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Low Chicago

(Wild Cards #25)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  232 ratings  ·  67 reviews
In George R. R. Martin's latest Wild Cards adventure, a gang of criminals are scattered across time and threaten the stability of the world

Perfect for current fans and new readers alike, Low Chicago is an all-new time travel adventure that leads to the criminal underworld of 1920s Chicago, featuring a fresh cast of characters from the Wild Cards universe.

Hardcover, 352 pages
Published June 12th 2018 by Tor Books
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John Jos. Miller It was designed as a stand-alone, although of course long-time fans will get more of the references and nuances. If you are unclear on the basic…moreIt was designed as a stand-alone, although of course long-time fans will get more of the references and nuances. If you are unclear on the basic premise you can check wiki for a quick run-down on the background (a page or two will explain the basics), and there are also two excellent fb pages, one run by fans of the project, the other the official WC fb page.(less)

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Average rating 3.95  · 
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Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the 25th volume of the Wild Cards series, and it's still fresh and fun and vibrant. In fact, this one struck me as being a bit lighter and more fun than some of the other more recent books. It's pretty much unconnected from any existing narrative from previous volumes, so it would be possible to enjoy this one without being familiar with any of the others. It's the story of a card game (naturally) gone awry, with the players being scattered through time by Croyd Crenson's (Roger Zelazny' ...more
Oct 24, 2018 marked it as to-read
Page numbering is wrong, book has 429 pages.


013 - "A Long Night at the Palmer House" by John Jos. Miller
034 - "Down the Rabbit Hole" by Kevin Andrew Murphy
077 - "A Long Night at the Palmer House" Part 2
099 - "The Motherfucking Apotheosis of Todd Motherfucking Taszycki" by Christopher Rowe
138 - "A Long Night at the Palmer House" Part 3
145 - "A Long Night at the Palmer House" Part 4
157 - "A Bit of a Dinosaur by Paul Cornell
190 - "A Long Night at the Palmer H
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I admit I only read this book because I saw George R.R. Martin on it. Didn't matter that he was just the editor. I was a little nervous jumping into this series since this is #25 in the Wild Cards series and I had not read any of the previous books. But it had time travel and poker so I was all in :) This can definitely be read as a stand-alone. There were a lot of characters but I didn't feel lost. It was entertaining and a fun read. Each story was written by different author but they flowed ni ...more
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
True confession time: With a few notable exceptions (Tim Powers' The Anubis Gates comes to mind) I hate time travel stories. I found myself liking Low Chicago despite my hatred of the genre-books in the Wild Cards series are almost inevitably a lot of fun. This book (25th in the series) proved that rule, plus during various jaunts to the past we got to run into a lot of characters who have been...written out. (That means they're dead, folks.) So I got too see some favorites I did not think I wou ...more
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Having never read any of the books in this series, I love that I could jump right in and not feel the loss of not being as familiar with the world as I should be. As always, George R.R. Martin delivers in SPADES! (no pun intended!)
Dec 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This is exactly the kind of delightful camp that you get when the Wild Cards universe is at its best.

A number of wealthy people gather in a Chicago suite for a poker game with a million dollar buy-in apiece. Naturally, if you're showing up with a million dollars cash, you want to show up with some security as well, and in the Wild Cards world, where the lucky and unlucky have had superpowers and/or physical deformities since the release of an alien virus in 1946, that means showing u
Alex Sarll
Just because I'm not into what sounds like the ever-more-wonky TV version of Song of Ice and Fire, doesn't mean I can't be getting myself some sub-par GRRM-branded content about now! The Wild Cards books he (co-)edits have been happy to range over decades before, but to the best of my knowledge this is the first time they've used time travel as conventionally understood (disclaimer - I know the start of the series, and the most recent stretch, but not the middle nine books, which have yet to be ...more
Chris Bauer
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
First off, I've been faithfully reading the entire Wild Card series since its introduction way back in 1987. I was a junior in high school, obsessed with comics, role-playing games and storytelling. The first book in the series hooked me immediately and I've been a junkie ever since. While not the first mosaic novel i'd read (I think that was Thieves' World, IIRC) this one stuck ever since.

