January 13, 2018

Wild Cards and Comics

by Bob Wayne My background is different from most of the Wild Cards contributors.  I’ve written some comics (including the Time Masters series with fellow Wild Cards writer Lewis Shiner), but most of my time has been spent on the business side.  I sold comics and books at conventions and at retail stores in the … Continue reading "Wild Cards and Comics" Continue Reading

Triple Dualities

by William F. Wu Wild Cards is special in many ways. Looking back, I find that even the choices I’ve made for protagonists are unique among my work. I’ve written stories about two and a half protagonists for Wild Cards, with the third protagonist separated by roughly a quarter century from the first. Half a … Continue reading "Triple Dualities" Continue Reading

Modular Man: Fresh Out of the Box

  by Walter Jon Williams Modular Man is probably the strongest character in the Wild Cards universe who isn’t actually a wild card.  He’s got superhuman reflexes, superhuman strength, superhuman perception.  He can fly.  He’s immune to mind control.  Depending on the situation, he can carry into battle a variety of powerful weapons.  When he … Continue reading "Modular Man: Fresh Out of the Box" Continue Reading

Sewer Jack and Bagabond: Collaborating with Edward Bryant  

By Leanne C. Harper It seemed like such a reasonable idea at the time.  George R. R. Martin had gotten in touch with Edward Bryant, Nebula Award-winning Denver author, about Wild Cards, his new shared world anthology.  Wild Cards was to be a comics- and gaming-inspired book.  Ed wasn’t a gamer, nor was he particularly … Continue reading "Sewer Jack and Bagabond: Collaborating with Edward Bryant  " Continue Reading

Wild Cards Hollywood

by Kevin Andrew Murphy Most of the Wild Cards series takes place in New York, in Manhattan, in and about the environs of Jokertown, the former Bowery.  But the wild card virus touched more than just the city and in so doing changed the world and the world’s view of itself.   Especially through the eyes … Continue reading "Wild Cards Hollywood" Continue Reading

Submissions, Profiteroles, and Croyd

  by Sage Walker I was invited to lunch at El Nido in Santa Fe. Selling a few short stories had happened and I was sort of legit in the New Mexico science fiction community. A newbie, but I had offered our Albuquerque apartment to Ellen Datlow for an overnight stay on her way to … Continue reading "Submissions, Profiteroles, and Croyd" Continue Reading

Round Peg, Hexagonal Hole… No, Pentagonal. No, Heptagonal!

by David D. Levine I’ve often said that writing for Wild Cards is as close as I’m likely to get to working in television. As with a television series, in addition to your own creations you are working with characters and settings invented by other people, an existing backstory which is already out in the … Continue reading "Round Peg, Hexagonal Hole… No, Pentagonal. No, Heptagonal!" Continue Reading

The Curious Persistence of Wild Cards: What A Long, Strange Trip It’s Been

by Victor Milán If you’d told me in 1983 that the present I was giving George RR Martin for Christmas would be, by a long shot, the best investment I ever made, I wouldn’t have thought you were crazy. I simply would not have been able to comprehend it. You might as well have been … Continue reading "The Curious Persistence of Wild Cards: What A Long, Strange Trip It’s Been" Continue Reading

My Mother, the Cobra meets Evil Girl-Genius (Who Always Wanted a Pony) A reflection on my experiences with Wild Cards

by Laura J. Mixon Once upon a die-roll, my friends Melinda Snodgrass and Walter Jon Williams invited me to join a group of fellow New Mexican science fiction writers and fans, who got together on a regular basis to play tabletop role-playing games, or RPGs. This was back in 1984 or thereabouts. I had just … Continue reading "My Mother, the Cobra meets Evil Girl-Genius (Who Always Wanted a Pony) A reflection on my experiences with Wild Cards" Continue Reading

Wild Card and Sports

By John Jos. Miller One of the things that’s the most fun about writing in the  Wild Card universe, other than torturing other writers’ characters, is that sometimes you get to ride your favorite hobby horse. If not taken to excess (and really, I can’t think of any times where this has happened. YMMV), this … Continue reading "Wild Card and Sports" Continue Reading

