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Aces Abroad (Wild Cards #4)

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  1,460 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
What would our world be like if superhuman heroes and villains had been real flesh-and-blood men and women who lived through the 20th century's most turbulent history? In Wild Cards 4: Aces Abroad, a fact-finding mission seeks the truth about how Wild Cards are treated in other nations. From the jungles of Haiti to the Great Wall of China and behind the Iron Curtain, the W ...more
Published (first published 1988)
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Mar 13, 2015 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Wild Cards has had an interesting journey. Born in obscurity in the 1980s, toiling in that same obscurity for 17 books worth of material over nearly two decades, it got a new lease on life in the 2000s when (I'm assuming) somebody took a look at the nerdy cultural landscape, saw that George R. R. Martin was selling a boatload of books, and, in the theaters, nerd movies with people with superpowers have kind of been cashing in. And so along with a new kind of second generation set of stories laun ...more
Baal Of
Weakest of the volumes I've read so far. There were sections I liked a lot, and then a couple segments I didn't like at all. I particularly hate Josh McCoy, the new love interest for Peregrine, because he is an abusive asshole. I really want her to kick him to the curb, but one thing that this series contains is people making poor life decisions, just like in real life. The death of Xavier Desmond at the end was handled with grace, and I found it rather moving. The developments around Senator Ha ...more
Nathan Burgoine
Jan 01, 2013 Nathan Burgoine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was actually moving in places. For a brief overview of the tale up to this point, you can check out book one, book two, or book three, as I reviewed 'em.

In this fourth installment, to try and aim attention to some positive things that the Aces and Jokers of the world can accomplish (especially in light of the gore and disaster of Wild Card Day's 40th anniversary in New York), Tachyon, and a few aces and jokers, a press troupe, and some politicians fly around the world, with stops in ma
Jul 18, 2012 Leelas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: superheroes
It astounds me that this is one of the least-popular Wild Cards books. As someone who's reading the series from the beginning with absolutely zero knowledge of where things will go, I can say that this is possibly the most satisfying volume I've read yet.

The format is similar to volume two, Aces High. It's an anthology volume, but a tightly-woven anthology volume with a solid overplot. In this case, the two linking stories are written by George RR Martin and Stephen Leigh.The Stephen Leigh story
Mar 08, 2015 Matias rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
En un retorno al estilo original de la saga con cuentos identificados por autor pero también con un hilo que conecta todos juntos: el viaje de ases, jokers, políticos y periodistas por todo el mundo. Extender el universo compartido más allá de los estrechos limites de Jokertown en NY y analizar los resultados que la propagación del virus wild card tuvo en otros países del mundo en la década de los 80' durante los últimos años de la guerra fría. Algunos cuentos eran pobres como "El tiempo de los ...more
Aces Abroad (the 4th installment of the Wild Card series) follows some of our intrepid heroes around the world, for a glimpse of how the wild card virus has been dealt with in other countries.

Going back to its roots, Aces Abroad is a collection of short stories written in the Wild Cards universe and revolving around a tour group of aces and jokers as they cross the globe on a mission of aid. While the stories themselves are fun to read, you get very little more insight into the main characters a
Shannon Appelcline
Aces Abroad has never been my favorite Wild Cards book. Somehow its grand idea of a world tour comes off as dull, possibly because it's leaving its familiar plots and settings aside for a visit with other plots and settings that won't really be that important to the future of the series. Surely, this was intended to be a mirror of the first Wild Cards book: a tour of space instead of a tour of time. But that first Wild Cards book introduced so many characters and plots of note that this one, jus ...more
Alex Sarll
After jumping forward to the most recent complete trilogy of the shared-world superhero series (largely because this tranche hadn't been reprinted yet), there are certain jolts inevitable when you head back into the past. The spoilers, perhaps surprisingly, are not prominent among them. Yes, some characters' fates have been given away, but with the newer books dealing with a whole new generation, many more remain unsealed - and on occasion here, not least with Peregrine, knowing what's to come g ...more
Oct 05, 2015 Matias rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
poderes y una historia de lo mas atrapante. La historia lleva a muchos de los personajes que ya conocemos a realizar una gira alrededor del mundo para ver la realidad del virus wildcard en otros paises. Los viajes llevan a que aparezcan muchas buenas historias y mas de una tiene un final no solo inesperado, pero original en sobremanera. Igual creo que lo que mas me gusto de este volumen fue el hecho que hay capitulos donde se centran en personajes que no habian cobrado importancia hasta el momen ...more
Molly Cinderella
Mar 26, 2015 Molly Cinderella rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
I am really glad this series got back to the short story format. This was fantastic! I really liked the interludes from Xavier's journal, and it contained a minimal amount of Fortunato (always a good thing).
Tony Calder
Sep 17, 2016 Tony Calder rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This 4th book in the Wild Cards series is the beginning of the second multi-book story arc. Whereas the first story arc was a mostly traditional superhero story - supervillains and alien monsters - this book looks at a broader view, examining how the existence of both aces and jokers is treated around the world.

