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Aces High (Wild Cards #2)

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,094 Ratings  ·  139 Reviews
It all began in 1946, when the bizarre, gene-altering A3Wild CardsAy virus was unleashed in the skies over New York City. A virus that created superpowered Aces and bizarre, disfigured Jokers. Now, thirty years later, the victims face a new nightmare. From the far reaches of space comes The Swarm, a deadly menace that could very well destroy the planet. Putting aside their ...more
Paperback, 361 pages
Published October 1st 2001 by iBooks (first published 1987)
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Watchmen by Alan MooreSoon I Will Be Invincible by Austin GrossmanThe Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael ChabonBatman by Frank MillerHero by Perry Moore
Superhero Fiction
62nd out of 553 books — 997 voters
Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin GrossmanHero by Perry MooreKingdom of Heroes by Jay  PhillipsWild Cards by George R.R. MartinAfter the Golden Age by Carrie Vaughn
Super Hero Books
16th out of 214 books — 220 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Oct 23, 2014 Jim rated it really liked it
This was pretty good, not quite a 4. Again it was short stories, but much more tightly bound together over the course of the book. There were several definite objectives that went through each story. Very well done. Several new characters were also introduced, but one of my favorites is Cap'n Tripps. Croyd also makes several short appearances. Lots of fun.
-Alejándose de la ucronía, acercándose al pulp de superhéroes.-

Género. Ciencia-Ficción.

Lo que nos cuenta. Una pequeña moneda roja parece algún tipo de código sobrenatural y parece estar acompañada de una extraña historia con raíces en el pasado. Un enjambre se acerca a la Tierra. Diferentes ases se ven inmersos en una situación tan complicada como peligrosa y un androide muy particular (casi tanto como su creador) entra en escena. Segundo volumen de la serie Wild Cards.

¿Quiere saber más de este
Baal Of
May 26, 2015 Baal Of rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am really enjoying this series. This volume puts together a slightly tighter story arc than the previous book, with good collaboration between the various authors. There are some new characters introduced, with interesting backgrounds. The Swarm as a primary villain of one of the major arcs is pretty cool, especially the way it adapts continuously to the changing conditions, constantly probing for ways to get established on Earth. The other primary villain, the Astronomer, is very nasty in the ...more
Jan 06, 2011 Calamity rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Lovers of sci-fi and super powered adventures
This time around the Wild Card universe takes us trough an alien invasion, giving clever nods to ancient mythology and even the ctulhu mythos, while introducing several new characters like Walrus, the Astronomer, Dr. Tachyon’s family and their sentient ships (Hellcat and Baby), Captain Trips, Modular Man, and many others.
I was again mesmerized by this alternate Earth that George R R Martin and his friends created, even if it did not amaze me as much as the first volume, it felt as if I was readi
Jan 08, 2012 Alytha rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I liked the first volume, and absolutely hated this one. I nearly stopped reading it several times, but cajoled myself into continuing each time because I hoped the next story would be better. It never was.

In short, I hated every character in this anthology except perhaps the Turtle/Tom and Croyd. Their stories were the only ones I read with at least some interest. Fortunato, on the other hand, kept showing up in every other story, and each time he was mentioned I wished he would just disappear
Jul 16, 2007 R. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 1974-2002
Christmas Gift, 1987. Along with a Laser Tag set that drained batteries with a startling quickness. Read this during the winter introduction to the Egyptian Freemasons...Cthulhoid creatures...tantric sex magick...yeah, this little paperback warped me eternally. And, for that, I'm grateful.
Alicja Górska
Jun 27, 2015 Alicja Górska rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

W alternatywnej rzeczywistości II wojna światowa wyglądała zupełnie inaczej. Główne zagrożenie stanowił wirus dzikiej karty, ingerujący w ludzkie geny. Na drodze kosmicznej loterii obywatele całego świata zyskiwali nowe moce stając się Asami, przechodzili deformację i zyskiwali określenie Dżokerów, umierali albo umykali wirusowi. Po trzydziestu latach Ziemia raz jeszcze staje w obliczu zagrożenia pochodzącego z głębin wszechświata. Tym razem zmierza nań Ró
Jan 18, 2012 Rob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
...I guess this volume signals change for the reader. It exchanges some variety and distinctness found in the first volume for a more solid story arc in the second. I don't think the series would have lasted twenty-five years and produced twenty-one volumes (I understand there is a twenty-second in the works continuing the Fort Freak story line). It also shifts the focus a bit from the Aces and Jokers to the various alien races that inhabit the Wild cards universe. Maybe doing both at once is ...more
Leo (Rahien Sorei)
Dec 14, 2013 Leo (Rahien Sorei) rated it liked it
This installment of the Wild Cards saga was much more cohesive than Wild Cards. We followed only a few characters whom we got to know very well - Jube, Dr. Tachyon and some other old faces like The Great and Powerful Turtle. Except everyone who we encountered at the height of their popularity (or stigma) has declined somewhat. We also aw new faces, who were a treat to meet - Captain Trips and all his friends, Water Lily Jane and Modular Man. I loved Captain Trips as a byproduct of quiet little B ...more
Mar 28, 2014 Andrew rated it liked it
And so continues the saga of the wild cards - the Aces and Joker survivors of the Wild Card biological weapon. The "cast list" of players is still being expanded but the interesting thing here is that the main challenge is from another outside source - this time the "swarm" and extra terrestrial threat that requires everyone to join together and temporarily put aside the differences and work together. I must admit that even though the storyline was fun - carrying on the tradition of the super he ...more
Jan 04, 2016 Kim rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up-on