Aces Over England

Aces! Jokers! Once more into the breach… or close the wall up with our English dead. Which is another way of saying that I’ve just finished editing and assembling our latest Wild Cards book, KNAVES OVER QUEENS, the twenty-seventh volume in the overall series (assuming the current projected publication schedule remains unchanged, which might not … Continue reading "Aces Over England" Continue Reading

My Favorite Wild Cards Character

(That I Didn’t Create) The Fan of a Thousand Faces: Mr. Nobody by Kevin Andrew Murphy Wild Cards has a bunch of characters who have a number of different faces, guises, ace names, alternate identities, secret and not, and sometimes even different powers to go with them.  Some of these characters I even created myself.  … Continue reading "My Favorite Wild Cards Character" Continue Reading

My Favorite Wild Cards Character

(That I Didn’t Create) Jay Ackroyd By Walton (Bud) Simons “Might as well, can’t dance.” Unlike the comics that inspired Wild Cards, there are very few lines of dialogue that are specifically associated with one of our characters. Sure, Jetboy’s “I can’t die yet, I haven’t seen the Jolson Story!” is iconic. Still, he only … Continue reading "My Favorite Wild Cards Character" Continue Reading

My Two Favorite Wild Card Characters

(That I Didn’t Create) by Stephen Leigh I truly enjoy writing for the Wild Cards universe, as using characters other people have created (and using them in a manner that their creators intended) is part and parcel of the process, and that’s something that stretches the writing muscles. We’re required to send sections where we … Continue reading "My Two Favorite Wild Card Characters" Continue Reading

On the Trials and Tribulations of Werewolves

By David Anthony Durham About a year ago, I pitched a new character to George for an upcoming Wild Cards novel called Texas Hold Em’. I’m very pleased to say that he accepted the character, and I wrote a story about him that will be in the book. That’s the straightforward version of things. The … Continue reading "On the Trials and Tribulations of Werewolves" Continue Reading

How Do You Tell an Interlinked Story?

  by Mary Anne Mohanraj   This is only partly a blog post about Wild Cards; it’s as much about Ellen Kushner’s Tremontaine, which is the OTHER shared world series I write for.  The experiences of writing for both were so different, I thought it might be interesting to compare and contrast.   Tremontaine is … Continue reading "How Do You Tell an Interlinked Story?" Continue Reading

My Favorite Wild Cards Character (that I didn’t create)

  Who’s Your Hoodoo Mama? by Caroline Spector I blame George. It’s important to have someone to blame, especially in Wild Cards.  There are always a lot of moving parts in any Wild Cards project and this means there are a lot of things that can go kerflooey.  In these instances, I fall back on … Continue reading "My Favorite Wild Cards Character (that I didn’t create)" Continue Reading

My Favorite Wild Cards Character (that I didn’t create)

Rustbelt A Most Decent Fellow by Melinda M. Snodgrass   Who somehow managed to get the cover of a novel all to himself (battling a crocodile while wearing a pith helmet no less) after he began life as a single thro away line?   Of course I’m talking about Wally Gunderson, aka Rustbelt, aka Rusty (to … Continue reading "My Favorite Wild Cards Character (that I didn’t create)" Continue Reading

My Favorite Wild Cards Character (that I didn’t create)

It’s All Dr. Tachyon’s Fault! by Carrie Vaughn It’s all Tachyon’s fault.  And he knows it.             That’s kind of why I love him. He’s like that one friend who tries to fix everything, fails (because no one can fix everything), and then wallows in guilt and anxiety no matter how little good it does … Continue reading "My Favorite Wild Cards Character (that I didn’t create)" Continue Reading

Wild Cards: the Austin Connection

by Walton (Bud) Simons New Mexico — Albuquerque and Santa Fe in particular — is the center of the Wild Cards universe. The series grew from a group of New Mexico writers who invested an inordinate amount of time and creative energy in the SuperWorld role-playing game, eventually deciding that the imaginative work they were … Continue reading "Wild Cards: the Austin Connection" Continue Reading

High Stakes NOW available in Paper Back!

