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a new deal for WILD CARDS

Spain
I've just finished going over the copyedited manuscript of INSIDE STRAIGHT, the first book in our new Wild Cards triad, scheduled for a January release from Tor. It's the eighteenth volume in the series, which we originally launched with Bantam way back in 1987, but it's not necessary to have read the preceding seventeen books to be able to understand and enjoy this one, so I hope that come January some of you will go out and pick it up and give Wild Cards a try.

I am, of course, prejudiced, since I edited the thing, but I think INSIDE STRAIGHT is one of the stronger volumes in the series. This is sort of "Wild Cards - the New Generation," since a lot of our original cast of characters were getting a little long in the tooth. (Unlike the heroes of the Marvel and DC universe, the Wild Cards characters live in real time, and aside from Golden Boy and Dr. Tachyon and a few others, they age). A few of the older, established characters will appear in INSIDE STRAIGHT, some in major roles and some just as cameos or even just mentions-in-passing, but mostly this book will belong to the new kids on the block -- Bugsy, Lohengrin, Curveball, Earth Witch, Bubbles, Rustbelt, Lilith, Drummer Boy, and a whole bunch more. I can't wait for you guys to meet them. I think our old Wild Cards readers will find them worthy successors to Tachyon and the Turtle and Fortunato and Yeoman and the rest of our first generations stars... and I hope our new readers will like them enough to go out and hunt up some of the old books on ABE.

INSIDE STRAIGHT will also mark the Wild Cards debuts of some terrific new writers. Caroline Spector, Carrie Vaughn, and Ian Tregillis will all be joining the madness, and I think you'll like their stuff. I do. "The Tin Man's Lament," Ian's story in INSIDE STRAIGHT, is his first professional sale, but I promise you, it won't be his last. I expect to see his name turning up on the Campbell Awards ballot in a couple of years.

And of course a bunch of our regulars will also be on hand, albeit with new characters. One of the best things about the Wild Cards series is the opportunity it gives me to work with so many talented writers, some big names, some just starting out. Writing for something like Wild Cards is a bit like being in a band, as opposed to doing a solo act. Unlike musicians, we writers play solo the vast majority of the time, so it's huge fun to have the chance to jam with other people now and again... and what comes out of those jam sessions is often wild and wonderful, and quite different from anything any one member of the band could have come up with on his or her own.

Oh, and I've just seen the cover for INSIDE STRAIGHT as well. The art is by Michael Komarck, and it's spectacular. I think this is the best cover we've ever had on a Wild Cards book. Yes, even better than the six Brian Bolland covers that adorned the Titan editions in England, and I loved those so much that I bought five of the originals and hung them on my wall. Komarck is a real comer as an artist, I think. In a few years, I think you'll be seeing his name on Hugo ballots, if there is any justice (of course, there ISN'T any justice, or else Alan Lee and John Howe would both have Hugos, but that's a discussion for another day).

I should also mention that, although I won't be at this year's San Diego Comicon, the Wild Cards series will be represented. WC writers Kevin Andrew Murphy and Carrie Vaughn will be there, participating, and Tor will be doing a special INSIDE STRAIGHT promotion, so be sure and visit their booth in the exhibit hall.

And yeah, yeah, I know this post will probably infuriate those "fans" of mine who would prefer that I work on A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE all day, every day, to the exclusion of everything else... but I've grown used to that by now. Sorry, guys. I'm working on DANCE, as I've reported, but I have other projects too, and that's going to continue to be true for a long, long time.

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( 115 comments — Leave a comment )
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shala_beads
Jun. 29th, 2007 01:08 am (UTC)
I love the Song of Ice and Fire books, but the Wild Card books have been such long time favorites of mine. I'm thrilled!!! Thank you.
10zlaine
Jun. 29th, 2007 01:09 am (UTC)
I know this post will probably infuriate those "fans" of mine who would prefer that I work on A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE all day, every day

Nope. I'm glad you take the time to post for us, and I'm perfectly happy to listen to the audio versions of the series on my commute and during my Komen 3-Day training walks!
etoniichuan
Jun. 29th, 2007 01:14 am (UTC)
Keep up the good work George.
mortefina
Jun. 29th, 2007 01:14 am (UTC)
It's your time really, do with it what you will :-)
bigmont
Jun. 29th, 2007 08:20 pm (UTC)
so sayeth the lick spittle...
reynardine
Jun. 29th, 2007 01:14 am (UTC)
I won't deny A Song of Ice and Fire is my favorite, but I'm happy to see other works of yours coming out, too! I'm especially looking forward to the next Dunk and Egg story, whenever that may come along. :-)
thefirstalicat
Jun. 29th, 2007 01:30 am (UTC)
I've been a fan of the Wild Cards books since picking up the first, Bantam Spectra paperback in 1987, and still have all of them and even occasionally re-read them! I'll be looking forward to meeting new authors and new characters in the series, though I hope some of my old faves still hang around.

