Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Aces High (Wild Cards, #2)” as Want to Read:
Aces High (Wild Cards, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Aces High (Wild Cards #2)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  3,805 Ratings  ·  181 Reviews
After the alien virus struck humanity in the wake of World War II, a handful of the survivors found they possessed superhuman powers. The Wild Cards shared-world volumes tell their story. Here in book two, Wild Cards II: Aces High, we trace these heroes and villains through the tumultuous 1980s, in stories from SF and fantasy giants such as George R. R. Martin, Roger Zelaz ...more
ebook, 400 pages
Published December 20th 2011 by Tor Books (first published 1987)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Aces High, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Aces High

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Jul 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Buddyread with John Goode, John's review here :)

This one had its moments (Croyd, Tachyon, Brennan)but overall, I didn't enjoy this one as much as the first volume. Why? Get to that in a minute or so.


We get to see Croyd again... though not nearly enough
New Ace with (view spoiler) ,brief glimpse
Get to know Jube better.
Modular Man was fun and interesting


*Minor spoilers abound, fair warning now*

The Masons, Astronomer, Swarm Mother storyline/plot.
The forme
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
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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 27, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Baal Of
May 26, 2015 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
Jeff Harris
Aug 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
Another solid Wild Cards anthology. The narrator for this books does a nice job of staying consistent with the various characters, which can be the downfall of many good "voices". Some stories were weaker and I thought Fortunato's stories were rather weak. The Great and Powerful Turtle's backstory was wonderful and I thought his journey in this anthology was what made it all worthwhile.
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
Alicja Górska
Jun 27, 2015 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
John Goode
Jun 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first Wild Cards book had me hooked because I am a history nut as well as a comic book fan. A book that puts the two together is cheating and there was no way I could escape it's grasp. So when I set out to the second one I was worried that the story itself might not hold my interest.

Man was I wrong on that one.

The true strength of these books, besides their concept, is the way that each character is treated like a main character. Take Jube for example. The walrus joker who sold papers and t
Leo (Rahien Sorei)
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
Jan 12, 2012 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
The most remarkable part of this series is that it's a shared anthology world. In this book, nine different authors all write separate stories that blend together (they don't read as nine individual stories). All of them help progress a storyline that begins at the very beginning of the book. That being said, some of the stories were better than others.

My favourites in this book were:

Jube by George R.R. Martin
Ashes to Ashes by Roger Zelazny
Unto the Sixth Generation by Walter Jon Williams
Feb 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredible! A clever mixture of history and Scifi cleverly woven together through multiple characters' lives. In this second book of the series, the characters introduced in the first book begin to come together to save the world from multiple threats, including those history made for us but also new ones due, in part, to the problems created by the wild card virus. The virus, introduced in the first book as an experiment on humans by an alien race, has produced superheroes, grossly disfigured p ...more
Ben Lund
Aug 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm pretty sure that the Wild Card series is my absolute favorite. This is the third time I have read this book and I've loved it every time. The idea of this shared universe with so many colourful characters written about by so many different authors. I can't get enough of it. Tachyon, Captain Trips, The Great and Powerful Turtle. They are all there, and it feels real, (as much as an alternate reality, 1980's can feel). And it's all so seamlessly woven together, thanks to, I'm sure, some heavy ...more
Bob Gilson
Feb 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I originally read this book when it came out in 1987. Listening to it on Audible was a lot of fun. I had forgotten a lot of it and it brought back many memories. The reader kept my interest and made it feel all new again. Story wise it had more action this time compared to the first book. With the invasion of the Swarm Mother, two encounters with Takisians Dr. Tachyon's people and one arc with Jube, the alien Network spy/scientist this book was all about expanding the Wild Card universe.
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.
Jul 21, 2007 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!
Apr 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The second volume of Wild Cards opened in 1979, a third of a century after the virus struck and brought Aces and Jokers to Earth. Now they have to defend the Earth from another alien threat, the Swarm. My favorite sections were once again written by Zelazny and Martin.
I am a firm fan of this series which is news to me although there are 23 books so far. Unfortunately, there are no current plans to make audiobooks of the rest of the series, but I'll soldier on with the ebooks.

