Suicide Kings (Wild Cards Series #20)

( 18 )

Overview

From the #1 New York Times bestseller, the third of a new generation of Wild Cards tales

 In 1946, an alien virus that rewrites human DNA was accidentally unleashed in the skies over New York City. It killed ninety percent of those it infected. Nine percent survived to mutate into tragically deformed creatures. And one percent gained superpowers. The Wild Cards shared-universe series, created and edited since 1987 by New York Times #1 bestseller George R. R. Martin (“The ...

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Overview

From the #1 New York Times bestseller, the third of a new generation of Wild Cards tales

 In 1946, an alien virus that rewrites human DNA was accidentally unleashed in the skies over New York City. It killed ninety percent of those it infected. Nine percent survived to mutate into tragically deformed creatures. And one percent gained superpowers. The Wild Cards shared-universe series, created and edited since 1987 by New York Times #1 bestseller George R. R. Martin (“The American Tolkien”—Time magazine) along with Melinda Snodgrass, is the tale of the history of the world since then—and of the heroes among the one percent.

 Ranging from New York and New England to ravaged Africa and New Orleans, encompassing war, devastation, and stubborn hope, Suicide Kings advances the story of the Wild Cards, and their struggle to be fully human in a world that fears and mistrusts them.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Delicious…Everything I’d hoped for in a new Wild Cards book. The character interactions and plot twists have exactly the complexity, surprise, and unsentimental realism I’d expect out of a George R. R. Martin project.”
—Austin Grossman, author of Soon I Will Be Invincible, on Inside Straight  

Publishers Weekly
The 20th Wild Cards shared-universe novel (after 2008's Busted Flush), written by six authors, continues developing an alternate present while killing off characters right and left. An alien virus released in 1946 killed 90% of humanity and turned 1% of the rest into superpowered “aces.” Now many aces, like Noel “Double Helix” Matthews, want out of the superhero gig, but they reunite to challenge evil idealist Tom “The Radical” Weathers, possibly the world's most powerful ace. Noel and his comrades also discover children forced into experiments that will make ace soldiers of a few, while being horrendously lethal for the rest. Martin and his stable of authors have created a relentless story that will appeal to readers who like action gritty to the point of ruthlessness, cynical politics and only fragile bubbles of hope. (Dec.)
Library Journal
An alien virus strikes the world in 1946, rewriting human DNA and causing gross mutations to survivors. Only a few acquire useful superpowers, using their new gifts to benefit the world despite facing fear and persecution for their differences. As a new generation of "Wild Cards"—as they are called—struggle to fit into the 21st century, their battles span continents, from New Orleans to Saigon. This mosaic novel includes contributions by Daniel Abraham, S.L. Farrell, Victor Milán, Melinda M. Snodgrass, Caroline Spector, and Ian Tregillis, as well as characters created by other sf and fantasy authors. VERDICT The third installment of the "next generation" of Wild Cards should attract not only fans of the original series, created by editor and author Martin in 1987, but also devotees of superhero fiction in general.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765357144
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 12/28/2010
  • Series: Wild Cards Series , #20
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 608
  • Sales rank: 542,030
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

George R.R. Martin

GEORGE R. R. MARTIN’s Song of Ice and Fire series, beginning with A Game of Thrones, is among the top-selling fantasy series of the last ten years. He lives in New Mexico.

Biography

As a child growing up in New Jersey, George R.R. Martin displayed an early interest in "the writing life" by selling monster stories of his own invention to the children in his Bayonne neighborhood. In high school he became an avid comic book collector and began to write for comic fanzines. He sold his first story to Galaxy in 1970 when he was 21 years old.

Martin received his bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from Northwestern University. After graduation he served two years in VISTA, then worked as a teacher and chess tournament director in the Midwest, while continuing to craft award-winning short fiction. His first full-length novel, Dying of the Light, was published in 1977. A dark, lyrical sci-fi tone poem set on a doomed world without a sun, the book was nominated for a Hugo Award.

Throughout the 1980s, Martin worked in television, writing for science fiction- and fantasy-themed shows like The Twilight Zone and Beauty and the Beast. At this time he became involved with Wild Cards, a long-running anthology series composed of "mosaic stories" written by multiple authors and set in a shared universe. In addition to editing the series, Martin has contributed stories to the Wild Card books.