With respect to DANCE, well, at this point I'm certainly going to have to re-read A STORM OF SWORDS and probably A FEAST FOR CROWS (the former to get the storyline back in my head, the latter to remember the characters dealt with in that book and not in DANCE), so more delays just means more time to re-read! I just hope the whole story is completed in my lifetime (and, more importantly, in yours)!
kikofreako
Jun. 29th, 2007 01:40 am (UTC)
Well YAY. Wild Cards was like my GRRM gateway drug. Or books. Or something. I love that original, first novel to shreds.
bojojoti
Jun. 29th, 2007 01:43 am (UTC)
You only get the one life. Live as you see fit.

I think mixing things up can only keep life exciting and fresh, and that should translate into your writing.
sunpony
Jun. 29th, 2007 01:44 am (UTC)
I certainly hope it IS for a long, long time!

Looking forward to the new volume!
kendokamel
Jun. 29th, 2007 01:47 am (UTC)
I'm looking forward to it!
fauxorzayus
Jun. 29th, 2007 01:51 am (UTC)
Hey, you're the man with the magic pen, you write (or edit as the case may be) whatever the hell you want, whenever you want. I trust A Song of Ice & Fire will get done, and I trust it'll be worth the wait.

In the meintime, I'll have to look into this Wildcards you keep talking about.
malimar
Jun. 29th, 2007 02:02 am (UTC)
The Wild Cards series has been on my wish list for some time now. I can't, of course, just go buying any old volumes. I need the first book first. And then the second book. I need to go in order. But most of them are probably out of print. My need to go in order is a problem. In any event. I have so many other things on my wish list, too. I'll get around to everything eventually. Except my various lists of things to buy, read, watch, or see have all been expanding significantly faster than I've been reducing them. So I probably won't get around to everything eventually. But I hope Wild Cards winds up being one of the things that I do get around to.
noahismyidol
Jun. 29th, 2007 02:05 am (UTC)
Meh, do what you want! At least you're not dying like Robert Jordan. Those fans may never get the last book.
atlasimpure
Jun. 29th, 2007 04:19 am (UTC)
I laughed.

And then felt bad.

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amethistdolphin
Jun. 29th, 2007 02:16 am (UTC)
Hey there, fairly recent lurker here, and yes I added you because of Song of Ice and Fire.
I will probably get into some of your other work soon, when I can get them here in Brazil without paying a fortune to import them. I just wanted to say hi and, yes of course I do want you to work on the books but I believe that the fact that you have other projects mean that when you do work on them the result is a richer, fresher, more interesting book because you are not only thinking about it. In the little writing I do I have noticed that if I get too obsessed about something, it ends up being kind of flat... most of my ideas come from my life even if its just a simple dialog with the people in the supermarket.

Anyways, I just wanted to say hi and say I love your books!!!
grymm_tidings
Jun. 29th, 2007 03:14 am (UTC)
I'm thrilled to know a new WILD CARDS book will be in my hands next year. I've read the first few when I was younger, but have just recently finished collecting all the previous volumes. So, now I'll read them in order. Hopefully I won't burn myself out on them. I doubt it.


INSIDE STRAIGHT will also mark the Wild Cards debuts of some terrific new writers. Caroline Spector, Carrie Vaughn, and Ian Tregillis will all be joining the madness, and I think you'll like their stuff. I do. "The Tin Man's Lament," Ian's story in INSIDE STRAIGHT, is his first professional sale, but I promise you, it won't be his last. I expect to see his name turning up on the Campbell Awards ballot in a couple of years.


I can't wait to read Carrie Vaughn's portion of INSIDE STRAIGHT, and your fondness of Ian Tregillis's writing has me intrigued.


Everyone should give this series a shot. The first book in the original series, WILD CARDS, is a fun read, and I'm sure you'll want more. The older books are pretty easy to find in used stores, and on-line, but as G.R.R.M. has stated you don't have to read the old books to like/get the new one. Though, I'd suggest you buy as many as of the original series as possible, and binge this summer.


-A.J.

pezking124
Jun. 29th, 2007 03:16 am (UTC)
I only very recently read the first book of WILD CARDS. I loved it! I can't wait to read the rest.
redscribe
Jun. 29th, 2007 03:27 am (UTC)
John Howe is the shit. I adore his Hobb covers, they're absolutely awesome. *grin*

I managed to find the first Wild Cards book at a little second-hand bookstore in a Melbourne laneway, and I really liked it! Hopefully I can find some more!