Thats right kids if you were waiting to read the latest installment in the Wild Cards series till it hit the shelves in a more affordable format, now is your chance.  Click on the book cover to take you to a more detailed description of HIGH STAKES as well as links to purchase your copy. Continue Reading

Worlds of Wild Cards

by Gregory Noveck I’ve always wanted superheroes to be real. Sometimes, in a more pragmatic frame of mind, I specifically wish super powers were real, the heroing bit not so much. My 70s and 80s childhood was replete with comic books, Christopher Reeve and Adam West, and yet my reality was stubbornly mundane. While I … Continue reading "Worlds of Wild Cards" Continue Reading

The Origins of Natya

by Mary Anne Mohanraj This isn’t going to be a normal superhero origin story.  It’s Wild Cards, so you already know how Natya got her powers – she was first Kavita Kandiah, a dancer who contracted the virus, and came out the other side with ace powers, the ability to channel the energy of her … Continue reading "The Origins of Natya" Continue Reading


Every April first, someone plunks my magic twanger and I can’t help myself. So, sadly, I must confess that Wild Cards is NOT coming to Broadway. (But wouldn’t it be swell if it did? After I finished writing that blog post, I was eager to see that show myself. And Kevin went ahead and wrote all the … Continue reading "APRIL FOOLS!" Continue Reading

WILD CARDS Comes to Broadway!

It was 1987 when Bantam Books released Wild Cards, the first volume of what would turn out to be the longest-running and best-selling shared world anthology of all time (though no one ever dreamed of that back then).   The very first story in that very first volume, the one that kicked off all that was … Continue reading "WILD CARDS Comes to Broadway!" Continue Reading

The Secret Origins of the Wild Card Universe

according to John Jos. Miller Where to begin?  That’s a good question.  About a gazillion events over a period of thirty-some years had to coalesce in the proper manner to produce the Wild Card Universe as it’s constituted today… but since I’m telling this story at this time, let’s concentrate on what’s most important to … Continue reading "The Secret Origins of the Wild Card Universe" Continue Reading


PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY just broke the story here so now that we’ve gone public, I’m jazzed to be able to announce a huge new deal for WILD CARDS. Our uber-agent, Kay McCauley of Aurous, has just come to agreement with the good folks at Tor for nine (yes, count ’em, nine) more volumes, a combination of old and new … Continue reading "WILD CARDS Rocks On!" Continue Reading

It’s a Long and Winding Road

(to the Small Screen) By Melinda M. Snodgrass So how did we get Wild Cards to television? Well, it wasn’t easy.  The development process in Hollywood has become even more Byzantine, like a fetch quest in a video game — fetch a hot writer, fetch a big name director, fetch a big name star, fetch … Continue reading "It’s a Long and Winding Road" Continue Reading

Publication Day

… for the long-awaited Tor reissue of ACE IN THE HOLE, volume six in the Wild Cards series. Look for it on the shelves of your friendly neighborhood bookstore, among the trade paperbacks, or from whichever online bookseller you prefer. Set during a dramatic week in Atlanta during the 1988 Democratic National Convention, as a … Continue reading "Publication Day" Continue Reading

The Sleeper

  My Favorite Wild Cards Character (that I didn’t create) The Sleeper By Walter Jon Williams When George R.R. Martin assembled the original nest of writers for the Wild Cards project, he cast a wide net.  Some were old friends, like Edward Bryant, Steve Leigh, and Howard Waldrop.  Some were non-writers who nevertheless had worthwhile … Continue reading "The Sleeper" Continue Reading

One of Our Aces Has Fallen.

Very sad news out of Denver for all readers of science fiction and fantasy, and for Wild Cards fans in particular. We’ve just received word that Ed Bryant has died. Ed did reviews for LOCUS for years, and they’ve posted an excellent obituary for him… more complete than what I could have cobbled together. Find … Continue reading "One of Our Aces Has Fallen." Continue Reading

Good Thing I Had Kids

On Creating My First Wild Cards Character   By David Anthony Durham   In March of 2009 I got an email. The subject line was “Faster Than a Speeding Bullet?” It was from someone with an email that looked suspiciously like one of the most popular writers in the world. The email asked me if … Continue reading "Good Thing I Had Kids" Continue Reading

Wild Cards Take Texas

We’re calling the latest Wild Cards volumes the America Triad. First one up was MISSISSIPPI ROLL, which we completed and turned in back in October. Then came LOW CHICAGO, which was delivered in December. And now comes the third and final book in our cross country Wild Cards  tour: TEXAS HOLD ‘EM. Another one done. … Continue reading "Wild Cards Take Texas" Continue Reading

