cover image Deuces Down: A Wild Cards Novel

Deuces Down: A Wild Cards Novel

Edited by George R.R. Martin and Melinda M. Snodgrass. Tor, $28.99 (352p) ISBN

Originally published in 2002, the entertaining 16th installment to the Wild Cards series of mosaic novels (after Black Trump) sees 10 authors exploring the concept of the Deuces—people who’ve manifested minor superpowers after surviving the largely fatal wild cards virus. While the original release featured unlinked stories, this edition adds an interstitial tale from Carrie Vaughn, “Age of Wonders,” which creates a connective thread involving a young journalist who seeks out stories about Deuces while searching for her unknown father. She uncovers a trip to the Moon in Michael Cassutt’s “Storming Space,” relives the 1969 World Series in John Jos. Miller’s “Four Days in October,” and meets an infamous band of Jokers in Keven Andrew Murphy’s “With a Flourish and a Flair.” Two more new inclusions, “Tasty” by Mary Anne Mohanraj and “Dry to the Touch” by Caroline Spector, add further appeal for series fans. In showcasing the role of the often unsung Deuces, these stories provide fascinating insight into the Wild Cards universe, but taken as a whole they still feels disjointed. More an anthology than a cohesive novel, this is an enjoyable, if nonessential, part of the series. (Jan.)