The quality of the stories has waxed and waned over the years but I've remained a fan. I've als
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wild Cards take on time travel.

The Sleeper has an oopsie with his new time beam and must bounce around a highlight reel of historical Chicago's greatest events collecting the assorted mobsters and heroes he inadvertently sent into the past.

--We finally meet Cameo's PI Nick at the opening of the Playboy mansion. (The most amusing of the stories. "Flashlights".)
--Tigerman Khan gets dropped in the middle of the St Valentine's Day massacre.
--A mobster takes advantage of the
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I confess to being slightly disappointed by the previous entry in the series, but this is a return to form and then some. Entertaining and gripping, with contributions by a range of talent, both older Wild Cards hands and new blood, in a self-contained single entry. Wonderful.
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Low Chicago (Wild Cards, #25)
by George R.R. Martin
"A long night at the Palmer House" John Jos Miller
a dramatic start revealing old and new characters. great beginning to a convoluted story arc. I like some of the new powers introduced, and if this is the beginning what's to come next. Not every story starts with a high risk poker game that went terribly wrong. We learn that Typhoid Croyd may not be the last time that Croyd’s powers mess up things. Croyd and Nighthawk are sent throughout
Sep 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
For the first hundred pages, I wanted to hate this book. Everything starts out so sexist, by which I mean that women are regarded as sex objects. Yes, it's a representation of our culture, especially the subcultures in the book (lots of underworld settings and characters, not to mention Hef), and especially in the 19th- and early-20th-century timeframes. But still. Plus the book has a number of women who consider being a prostitute a good career choice. Sure, there weren't a lot of choices, but ...more
Aug 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An OK wildcards compilation, all around the theme of time traveling in Chicago. Like other books in the series, there's a story thread that joins the various authors' tales together. As usual, some tales are better than others. You have to be OK with somewhat rebooting your attention each time as one author drops the tale and another picks it up.

A time snafu happens in a poker game and our main character/hero, John Nighthawk, goes through time with a buddy, sometimes going to great lengths to r
Oct 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have to say, I did not expect to have our heroes encounter Jeeves and Wooster. Hilarious.
Brandt Anderson
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: superhero-novels
This was a very enjoyable read. I didn't think it was possible but I'm looking forward for the next two books in the Triad even more.
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Oh man was I having fun with Low Chicago. Time-hopping Wild Cards? Back to the Future-style "we have to fix the timestream!" hinjix? A half tiger/half man dude? Sign me up!

And then Lilith showed up and the entire flow of the novel was derailed.

Having suffered through Busted Flush, I was already aware of Lilith's status as Melinda Snodgrass' Mary Sue. I thought for certain there was no way she could Mary Sue the heck out of this insanely fun story. But yup, Snodgrass found a way to d
Lark Anderson
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Seven players buy into a million-dollar poker game that will forever change the course of history and threaten the stability of the world.

John Nighthawk and Croyd Crenson are on a wild goose chase throughout time after an unexpected accident sends several wildcards back to various points in history. As the duo move through time and space to fix the mistake, they find themselves in the midst of significant political events. Can they resist the urge to right the wrongs of the past?

The impending
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoy the Wild Cards series--it's kind of a gritty super hero world where there's mostly grey with some shockingly vivid flashes of white and black. Some of the books in this series have been phenomenal, and I think Low Chicago ranks up there with the best of them. There is a time travel element to it that is handled very well, and by focusing on one location--Chicago--the authors are able to cover some very interesting events and personalities. I think a reader new to the series would ...more
Sarai Henderson
Its kinda fun to read a book with many different authors writing about the same thing. It's like fan fiction, but so much better. Each story was unique, with its own take on the same world. Even though I haven't read any of the other books in this series, I was able to jump right in without any problem with the world building. I'm excited to start the series from the beginning.
Catherine Book
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the newest installment in the decades-long-running series called Wild Cards; this is either the 25th or 29th book depending on whether you count the three ebooks and graphic novel.
For those of you who have not yet encountered Martin’s Wild Cards universe, here’s a brief background: in the 1940s, some aliens decided to use Earth as a proving ground for a virus designed to create super-powered humans. The virus was released over New York City and can have one of four effects: mostly norma
David Berkowitz
Apr 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Good Entry in the Wild Cards Saga

I have been a big fan of the Wild Cards saga since the first book was published in the late 70s or early 80s. The group of authors who contribute short stories that are then woven together into a unified storyline are all masters of the SF genre. This book has all the sparkle that I have come to expect.

