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The Button Man and the Murder Tree

(Wild Cards #21.3)

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  153 ratings  ·  19 reviews
George R.R. Martin's Wild Cards multi-author shared-world universe has been thrilling readers for over 25 years. Now, in addition to overseeing the ongoing publication of new Wild Cards books (like 2011's Fort Freak), Martin is also commissioning and editing new Wild Cards stories for publication on In Cherie Priest's The Button Man and the Murder Tree, it's Chica ...more
ebook, 32 pages
Published May 15th 2013 by Tor Books
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3.58  · 
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 ·  153 ratings  ·  19 reviews

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ᴥ Irena ᴥ
Nov 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
I love Cherie Priest's books and short stories. Whether it is urban fantasy, steampunk, horror, it doesn't matter. They are all great.
The Button Man and the Murder Tree is a weird little creepy story featuring a Mafia assassin. He has a bit of a personal problem - mushrooms are growing all over his body. He hasn't got a clue why.
At the same time, someone is posting the names of the next mark on the Murder Tree. He will soon find out what they all have in common.

You can read it here
Anniken Haga
(A little arg because my Kindle marked it as finished before I got around to writing a review. I turned that thing off all the time, but it never stay off. ARG!)

But yeah, back to the novella.
I haven't read any of the other Wild Card stories before - I don't even know what it is for sure - but I picked up this in my quest to read all of Cherie Priest's works.

This novella follows a hit man in old style Chicago, after he has drawn a Joker - which I figure was a deck people could draw from, and th
Aug 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
originally posted at:

Cherie Priest is an author that I have gotten familiar with by her The Clockwork Century series a steampunk / alternate history zombie mash-up, I still have to read the last book though. With this series, Cherie Priest has marked herself to be an author to watch out for; she knows how to write her characters and has a creative imagination. It's only natural that she was given a spot amongst the ranks of the Wild Card Trust. Her first
Jun 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
I'm stepping into the Wild Cards universe with this story. This is equal parts exciting and a little terrifying. Here goes...

I love the dark, noir-ish feel of this world. It's one of those places where anything is possible and the stranger it is, the more likely you are to end up seeing it. While it took me a while to figure out what the "Jokers" were, once that clicked, everything made a creepy, startling sense.

Raul's malady/affliction/whatever it's considered is horrifying in itself. His job
Jul 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
A great addition to the back story of the Button Man, a character we meet in, Fort Freak, but get little or no feeling for his earlier career as a hit man.
If you never read, Fort Freak, it doesn't spoil your enjoyment of this tidy little psychodrama of a tale. And of course I would say this is more a story for someone already immersed in the world of the, Wild Cards books, rather than someone thinking about checking them out. To appreciate the tension and angst of the Joker underworld and its N
Maggie Gordon
Another Wild Cards story, and this one feels very Jeff Vandermeer-ish because of the noir and fungus connection. As always, the world is place in which some people suffer from genetic mutations (that usually give you superpowers), and our protagonist starts growing mushrooms (on himself, of course, not in a garden). Knowing absolutely nothing about the Wild Cards universe, it seems like this is at an early point in the canon, when the laws and reactions are just starting to turn against the "jok ...more
Tac Anderson
Oct 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a short story set in the world of Wild Cards by George R.R. Martin. I haven't read Wild Cards but am a fan of Cherie Priest so I decided to check it out. There's not a lot of backstory in the short story about how the Jokers came to be, but the story works without it and I assume that if you've read the book, it makes even more sense. If you're a fan of either the Wild Cards world or Cherie Priest (or both) you'll probably enjoy this story.
Mar 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is another short story from the Wild Card universe - and this shows for me another aspect that makes the Wild Cards so fascinating and fun to read- its not just the scope of the stories - (they range from the late 40s when the virus was first unleashed right up to modern day) but also they encompass a whole range of story styles and genres - in this case of this one for me the pulp crime thriller- the gumshoe story at its best but obviously a Wild Card twist
May 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A gross, but good story. This is the story of a mobster hit man, who happens to have mushrooms growing out of his body at random. This story is part of George R. R. Martin's Wild Cards series.

I am a big fan of Cherie Priest's work. This story sets up a great scenario, and leaves me wanting more. This story is written in a very vivid way, and when the main character is lopping mushrooms off his body with a switchblade, I was thoroughly grossed out.

Fun, fast and gross. Highly recommended.
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Button Man and the Murder Tree (ebook)
by Cherie Priest
The Wild Cards virus has changes the world, it changed the universe. The Button man is a hit man, but the virus has not left him in peace. As he completes his missions he finds that their are plots between the powers that be. The recent contracts he has been doing shows the depth of the controversy. This book looks into the motivations of the survivors and those who are afraid of the circumstances of great powers shared.
May 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: tor-com
Another short story.

This book takes too long to get to the point of the story, but I think that was kind of on purpose? Anyway I guess it's part of a larger story arc because a lot of terminology and world building stuff isn't really explained. I feel like I would have liked it better if I'd read something else set in this place first.
Jul 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
The first Wild Cards story I've read (yeah, late to the game I know), and also my introduction to Cherie Priest. I am officially a fan of both now, and will be acquiring everything I can from them.

Thanks to TOR for making this story available, to Cherie Priest for being an amazing author, and of course Mr. Martin for putting it all together way back when.
Adam Shaeffer
May 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Another nice glimpse into the Wild Cards universe. Combined with Daniel Abraham's "When We Were Heroes," has given plenty of reasons to check out the full length books GRRM and friends are producing.
Dec 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommended to Maria by:
Shelves: short-stories
Well-done, and only slightly tacky (for a noir story and even so it might just be me being picky). Visually (and olfactory) satisfying. Note that I am not saying [i]pleasant[/i] because it really isn't. Most of the time.
Jun 05, 2013 rated it liked it
Ms. Priest has a knack for the short story. I'd like to know more of Raul.
Karyn Kar Mun (Thy Evil Queen)
If you've seen the cover and read the blurb, you know what to expect, and it's gross.


I'm going to put Wild Cards series (specifically, Fort Freak) into my to-read list now :D
John Yardley
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Mar 27, 2018
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Jul 02, 2014
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Mar 18, 2017
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Darren Maskowitz
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Jul 08, 2018
Matthew Lee
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Apr 03, 2018
Nick Miller
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Jan 20, 2019
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May 10, 2018
Kevin Henderson
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Mar 22, 2017
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Dec 06, 2013
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Jun 18, 2013
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CHERIE PRIEST is the author of over a dozen novels, including the steampunk pulp adventures The Inexplicables, Ganymede, Dreadnought, Clementine, and Boneshaker. Boneshaker was nominated for both the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award; it was a PNBA Award winner, and winner of the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. Cherie also wrote Bloodshot and Hellbent from Bantam Spectra; Fathom and the ...more

Other books in the series

Wild Cards (1 - 10 of 28 books)
  • Wild Cards (Wild Cards, #1)
  • Aces High (Wild Cards, #2)
  • 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)