are shocking. But much of that is simple scarcity. John Miller's DEATH DRAWS FIVE, for instance, only got 600 copies out before the publisher went bankrupt. Someone may know what happened to rest of the print run, but it's not me. So that one is VERY rare.
Aug. 1st, 2010 02:48 am (UTC)
Will the new editions of Aces High and Jokers Wild feature new stories as well? Or was that just for the first volume to fill in gaps in the timeline?
Aug. 1st, 2010 03:51 am (UTC)
Just the first one, I'm afraid.
Aug. 1st, 2010 08:24 pm (UTC)
Death Draws Five (& the Big News, of course)
Gosh, only 600 copies? And I have one? I feel honoured. Quite seriously, I do hope the reprint series will make it as far as John's book, as it really deserves to be read by more people.

I'm disappointed that book one isn't being released in hardback - I wanted to eventually have an entire bookshelf of hardback WC books, to go with the five sitting not 2 feet away from me as I write this, and keeping my original paperbacks in as-near-as-possible pristine condition gets harder every year - but I am thrilled that book one's "planned to come out" status is now upgraded to "definitely coming out". I'd have bought it without the new stories, but I'm very much looking forward to them. I'm just happy that my favourite series is still going strong after all this time.

Oh, by the way, since the 25th anniversary is looming large, are there any celebratory plans in the offing? Dare I hope for a Wild Cards tour in the UK?

Cheers, and thank you,

Carl Q.
Aug. 3rd, 2010 02:36 pm (UTC)
This is good news. I read these on loan from a friend years ago, but have been unable to revisit them since.
Aug. 1st, 2010 01:41 am (UTC)

(Katie might need to break out the Jetboy gear again for Reno.)
Aug. 1st, 2010 01:49 am (UTC)
My significant other had a few of the comics kicking around and I always wanted to read the series... i am glad that it is coming out again... Woot!
Aug. 1st, 2010 01:50 am (UTC)
I want the cover as a print, first of all. I'd get Howard to sign that bad boy and frame it up for the library.

That aside, I'm still really sad it's not available in hardcover. Will we never see these books in the hardcover they deserve? (And yes, I have the SFBC editions. It's not the same thing.)

Aug. 1st, 2010 02:06 am (UTC)
Around the Internet, Re-sellers are weeping
Very good news for those of us who have yet to read it though!

I recall seeing a few of the books at a B. Dalton's store in the late '80's, and seriously considering buying one, but they didn't have the first Volume in the series and so I ultimately decided against purchasing any. After that it slipped my mind until I had started following your work with Ice & Fire. While I've purchased the three recent volumes in the series, I am very excited to finally get ahold of that first novel.
Aug. 1st, 2010 02:16 am (UTC)
Oh dear. I have the original paperback series, all 12, bought as they came out - loved the early ones, found something of a "and the kitchen sink" approach once we hit the sea people (whose real name I've forgotten) and the drawn-out Jumpers - but even those I don't love I still like. Don't know that I am happy that the re-issue includes brand-new stories, though - in the first instance, that's marketing bullshit to make me buy something I already have, for a second time; and in the second instance, the work of writers writing in 1986 is a lot different than writers today and even though (good) writers can inhabit any time, there's something lost in adding new stories from people who are, after all, writing in a different universe than that of 1986. Sorry, not expressing that well, but I hope you understand what I mean.

Maybe I'll just go back to re-read the originals, except I've got about 30 new books waiting for my attention!
Aug. 1st, 2010 02:35 am (UTC)
This is bad news to some people.
I work in a warehouse that buys and resells used books on Amazon. A few weeks back when you (George) posted about the complete set of Wild Cards being sold on ebay, I checked at work to see if we had any of the old, out of print ones.
Turns out we had exactly one copy of Wild Cards. The price was a whopping $18 or so. Not entirely expensive when you consider it, but still a little more than many are willing to pay.
Just yesterday, one of my stacks of orders had that very book on it. And now, just over a day later, this news comes out.
In a way, I feel bad for the guy that ordered it. In a way, though, I have job security.
Aug. 1st, 2010 02:39 am (UTC)
Ugh, trade paperback. I'm glad the book will be available, but I despise the trade paperback format. It has the weight and unwieldiness of a hardcover with none of its elegance, and combines that with the flimsiness and cheap construction of a paperback without the convenience - and for some reason publishers seem to think we should pay near-hardcover prices for that.
Aug. 2nd, 2010 12:24 am (UTC)
Agree x 1000
Aug. 1st, 2010 02:43 am (UTC)
This absolutely makes my day! I've been looking everywhere for the first few books (I read them years ago, presumably at the library), but can only find the last three or so, and then only if I'm especially lucky. This gives me the chance to not only read the first books again, but also to catch up on the rest of the series.

