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:
“Because I am mad about women
I am mad about the hills,
Said that wild old wicked man
Who travels where God wills....”
—William Butler Yeats (18651939)
“Out in Hollywood, where the streets are paved with Goldwyn, the word sophisticate means, very simply, obscene. A sophisticated story is a dirty story. Some of that meaning was wafted eastward and got itself mixed up into the present definition. So that a sophisticate means: one who dwells in a tower made of a DuPont substitute for ivory and holds a glass of flat champagne in one hand and an album of dirty post cards in the other.”
—Dorothy Parker (18931967)