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Wild Cards I Paperback – November 23, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
People buying this book (or others in the series) because they are fans of GRRMartins Song of Ice and Fire series are likely to be disapointed due to misaligned expectations.
The only thing this series has in common with the Song of Ice and Fire is a gritty certainty that favorite characters will get killed....or worse, and the use of widely scattered often disconnected characters and plotlines that sometimes may cross but also might never. Further, as this is a 'mosaic' novel, GRRMartin isnt the sole proprietor of the stories.
Treated as a seperate entity from GRRMartin's more recent series, the Wild Cards series is a fairly unique and often brilliant body of work. Due to its nature, not all of the short stories will appeal to everyone; to be sure there are stories and story arcs that dont appeal to me either.
Regardless, taken as a whole the series is really something special. Its similar to a massive wall mural which cant be appreciated from up close; you have to pull back abit and look at it in its entirety to fully appreciate the overall effect.
The strength of the series lays in its deft characterizations. Some of my favorite fictional characters are from this series; the Turtle, Croyd Crenson (the Sleeper), Golden Boy, Mackie Messer, Carnifex, Mr Nobody, Jumpin Jack Flash (et al), Kid Dinosaur.....the list goes on and on.
The series really picks up in the second book, but the 1st is where all of the necessary background resides.
Unfortunately, the books are being released in a grossly overpriced large softbound edition; my advice it to find the original paperbacks in a used book store.
The format of book 1 is that most of the chapters tell mostly self-contained stories, with the chapters written by different authors. A few chapters provide backstory on the origins of the wildcard virus (which gives the super powers, mutations and afflications), but most are generally centered around the origin and story of a particular person affected by the wildcard virus, whether as an "ace" or "joker" (super-powered character or individual afflicted with random disfigurement or other problems.) Certain individuals appear in more than one chapter, and some of them have continuing relevance throughout the series, while others are one chapter characters that either die or return to obscurity. There is fairly little over-arching story in this introductory volume -- rather, you get a slice of time in the alternate history of the world where the wildcards virus causes the emergence of super-heroes and jokers (i.e. mutants) in the 40s. In addition to a bit of the history and backstory, you get a bunch of origin/introduction type stories.Read more ›
I requested that the publisher put out a Kindle edition and was thrilled when it showed up. Better than showed up as, apparently, the original work had some revision done before the release. Not having read it for more than a decade, I can't really spot what was added, deleted, modified. But I enjoyed it as much as I ever did on any previous read.
And, the subsequent Wild Card novels are starting to appear for Kindle too. I have my work cut out for me!
If you are new to the Wild Cards saga - this is the place to start. The later books in the series read like novels rather than a collection of short stories. But this is the place to learn the history of the WC universe and meet the characters that shaped it.
The fact is that I grew to care about these characters. I wanted to know more about them, and that need to know drew me deeper and deeper as the series progressed. Now that the series is being re-released, I can honestly say that if you are comic book fan in search of more serious fare, where even the so-called "good guys" can have some unpalatable personality traits, than the wild cards series is for you. If you don't want to blow the bucks for a brand spanking new one, than get one used. I will say that if you dismiss this series without at least trying ONE book, you are missing out on the next level of superheroics.
Try Vol.1 out. If you don't end up loving Croyd (the Sleeper), I'll eat my hat!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Some of the stories in the collection are adult in content. Some really good ones, some so-so.Published 27 days ago by DBT
Not as seamless as Jokers Wild. However, it was very fun to read the start of this shared world. It was interesting to have more characters that were not BAMFs.Published 2 months ago by Kall S Symons
I was always a fan of this series back in the day when GRRM wasn't quite so famous. Though his name is most prominent, other authors contribute their own characters and stories to... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ronald N. Crawford
Very happy these books are available again. Read a few of the series years ago. Now I'm enjoying them again starting at book one.Published 2 months ago by Damon Thompson
It is not my kind of book. I found it boring and without any twist. Very predictable and with no interest for me at allPublished 3 months ago by Gabriela levin
Read one Wild Card Series novel and discovered the wonderful writing and great story before reading the first in the series. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Margaret D. Curtis
The beginning of what is perhaps the single bet shared universe sci-fi setting in the history of the genre.Published 4 months ago by Walter E. Starr
This is an unusual book in that it is authored by several different people. The authors got together and created an alternate reality where an alien virus kill some people, maims... Read morePublished 5 months ago by L. Baltimore
Fantastic compilation. I am a big GRR Martin fan. Wasn't sure I wanted to read a book if short stories by other authors. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Tim Claffey