Very good news, indeed, for a very young fan who wasn't around for the original releases!
Aug. 1st, 2010 04:01 am (UTC)
That's great news! I love Wild Cards and have wanted to re-read the original stuff for some time now.

The extra stories are a nice bonus too.

Aug. 1st, 2010 07:18 am (UTC)
Oh, what a gorgeous, gorgeous cover. This is definitely going onto the Christmas list

When is Komarck going to illustrate a limited edition of your work? ;) If not A Dream of Spring, than maybe it's time to get a limited edition of Dying of the Light, which certainly has vistas and characters he could go to town on?
Aug. 1st, 2010 09:27 am (UTC)
That cover single-handedly made me a Komarck fan. I was always on the fence.
Aug. 1st, 2010 03:53 pm (UTC)
On the fence? Really?

The very first time I saw his art, it was the Jaime Lannister card art for FFG. Linda and I were so floored by it that we contacted the original lead designer Eric Lang and asked him to tell us who it was. He swore us to secrecy before revealing the name, because they were afraid he'd soon be out of their price range (which seems to be true these days!)
Aug. 1st, 2010 07:46 am (UTC)
Great news!
I started reading Wild Cards about a year ago, and I have to say that I am loving it. I'll definitely be pickup this up.

(I'm on Jokertown Shuffle now, and I'm gearing up to shell out a bit more than I'm used to for Black Trump. I wouldn't say I'm a completionist, but I can't bear the thought of skipping one.)
Aug. 1st, 2010 08:56 am (UTC)
Excellent news! Looking forward to reading this one. I had the chance to talk to David about his story last year in Montreal, and he whetted my appetite nicely.

Also love the cover. :)
Aug. 1st, 2010 09:04 am (UTC)
Death draws five
I have a copy, woot!
Also managed to get the ibooks copies of vol 1-6 and still have at least three left to read.
It will be nice though to get the books between vol 7 and Deuces down. Only a couple of years to wait for those I guess.
Great news about all the castings, great news about book progress, Keep on trucking.
Aug. 1st, 2010 09:29 am (UTC)
This is the volume with Zelazny's Sleeper in it, as well. What an amazing Wild Cards classic that story was.
Aug. 1st, 2010 12:04 pm (UTC)
The ibooks volumes had cool artwork, is that staying in the new edition?
Aug. 1st, 2010 05:15 pm (UTC)
Re: Artwork
Afraid not.
Aug. 1st, 2010 02:41 pm (UTC)
That is incredibly exciting. I discovered a used copy of Wild Cards Vol. 1 at the age of 14 in a used book store for $2.50. Simply put, I was blown away by it. Unfortunately, I forgot that copy of the book at my grandparents' house and never seen it since...

After rediscovering GRRM's work with A Song of Ice and Fire five years ago, my curiosity for Wild Cards was sparked again. Having the opportunity to get the old stories without paying an arm and a leg for them would be fantastic!
Aug. 1st, 2010 03:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you for this. I've been struggling on where and how to start for a while. I'll check the kindle edition first, but even if it's gonna have to be in hardback I don't mind. I'm very eager to see what you've got for us in this title. :)
Aug. 1st, 2010 05:30 pm (UTC)
I dunno. I haven't had much trouble finding the books when I remember to look. I managed to pick up volumes 1-3 and 5 at my local Half Price Books. Price wasn't outrageous at all, seeing as it reflected the name of the retailer. :D
Aug. 1st, 2010 08:13 pm (UTC)
This is AWESOME news!
I started reading Wild Cards back in '88 and have copies of all volumes. Sadly, my first six, though they are all hard bound, are in sorry shape. I have a paperback copy of 6-15 and hardback copies of the rest (yes, I have two copies of Ace in the Hole).

