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Back to Jokertown

WILD CARDS is headed back to its roots.

The early volumes in our long-running shared-world anthology series largely centered around Manhattan, especially the parts of the Bowery and Lower East Side that became known as Jokertown. More recent entries, however, have been wider in scope, often international. But I've signed the contracts for another brand new, all-original Wild Cards mosaic novel, and I'm pleased to announce that with FORT FREAK the series is coming home again.

Manhattan’s 5th precinct has seen it all. Its historic precinct house on Elizabeth Street is the oldest in the New York City, and the cops and detectives based there are charged with keeping the peace in Chinatown, Little Italy, the Bowery, and parts of the Lower East Side.

In our alternate universe, the jokers – deformed, twisted victims of the alien virus known as the wild card – began moving into tenements of the Bowery and Lower East Side in the late 40s and early 50s, driving out the “nats” (naturals) and transforming the area into a colorful, dangerous, and often surreal slum district that soon became known as Jokertown. The 5th precinct became the Jokertown precinct. It did not take long before the city’s police began calling the precinct house “Fort Freak.”

Fort Freak and its cops and detectives have figured in many of our older Wild Cards stories, albeit usually in the background. But with this new volume, we're finally going to tell the stories of the brave men and women who walk the mean streets and strange alleys of Jokertown, and the unique and dangerous challenges that face.

FORT FREAK is the title, and Tor will once again be our publisher. The lineup of contributors for this one includes Cherie Priest, Melinda M. Snodgrass, David Anthony Durham, Stephen Leigh, Paul Cornell, Kevin Andrew Murphy, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Victor Milan, and John Jos. Miller. The featured characters will be a mix of old favorite and new creations.

This will be the twenty-first volume in the Wild Cards series, first launched in 1987.

Look for FORT FREAK in your favorite bookstore in late 2010 or early 2011. We've just started work on this one.



( 40 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 12th, 2009 11:02 pm (UTC)
May. 12th, 2009 11:10 pm (UTC)
Why haven't you told us?!?!?!!
*Grin* Cyanide Studios (France) has the rights to develop (already underway) ASOIF games!!! WHEEE! I just read it on IGN. Anything else you could fill us in on????

Mood: Splendiferous! (AA Milne.)
May. 12th, 2009 11:12 pm (UTC)
Is this going to be a volume set at various points in history? I dig those.
May. 12th, 2009 11:13 pm (UTC)
Yea! Cherie linked us here from twitter - can't wait!
May. 12th, 2009 11:24 pm (UTC)
Is this the first book in the series that doesn't have a card-pun title (unless Ft. Freak is a really obscure card game I've never heard of)?

* feels sad *
May. 13th, 2009 11:44 am (UTC)
That was my thought as well. Is this the subject of the new arc or the title of the book? If it's a card game I've never heard of it either.
May. 12th, 2009 11:32 pm (UTC)
Also, do you have any more info on the official Song of Ice and Fire computer game that was just announced? :-)

May. 12th, 2009 11:36 pm (UTC)
Excellent news, and a nice drawing of some of the cast of characters. It'll be interesting to see the WILD CARDS take on the police precinct drama. Alan Moore's TOP TEN treads superficially similar territory but, I suspect, with a completely different tone and direction.
May. 13th, 2009 12:37 am (UTC)
Oh, I'm certain we can come up with a poker variant called "Fort Freak" without too much trouble.

This promises to be fun.
May. 13th, 2009 01:19 am (UTC)
I think this will go over very well. I can imagine that this would make a great TV show if not that I would be a great place for running RPG adventures.
May. 13th, 2009 01:32 am (UTC)
May. 13th, 2009 05:05 am (UTC)
Neil Gaiman
May. 13th, 2009 05:06 am (UTC)
This will pleased the husband mightily. He's reading Inside Straight now (got to it before I could, damn him) and he's eager to pick up the rest of the books in the series. Congratulations to you and the contributing authors!
May. 13th, 2009 05:28 am (UTC)
Did you see the new blog entry Neil Gaiman has up in your defense (and really in defense of all writers)?

May. 13th, 2009 06:41 am (UTC)
One of the many reasons I love Neil Gaiman. Have you seen this?

"George R.R. Martin is not your bitch."

His newest blog entry....

May. 13th, 2009 07:24 am (UTC)
Neil Gaiman is asked about your work and does a good job
On his website neilgaiman.com Neil Gaiman is asked by a fan of yours about your work ethic and the author's responsibility towards the reader concenrig release dates and so on... Neil does a pretty good job answering and relating all this to you being an author of an epic series AND being a human being with a life. Read it! It's worth the trip :-))
May. 13th, 2009 07:36 am (UTC)
Sounds like a book I've always wanted to read. Sold.
May. 13th, 2009 01:37 pm (UTC)
You're probably already aware of this, but in case you aren't:

Neil Gaiman stands up for you in his blog: http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2009/05/entitlement-issues.html
May. 13th, 2009 02:20 pm (UTC)
I hate to leave an off topic comment, but I couldn't find an email address to send to, and figured I'd just mention it here. Neil Gaiman lept to you defense from someone who went to him to complain about your release schedule. ;)

May. 13th, 2009 02:54 pm (UTC)
"in late 2010 or early 2011"#

Dammit - now I have to develop some patience and wait this out! :o)
May. 13th, 2009 03:09 pm (UTC)
Congratulations! :)
May. 13th, 2009 03:44 pm (UTC)
This is awesome news.. much as I love AGoT, Wild Cards was one of the first sci-fi series to grab me by the throat and never let go. I picked up Ace in the Hole when I was at an airport in 5th grade on the strength of the creepy cover (the yellow one with Greg Hartman wiggling his fingers). Later that year, I was in New Mexico and managed to grab most of the rest of the series (everything but Wild Cards) that had been written (I think book 7 was just about to be published). Now that I'm working in the East Village, a lot of the locations and themes have even more resonance for me than they did as a kid.

