Down and Dirty

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This article is about the book from the Wild Cards series. For other uses, see Down and dirty (disambiguation).

Down and Dirty is the fifth book in the Wild Cards anthology series, set in the same shared universe as the other Wild Cards novels and collections. It was edited by George R. R. Martin.

The stories in this volume tell of the events in New York City involving two outbreaks; the outbreak of a gang war between the Mafia and the Shadow Fists gangs controlled by Kien Phuc, a war which soon spills out of control into the streets of New York. Against this backdrop, the second outbreak occurs; the outbreak of a new, mutant strain of Wild Card virus, courtesy of the ever-shifting powers of The Sleeper, "Typhoid Croyd" Crenson. This version is different in that it can overwrite the original strain, so that even Aces and Jokers are not safe.

Stories[edit]

Story Author(s) Description
"Only the Dead Know Jokertown" John J. Miller Yeoman infiltrates Kien's gang as things heat up in New York's underworld.
"All the King's Horses" George R. R. Martin The Great and Powerful Turtle must find a way to get back into his shell.
"Concerto for Siren and Serotonin" Roger Zelazny The Sleeper is hired by the Mob to do a few "special" hits, but is unaware of his contagion.
"Breakdown" Leanne C. Harper Mafia princess turned district attorney Rosemary Muldoon gets Bagabond and Sewer Jack unwillingly involved in the growing gang war.
"Jesus Was an Ace" Arthur Byron Cover Reverend Leo Barnett saves Quasiman's life.
"Blood Ties" Melinda M. Snodgrass Dr. Tachyon helps Jokertown prepare to defend itself during the gang war.
"The Second Coming of Buddy Holly" Edward Bryant An Aids-Wild Card awareness concert may bring rocker Buddy Holly -- who is still alive in this universe—out of retirement, and will change his life more than he knows.
"The Hue of a Mind" Stephen Leigh An Arab woman with precognition sees the secrets of Puppetman.
"Addicted to Love" Pat Cadigan The parasitic Ti Malice has come to New York, looking for new "mounts" to live through.
"Takedown" Leanne C. Harper The Mob turns against Rosemary as the war goes against them.
"Mortality" Walter Jon Williams Being killed once has given Modular Man a fear of Death that propels his efforts to hunt down The Sleeper.

The stories "Only the Dead Know Jokertown", "All the King's Horses", "Concerto for Siren and Serotonin", and "Blood Ties" are told in recurring chapters which alternate with the other stories throughout the book.

Preceded by
Aces Abroad
Down and Dirty
1988
Succeeded by
Ace in the Hole