In 1996, Martin published A Game of Thrones, the first installment of his magnum opus, the epic fantasy series A Song of Fire and Ice. Set in the Seven Kingdoms, a realm resembling medieval Europe, the internationally bestselling series has provided the ultimate showcase for Martin's formidable world-building and characterization skills.

During the course of his long, prolific career, Martin has accrued every major literary prize for science fiction or fantasy writing, including the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, Bram Stoker, Daedelus, and Locus awards. But what endears him especially to his readers is his extraordinary accessibility. A tireless participant in genre conventions and festivals, he maintains a cordial relationship with his fans through his website and blog. He is also a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.

Good To Know

Christened George Raymond Martin, the author has this to say about his unusual name: "I arrived short one 'R' but fixed that at my confirmation 13 years later."

As a conscientious objector, Martin did alternative service from 1972-1974 with VISTA, attached to Cook County Legal Assistance Foundation.

Martin was class valedictorian of his high school. In 1970, he graduated summa cum laude from Northwestern University.

In the mid-1970s, Martin supplemented his income by directing tournaments for the Continental Chess Association.

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    1. Hometown:
      Santa Fe, NM
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 20, 1948
    2. Place of Birth:
      Bayonne, NJ
    1. Education:
      B.S., Northwestern University, 1970; M.S., Northwestern University, 1971
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 18 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2012

    A little bit different

    Suicide king was a little different than the rest of the books in this series. What makes these books great is the multitude of different stories in each book. This book focuses mainly on redemption. Washing the characters hands of there past. 3 of my favorite charachter in the new series are followed thru the book. Lilith, Rustbelt and Bubbles as the try to shuffle the cards of there lives. Some of the books in this series go so far into politics and the rules of the world as to make the stories mundane. This book really didn't. It took a break from most of the main storyline which I thought was refreshing. This book still holds true to the Wild card series but gives you this idea. Heroes don't always kill the bad guy. Sometimes they kill the bad guy and everyone around the bad guy. It took the idea of PTSD and gave it a super hero tilt. What do they do after the smoke clears? What do they do after the fights over?

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 27, 2012

    Great story arc!

    All the characters you have grown attached to and a good story that takes you on a great ride. Very good effort from all the authors!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent addition to the series!

    I started reading this series in the early 90's and this book is a outstanding read. This series is one of my favorite book collections. I believe this book is one of the best of the recent books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Another new book before "A Dance with Dragons"?

    Does this mean that George Martin has the audacity to publish another new book before he finishes the Ice and Fire Series which has been hanging fire for years now?

    0 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The latest collaboration (see Busted Flushes and Inside Straight) is a royal flush in international fantasy

    The People's Paradise of Africa (PPA) and Caliphate of Arabia meet in a battle that will determine whose vision of despotic rule in Africa will dominate. Whereas Prince Siraj has the superior military, the PPA leaders, siblings Dr. Nshombo and Alicia, own the Wild Aces though one key Wild Card Tom "Radical" Weathers increasingly is losing mental control of right from wrong. Even after his side wins the fight, the Radical gleefully continues his slaughter of enemy soldiers. Nshombo and Alicia believe they must eliminate Radical , who has gone insane with a berserker blood craving.

    In the United States, Wally "Rustbelt" Gunderson worries about his friend Lucien being caught up in the war. He begs Jerusha "Gardener" Carter to accompany him when he sneaks into the war zone to rescue Lucien. At the same time Michelle "Amazing Bubbles" LaFleur comes out of her coma with help from a dream girl needing help to escape from a mass grave. Michelle and zombie Hoodoo Mama travel to Africa to rescue the dream girl who may not be real. As Prince Siraj blackmails Noel "Double Helix" Matthews to help him with a counter attack; the Wild Aces converge in Africa for a final confrontation.

    The latest collaboration (see Busted Flushes and Inside Straight) is a royal flush in international fantasy that grips readers from the opening war in the Sudan until the final climax occurs. Much more than just what is described above happens in the action-packed thriller as the authors somehow keep their cast of a zillion superheroes and supervillains unique from one another. Fans will believe George R.R. Martin, Melinda M. Snodgrass and the other contributors have dealt the audience a royal flush straight with this terrific look at those with extraordinary powers, who for the most part want acceptance not fear from the NT (like a combo Watchmen and X-Men).

    Harriet Klausner

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    Posted April 29, 2012

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