Good News and Bad
March 20, 2006
I have good news and bad news for fans of the long-running Wild Cards series of shared world anthologies and mosaic novels.
DEATH DRAWS FIVE Good news: the seventeenth volume in the series, John J. Miller's novel Death Draws Five, was released by iBooks in January, and is now available at your local bookshop, or over the net from Amazon and other internet booksellers. The first new installment since the release of Deuces Down in 2002, Death Draws Five is a tale of fists, faith, and armageddon in America's heartland, featuring John's asskicker ace Billy Ray (aka Carnifex), the long-time fan favorite Fortunato and his son John Fortune, and the shape-shifting private dick Mr. Nobody, along with John Nighthawk, the Midnight Angel, and a host of other characters, old and new.
Bad news: unfortunately, iBooks filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in late February, a few weeks after releasing the novel. Word is that they have suspended all operations and terminated their entire staff, so there is no telling how long Death Draws Five will remain available. Bookshops that sell out their current stock are not going to be able to reorder with the publisher out of business, and the chances of a later paperback reprint are iffy at best. In other words, if you're like to read the novel, buy a copy now.
Good news: Wild Cards may be down, but we'll be bouncing back again as we have before. With iBooks out of the picture, we have opened up talks with several other publishers, and the interest is strong. It may take a few months, but we are going to find a new home, and the writers of the Wild Cards Consortium (both old and new) have already begun planning the next three books. I won't give anything away here (yet), but a lot of my writers are getting excited. It feels a little like it did back when we first started the series in 1985. Seventeen volumes is nothing. Hell, we're just getting warmed up... so look for a major series rebirth in the near future.
And if you have never read a Wild Cards book and are wondering what all the excitement is about, check out "Wild Cards Online," the brand new fan website that has just opened at http://www.wildcardsonline.com
It's a fan site, still under construction, but there's already tons of good information there, including a gallery of covers and reviews and summaries of many of the books (beware of spoilers and strong opinions). The site was created by Jason Redgewell, a long time fan of the series, and while I can't endorse all of his views about the stories and characters, there's no doubt that he's designed a handsome website, a terrific resource for readers of the series.