For those unfamiliar with the series, an alien virus infected the Earth in 1946. Of those infected, 90% die gruesome deaths very quickly. Of th
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was ok

I am a lover of Game of Thrones so when I saw George R.R. Martins name come up I jumped at the opportunity. I had no idea this series had been going on for this many years. I feel my biggest downfall will be that I don't understand cards so I may have an issue understanding this book a little bit. But so far from what I've read just as an introduction of the many characters and their background to Nighthawk they are very interesting and complex. I really do hope that card games to not m
Jun 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Low Chicago is a collection of interrelated wild card stories. It begins with a high stakes card game that descends into a Wild Card firefight. Players and their companions, Wild Cards and Jokers alike are transported to different times in the past. But as a result, a time storm develops making it necessary for the remaining pair of Wild Cards to travel back to the past and prevent history from changing too much. As a premise it has a lot of potential. The authors do a decent job of weaving Wild ...more
Unseen Library
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Rating of 4.5 - 5.

From of eight of the world’s leading science fiction and fantasy writers comes the latest addition to the superhero-filled Wild Cards universe, edited by fantasy legend George R. R. Martin.

Martin continues to serve as editor in this latest book, which includes input from two long-running Wild Cards contributors, John J. Miller and Melinda M. Snodgrass, who authored stories in the original Wild Cards. There is also input from previous contributors Paul Co
Brian Palmer
Jul 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
The Wild Cards universe is one of favorite "superhero" universes -- the setting is fleshed out in a way that's both interesting and relevant, avoiding genre tropes while being well written enough to avoid the problems that gave rise to them. That's still true ... but this was one of the most disappointing entries in the series I've read.

The book explicitly relies on nostalgia and revisiting the past, as it takes on time travel. It even goes to some pains to ensure that this is a one-
Spenser Arundel
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Henry Lazarus
Jul 04, 2018 rated it liked it
In the Wild Card universe, Croyd Crenson or the Sleeper usually acts as a joker because he has different talents every time he wakes up. In Low Chicago ( Hard from Tor and edited by
George R. R. Martin) he is at a winner-take-all poker game with a buy in of a million at the Palmer Hotel in Chicago when a fight starts and Croyd uses his new talent of time travel to throw the players all over time (they all arrive nude); two to the period when the comet killed the dinosaurs, another to the riots a
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
These are automatic five star books. This one is better than Mississippi Roll and Knaves Over Queens. I think that it is more 'dangerous' in tone.

- We have time travel in the Wild Cards world! Perfect - we get some famous figures from the past 'Wild Card Style' and also some cameos from old favourites.

- John Nighthawk is our main protagonist and he is super cool as whizzes around through time with (view spoiler) ...more
Aug 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: powers, urban
Well that was one more Wild Cards novel, so there is that. Glad they're still happening. That being said... not sure I am too convinced by this one. it seems to be a standalone, not the start of a new trilogy or whatever. It's using a not-entirely unheard of gimmick as the basis for its collection of disparate sub-stories: a bunch of characters have been scattered through time (but not space) and need to be brought back in order to avoid breaking the Universe.

As far as the stories go
Aug 24, 2019 rated it liked it
How do you take a novel about time-traveling superheroes and make it painfully, ploddingly, pathologically DULL?

I'm not sure, but somehow they managed to do just that. This could have been amazing - the chance to look back through the history of Chicago as a city, and to revisit some of the greatest characters in the Wild Cards universe, added onto a setting and situation that I already adore, had me hooked as soon as I saw the cover.

Unfortunately, most of the stories jus
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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,

Other books in the series

Wild Cards (1 - 10 of 29 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)