Wild Cards is a sci-fi and superhero anthology series set in a shared universe. The volumes are actually a collection of short stories from different authors,including George R.R. Martin, but all surround a main theme, Wild Cards.
- Wild Cards I (1987; contents expanded in 2010 edition with three new stories/authors)
- Wild Cards II: Aces High (1987)
- Wild Cards III: Jokers Wild (1987)
- Wild Cards IV: Aces Abroad (1988)
- Wild Cards V: Down & Dirty (1988)
- Wild Cards VI: Ace in the Hole (1990)
- Wild Cards VII: Dead Man’s Hand (1990)
- Wild Cards VIII: One-Eyed Jacks (1991)
- Wild Cards IX: Jokertown Shuffle (1991)
- Wild Cards X: Double Solitaire (1992)
- Wild Cards XI: Dealer’s Choice (1992)
- Wild Cards XII: Turn of the Cards (1993)
- Wild Cards: Card Sharks (1993; Book I of a New Cycle trilogy)
- Wild Cards: Marked Cards (1994; Book II of a New Cycle trilogy)
- Wild Cards: Black Trump (1995; Book III of a New Cycle trilogy)
- Wild Cards: Deuces Down (2002)
- Wild Cards: Death Draws Five (2006; solo novel by John J. Miller)
- Wild Cards: Inside Straight (2008; Book I of the Committee triad)
- Wild Cards: Busted Flush (2008; Book II of the Committee triad)
- Wild Cards: Suicide Kings (2009; Book III of the Committee triad)
- Wild Cards: Fort Freak (2011)
- Wild Cards: Lowball (forthcoming 2012; sequel to Fort Freak)
Not all the short stories in the Wild Cards series were written by George R.R. Martin, but he was the editor of the project.
Twelve original pieces started being published by Bantam Books in 1987 and ran through 1993.
Baen publishing picked up the series and published three more stories from 1993 to 1997.
After Baen finished with the series, it was picked up by iBooks, which published two volumes of the anthology between 2002 and 2006, as well as began reprinting the original six stories.
Tor took over the Wild Cards series in 2008 and published four new stories in the Wild Cards series.
The start of the series begins right after World War II and an alien virus by the name of Wild Card has been released on the city of New York. The series takes place over decades and covers the adventures of the mutant characters that were created by the release of the virus. These characters are in a struggle for control of New York City and encounter different alien species, as well as other adventures written into each short story.
As the stories begin, the alien virus is accidentally released and kills 90% of the population of New York City, this is what the authors refer to as drawing a Black Queen. Of the remaining 10%, 9% are mutated into what the authors refer to as Jokers and the remaining 1% develop superhuman powers. The superheros are better known as Aces. Part of the 1% that develop superpowers are also referred to asDeuces, because their superpowers are ridiculous or useless, like the ability to grow body hair anytime they want. Eventually the virus spreads to every corner of the globe and all of humanity is affected.