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For Wild Cards Fans

The Wild Cards series has been around since 1987, and to date we have published twenty books, with a twenty-first in the pipeline (FORT FREAK) and scheduled for June. Over that span, we have been with four different publishers, the latest being Tor Books. Tor's "next generation" Wild Card books have done very nicely, thank you, and have brought in a lot of new readers, many of whom are now looking for copies of the earlier books.

Which is where things get complicated. With that long a history, some of the volumes are naturally much harder to find than others. The original twelve-volume run from Bantam can usually be found via ABE.books or ebay at reasonable prices, but the three volume "Card Shark" series that followed, published by Baen Books, is considerably more challenging, especially the third and concluding volume of the triad, BLACK TRUMP. If you do find it, it will likely cost you a lot more than it originally sold for.

That being said, even BLACK TRUMP is easy to find compared to the two hardcover originals published by iBooks when they brought the series back after a seven-year hiatus -- DEUCES DOWN, a typical Wild Cards book with stories by various hands, and DEATH DRAWS FIVE, John Jos. Miller's solo WC novel. DD5 was published only one week before iBooks went bankrupt and closed up shop. As result, to the best of our knowledge, only 600 or so copies ever got into the bookstores. (Was that the total print run, or are there more sitting somewhere in a warehouse? No one seems to know, and there's no one left at iBooks to ask). In the years since, and especially after Tor and INSIDE STRAIGHT kicked off the second coming, demand for the book has steadily risen, along with its price. It has become the Holy Grail of Wild Cards collectors.

Well, I can't help those of you who want a copy for your collection -- but now at last there is an answer for fans who simply want to READ John's novel. Brick Tower Publishing acquired many of the assets of iBooks in the bankruptcy, including the rights to both DEUCES DOWN and DEATH DRAWS FIVE, and they have released an ebook version of DD5 for Kindle. You can buy it here http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Cards-Death-Draws-ebook/dp/B003HNNIBA from Amazon... and most likely it can also be found from other Kindle retailers.

(The Kindle release did have some initial problems, as you can see from the Amazon reviews. Defective copies were distributed, which did not open. However, I am reliably informed that these problems have been fixed, so you Kindle folks out there will get a readable copy).

So... those of you who would like to fill in the last gap in your Wild Cards reading, ask Santa for a Kindle this Xmas. Or else wait another decade or so till we get around to reprinting this one. It was volume seventeen in the series, after all, and Tor has just released its reissue of volume one.

And as long I am talking about John Jos. Miller (who used to be John J. Miller in the early days of Wild Cards, but had to change his name so people would stop confusing him with John J. Miller of NATIONAL REVIEW, and John Jackson Miller the comic book writer), I should also plug ACES & JOKERS, the latest supplement for the Wild Cards RPG, which John authored with Steve Kenson for Green Ronin.

ACES & JOKERS is now on sale at your favorite game store, and is also available direct from Green Ronin at their online store: http://www.greenronin.com/store/ A perfect Xmas gift for any gamer / superhero fan.

Oh, and for all John's fans out there, I should also mention that he's got a new gig, blogging about bad movies (and occasionally a good one) for a new film blog called Cheese Magnets, where he is part of rotating cast of crazed and masochistic cinefiles. JJM and his fellow Cheese Magnets are brave people. They watch this crap so we don't have to! But the blogs are a lot of fun, and will tell more than you ever wanted to know about some flicks that truly have to be seen to be believed (but not by me, John knew the job was dangerous when he took it).

You can find Cheese Magnets at http://www.cheese-magnet.com

Have fun.


( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 19th, 2010 08:14 am (UTC)
Does Wild Cards still have the sorcerer-pimp? Because...the sorcerer-pimp.
Dec. 19th, 2010 08:27 am (UTC)
Fortunato... actually, he's a major character in DEATH DRAWS FIVE. After a couple decades off stage.
Dec. 19th, 2010 09:32 am (UTC)
You don't actually need a Kindle to read Kindle books. Amazon has applications for PC, Mac, iPad/iPhone, Android, and probably some other platforms as well.

