Wild Cards Volume II — Aces High
Published in 1987 the second Wild Cards novel dealt with two main plots that linked the stories in the volume: the arrival of the alien Swarm and a Masonic conspiracy led by the villainous Astronomer. In the end, these two storylines connect.
The title "Aces High" comes from the name of a popular and ritzy restaurant of the same name that caters to a clientele consisting solely of Aces — those victims of the Wild Card virus who gain "superpowers" as a result of their exposure — and features in several of the stories, along with its proprietor Hiram Worchester (aka Fatman).
The Tor reprint was released on the 20th of December 2011.
Aces High contains the following short stories:
|"Pennies From Hell"||Lewis Shiner||Fortunato continues to investigate the Egyptian Masons, involving museum curator, Eileen Carter. She joins the masons to learn about TIAMAT and has her mind destroyed. Out of compassion, Fortunato stops her heart.|
|"Jube"||George R.R. Martin||Introduces Jube the Walrus and gives his backstory about his mission as well as involving him with the important characters in this and the following book.|
|"Unto the Sixth Generation"||Walter Jon Williams||Introduces Modular Man and weaves his story into the plot for the next novel.|
|"Ashes to Ashes"||Roger Zelazny||Jube hires Croyd Crenson to retrieve Ekkedme’s body from the morgue.|
|"If Looks Could Kill"||Walton Simons||James Spector (Demise) gets recruited into the Egyptian Freemasons by Nurse Gresham and the Astronomer.|
|"Winter's Chill"||George R.R. Martin||The story revolves around the personal life of the Great and Powerful Turtle.|
|"Relative Difficulties""||Melinda M. Snodgrass||Dr. Tachyon, Tom Tudbury, Asta Lenser, and Mark Meadows are kidnapped by a group of Takisians led by Tachyon’s cousin Zabb.|
|"With a Little Help From His Friends"||Victor Milán||Mark Meadows, aka Captain Trips and Dr. Tachyon investigate the murder of Dr. Warner Fred Warren, of which the joker Doughboy is falsely accused.|
|"By Lost Ways"||Pat Cadigan||Introduces Jane Dow, Water Lily and chronicles the destruction of the Cloisters.|
|"Mr. Koyama's Comet"||Walter Jon Williams||Relates the discovery of the Swarm Mother en route to the Earth.|
|"Half Past Dead"||John J. Miller||Yeoman, Fortunato, Mai Minh and Dr. Tachyon attack the Swarm Mother, intent on giving it cancer. Rather than kill it, Mai merged with the Swarm Mother and headed her off into deep space.|
The stories "Jube" and "Unto the Sixth Generation" occur as interludes between the other stories; the former throughout the entire book, the latter ending just after "If Looks Could Kill".
Cover Gallery Edit
Although the three known Russian HC volumes (1-3) share the cover layouts with the iBooks PB reprint eds. (which re-use the original UK Titan books Brian Bolland cover art), vol. 2 has unique artwork of Yeoman instead of Jube.
|Previous Novel |
Wild Cards Volume I:
Wild Cards Volume II:
Aces High (novel)
|Following Novel |
Wild Cards Volume III: