Chris's Reviews > Inside Straight

Inside Straight by George R.R. Martin
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Apr 09, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: sciencefiction
Read in April, 2008

I've been interested in reading some of the Wild Cards books for awhile- I'm a casual fan of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice & Fire series and since I've collected comics since the 7th grade, I've always been told the series would be up my alley... but I've never run across any of the books in my travels. Local libraries don't have 'em and when I remember to do a search around the used bookstores, I usually come up empty. Although not ideal, this new anthology was sittin' on the shelves of the library last week and I figured I'd give it a try. So understand... my thoughts on this book are not the thoughts of a fan who's been following the material over the course of two decades. I know none of the history or the characters or any of that stuff that might distinguish this Wild Cards book from others.

I've gotten used to something as a comic fan over the years- when I read adaptations of comic book tropes in other media, I sort of gloss over the fact that the people involved with those books will beg, borrow, and steal from whatever comics they like and repurpose those ideas for their own stories. NBC's Heroes stole stuff whole cloth from runs on X-Men and Watchmen and nobody really raised a fuss (although to be fair... the riff Heroes stole from Watchmen was already stolen from The Twilight Zone so maybe that's something we're just going to have to get used to in pop culture).

In the end, I was surprised at how engaged I was with Inside Straight, especially considering how wary I was of the book... partly for some of the reasons I just spouted off about, but mostly because it's written by like 10 different people. I've read these kind of books before and a lot of times I don't find that the individual voices of the writers involved mesh well. In this book, they do. There's a continuity to the characters and situations that was great, and I like the way the story dovetailed between the two major locales of the TV show and the battle in Egypt.

I didn't expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. Now it looks like I"m going to have to go out and find some of the paperbacks.
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Bruce Nelson I enjoyed it. A worthy addition to the series, which I read over a decade ago.


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