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George R. R. Martin announces the release of three titles in the Wild Cards series

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Reading is an activity that needs both attention and imagination. It’s not a passive chore, rather it puts you into an active role in the story it’s telling. Literature has inspired a large part of cinema and TV. The most popular show of the last decade, Game of Thrones got its flesh from the books of A Song of Ice and Fire series. But the wizard behind that series, George R.R. Martin does a lot of other literary work apart from the Westerosi saga. It involves being an editor and author of the stories in the Wild Cards series. George recently announced the arrival of three offerings from the series on his Not a Blog. Read on to find out more.

The first to arrive was TEXAS HOLD ‘EM on April 28. It’s the third book in the American triad of the Wild Cards series, released by Tor Books as a paperback reissue of the 2018 version. The earlier two are Mississippi Roll and Low Chicago and GRRM has edited all three of them. “Hop on the bus with Amazing Bubbles, Rubberband, Rustbelt, and the Jokertown mob and travel down to San Antonio for a high school jazz competition like none you have ever seen before!” George wrote for the novel.

The local bookstores might have copies, but they perhaps remain closed due to COVID-19 lockdowns. So, you can buy it online on “Amazon, B&N, or Beastly Books”.Wild Cards is a series of science fiction tales that consists of anthologies, mosaic novels, and solo novels. The stories play out in an alternate historical period after World War II in the USA; where human beings have contracted an alien virus called, Wild Card virus. Unlike the ongoing coronavirus pandemic (don’t blindly trust the conspiracy theories), this is a man-made bioweapon. The virus has varying effects on everyone. Although it kills almost ninety percent of the infected, it provides superhuman abilities to one percent (called Aces) and crippling/physically repulsive conditions to the remaining nine (called Jokers). More than forty authors have contributed to the series for which GRRM has served as an editor since 1986.

The second offering is a new one; it’s the hardcover edition of THREE KINGS, the twenty-ninth volume in the Wild Cards series. Harper Collins Voyager released it on Friday, May 1 in the UK. “This one is a sequel to KNAVES OVER QUEENS, and like that volume it is set entirely in the British Isles, featuring a cast of English and Irish aces, jokers, and knaves, including the Seamstress, the Green Man, Badh, Double Helix, and Enigma”. Martin wrote about Three Kings.

Three Kings is a mosaic novel where different authors weaved a single-story, each writing from the point of view of their characters. The writers who contributed to the story are Melinda M. Snodgrass, Peadar O Guilin, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Caroline Spector, and Peter Newman. It’s a complex collaborative effort edited by GRRM and assistant editor, Melinda M. Snodgrass. However, George states that Melinda’s work deserves more credit than his own on Three Kings. But since George has constantly held the editor’s position from the start, the cover classifies Three Kings in the same series of GRRM edited Wild Cards books.

Tor Books will also release an American edition of Three Kings, but that might take one or two years. Currently, you can read a preview and buy the book here.

The third arrival is also a new story, Berlin Is Never Berlin by Marko Kloos. It will release on May 6 on Tor.com. It features “Khan, half man-half tiger kicking ass and taking names”, shown in the cover art by Micah Epstein. GRRM describes it as “a helluva trip”. Moreover, it will be available to read for free, alongside many other Wild Cards tales by Daniel Abraham, Carrie Vaughn, Stephen Leigh, and more. So, you can check these out on Tor.com. It’s not The Winds of Winter but GRRM has always recommended the Wild Cards stories.

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