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The Jokers Are Back

September 15, 1946 was the first Wild Cards Day, the day that Jetboy met Dr. Tod in the skies over Manhattan, and the wild card virus was released onto an unsuspecting world.

September 15, 1986 was the 40th anniversary of that fateful day, and a pretty eventful 24 hours in its own right.  The triumphs and tragedies of that day were chronicled in JOKERS WILD, the third volume of the Wild Cards series... and the first of our "full mosaics."  Back in 1986, when we wrote the book, we were experimenting with a form that no one had ever attempted in SF and fantasy before.  Seven writers, seven characters, seven stories... all woven together into a fully collaborative novel, wherein the whole (we hoped) was more than the sum of its parts.

And let me you, editing this one was a bitch and a half.  But well worth it.   My writers complained a lot, as did I, but the readers love the result... and so did we, after a bit of time to reflect.  So the Wild Cards series has continued to feature fully-interwoven mosaic novels ever since, albeit usually only once every three books or so, since the process of hammering these out is exhausting for all concerned.

February 11, 2014 is the day that JOKERS WILD, first of the full mosaics, was reissued by Tor books in trade paperback.  It's been out of print and unavailable for longer than I care to think about, but now once more it is available at your local bookstore, or from your favorite online bookseller.  Never looked better either, dressed up as it is in a spectacular new cover from Michael Komarck.


The featured writers (and their characters) this time around are yours truly (Hiram Worchester), Lewis Shiner (Fortunato), John Jos. Miller (Wraith, our new cover girl),  Edward Bryant (Sewerjack), Leanne C. Harper (Bagabond), Melinda M. Snodgrass (Roulette), and Walton Simons (Demise).

(I should mention: some Wild Cards books are good entry points to the series, but this is not one of them.  JOKERS WILD is the culmination of our first triad, so you probably read WILD CARDS and ACES HIGH before tackling this one).



Feb. 14th, 2014 06:10 am (UTC)
Odd little queries:

Have jokers ever hit upon the idea of calling uninfected people "blanks"?

Has a rich person ever gotten pissed off at Croyd Crenson, found out what all-news station he listens to while he sleeps, bought it, changed the format to Classical, and played three weeks of Wagner so Croyd wakes up looking like Elmer Fudd?
Feb. 14th, 2014 08:25 am (UTC)
Wild Cards was my first exposure to you (The edition with the Brian Bolland covers). I must do a re-read of them!
Feb. 14th, 2014 08:46 am (UTC)
Great news!

It's also worth mentioning that Gollancz in the UK are also reprinting the WILD CARDS books and are pushing them out a bit faster than Tor (though, it has to be said, not with Komarck covers). WILD CARDS, ACES HIGH and JOKERS WILD are already out (as are the newer books, INSIDE STRAIGHT, BUSTED FLUSH, SUICIDE KINGS and FORT FREAK) and will be followed this year by ACES ABROAD (May), DOWN AND DIRTY (June), ACE IN THE HOLE (July) and DEAD MAN'S HAND (August), not to mention LOWBALL in December.

Edited at 2014-02-14 08:46 am (UTC)
Feb. 14th, 2014 07:46 pm (UTC)
when it comes to the UK, I find they do it better...especially with books. I'm a big fan of Harper paperbacks, as opposed to the north american $10 bricks.

Feb. 14th, 2014 08:18 pm (UTC)
I have yet to see some of those Gollancz reissues myself, but I know they are out there.
Feb. 14th, 2014 11:08 pm (UTC)
Bawowza hot diggity dog. Wild Cards III has the best cover yet. I'll be buying several copies, even though I already own it. Thank you Great Ser for the rerelease.
Feb. 14th, 2014 11:31 pm (UTC)
George, the last thing I wish to be is insensitive or sound like a detractor, but: will you be taking a Wild Cards hiatus (either production will slow, or you may miss a few books) due to The Winds of Winter? The reason why I ask is because I've followed and browsed your blog, and I've noticed you said you'll resume work on Dunk and Egg #4 after Winds is out, as well as some other projects after that book is complete. You even mentioned some things will wait until after A Dream of Spring is out, and Ice and Fire is wrapped up. I'm curious if Wild Cards is one of those things.
Feb. 15th, 2014 01:37 am (UTC)
Depends on what you mean by "hiatus." I plan to continue to edit Wild Cards, but I have not actually written for the series since my Lohengrin story in INSIDE STRAIGHT. So that's five books in a row (including LOWBALL, scheduled for fall publication, and HIGH STAKES, still in the works) that I've not had time to contribute to as a writer.

I do regret that. I love Wild Cards, and I have characters that I've created that I'm dying to write about... Lohengrin himself, and some of my old timers like Popinjay, and (most especially) Hoodoo Mama. But I don't have the time, and won't, until ICE & FIRE is done. That remains my first priority. [But please note, "first priority" does not mean "only priority."]
Javier Novoa Catao
Feb. 15th, 2014 05:07 am (UTC)
Big fan
I'm becoming a big fan of the Wild Cards books.

I was wondering, I don't know if you have said that in some place and I've missed it...

what's your favorite ace/joker/character on the series?

Great work!
Feb. 15th, 2014 06:20 am (UTC)
Re: Big fan
Croyd Crenson. Of course.

We have a hundred great characters in Wild Cards, but the Sleeper is the most iconic. The first and the last.

I kind of like Jetboy too, but don't tell Howard.
Peter Munroe
Feb. 15th, 2014 10:38 pm (UTC)
There are so many great characters in the series, but if hard pressed to pick a favorite, I'd go with The Great and Powerful Turtle.


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

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