I recommend it for any comic/graphic novel fan and fantasy/scifi-ers in general.
Jun 08, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: worth-reading
This original seres is more fun than humans can imagine!
Jun 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Als das Wild Cards-Virus in den 40er Jahren die Welt veränderte, wurden 90 % der Opfer getötet. 9 % mutierten zu den sog. Jokern, verachtet vom Rest der Welt. Die restlichen 1 % wurden zu Assen, geliebt und gefürchtet. Ihre Fähigkeiten sind ohnegleichen.
Doch plötzlich müssen alle zusammenarbeiten, denn eine außerirdische Bedrohung ist auf dem Weg zur Erde, um alles zu vernichten. Die Schwarmmutter will die Herrschaft übernehmen - und keine Macht konnte sie je aufhalten.

Die Wild Cards-Reihe ist d
Adam Whitehead
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The world has been divided by the wild card virus: the unaffected, the deformed "jokers" and the super-powered "aces". All have their own agendas, some darker than others, but all are threatened by the arrival of the alien Swarm. As Earth comes under concerted attack by the creatures, several of Earth's own alien allies (such as Dr. Tachyon) help lead a defence. But destroying the Swarm Mother may be impossible as a cult of sympathisers leap to her defence...

After the original Wild Cards focused
Nadine Maigatter
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Titel:Wild Cards. Die erste Generation 02 - Der Schwarm
Autor: George R.R. Martin
Seiten: 960
Buchart : TB
Verlag: GRRM By penhaligon
ISBN-13: 978-3-7645-3171-3
Erhältlich : 05 / 2017
Alter: -
Kosten : € 15,00
Buchrichtung: Roman
Vorgängerbände: Wild Cards. Die erste Generation 01 Vier Asse
Folgebände: Wild Cards. Die erste Generation 03 Der Astronom
Verfilmung: -

Das Wild-Cards-Virus hat die Welt verändert: Die Joker, die durch das Virus körperlich verändert wurden, werden verachtet. Die As
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This is the second installment in the Wild Cards universe where an alien virus has caused people to develop superpowers ('aces') or weird and wonderful deformities ('jokers'). The series is written by a collective rather than a single author.

Whilst the first book was all about introducing the universe and some of it's characters, this one tells a more concise story. The Earth is threatened by the Swarm Mother and her Swarm and those with powers need to come together to defeat it.

Like the previ
Magdalena Stawniak
Dec 04, 2015 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
Daniel Solorzano
4.5 out of 5 stars.

What can I say. I loved this book. Not as much as the first one but that's the way the cookie crumbles you know. In my glowing review of the first novel I claimed that most people judge the book as a whole when they need to be judging it as a short story collection. I still believe this. I do. However, I feel that the second book should be judged as a whole. The short story collection aspect is gone. Instead ten writers do there best to write a chapter in a novel about aliens
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Darker Mask: Heroes from the Shadows
  • Nobody Gets the Girl (Whoosh! Bam! Pow!, #1)
  • Masked
  • George R.R. Martin's Wild Cards: The Hard Call
  • The Argonaut Affair (Time Wars, #7)
  • Devil's Cape
  • The Year's Best Science Fiction: Eighth Annual Collection
  • Grants Pass
  • Fever Season (Merovingen Nights, #2)
  • Playing for Keeps
  • It's Superman!
  • Who Can Save Us Now?: Brand-New Superheroes and Their Amazing (Short) Stories
  • Batman
  • From the Notebooks of Dr. Brain
  • METAtropolis: Green Space
  • Aftermath (Thieves' World, #10)
  • Ex-Communication (Ex-Heroes, #3)
  • Villains Inc. (Wearing the Cape #2)
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 25 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)
  • One-Eyed Jacks (Wild Cards, #8)
  • Jokertown Shuffle (Wild Cards, #9)
  • Double Solitaire (Wild Cards, #10)
  • Dealer's Choice (Wild Cards, #11)