Wild Cards (anthology)

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The 2003 iBooks printing of Wild Cards, featuring Dr. Tachyon

The first volume in the Wild Cards shared universe fiction series edited by George R. R. Martin. It was first published in 1987 and contained a dozen short stories establishing the Wild Cards universe, introducing the main characters and setting up plot threads that still continue to play out over the rest of the on-going series. In 2010 this volume was reissued with three new stories by three new writers added to the volume's original contents. These expanded the original Wild Cards history to reflect new story and character developments introduced in later volumes of the on-going series.


The original Wild Cards novel was published in 1987, and consisted of 11 short stories and five interludes (written by Martin) that expand upon the background of the Wild Cards world. An appendix on "The Science of the Wild Card Virus" (written by Milán) that explains how Xenovirus Takis-A works. Both the interludes and the appendix take the form of excerpts from literature within the universe.

Wild Cards was republished in 2003 by iBooks, which added a number of art pieces by Mike Zeck.[1] In 2010 Tor Books reissued the anthology with the addition of three new chapters, "Captain Cathode and the Secret Ace" by Michael Cassutt, "Powers" by David Levine, and "Ghost Girl Takes Manhattan" by Carrie Vaughn.[2]

Story Author(s) Description 1987 Edition 2003 iBooks Ed. 2010 Edition
"Prologue" George R. R. Martin Introduces Dr. Tachyon and Xenovirus Takis-A. Yes Yes Yes
"Thirty Minutes Over Broadway!" Howard Waldrop Introduces Jetboy and his failed attempt to prevent the release of Xenovirus Takis-A. Yes Yes Yes
"The Sleeper" Roger Zelazny Introduces Croyd Crenson, "the Sleeper". Yes Yes Yes
"Witness" Walter Jon Williams Introduces Golden Boy and the Four Aces. Yes Yes Yes
"Degradation Rites" Melinda M. Snodgrass Details Dr. Tachyon's doomed love story with Blythe van Renssaeler Yes Yes Yes
"Interlude One" George R. R. Martin "Red Aces, Black Years" Yes Yes Yes
"Captain Cathode and the Secret Ace" Michael Cassutt Script writer Karl von Kampen investigates the victims of the Medusa Killer No No Yes
"Powers" David D. Levine Frank Majewski uses his time-stopping powers to serve his county No No Yes
"Shell Games" George R. R. Martin Introduces the Great and Powerful Turtle. Yes Yes Yes
"Interlude Two" George R. R. Martin Jokertown Clinic opening Yes Yes Yes
"The Long, Dark Night of Fortunato" Lewis Shiner Introduces Fortunato and the Masonic conspiracy that will influence the plot of the next two books in the series. Yes Yes Yes
"Transfigurations" Victor Milán Introduces Mark Meadows, aka Captain Trips. Yes Yes Yes
"Interlude Three" George R. R. Martin Wild Card Chic Yes Yes Yes
"Down Deep" Edward Bryant
Leanne C. Harper
Introduces Rosemary Muldoon, "Sewer" Jack Robicheaux and Bagabond. Sets up the mob storyline that will come to fruition in later books. Yes Yes Yes
"Interlude Four" George R. R. Martin Fear and Loathing in Jokertown Yes Yes Yes
"Strings" Stephen Leigh Introduces Puppetman and Gimli and sets up the political plot threads that will play out in later books. Yes Yes Yes
"Interlude Five" George R. R. Martin 35 Years of Wild Cards Yes Yes Yes
"Ghost Girl Takes Manhattan" Carrie Vaughn Introduces Wraith No No Yes
"Comes a Hunter" John J. Miller Introduces Yeoman and Chrysalis and sets up the Asian gang plot threads. Yes Yes Yes
"Epilogue: Third Generation" Lewis Shiner Introduces Kid Dinosaur. Yes Yes Yes
"Appendix: The Science of the Wild Card Virus" Victor Milán The Science of the Wild Card Virus Yes Yes Yes
"Afterword" George R. R. Martin The author talks about how Wild Cards was developed No Yes No
"Excerpts from the Minutes of the American Metabiological Society Conference on Metahuman Abilities" (None listed) A scientist lectures about how he believes all Wild Card powers are a form of psionic ability No No Yes


  1. ^ "Interior Art From i-Books [Byron Preiss]". WildCardsBooks.com. Retrieved 21 April 2013. 
  2. ^ "WILD CARDS 1 REISSUED". GeorgeRRMartin.com. Retrieved 21 April 2013. 
Preceded by
Wild Cards
Succeeded by
Aces High