Meanwhile, Tor has just sent us the final cover for the next original volume in the series: HIGH STAKES, scheduled for release on August 23 (though we will be launching it a little earlier in Kansas City at a special group signing event).
Cover art, as always, by the amazing Michael Komarck.
HIGH STAKES is the third and concluding volume in the triad that began with FORT FREAK and continued with LOWBALL. It's the twenty-third volume in the overall series, but don't let that intimidate you, boys and girls. It is NOT necessary to have read all of the preceding twenty-two volumes to make sense of this one... though it would help to have read the aforementioned LOWBALL and FORT FREAK.
This one is a "full mosaic," like many of the other climactic volumes of our triads; there are no individual stories per se, but rather six storylines featuring six different viewpoint characters, interwoven so as to create a full on collaborative novel. Which is a lot of work for all concerned, yes, but our fans and readers seem to think it's well worth it.
In HIGH STAKES, the participating writers (and their featured characters) are John Jos. Miller (the Midnight Angel), Caroline Spector (the Amazing Bubbles), Ian Tregillis (Tesseract), Melinda M. Snodgrass (Franny Black), Stephen Leigh (Babel), and David Anthony Durham (the Infamous Black Tongue). Editing by yours truly, assisted by Melinda Snodgrass.
Fair warning, this one is not for the faint of heart. HIGH STAKES is our Lovecraftian horror volume, and things get pretty dark. But it's when things are darkest that heroes are most needed...
FYI, while we won't have any copies of HIGH STAKES for another month, the Jean Cocteau Bookstore can now offer both hardcovers and paperbacks of many earlier Wild Cards books with lots of signatures from the authors. Me, yes, but not just me. We have WILD CARDS, ACES HIGH, JOKERS WILD, ACES ABROAD, INSIDE STRAIGHT, BUSTED FLUSH, SUICIDE KINGS, FORT FREAK, LOWBALL... and even the very scarce and hard to find volumes sixteen and seventeen, DEUCES DOWN and DEATH DRAWS FIVE. Email the JCC for details and prices.