Listen to the authors of George R. R. Martin’s latest Wild Cards novel discuss Low Chicago!
George R. R. Martin’s famous other series is a great sandbox that has hosted some of the best writers in science fiction, fantasy, and graphic novels. The Wild Cards universe is a place where superheroes and villains fight, love, and just try to survive. The plague that led to the emergence of superhero “Aces” and mutant “Jokers” resonates with anyone who’s ever felt a bit… different from normal people.
Hugo and Eisner Award-nominated author Saladin Ahmed (The Crescent Throne, Marvel’s Black Bolt,) Paul Cornell (Doctor Who, Chalk) and Melinda Snodgrass, who is a long-time Wild Cards author and editor, a screenwriter, and the current executive producer on the forthcoming Wild Cards TV show, all have a lot to say both about working with superheroes and working with George.
I do wish the Wild Cards authors would sit down before each new book and repeat to themselves “It is OK to write about superpowers, it is ok to write about superpowers…” because I think they need that.
We who buy the Wild Cards novels, comics, the GURPS rpg etc… we are actually ok with there being superpowers in the books. If you are so embarrassed by the subject of superpowers that you have to write about nats, with jokers and deuces as supporting characters, maybe the series is not for you.
Also, when you create a new character with a power, ask yourself if the power is interesting. Does it have story potential, interesting applications, surprises etc ? Or have you written a re-fluffed gun (knife/rpg) ? If the only thing your power does is kill someone at a distance, it is basically a concealed gun. The story would be exactly the same if the character had a concealable gun. I mean, maybe its an original re-fluff, lethal spit, a venomous tongue, electric arc from the hands, etc. But if thats all the character Wild Card power does -don’t bother.
And for gods sake, learn about the setting. Daughters do not inherit their fathers wild card powers. They are not Marvel mutants. The only thing they’ll inherit from a ace or joker parent is a virus infection and their own draw from the deck. Mistral was a mistake that had to be cleared up later.
The earth of wild cards have had multiple xenovirus outbreaks, have fought pitched battles with alien invasion forces, and has had a months-long standoff between the worlds most powerful military and a telepathic barrier.
They’re going to be pretty on the ball when bodies start to warp and psi waves come in.
And if there is going to be a group of wild carders taking on a military, even a third world one, they should have enough power to actually be relevant to a military.
Based on this comment, I fear you do not ‘get’ Wild Cards. As you note, it’s not X-Men. It’s simply NOT about the superpowers. It’s an alternate universe series, almost identical to our own, except for the release of the virus, which obviously changed the world in ways both subtle and gross. There are literally millions untouched by the virus, they’re the nats. FAR more of them than aces, deuces, jokers, and latents combined. For every ace there’s 9 jokers. How could anyone POSSIBLY write a story without them?
My first reaction to Fort Freak was “ewww, joker book! Who wants to read about them?”, which quickly changed to anger that the first real joker representation was actually the beginning of the horror triad. There are people other than superheroes in this universe, and as you say, if you can’t understand that then maybe the series isn’t for you.
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