This book is full of characters that are flawed and best and scum for the rest. In character thought or speech or in narration, the book runs the gamut on isms and violence. It gets quite extreme on Pat Cadigan's constant use of slurs against gay and same-sex attracted men (starts with "F"), and that multiple authors keep coming back to including rape in their stories. Basically, if you can think of it, there's a good chance it's here. Be forewarned going in. The violence and slurs made
Mike Billington
May 16, 2016 Mike Billington rated it really liked it
I'm a latecomer to the "Wild Card" series edited by George R.R. Martin and, as a consequence, I've read them out of order.
My first exposure to the series was "Fort Freak" and I enjoyed it so much that I began hunting for as many of the other books that I could find. With rare exception, they have all been top-notch sci-fi adventures.
"Aces High," however, is that rare exception. It lacked, in my opinion, the sense of urgency that marks the other books in the series that I have read. For whatever
Aug 19, 2015 tsukino rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Un lieve miglioramento rispetto al primo capitolo. Un po’ meno politica, un po’ più fantasy, ma ci sono, ancora, tante parti noiose.
La storia prosegue con mutanti e normali, uniti contro invasori alieni, lo Sciame, comandato da La Madre e contro i mutanti cattivi.
Si ritrovano vecchi personaggi come il dottor Tachyon, la Grande e Possente Tartaruga, Capitan Trip, Fortunato, Croyd, a cui se ne aggiungono di nuovi, Jube su tutti, poi Wate
Jan 04, 2015 Matias rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
WIld Cards #1, El Comienzo, es una serie de cuentos sin casi ninguna correlación dedicado a presentar a alguno de los personajes más importantes de la saga. En esta continuación, los cuentos comienzan a describir arcos narrativos más largos aún en cuentos de diferentes autores pero manteniendo en cada uno una sucesión directa con el anterior y conformando una trama mayor. Lo interesante de esta trama que cohesiona las historias es que tiene un tono propio del género de super héroes donde la ficc ...more
May 01, 2010 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the second book of this shared-world series, the authors introduce a new Big Bad (the Astronomer) and a threat to the world -- the alien Swarm. Basically a novelized form of the cross-over "Big Event" that most comic book companies do from time to time, where some major threat affects every series in their line. This was still a great read, although you start to see the direction the rest of the series will take, as awful things happen to one sympathetic character after another.
Maria Kramer
This was a little more...erratic...than the previous volume. Of course, when a story has not only multiple POV characters, but multiple authors, things are bound to get a little uneven. What struck me most was how different Fortunato's character is handled between the first chapter and the rest of the book. A man who, in chapter 1, says "do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the law", who's raison d'etre is kinky tantric sex...calls Dr. Tachyon a "faggot" because of his dress sense. Maybe it's a ...more
Jun 13, 2014 Matias rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Voy a empezar con algo anecdotico. Hay mucha gente que "lee" a GRRM (George R. R. Martin) y que piensa que es un autor nuevo que solo escribio Games of Thrones. No es asi. Escribio un monton de cosas y es el editor de esta saga, la cual esta escrita por varios autores. Digo esto porque me cruzo con un monton de gente en el transporte publico que me mira como si el libro que estoy leyendo fuera una porqueria por no haber sido escrito por GRRM. Se pueden meter el libro en la oreja.
Bueno. Ya esta.
Shannon Appelcline
Fortunato's story of TIAMAT was one of the most obvious dangling loose ends from the original Wild Cards volume, so it's great to see that it was all a setup for this second volume.

However, what's greatest about this volume is how successfully it interweaves multiple short stories to create a ... mosaic (though the book doesn't use that term in its early printings). This was a step beyond what Thieves World had done, creating not just a coherent universe, but also a coherent story.