A Brief History of SUPERWORLD

-the game that gave birth to Wild Cards By Steve Perrin Baby Steps It started off camera, you could say, because I wasn’t present for the start. I was just starting to work full time at the Chaosium, a mid level RPG company that had published my RuneQuest game and the Stormbringer game based on … Continue reading "A Brief History of SUPERWORLD" Continue Reading

BIG ebook deal from TOR

Haven’t tried Wild Cards yet? Here’s your chance. Tor is now offering an ebook bundle special on first five volumes of Wild Cards Available for only $39.99! Here’s your chance to find out who Gregg Hartmann is, meet Dr. Tachyon and the Four Aces, ride with Jetboy on his last flight, go into action with … Continue reading "BIG ebook deal from TOR" Continue Reading

Pulling Strings: The Saga of Gregg Hartmann, aka “Puppetman”

by Stephen Leigh Ultimately, it’s all George’s fault, so blame him.  I remember getting a phone call from George one evening in early 1986 (I think…), which went something like this:  “Hey, Steve, you like role-playing games, right?”  I told him I did, as I’d been running a fantasy-based RPG locally for years. “And you like … Continue reading "Pulling Strings: The Saga of Gregg Hartmann, aka “Puppetman”" Continue Reading

Wild Cards Take Chicago!

New York City has been the center of the Wild Cards universe since 1946, when Dr. Tod met Jetboy in the skies over Broadway, and the Takisian xerovirus was unleashed upon the world. It’s past time the Second City got its due. So I am thrilled to report that I’ve just turned in the latest … Continue reading "Wild Cards Take Chicago!" Continue Reading

A Wild Cards Fangirl Writes for Wildcards

This is a cartoon Carrie Vaughn drew after writing her first story for the Wild Cards universe. Continue Reading

Shuffling the Deck or, Book Four and the World Tour

{HERE THERE BE SPOILERS! You do not want to read what follows until after you’ve finished Aces Abroad and the three books before it} Wild Cards began with a three-book contract, but the series was always intended to be open-ended. So when the first three volumes were published to excellent reviews and very strong sales … Continue reading "Shuffling the Deck or, Book Four and the World Tour" Continue Reading

So We Have This Plot Hiccup, And This Deadline…

(Or, “How Fast Can You Write, Kid?”) In my previous post as a guest blogger here at, I touched on some of the brainstorming and planning that goes on behind the scenes when writing Wild Cards novels. I’ve written for three Wild Cards novels, and each  has been a unique experience. (“Unique” means many … Continue reading "So We Have This Plot Hiccup, And This Deadline…" Continue Reading

The First Wild Cards Day or, the Game That Ate My Life

In the books, Wild Cards Day is celebrated every September 15, in memory of September 15, 1946, the day that Jetboy spoke his immortal last words while Dr. Tod loosed an alien virus over Manhattan. In real life, September 15, 1946 happens to be the day that Howard Waldrop was born…and Howard, coincidentally, wrote “Thirty … Continue reading "The First Wild Cards Day or, the Game That Ate My Life" Continue Reading

Neither Fish Nor Fowl, or, How Down Got Dirty

WARNING: excessive editorial honesty ahead. Proceed at your own risk. Editing Down & Dirty almost drove me mad. You’ve read the book by now (if not, shame on you for reading this part first—there’s a reason we call them Afterwords, you know). I hope that you enjoyed it. Many of the stories are first rate, … Continue reading "Neither Fish Nor Fowl, or, How Down Got Dirty" Continue Reading

Making a Mosaic, or, Third Time’s the Charm

The great boom in shared world anthologies began in 1979, when Ace Books published Robert Asprin’s Thieves World, the first volume in a long-running fantasy series about the imaginary city of Sanctuary and the motley cast of swordsmen, sorcerers, princes, rogues, and thieves who roamed its streets, with occasional guest appearances by an equally motley … Continue reading "Making a Mosaic, or, Third Time’s the Charm" Continue Reading

From Game to Book or, the Birth of a Shared World

Once upon a time…— it was September 20, 1983, if you insist on being picky — Vic Milan gave me a role-playing game called SuperWorld for my birthday. A fateful gift indeed. It triggered a two-year-long role playing orgy that engulfed not only me, but the rest of my Albuquerque gaming circle as well. We … Continue reading "From Game to Book or, the Birth of a Shared World" Continue Reading