Wild Cards

While we were at the library last night, I picked up a scifi/fantasy book of short stories that I hadn’t heard of before. Apparently, it is written/organized by George R.R. Martin (he had edited this particular book, at least, and the website mentions him prominently), but I’ve somehow never heard of it before.

The premise is that, shortly after World War II, some alien virus spreads over the world and everyone gets some sort of “Card” effect. I don’t know if there’s a literal deck from which people draw or if that’s just how the people have come to explain it, but the books seem to (at least in the first two stories I’ve read) relate the tales of those who “drew cards” that gave them amazing powers and abilities.

Specifically, the book I’m reading talks about those who are Aces. Individuals with super powers, like the ability to fly or teleport or, in the case of the second story, turn into bugs. They are not really superheroes because they don’t necessarily do heroic things, but they are super. And while I don’t normally like short stories, the idea intrigues me.

As a general rule, I avoid books like this because the story always ends just as I get really interested. Short stories tend to climax quick, then end, and I’m always left wanting more. They’re not satisfying. But I get the impression that this book (and hopefully the others published along the same lines) have an overarching theme or some sort of plot to tie them together. A common thread that will make itself known throughout or by the end of the book that will have made it worthwhile.

Of course, it may not. That’s just the impression I have gotten in the first twenty  pages, and if it’s off-base, I’ll probably never read one of these books again. But it’s worth a try (especially when I haven’t read anything just for entertainment in so long).

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