A good start to a series. This really does a nice job of setting up the world. I like the way they wove real history in with the Wild Cards stories. It added a certain level of depth to them. As with any shared-world, the stories can vary in quality, but overall things were pretty good. My only word of advice to anyone unfamiliar with Wild Cards, is that even though the subject is superheroes, a few of the stories deal with some very mature themes. I don't say that as a criticism. I DON'T think superheroes need to ONLY be for kids, but there are some who would see superheroes and immediately think -- 'my kid would like this'.
I'm really looking forward to reading all of the Wild Card books now.
1rst in one of my favorite fantasy-sf series. This shared universe collaboration between some of the top genre authors is obviously a labor of love, and a paragon of the use of fantasy-sf as a skewed mirror; in this case of history since the 40s. The one assumption that an alien virus, the "Wild Card" can kill 9% of us and warp 1% to have any physical or mental power or deformity that can be conceived of by a human mind. The format is short stories with an overall plot shape and shared characters, but the books read like novels. Highest rating possible!
Neat SciFi/Fantasy concept similar to the X-Men. Some people contaminated with a post-WWII alien virus are turned into "Aces" with extraordinary abilities, others become "Jokers" with horrible physical, and sometimes mental, derangements. The series is similar to the "Thieves World" saga in that the short stories are written by a variety of authors, with some character overlap. Great concept, nice execution.