Chronologically, it continues from the end of book 3, and so is set in the waning days of the Cold War. It is a complete story, but it does set the seeds for further adventures. Overall,
May 24, 2015 Grace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book went back to the style of formatting used in books 1 and 2, with each author writing distinct chapters. After the crazy events of Wild Card Day covered in book 3, the public's opinion of wild cards (aces and jokers both) drops and they're all seen as more trouble than they are worth. To help with the ace PR problem, an international tour is proposed for some of the American aces and jokers to see how their fellows fare in other countries. The official reason is to improve the lives of ...more
If this book was entirely about the Journal of Xavier Desmond it would have gotten 5 stars, but unfortunately we toured the world, met new Aces and Jokers, had a Senator get kidnapped (spoilers) twice! Some of the adventures were otherwise pointless, and a few just boring! Thankfully, the Xavier Desmond entries added life to an otherwise dull experience. Xavier Desmond really was the heart of the book, and rose above the clutter. But they weren't all terrible. I enjoyed the trip to Haiti (Chrysa ...more
I originally read the first 10 or so of the Wildcard novels on their release so this is a re-read or rather listen as i picked up the Audible audio version.

My recollection of Aces Abroad was that it was not as strong as the first 3 volumes which took us from the 1940's outbreak of the virus to modern day (80's) largely in one setting; NYC and feature the major story arc of the battles with The Astronomer.

Aces Abroad is therefore the start of a new 3 novel major story arc based on Sen. John Hartm
Scott Trudell
(For more reviews please visit Astounding Books at

We are often addicted to things that are not entirely good for us. Not that it can’t be pleasurable, but usually there is a side effect that becomes more prominent than the actual pleasure. The addiction becomes stronger and the compulsion to keep doing what you’re doing takes over any rational thoughts of stopping.

That’s pretty much how I feel about the Wild Cards series edited by George R. R. Martin.

Wild Card
Jun 07, 2015 Theresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wild Cards IV: Aces Abroad
Trust, Wild Cards
This is a reprint of the original mosaic novel with two new stories added in seamlessly. The main idea is a brain trust of American politicians, journalist, jokers and aces tour the world to see how the world embraces and reacts to the advent of the Wild Card virus. This is the fourth book in the series, and with its worldwide tour you will find that despite all the internal squabble and problems relations between those affected by the Wild Card Virus a
Aug 16, 2010 Brainycat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of serialized pulp sci-fi
The fourth installment of the Wild Cards series, and another great book. The premise of this book is the WHO sponsors a fact-finding jaunt around the globe to examine the status and needs of victims of the Wild Card virus around the world. Naturally, the people selected for the trip are all our favorite characters from the first three books. This is an excellent vehicle for each character to have a ministory within a sparse metaplot.

The book plays out as each character has a crisis of some sort
Jun 26, 2012 Shawne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I think it's pretty safe to say that any fictional work involving super-powered beings will, of necessity, be one that dabbles in alternate versions of reality. Comic books have long traded in such bending and distortion of truth and history - in some instances, readers are presented with a completely unrecognisable fantasy world fuelled by untrammelled imagination; in others, human nature and events remain broadly (and far too often depressingly) the same even after the definition of 'human' ha ...more
Aug 26, 2011 Moontyger rated it it was ok
This was the fourth time I read this book (I think) and I like it better each time. It's still flawed, but part of my issue with it is that it suffers in comparison to the 3rd Wild Cards book, which is so brilliant that it's hard to compete with.

One of my other issues with it is more of a personal taste thing than anything else. They tried hard to keep it from being a travelogue, but I think I would have liked it better if it were. My favorite parts, after all, are the excerpts from Xavier Desmo
Brian Palmer
Feb 13, 2014 Brian Palmer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: superheroes
This suffered by conforming too much to a pattern of 'travel to place X, have wacky adventure, move on.'
Many of the stories are developed further later on from what I've read in later books, so the stories aren't entirely incomplete, but in this book they stand pretty isolated.

Some of the stories/scenarios were very good; others ... weren't. More so than in the first three books, the seams in the shared world showed.
Corey Brown
Mar 29, 2015 Corey Brown rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed Aces Abroad. I wasn't as big a fan of the third Wild Cards novel (it was good, but the one novel approach meant a lot of stories dragged), so it's great to be back to the short story format from the first two books.

