Breakfast on Pluto — Wild Cards, Busted Flush

| Jan 12, 2009
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Our science fiction commentator, Misty Carpenter, has been sidelined for most of the year. We’d like to say she is on an extended trip off world to renew trade negotiations with the Grreeb from the dark sector, but, it’s been health problems that have really slowed her up. We wish her all the best and hope that she’ll be able to beam back into TGF sometime in 2009.

In the meantime we bring you a review of the newest book in The Wild Card series by a friend of Misty’s, Miss Louise Baltimore.

No one author is responsible for a Wild Card book. Ok, I’m a liar. 10, 12 and 17 were written by only one author. Most are “mosiac novels” meaning each chapter is written by a different author. (Over 25!) To some this may seem disconnected but it really offers the reader a number of different view points on the action. And one thing a Wild Card book is full of is action.

The Wild Card series began in 1987 with Volume 1: Wild Card. (There are currently 19 books in the series.) Volume 1 is set just after World War II when an alien spaceship seeds the atmosphere with a retro virus that causes bizarre mutations in humans. Some people are not affected at all by the Wild Card virus. Some who contract it become Jokers, weird mutations that survive but are grotesque caricatures of humans or animals. Others develop super powers and become Aces, while some draw the Black Queen and die an immediate and horrible death.

At about the same time the virus is spread a man from outer space arrives in Roswell, New Mexico when his ship crashes. He is Dr. Tachyon, an alien, and prince on his planet, who has come to Earth to try and stop the virus from infecting humanity. Fortunately for fans of the series he doesn’t succeed.

The first book sets up the Wild Card Universe, a world that was just like ours until 1946 and the arrival of the Wild Card virus. Everything after that is changed and warped by the presence of Aces and Jokers. The plots, which follow the interactions and variations of real history, make the books fun to read when real life people show up or situations that happened one way in our world happen in a completely different way.

The next to last Wild Card book, Inside Straight, was released in 2008 by Tor. The story begins with a reality show for Aces called American Hero and it’s just like American Idol or any of the other reality competition shows. It introduces us to a new group of Aces who are competitors on the show and there is another mysterious character called Lilith who seems to be a spy, assassin or both.

It’s hard to get into too much detail about her without giving away way too much of the story but this character plays a large role in what happens at the dramatic conclusion of Inside Straight — and has an even bigger role in the latest book, Busted Flush.

The story is mainly about the efforts of a group of Aces, most of whom were former contestants on American Hero, to help the people of the world. They work for the U.N. and attempt to do what heroes are supposed to do, right wrongs and help the downtrodden. But, there are complications. Lilith is one of them. (That’s her on the cover.)

Lilith is the TG character but that’s just one aspect of her attributes.

If you like fast paced action with characters who are at once larger than life and all too human check out the series. You don’t have to read them all from the beginning of the series but if you do be prepared for late nights. They’re hard to put down. To get the most out of Lilith you should at least start with Inside Straight and then proceed quickly to Busted Flush. Her character undergoes a metamorphosis as compelling as any undergone by a human infected by the Wild Card virus.

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Category: Transgender Fun & Entertainment


About the Author ()

Angela Gardner is a founding member of The Renaissance Transgender Assoc., Inc., former editor of its newsletter and magazine, Transgender Community News. She was the Diva of Dish for TGF in the late 1990s and Editor of LadyLike magazine until its untimely demise. She has appeared in film and television shows portraying TG characters, as well as representing Renaissance on numerous talk shows.

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