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Is It A Royal Flush?

December 23, 2009 at 10:07 am

Well, there's still a little more time left for last-minute Christmas shopping, and as luck would have it, there have been a few developments on the Wild Cards front this month, and this week.

(Hint: It involves crocodiles, and this jaw-dropping cover by Michael Komarck.)

Click through for publication news!  And contests!  And exclusive platium-club behind-the-scenes insider info!

Suicide Kings

First and foremost, I'm happy to report the publication of Suicide Kings — the mind-warping, senses-shattering conclusion of the WC Committee Triad (which began in January, 2008 with Inside Straight and continued last December with Busted Flush).

It's on shelves right now, as I type this.  A person could pick it up here, or here, or here.  Just sayin'.

Suicide Kings is getting great reviews.  Such as this one, and this one, and this one.

Of the three Wild Cards novels to which I've contributed, I honestly think Suicide Kings is the strongest.  It takes the Committee storyline to a grandly successful conclusion, and even manages along the way to tie up some old WC storyline threads that have been hanging for a loooong time.  I also believe it's the most heartfelt and poignant novel of the triad. 

And I'd be lying if I claimed I wasn't thrilled by the wonderful Komarck artwork on the cover, which just happens to dramatize one of the scenes I wrote for the book.  That's one of my characters, Rustbelt, caught in medias res as he throws down with a crocodile.

Without question, my best Wild Cards work to date is in Suicide Kings.  SK is a full-on mosaic novel, meaning that the authors (the "Suicide Six") of this novel had to work together even more closely than in the preceding Committee novels.  I had the great pleasure of working very closely with S. L. Farrell, who is a real professional and an awesome guy to boot.  We exchanged a lot of emails as we worked on our respective pieces of this book: planning, negotiating, trading excerpts.  Without fail, every time I received a scene from the mysterious Mr. Farrell, it inspired me to try harder.  And I think the result was worth it. 

Reviewers seem to think so, too.  Consider this excerpt from the review at Pat's Fantasy Hotlist:

Realizing that both Rustbelt and Gardener would take center stage in Suicide Kings made me raise an eyebrow at the beginning, but they made me a believer early on. We witness a lot of character growth where these two are concerned, which makes their storylines as heartbreaking as they are entertaining.

Or this excerpt from Drew Bittner's review at SFRevu:

Their story, about love and sacrifice, embodies all that is best about the Wild Cards series.

Suicide Kings also features two of my other WC characters in small (but pivotal!  essential!  tour-de-force!) roles, Niobe "Genetrix" Winslow (whose first appearance was in Busted Flush) and the brand-new Mollie "Tesseract" Steunenberg. 

Suicide Kings was written by Daniel Abraham, S. L. Farrell, Vic Milán, Melinda M. Snodgrass, Caroline Spector, and that Tregillis guy, and it was edited, as always, by the dynamic duo of Melinda Snodgrass and GEORGE R. R. MARTIN (in case you missed that on the cover).

A Contest!  Signed ARCs!

But perhaps you're thinking, "Gee.  That first edition Suicide Kings sounds pretty cool.  And I did love the first two Committee novels.  But don't you have anything, I dunno, cooler?"

Well, I don't, but Pat over at Pat's Fantasy Hotlist does.  He's giving away 2 advanced review copies of Suicide Kings, each signed by the Suicide Six.   (And I can personally verify that the signed ARCs exist, because I added my signatures last night when I went out to see Avatar.)

You can enter Pat's giveaway contest here.  Good luck!

Busted Flush... now out in mass market paperback.  That's another WC novel on shelves right now.  MM paperbacks do make for good stocking stuffers.  I've checked.  They fit easily... depending on the stockings in question.

Anyway, if you haven't yet read the continuation of the story that began in Inside Straight, you can pick it up here, here, and here.

Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Insider Information for Platinum Club Members

George reports that the new expanded edition of Wild Cards #1 — aptly titled Wild Cards — has been delivered to Tor.  This new edition of the book that started it all includes brand new stories by Carrie Vaughn, David D. Levine, and Michael Cassutt.

And, last but not least, all the first drafts of the stories for Fort Freak, the 21st WC novel, have been completed.  George and Melinda are working hard on editorial notes to the authors of FF, so the continuing saga of Wild Cards is well in hand.  I didn't pitch a story for Fort Freak, since I wanted to give my undivided attention to the final Milkweed volume.  Even if I had pitched for FF, I'm not sure if I would have made it, given the lineup of insanely brilliant and talented writes that George recruited into the madhouse. 



Victor Milán December 24, 2009 at 2:24 am
We're the Suicide Six now, are we?
Ian December 24, 2009 at 9:12 am
Isn't that what GRRM was calling us during the early stages of planning out SK? It is possible I misremembered. I like to think of us as the "Magnificent Six".
TEngland December 24, 2009 at 6:46 pm
So you'd perhaps ought to call yourself something else, though "Magnificent Six" is going a bit far, IMHO. "Silly Six" is good, or "Sage Six," "Sappy Six" or "Sarcastic Six." "Martin's Minions" fits well, if you want to switch the alliteration. Despite my snarking ("Snarky Six"?) I do give you guys credit for being better at writing about people with superhero abilities than most of the comic-book writers. And producing good SF to boot. And it was pretty slick of you to write a scene specifically to be illustrated. Crocs and a metal man -- what artist could resist?
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