Like all Wild Cards books, there are stronger stories and weaker stories, but Aces Abroad benefits by putting one its more fascinating characters Gregg Hartmann front and center. The Tint of Hatred is a highlight, as is The Journal of Xavier Desmond. My favourite sto
Apr 15, 2015 Craig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This fourth volume of the Wild Cards saga opens in 1986 as a group begins a world wide fact finding tour to see how aces and jokers are treated around the world. Tachyon, Peregrine, and Father Squid are featured, though Stephen Leigh's Puppetman steals the story. I don't believe this one is one of the more popular volumes, but I always thought it was one of the best of the early books.
Sep 18, 2010 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book number 17 for me this year (2007) is Wild Cards 4: Aces Abroad. It's been a while since I read any Wild Cards fiction; I had to bone up a bit on the setting for a project I'm hoping I'll get to work on. It's pretty tough to find the WIld Cards books used these days; that must be why they're about to reprint them.

Anyway, this volume is called a "Mosaic novel" because it's a series of closely linked short stories, written by a variety of writers. Obviously this and the succeeding volume Wild
Apr 26, 2014 L. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Explores (for the first time) how Wild Cards affected the rest of the world. We get to travel along with a World Health Organization Fact-Finding Mission, charged with documenting the global affect of Wild Cards. And through their eyes, we get to see how cultures around the world changed and evolved as a result of the virus.
Mar 03, 2015 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Volume Four takes a dip in quality after the first loose trilogy. There's a lack of focus, which is probably due to the format/plot of this volume (a world tour involving several characters, some of which are relatively new). It's still Wild Cards, though, which counts for a lot. HOWEVER.

Maybe I didn't care as much when I was 13 and read this for the first time, but some of these authors need to let the penis go. I can't help but wonder if cheesy sex scenes made SF/fantasy more "edgy" in the lat
May 12, 2014 Samantha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A return to form and an interesting global look at the Wild Cards situation. The best locations were those behind the Iron Curtain and the soap opera storyline of McCoy, Peregrine and Fortunato. An enjoyable read that is much much better than the more recent Wildcard books.
Nahuel Mazzeo
Feb 04, 2015 Nahuel Mazzeo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Muy bueno dentro de la saga wild cards. En momentos lento ya que debe re armar una nueva trama luego del libro anterior. En lineas generales, completo y ofrece muchos puntos de vista diferentes sobre los sucesos.
Christopher Dodds
Dec 11, 2014 Christopher Dodds rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed another one of the Wild Card volumes by George R.R Martin who has done a great job with his different take on superheroes and villains, and has written a series of many diverse stories which were entertaining and original.
Richard Rosenthal
It is weird to read and 80's view on world cultures. The American Aces and a few Jokers do a world tour and manage to get into trouble everywhere. This one is more novel written by multiple authors than collection of short stories in that there is one main story line that it follows from start to finish. It took me a long time to finish this one because it is easy to walk away from it for a while between stories and it is rather long. It was a fun read. Non of the names of the authors really lea ...more
Benjamin Kahn
Mar 10, 2013 Benjamin Kahn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I really enjoyed this book, I did some of the plots attached to the various countries rather hackneyed - voodoo in Haiti, Islamic fundamentalists in the middle east - these tended to make some parts a little stale. Also, the attempt to insert some social concerns into the text - the treatment of indigenous people in Guatemala, the prevalence of AIDS in Africa - was a bit of a distraction from the text. I also found the linking passages by Xavier Desmond to be a bit of a slog.

All that sa
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Goodreads Librari...: Covers mismatched 21 84 Nov 30, 2011 01:51PM  
  • George R.R. Martin's Wild Cards: The Hard Call
  • Masked
  • Who Can Save Us Now?: Brand-New Superheroes and Their Amazing (Short) Stories
  • The Darker Mask: Heroes from the Shadows
  • Grants Pass
  • Quatermass
  • The Argonaut Affair (Time Wars, #7)
  • Green Lantern: Hero's Quest
  • The Button Man and the Murder Tree
  • The Military Form (The Vang, #2)
  • Starworld (To the Stars, #3)
  • Kinsman
  • Cinema Sewer, Vol. 1
  • Alternities
  • A Gathering Evil
  • Exterminators
  • Unwelcome Bodies
  • Batman
George R. R. Martin was born September 20, 1948, in Bayonne, New Jersey. His father was Raymond Collins Martin, a longshoreman, and his mother was Margaret Brady Martin. He has two sisters, Darleen Martin Lapinski and Janet Martin Patten.

Martin attended Mary Jane Donohoe School and Marist High School. He began writing very young, selling monster stories to other neighborhood children for pennies,
More about George R.R. Martin...

Other Books in the Series

Wild Cards (1 - 10 of 26 books)
  • Wild Cards (Wild Cards, #1)
  • Aces High (Wild Cards, #2)
  • Jokers Wild (Wild Cards, #3)
  • Down and Dirty (Wild Cards, #5)
  • Ace in the Hole (Wild Cards, #6)
  • Dead Man's Hand (Wild Cards, #7)
  • Wild Cards: Graphic Novel
  • One-Eyed Jacks (Wild Cards, #8)
  • Jokertown Shuffle (Wild Cards, #9)
  • Double Solitaire (Wild Cards, #10)

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