Black Trump

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The 1995 Baen printing of Card Sharks, featuring Zoe Harris and Croyd Crenson.

For the Cocoa Brovaz song, see The Rude Awakening.

The 15th volume (dubbed "Book III of a New Cycle") in the Wild Cards shared universe fiction series edited by George R. R. Martin. Published in 1995, it is the final book in the "Card Sharks" cycle, with the completion of the Black Trump virus (fatal to anyone with the Wild Card infection) and its release in the world. Unlike the two previous books, Black Trump was a mosaic novel, much like Jokers Wild and Ace in the Hole.


Black Trump features the following characters as the main focus of the various storylines:

Character Author(s) Plot
Gregg Hartmann Stephen Leigh An ace turned joker, Gregg struggles between being a hero and a villain.
Jay Ackroyd George R. R. Martin With his partner Jerry "Mr. Nobody" Strauss, conducts a personal investigation on the Card Shark matter.
Billy "Carnifex" Ray John J. Miller Is hired by the president himself to find a criminal presumed dead.
Zoe Harris Sage Walker Teams up with Croyd Crenson to obtain the means of negotiation for the Wild Cards.
Captain Trips Victor Milán Is coerced by the Sharks in finishing and replicating the Black Trump virus, and ends up meeting a dear old "friend".
Preceded by
Marked Cards
Black Trump
Succeeded by
Deuces Down