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Wild Cards I (2010)
by George R. R. Martin (Editor)
Books Read in 2020 (108)
Recommended AltHist (23)
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It was great to catch up with the Wild Cards universe again after thirty years or so, especially considering I've been a mad collector of everything related to the series in the ensuing decades since I first ripped through my original paperbacks. I was worried that a re-read after all this time would sorely disappoint like so many of my other early-years obsessions (Dream Park, V, etc.), but I was pleasantly surprised to find that most of the first volume still holds up for me – most of it. I still marvel at the logistical complexity of the editors having put together such a large number of ideas and storylines into a deeply fleshed-out mosaic world, but the sheer breadth of talent from both veteran Wild Cards authors and newer members of the group must have made it a real joy to work on. The fact that it's been revived and is still going strong seems to be testament to that, and it's a nice feeling to rely on the fact that I've already got dozens of volumes on the shelf still waiting as I intermittently wind my way back through the world. Thanks, Wild Cards Collective! ( )
I really wanted to love this book, but my reaction was very mixed. First off, I think the world-building and the premise is fascinating. However, while I loved some of the stories, I also hated some. And most, I thought were just okay.
A collection of short stories all by different authors but set in the same world where an alien virus as turned some people into Aces (superpowers), Jokers (disfigured), or just dead. It starts in the 1940s and the stories are in chronological order until the 1980s. Just like any set of short story collection, it can be hit or miss, but most of these stories are hits and none of the misses are that bad. I like how they are all set in the same universe as it gives each story more weight. While not completely connected, each story does either characters that may be present in the story or a call-back or mention of another character from a different story. Each character is more grounded and real with grit and flaws. None of the stories have typical superhero stories and not all the characters are even heroes.
I like the premise, about aliens using our planet as a testing lab and the results.
Didn't care so much for a jaded alt-history left leaning retell.
This just reminded me of [b:Watchmen|472331|Watchmen|Alan Moore|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1327866860s/472331.jpg|4358649], in that the super powered are simply flawed humans. I don't like that.
Surprisingly good. This first volume of Wild Cards is a series of short stories by a variety of authors, but it is written as if it is a novel, with good continuity. I greatly enjoyed it and now I'm reading the second volume. George R.R. Martin did an exceptional job of editing, and also wrote some of the stories.
Belongs to Series
Wild Cards (1 expanded)
Is contained in
Prologue by George R. R. Martin (indirect)
Thirty Minutes Over Broadway! [short fiction] by Howard Waldrop (indirect)
The Sleeper by Roger Zelazny (indirect)
Witness by Walter Jon Williams (indirect)
Degradation Rites by Melinda M. Snodgrass (indirect)
Interlude One by George R. R. Martin (indirect)
Shell Games by George R. R. Martin (indirect)
Interlude Two by George R. R. Martin (indirect)
The Long Dark Night of Fortunato by Lewis Shiner (indirect)
Transfigurations by Victor Milán (indirect)
Interlude Three by George R. R. Martin (indirect)
Down Deep by Edward Bryant (indirect)
Interlude Four by George R. R. Martin (indirect)
Strings by Stephen Leigh (indirect)
Interlude Five by George R. R. Martin (indirect)
Comes a Hunter by John J. Miller (indirect)
Epilogue: Third Generation by Lewis Shiner (indirect)
Appendix by George R. R. Martin (indirect)
Wild Cards (Volume 1), Part 2 of 2 by George R. R. Martin (indirect)
A collection of stories about heroes gifted with strange, superhuman powers, with contributions by authors such as George R.R. Martin, Roger Zelazny, David D. Levine, and Carrie Vaughn.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813Literature English (North America) American fiction
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