Glad to see John's books have seen the light of day again. I remember it was one of the topics we discussed at Loscon, and there was some uncertainty at the time as to whether they would ever get out there. Thanks to Brick Tower Press for making it possible.
Dec. 19th, 2010 04:36 pm (UTC)
Yeah, but their licensing policies are unacceptable imo
Dec. 20th, 2010 12:08 pm (UTC)
Whose policies? Amazon's or Brick Towers'?
Dec. 21st, 2010 11:17 pm (UTC)
Amazon's; Seemed more like renting a book on an indefinite lease rather than buying a copy to me.
Dec. 19th, 2010 10:48 am (UTC)
I read my first Wild Cards excerpts in your Dreamsongs books, and was hooked. Being a student, I have not really had the money to collect all the books (I've got the first three), so my local library was a logical place to check. Strangely enough, the only Wild Cards books they had were both Black Trump and Death Draws Five. Glad I read them, but I now need to read Card Sharks and Marked Cards...
Dec. 19th, 2010 03:02 pm (UTC)
Fantastic news! It's a good thing I'm a Kindle owner! Of course, I guess it would almost be cheaper to go out and buy a brand new Kindle then one of the original DDF hardbacks :)
Dec. 19th, 2010 03:51 pm (UTC)
More Kindle?
Any chance we'll see the rest of the Wildcards series on the Kindle? I noticed that new edition of the first volume is available as well. I've been wanting to read the Wildcards series for awhile now after reading the two stories in Dreamsongs. However, it's tends to kill my interest when I know it will be difficult to track down the books.

Since the books have already been written and some of them already transferred to ebook format maybe it would be easier (and faster) to publish the series again that way rather than as physical books. As a Kindle owner I'm very excited by this prospect.
Dec. 19th, 2010 05:10 pm (UTC)
For an absolutely unrelated post...
I just wanted to say Merry LOTRmas to George. Every year around this time, we sit down and watch the Lord of the Rings movies. We have a great menu planned and everything. We have dubbed it LOTRmas this year, and I have been wishing everyone Merry LOTRmas. Had to get to one of my favorite authors as well. Enjoy, and here's hoping we can add Game of Thrones to the mix at some point.
Dec. 19th, 2010 05:53 pm (UTC)
Ah man. Wild Cards. I got into it after reading your Wild Cards bits in Dreamsongs - and every Christmas I direct my mother to amazon. Unfortunately, I'm in the UK - it's SO hard to find the old ones. The last book I got (excluding Suicide Kings,) was Ace in the Hole. Who knows what this Christmas will bring! Haha! Wild Cards is (one) of my literary addictions, not gonna lie. Between that and 'Song, and I'm just on a constant, nerdish high.
Dec. 19th, 2010 06:11 pm (UTC)
Sadly, Black Trump is the one I'm missing.

Dec. 19th, 2010 06:25 pm (UTC)
I was in shock when I saw how much copies of DD5 were selling for. I guess I was just very very lucky that at least one copy made it to Barnes and Noble here in Alaska.
Dec. 19th, 2010 07:12 pm (UTC)
If anyone is interested in one of those DD5 hardcover originals ...
... contact me at tom@kistner.nu. I'll check what street prices are and maybe we can agree on something.

I just checked on it in the bookshelf, almost as good as new. Never finished it because it didn't fit my taste :)
Dec. 20th, 2010 10:23 am (UTC)
Card Sharks
What about the Card Sharks trilogy, any chance of getting those books in electronic format?
Dec. 20th, 2010 07:47 pm (UTC)
Wow. The only Wild Cards book I have ever found second hand was Black Trump. I picked it up in near mint condition for a nickel at a thriftshop.

Dec. 21st, 2010 08:38 pm (UTC)
You've got to be kidding...
I hunted for Death Draws Five for years, before a joint effort by my wife and sister-in-law finally found it for a decent price - just a few months ago.

And now it's re-released as an ebook. I has a grumpy. But at least I got to read it, and at least I've got the hard-copy! Even if it does have a few library stamps on it. Complete collection FTW!
Robb Bains
Dec. 23rd, 2010 03:50 am (UTC)
Woot I have a copy of Death Draws Five =D
Laura Hohman
Dec. 29th, 2010 04:56 am (UTC)
Death Draws Five
I'm glad I purchased the copy of Death Draws Five you donated to the InConJunction Charity Auction several years back. Sadly, I don't actually have time to read it. Grad school (and those pesky bats) are still keeping me busy!
Jan. 31st, 2011 06:29 pm (UTC)
Rarities and first buys
Actually, my copy of DD5 was purchased quite easily via Amazon. DEUCES DOWN, now - that's the tough one ... I

bought the first three books in Brighton in 1987. Had them signed, too. My first - and so far only - Worldcon.

Greetings from Germany, Heiko Langhans
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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