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Inside Straight by George R. R. Martin

Inside Straight

by George R. R. Martin

Other authors: Daniel Abraham (Contributor), Michael Cassutt (Contributor), Stephen Leigh (Contributor), George R. R. Martin (Contributor), John Jos. Miller (Contributor)4 more, Melinda M. Snodgrass (Contributor), Caroline Spector (Contributor), Ian Tregillis (Contributor), Carrie Vaughn (Contributor)

Series: Wild Cards (18), The Committee Triad (1)

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Good stand-alone story. I haven't read any of the original Wild-Card stories in years, and this one does not seem to hinge on any of the original stories. Nice take on Superheroes in Modern Times. ( )
  robsack | Jan 20, 2011 |
The premise of the Wild Cards novels is that in the recent past, an alien brought a virus to Earth that created mutations in humans. Jokers are mutations with just bodily changes (sometimes drastic) while Aces are mutations with superhero powers. I would have enjoyed this book more except for the major plot element, which is the American Hero tv show. A American Idol for superheroes? I realize the whole point of the book is to rise above the triviality of the made for TV contest and do something real, which some of the characters do, but it felt too contrived. Considering how many superhero TV shows and movies are out at the moment, too, I think I'm saturated on super powers. Typical of a shared world book, there isn't a lot of character development either. ( )
  Karlstar | Dec 4, 2010 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I was never really able to get into this book. I don't know if it was because of the way it is written (different stories by different authors), or just because I was jumping into a series that had already started, but I really couldn't bring myself to finish this.
  mikeandmelinda | Sep 1, 2010 |
Fifty years after the alien virus called "Wild Card" spread across the world, humanity still struggles to define itself. There are part-human jokers and supremely gifted aces. In America, this leads to one inevitable result: a reality game show pitting jokers and aces against each other with the end goal of a million dollars and publicity galore. As the superpowered are eliminated, the backstabbing and cruelty worsen. This is all mild compared to the trauma on the other side of the world, where the assassination of the Caliph has erupted in an all-out slaughter of the entire joker population of Egypt, including the new incarnations of the old gods. For some of the American aces, it's not longer a matter of winning--it's a chance to be a real hero.

This was my first foray into the Wild Cards universe, and I must say it's an interesting place to visit and quite different from Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series. Since many authors contributed, I also expected it to feel like a short story anthology and was surprised that it read as a novel. The viewpoints are diverse, each interesting in their own right, though the beginning of the book has a very different vibe than the last half. (Also, the back cover blurb is wildly inaccurate.) I liked the book and its fresh take on the superhero trope, and I would eventually like to read more in the series. ( )
  ladycato | Jun 22, 2010 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I've had this book for just over a year, but I managed to forget about it for a long time once I'd put it on my bookshelves, though I've finally now gotten around to reading it.

I'd never even heard of the Wild Cards series before reading it, so I no doubt missed a lot of references to previous books, and can't really compare it to what's gone on before. I do get the impression the Wild Cards universe does contain a lot of characters and would probably take some dedication to remember what each of them can do. However, this book does seem like a good starting point to get into the series.

The first half of Inside Straight focusses more on a light-hearted Big Brother style TV show, before going onto more political issues in the middle east. Unlike many super-hero books, it shows that the heroes are not as invulnerable as the likes of Superman and presents some moral choices for the characters.

I was especially impressed with how it all fit together with different authors writing different bits of it, and apart for around the time when the TV show plot fizzles out it all flows together nicely.

The blurb on the back confused me at first as it seems to relate to the whole new series, not this book specifically. I probably will read the next book at some point, but it's not something I intend to rush out and buy.
  penpen42 | Mar 21, 2010 |
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Martin, George R. R.Editorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Abraham, DanielContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cassutt, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Leigh, StephenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Martin, George R. R.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Miller, John Jos.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Snodgrass, Melinda M.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Spector, CarolineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tregillis, IanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vaughn, CarrieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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To Kay McKauley, ace agent,
who always deals us
winning hands
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Book description
Jonathan Hive / Daniel Abraham -- Chosen ones / Carrie Vaughn -- Looking for Jetboy / Michael Cassutt -- Metagames / Caroline Spector -- Star power / Melinda M. Snodgrass -- Wakes the lion / John Jos. Miller -- Crusader / George R.R. Martin -- Tin man’s lament / Ian Tregillis -- Incidental music for heroes / S.L. Farrell -- Blood on the sun / Melinda M. Snodgrass.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765357127, Mass Market Paperback)

In 1946, an alien virus that rewrites human DNA was accidentally unleashed in the skies over New York City. It killed ninety percent of those it infected. Nine percent of those who survived mutated into tragically deformed creatures. And one percent gained superpowers. The Wild Cards shared-universe series, created and edited since 1987 by New York Times #1 bestseller George R. R. Martin along with Melinda Snodgrass, is the tale of the history of the world since then—and of the heroes among that one percent.

Originally begun in 1987, long before George R. R. Martin became a household name among fantasy readers ("The American Tolkien" --Time magazine), the Wild Cards series earned a reputation among connoisseurs for its smart reimagining of the superhero idea. Now, with Inside Straight, the Wild Cards continuity jumps forward to a new generation of major characters, entirely accessible to Martin's hundreds of thousands of new readers, with all-original stories by Martin himself, along with Daniel Abraham, Michael Cassutt, and Stephen Leigh, among others.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:05 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A new generation of aces comes of age as twenty-one of them compete against each other in a series of tasks and stunts on the blockbuster TV reality show "American Hero," and John Fortune, son of the show's creator, discovers his destiny.

» see all 2 descriptions

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