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Wild Cards XVIII: Inside Straight

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.

Now, in Wild Cards XVII: Inside Straight, a new generation has come of age, a generation born into the world of the wild card. Aces are just movie stars to them, and jokers are as commonplace as the poor. They are the computer kids, the hip-hop generation, new aces for the new millennium. They know the world needs saving, and they're the ones to do it. The old heroes messed it up. Now it's the new kids' turn.

In 2008, the highest-rated show on TV is American Hero, which pits twenty-one young aces against one another in a series of tasks and stunts. Among the judges is Peregrine, whose production company created the show. Her son, John Fortune, works as an assistant on the set and mourns for the ace powers he lost when his father cleansed the virus from his system … until Osiris of the Living Gods tells him that perhaps that door is not forever closed.

For outside the studio, the world is in dire need of heroes. Within a shockingly short time, John Fortune will be reborn to a new state of being and will lead the new generation of aces from the soundstages of Hollywood to a climactic confrontation in Egypt, at the side of the Living Gods.

Characters in this book include…

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