ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Wild Cards I: An Intricate and Amazing Alternate Timeline Featuring People With Powers

Updated on February 8, 2020

Wild Cards I by George RR Martin and Friends

George R.R. Martin is a name that has absolutely exploded over the last few years and has been on everyone’s radar because of Game of Thrones. But Game of Thrones, the television show, revealed a reflection of a written world and writing style I care little about. I like to read for escapism, not to be depressed. But recently various outlets have been hailing him as this generations J.R.R. Tolkien and that’s hard to believe because there are some very good authors out there in the genre who do not rely on such dark material of rape, incest, and shocking deaths. But to be fair, I have not read his work. But the other day I discovered Ido have one of his books in my kindle library (I must have bought it on a big sale ages ago and just forgot about it.), well technically it’s not him only. It’s by him and series of other authors who created a book around his concept. This book is called Wild Cards I and it is written by George R.R. Martin and friends.

So what is it about? It begins in the 1940’s just after World War II. An alien space ship lands and a poorly dressed humanoid alien steps out to warn that his race is in a civil war and another alien I planning to experiment by releasing a gene altering virus on Earth. Because human DNA is so similar, they want to find out what genomes would become super human and what would become mutations. The aliens then want to use this data to build super soldiers on their home world. This alien known as Tachyon cannot find the ship, or pilot in a desperate attempt to stop this massacre.

But a German made scientist does find it and intends to drop it on Manhatten. But war hero flyboy known to the public as Jet Boy heads out with other fighter pilots to step him. It’s an exciting battle and despite all the heroic efforts, he ultimately fails. The virus bomb drops and infects a region of Manhattan.

From there on out, the book is a collection of short stories focusing on individuals infected and these tales stretch from the 1940’s to the 1980’s building this dynamic alternate time line for the United States. Each person aeffected is, as the story portrays it, is a wildcard. They are either a joker, an monster or mutation, or an Ace, basically someone who is fine with super human powers.

The good? This is an intriguing experiment with so many different kinds of stories. One is about a team of Aces who work for military. Another is about a man with who hunts down an Ace and Joker serial killer. There’s a whole story about Joker’s marching for civil rights. Another is about a woman who can absorbed knowledge but has been also absorbing personalities and is struggling from a split personality like mental illness. Then there’s a superhero story. There are just all kinds of flavors genres and tones. The one that stand outs to me were Ghost Girl Takes Manhattan and Croyd. And oh man, Croyd is a heartbreaking tale. I was so glad it ended when it did, because if it went any further, it might have made me cry.

Thee bad? This is hard to critique this book because each story is by a different author. But I think it is safe to say all the stories were okay or just not good. The worst were the stories I'm about to mention. The march for Joker rights was a strange reenactment of Selma. There was a story about a mobster who gets his powers when he has sex, which is just an excuse for sex scenes because nothing else happens. Another is about a hippi protest for joker rights under the command of this snake like protest leader. And the lead character is on LSD and its very hard to tell what is going on. So the quality of the stories is uneven.

Overall this is great premise, and well put together project of short stories. With so many authors it amazing to see a cohesive story line where main character of one story can weave in and out of other stories that happen years later. And world building is amazing. And yes, I think most of the stories in my opinion are just okay or forgettable, when put togther the sum of all the parts does paint a beatiful picture of a entertaining timeline. This is far not perfect, but still it is most definitely worth the read. So go check it out.

3 out of Four Smoothies

Overall Rating: An Intricate and Amazing Alternate Timeline Featuring People With Powers.

Have You Read This Book?

Share Your Opinion. What Did You Think?

See results

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)