HIGH STAKES, the concluding volume in the current Wild Cards triad and the twenty-third in the overall series, is actually scheduled for hardcover release on August 23, after worldcon is over. However (fingers crossed), Tor is doing all it can to get some advance copies to Kansas City ahead of time, so we can launch the book at worldcon. (This one is our Lovecraftian horror outing. For a taste, check the sample chapter on my website).
To celebrate the release of the new one... and hell, all the old ones too... we are planning to have a huge WILD CARDS MASS SIGNING at the con. It seemed only fitting; there will be more Wild Cards authors (old and new) present in Kansas City than at any other convention ever (yes, even more than at Nolacon in 1988, where Wild Cards lost a Hugo to Watchmen). At last count, the list includes Walter Jon Williams, John Jos. Miller, Gail Gerstner-Miller, Carrie Vaughn, Caroline Spector, Diana Rowland, Walton (Bud) Simons, Bob Wayne, Kevin Andrew Murphy, Stephen Leigh, S.L. Farrell, David D. Levine, Michael Cassutt, Marko Kloos, Saladin Ahmed, Pat Cadigan, Laura J. Mixon, Paul Cornell, Mary Anne Mohanraj... and of course Melinda M. Snodgrass and yours truly. So if you have a large collection of Wild Cards books you'd like defaced... or would like to start a large collection of Wild Cards books... MidAmericon II is the place to do it.
The signing will be sponsored by Rainy Day Books, and will be a ticketed event. It will take place in the Marriott Muhlebach (room tba) on Friday August 19, from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Rainy Day Books should have all of the volumes currently in print for sale there, in addition to HIGH STAKES... and also a good selection of other titles by all of the participating writers, for those who would like to sample their non-wild card books. (However, I won't be signing any Ice & Fire events at this event, I have two other general signings in the dealer's room, three hours total, so there will be ample opportunity for readers to get their GAME OF THRONES books signed there).
The signing will not be the only Wild Cards activity at Big MAC II. With so many writers on hand, doing your traditional panel discussion would have been impossible. By the time all the panelists finished introducing themselves, the hour would have been up. Instead we've decided to offer WILD CARDS DEATH MATCHES. Kind of like Thunderdome with writers (and their characters). Sixteen writers enter (well, maybe only twelve, the count keeps jumping around as plans change), and one will emerge. The audience will pick the winners and losers of the fights. That one is scheduled for Saturday afternoon, August 20, 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Should be a hoot and a half... or a bloodbath. Who the hell knows? We've never done this sort of thing before.
Put the times and dates down in your worldcon calendar, and come join the fun.
(And hey, for all those who can't be in Kansas City for the mass signing, autographed copies of all the books pictured above are available from the Jean Cocteau Cinema Bookstore, though admittedly they don't have as many signatures as the ones bought in KC are like to have. And yes, we are now taking international orders).