I guess what I'm saying is, keep it up, you're doing great!
May. 13th, 2009 03:47 pm (UTC)
Neil Gaiman has your back
Off topic: I'm sure you've seen this, but it really warmed my heart to hear these words from Neil Gaiman...answering to the inpatient and demanding fans of George RR Martin:


That's what I'm talking about...:)
(Deleted comment)
May. 13th, 2009 04:03 pm (UTC)
I know this isn't on topic, but you should really see what Neil Gaiman said about you to a mean 'fan' of yours on his blog - http://journal.neilgaiman.com/

It warmed my heart!
May. 13th, 2009 08:14 pm (UTC)
Neil Gaiman replies to a GRRM fan
May. 13th, 2009 08:19 pm (UTC)
You have assembled an amazing cast of "new" writers for this one. Marvelous.
May. 13th, 2009 08:27 pm (UTC)
Neil Gaiman's Blog
Mr. Martin,

You happened to be, although somewhat indirectly, the topic of conversation in Neil's blog today.

Although with the way the internet works I'm sure this is old news by now.

I happen to agree with Neil, and I'm eagerly but patiently awaiting.

May. 13th, 2009 10:17 pm (UTC)
I'm sure you've already seen it, but in case some of this LJ's readers haven't, George R.R. Martin is not your bitch, according to Neil Gaiman.
May. 13th, 2009 10:41 pm (UTC)
Not related to wildcards I'm afraid and people have probably linked you this a million times already but it made me laugh and I thought if you hadn't read it you might appreciate it:

(Bit at the bottom re reader's question).

Only makes me love Mr Gaiman more ^_^

May. 14th, 2009 01:22 am (UTC)
jumping in
I haven't read any of the Wild Cards series, but they do seem very interesting. Would you recommend starting at the beginning? Or is this a series where you can jump right in without having read any of the previous installments?
May. 14th, 2009 07:38 am (UTC)
Re: jumping in
Since George is sick in bed I'll jump in here and answer in his place.

The series is long and complicated (part of it's charm, I think) and, with this realization the recent voilume called INSIDE STRAIGHT was designed to be jumping on point for new readers.

A mostly new cast of characters, sort of the New Generation, were created for this book(the "old generation" was, well, getting old, anyway)and although "old" fans will get more of the nuances, ISNIDE STRAIGHT, the sequel BUSTED FLUSH, and the yet-to-be released SUICIDE KINGS are all totally comprehensible for "new" fans.

John Jos. Miller
May. 14th, 2009 07:41 am (UTC)
Re: jumping in
Although -- I should also mention that Tor will republish the first three books in the series. The first book in the series, WILD CARDS, will appear first, with three totally new stories (for fans old and new). ACES HIGH and JOKERS WILD (books 2 and 3)will be published together in an omnibus volume.
May. 14th, 2009 04:20 am (UTC)
George, talk about the video game!
I just saw on G4TV that some French company is developing ASOIF video game, how about some bloggage on this.
May. 14th, 2009 09:17 am (UTC)
Re: George, talk about the video game!
As he mentions in his latest blog post, George is ill at the moment. I'm sure we'll get some news on this at some point :-)
May. 14th, 2009 04:34 am (UTC)
So are you going to say anything about the upcoming Game of Thrones video game? I saw the article on IGN and about lost my mind!
(Deleted comment)
May. 14th, 2009 07:05 pm (UTC)
5th precinct
Really? That's cool.

Hey, what's your email? You could be a valuable source of "inside info." WHat do you do at the precinct.

Of course, our version is rather... different... from the real one.
May. 15th, 2009 02:30 pm (UTC)
Now that's an interesting place to take the series, and all I can really think right now is "ZOMG IT'S GOING TO BE THE WIRE WITH SUPERPOWERS!" and laugh with delight.
May. 16th, 2009 03:22 pm (UTC)
Aug. 23rd, 2009 07:34 pm (UTC)
To Toot George's horn on his behalf
The new Wild card series is actually *quite good* and I would highly recommend starting with the Inside Straight/Next Gen Characters. The new series is actually what Heroes could or should have become-and in many ways is as gnarly as the Song of fire and Ice-but with meta-powered humans. No spoilers-but the new characters do benefit from recent thoughts from online gaming and video games and yet...are taking place in the modern day. What i really liked is that there are Muslim/Middle eastern characters-something you're going to see more and more of...

The original series, though-is extremely strong especially through the first 5 or seven books-there's some darn good characters (villians).

I however really enjoyed the *reboot* new series much more. George has gotten a system down from the years of practice...
( 40 comments — Leave a comment )


George R.R. Martin
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