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Wild Cards XX: Suicide Kings

The heart of the world is bleeding; the People's Paradise of Africa is having it out with the Caliphate; and the Sudan is a charnel house. The powers-that-be aren't doing anything. The UN might set up a committee. But the time for action is now. So, one by one, the aces join the fight, each for their own reasons. … The "Wild Card" virus kills 90 percent of the folks who catch it, but those who survive gain special powers. Some become grotesque mutants like the half-man, half-rhino Denys Finch. They're the jokers. Some get trivial powers. They're deuces. Like Bubbles, who can absorb any amount of energy. Or Bugsy, who can turn his body into wasps. Or Double Helix, the shape-changing, teleporting assassin. And Tom Weathers. The Radical. The strongest, most versatile of the aces. He can fly; he's strong enough to rip the turret off a tank; he can shoot heat rays from his hands … but his greatest strength is his total conviction in the rightness of his cause. Whatever the cause is at the moment. At this particular moment, he's found a way to get more aces for the People's Paradise. Lots more aces. And that's where the trouble starts. … Edited by George R.R. Martin with assistance from Melinda M. Snodgrass.

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