Wild Cards is a science fiction and superhero anthology series set in a shared universe. The series was created by a group of New Mexico science fiction authors, but it is mostly pulled together and edited by best-selling author George R. R. Martin with assistance by Melinda Snodgrass, also a contributor to the series. There were twelve initial volumes released by Bantam, those being published between 1987 and 1993, before the series switched publishers, going to Baen, which released three new volumes between 1993 and 1995; then it was on to a third, iBooks, which published two new volumes and also reprinted the first six, all between 2002 and 2006; then it was on to its fourth and current publisher, Tor in 2008, that continues the series and has issued four new volumes, with a new one likely forthcoming in late 2012.
While most of the books are made up of individual short stories, they generally focus on a central theme or event. There were also several longer storylines which run through several of the books. Some volumes use the format of a mosaic novel. This involved several writers writing individual story lines, which were then edited together into one seamless novel-length story. Finally, several volumes in the series are a complete novel written by a single author.
Wild Cards was inspired by superhero comics, and many of the authors play with the conventions of the medium, while some characters are based on existing heroes (for example, Jetboy was modeled on the Hillman Periodicals' character Airboy). Many of the original authors were also inspired by a long-running Albuquerque, New Mexico campaign of the role-playing game Superworld, gamemastered by George R. R. Martin, and many modeled their characters on their in-game persona.
Contributors to the series include Roger Zelazny, Lewis Shiner, Walter Jon Williams, Pat Cadigan, Howard Waldrop, Leanne C. Harper, Chris Claremont, Victor Milán, John J. Miller, and Martin himself.
Famous quotes containing the words wild and/or cards:
“In no part of the Seventeenth Century could the French be said to have had a foothold in Canada; they held only by the fur of the wild animals which they were exterminating.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“Men disappoint me so, I disappoint myself so, yet courage, patience, shuffle the cards ...”
—Margaret Fuller (18101850)