This second vo
Magdalena Stawniak
Dec 04, 2015 Magdalena Stawniak rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantastyka
Więcej recenzji na

Inwazja porywaczy ciał

„Dzikie karty”, pierwszy tom cyklu redagowanego przez G.R.R. Martina, wprowadzały czytelnika w alternatywny świat pełen superbohaterów i superzłoczyńców. Akcja rozpoczynała się w 1946 roku, gdy na Ziemię przybył statek kosmiczny ze znanym później pod pseudonimem doktor Tachion obcym na pokładzie. Mieszkaniec Takis przybył na naszą planetę, by zapobiec detonacji bomby zawierającej strasznego wirusa wyhodowanego przez jego współpl
Jun 22, 2014 Ben rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
Despite being a collection of short stories, there is a fairly tight central story which links these all together. Building on many of the characters from the previous collection and following up on some of the stories presented there, we see an unfolding threat to humanity greater than anything we have come across before and explore the unfolding situation from different viewpoints, each story being a small piece of the greater picture.

This actually worked really well, and a couple of the stori
Jan 02, 2016 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd hoped the reissued edition was updated in the same way as the first volume, but no such luck. Still really enjoyable, although a couple of the stories fall flat (re: Yeoman). Deus ex machina alert. The Astronomer, as an antagonist, is just much better than the Swarm. GRRM, hurry up and reissue the rest of the series!
Rafal Jasinski
Drugi wolumin "Dzikich kart" rozczarowuje w aspekcie tego, co najbardziej ceniłem sobie w przypadku pierwszego tomu - twórcy zarzucili wysuwający się tam na pierwszy plan koncept prezentacji alternatywnej historii świata (ze wskazaniem na Stany Zjednoczone) na rzecz zabawy komiksowymi i popkulturowymi motywami.

Wątek spinający całość niniejszej antologii - będącej "antologią" w dużo mniejszym stopniu, niż w przypadku pierwszego tomu - to nieobcy każdemu fanowi komiksów motyw OGROMNEGO zagrożenia
Shannon (Savhage Temptrest)
Jun 17, 2014 Shannon (Savhage Temptrest) rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Pennies From Hell by Lewis Shiner was a sad and interestingly vague tale involving Fortunato, the powerful Ace pimp, still on the trail of the cult or explanation of the killer who took three of his Geisha's lives ten years previous. After stumbling upon another coin identical to the one he found in the murderers' apartment, Fortunato enlists the help of the ordinary yet extraordinary historian "friend" of Hiram Worchester, aka Fatman and proprietor of the Aces High restaurant, Eileen who fasc ...more
Vanja Ilić
Jun 03, 2014 Vanja Ilić rated it really liked it
More focused than the first book with a shorter time period and less stories. Big masonic conspiracy and alien swarms and motherships and whatnot.
Quality of writing really varies but it is hard to succeed with such a variety of authors. One thing visible is the connection most writers have with the main character they write (partly because they played that character in a Wild card universe RPG).
First few stories were great while I had problems reading the last few mostly cause I got fed up with
William Bentrim
Aug 12, 2014 William Bentrim rated it liked it
The Wild Card series is difficult to review. I always have trouble with short story collections. The intent here is to tie the short stories together into a unified whole. Overall they did that well. Several of the stories stopped abruptly but the ball was merely juked around and not dropped.

The series is good. I find the genetic manipulation by the Takisian virus reasonably plausible which add to the believability of the stories. The different styles of the different authors provided a some wh
Jun 08, 2008 Gail rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: worth-reading
This original seres is more fun than humans can imagine!
Jacky Chow
Mar 03, 2016 Jacky Chow rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-52-in-52
Book 14 of 52 Aces High (Wild Cards #2)

A solid sequel to the first book, though more comic book-y with less allegory. Book one dealt with the super-human aspect of a typical comic book world, book two fills out the alien. I enjoy mythos horror and there are some hints of that throughout Aces High, but I don't expect future books to dive too deeply into that.

Altogether a fun book though it reads more like a pulp novel than its predecessor.

I would rank it somewhere between a 4 and a 3, but it's mo
Claire Gilligan
Dec 30, 2015 Claire Gilligan rated it really liked it
Shelves: sff
I expected it to be good, like the first one, and it exceeded those expectations!

Most characters are ones we met in the last book, which was fun, getting unexpected elaborations on their stories (even, in one case, satisfying my earlier frustration at the story ending what felt like too soon).

Lacks the alternate history dimension of the first, substituting instead an broad overall narrative, a master story that all the individual stories fit into.

...I'd been planning to stop after this one, but
Mar 18, 2014 BigJohn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aces High, book two in the Wild card series, has more of a central plotline. Whereas book one was mostly world building and introducing some main characters, book two pits those characters in a classic good vs. evil battle. The story features visits from two different alien species, with different ramifications for each. The world comes together to face one threat, and yet the social structure becomes even more segregated between Aces (those infected by the Wild Card virus who are granted powers ...more
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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)
  • Jokers Wild (Wild Cards, #3)
  • Aces Abroad (Wild Cards, #4)
  • 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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