Is it possible that Ace in the Hole and Dead Man's Hand will be edited back together in the reprint? That's how I currently read those two novels so when reading that story line I carry two books instead of one.

I'm REALLY hoping these reprints sell big. This has been my favorite series of books for a very long time and I am currently re-reading for the 24th time (counting the number of re-reads for the first seven books). I never tire of this series.
Aug. 1st, 2010 10:18 pm (UTC)
"Dance is finished" is just about the only entry that could have topped this. I've been wanting to get into Wild Cards for over a year but didn't want to start in the middle. I'm now very excited for November.
Aug. 2nd, 2010 12:39 am (UTC)
That is great news. I had all the original paperbacks and read them perhaps a dozen times so the stories will always live on in my memory. Most of them were destroyed by flooding. Nearly all of my damaged books were easy to replace but as we all know Wilcards novels are rare and costly. It will be good to have them back. I'd also like to be able to say, "I can't die yet I haven't seen The Jolson Story." and SOMEONE would get it!
Aug. 2nd, 2010 01:03 am (UTC)
Ooh, excellent. I have compulsive tendencies when it comes to book series - I only want to start with the first one, and while Wild Cards has always sounded very interesting, I've never gotten into it because it seems like there would always be tons and tons of stories I'd be missing. I'm thrilled to get a chance to start at the beginning, and I'll likely pick up the next two volumes when they're reprinted as well. Woohoo!
Aug. 2nd, 2010 05:12 am (UTC)
ebook versions?
Any chance that Kindle (or some other epub variant) versions will see the light of day?
Aug. 2nd, 2010 03:51 pm (UTC)
Damnit if there is one thing I hate, it's having to buy a new edition of a book that's stilling on my shelves already. Fortuneately I think my copy of Wildcards 1 is up in the attic somewhere, so that's OK.

What I would really like though would be some affordable ebook editions of the whole WildCards saga, especially for those really impossible to find later volumes. People might be complaining about the price of 1-3, but that's only because they've never tried to fill out the Black Trump trilogy.
Aug. 2nd, 2010 09:03 pm (UTC)
Death Draws Five is available as an eBook on Amazon:


I suspect that if the reprints do well, we'll see the eBook versions.

Aug. 3rd, 2010 04:40 pm (UTC)
Thanks for pointing this out. I had no idea.

DEUCES DOWN and DEATH DRAWS FIVE, the two iBooks originals, still belong to Brick Tower Press, the company that bought out the assets when iBooks went bankrupt after Byron's death. I presume they are the ones who are offering this.

On the other hand, looking at the two reader reviews, it appears this ebook edition is defective, and will not actually load or play, so I can't in conscience recommend anyone buy it.

John J. Miller's phenomenal luck continues.

Aug. 3rd, 2010 08:55 pm (UTC)
I had only noticed that DEATH DRAWS FIVE was available as I was searching the Kindle store since the pricing of a Kindle had dropped to a point where I am planning on purchasing one. I had not looked at the reader reviews. That the books won't load is saddening, but I also noticed it was on PC versions of the Kindle software and not actual Kindles where the complaints were.

If I buy a Kindle I might purchase the eBook version of DEATH DRAWS FIVE for no other reason than to test to see if an actual Kindle will load the book. Buying a Kindle and the eBook version is definitely cheaper than trying to get one of the few copies that exist.

It's just so sad because DEATH DRAWS FIVE and DEUCES DOWN were both wonderful books. I highly recommend both.
Aug. 4th, 2010 05:37 am (UTC)
fabulous! many thanks -

this was in fact how i was originally introduced to your work (actually it was through *cough* the GURPS Wild Cards supplement...), then wandered off on tangent after tangent (snodgrass' writing for ST:TNG and so on) and have only recently started recollecting the wild cards series (which i had stopped reading when book X was the newest release) - plenty of tide-me-over while waiting for ADWD and your HBO hopefully,really-looks-like-it-so-far-golden egg :D
and guess which - only - volume i have had no luck tracking down over the last couple of years, even through powells.com? THANK YOU! :)
Aug. 5th, 2010 08:31 am (UTC)
"I can't die yet. I haven't seen the Al Jolson Story."

Love this series. My favorite book overall was book 3. 24 hours of mayhem.
( 40 comments — Leave a comment )


George R.R. Martin
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