And of course, like so many fans of yours who are writers, I think it would be the coolest thing in the world to collaborate with you on that. One can dream, eh?

reid1745
Jun. 29th, 2007 03:41 am (UTC)
Next time I get out to the bookstore, I'm picking up the first few Wild Card books. they seem fun. Keep up the good work, george!
joeboo_k
Jun. 29th, 2007 03:45 am (UTC)
Exciting news, Mr. Martin! I had reserved the first Wild Cards volume from the library a couple of days ago and I'm excited to read it! Great news that the series is continuing and that you're continuing to bring in fresh writers (I really enjoy Carrie Vaughn's Kitty Norville novels and am very interested to see what she brings to a shared world)
rhazer
Jul. 4th, 2007 12:02 pm (UTC)
Library? you just ruined grrm's day. GO BUY THE BOOK. whats the point of all the side projects if you arent gonna give him money.
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netdancer
Jun. 29th, 2007 03:59 am (UTC)
Just echoing all the excitement about Wild Cards. I lost my original set moving and I've been trying to replace it a bit at a time from e-bay...I'll gladly buy new Wild Cards stuff as soon as possible. :)
atlasimpure
Jun. 29th, 2007 04:20 am (UTC)
What is ABE?
ragdoll
Jun. 29th, 2007 04:45 am (UTC)
http://www.abebooks.com/

Wonderful used and out of print book resource.
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ragdoll
Jun. 29th, 2007 04:44 am (UTC)
Hooray for new Wild Cards! I've been a fan since the very beginning (or very close to it) so this is a wonderful treat! Can't wait to read the new one!
baine_darkwolf
Jun. 29th, 2007 05:29 am (UTC)
Of all the authors I've read. I must give you credit. Your characters feel real and act real. You do things most authors would be afraid to do. And I applaud you for creating stories that really draw people in.

Keep up the great work George. And take your time!
johnjosmiller
Jun. 29th, 2007 06:17 am (UTC)
All the old Wild Card volumes are out of print. Fortunately, most of these are very easy to find. Look in used book stores, an line at abe.com, Amazon.com, and on ebay. The original Bantam volumes are the easiest. Then there are three Baen volumes. Volume 1 is tougher than any of the Bantam books. Volume 2 is tougher than Vol. 1. Volume 3 is very tough; if you can find it for less than $30 or so in decent condition, snap it up. Then there are two iBooks books. Both are available only in hardcover. DEUCES DOWN, the first iBooks volume is scarce, but can be found if you look. DEATH DRAWS FIVE, my novel and the last of the "old" wild card books is very, very hard to find. Only a few hundred copies got out into circulation before iBooks declared bankruptcy and closed down. A word to the wise, however. Not all book dealers know this, and you can still get copies, used, on Amazon.com. Get them while you can.

Hopefully, there will be reprints some time in the future, but the iBooks bankruptcy has been quite disastrous, and it may be quite some time before all the legalities are sorted out.

But then, when it comes to used books, half the thrill is in the hunt, right?

If you have an interest in Wild Cards, I recommend the following message board:

http://www.captaincomics.us/forums/index.php?board=4.0

It has a very nice Wild Card topic full of lively fans, and several wild card authors including myself and Stephen Leigh post there on a regular basis, some others on a not so regular basis. Check it out.


John Jos. Miller
*******************************************************
Now Reading: THE CHINATOWN DEATH CLOUD PERIL by Paul Malmont

Now Writing: "Mortality's Strong Hand" a Billy Ray story for Wild Cards Book 2: BUSTED FLUSH.

In the Publisher's Pipeline: A graphic adaptation of George R. R. Martin's "In the House of the Worm" for Avatar Comics
johnjosmiller
Jun. 29th, 2007 06:40 am (UTC)
The citation "abe.com" should actually read "abebooks.com"

I now return you to your regular programming.


John Jos. Miller
*******************************************************
Now Reading: THE CHINATOWN DEATH CLOUD PERIL by Paul Malmont

Now Writing: "Mortality's Strong Hand" a Billy Ray story for Wild Cards Book 2: BUSTED FLUSH.

In the Publisher's Pipeline: A graphic adaptation of George R. R. Martin's "In the House of the Worm" for Avatar Comics
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sudyn
Jun. 29th, 2007 07:32 am (UTC)
And yeah, yeah, I know this post will probably infuriate those "fans" of mine who would prefer that I work on A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE all day, every day, to the exclusion of everything else...
don't worry about those. ;)
they shall have to practice patients and/or have a look around for other good things to read to fill up the time till The Dance is served.

Happy writing!
myt1969
Jul. 1st, 2007 06:25 pm (UTC)
Sad
Ok, I'm going to say that I'm upset. I need to read a quality book. I really do not want to start another of your series. A Song of Ice and Fire is my favorite epic. I cannot start another epic of yours because i'm afraid it'll drag out even longer then this series. I've turned everyone of my friends onto this series and talk it up like crazy but I need closure before reading more. You captivate me entirely, I could not put the first book down. I probably slept 2hrs a night because I needed to know what would happen next. No book has ever got my attention like that. Robert Jordan came close but he was still a distant 2nd. I want to see the new book under my christmas tree this year...please please please.. I'll be your assistant and even type for you. So yes, I'm the nagger for the day.... hug your woman and hug your dog then hug you typewritter...and do your thing..
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