Superheroes and villains do battle over the human heart in this delightful anthology featuring all-new stories from a wide range of contributors, all set in the Wild Cards universe, where an alien virus mutates some and grants superpowers to others, created by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Game of Thrones.
An alien virus ravages the world, its results as random as a hand of cards. Those infected either draw the black queen and die, draw an ace and receive superpowers, or draw the joker and are bizarrely mutated.
Nevertheless, human nature reigns supreme. And one of the most enduring human drives is the search for love. Aces and jokers alike both want to find it, or have lost it . . . or perhaps just want to use it for personal gain. Crazy, unconventional, touching, strange, and oh-so-familiar, this is love, Wild Cards-style.
Within these stories: • A jewel thief seduces a popular actor just so she can track down a long-lost treasure. • A teenager trapped in the body of a giant snail attempts to win his love à la Cyrano de Bergerac. • A man discovers his purpose in life after meeting a beautiful butterfly woman. • A young hero who has been awarded the hideous name of Hero McHeroface finds some solace in the arms of an astrologer hiding her own unique powers.
Pairing Up is the Wild Cards take on love—finding it, seeking it, losing it, or achieving it—as aces and jokers enter into the highest-stake game of all: gambling on their heart's desire.
With stories by Kevin Andrew Murphy • Christopher Rowe • Marko Kloos • Melinda M. Snodgrass • Bradley Denton • Walton Simons • Peter Newman • Gwenda Bond • David Anthony Durham • Edited by George R. R. Martin
About the Author
George R. R. Martin is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of many novels, including those of the acclaimed series A Song of Ice and Fire—A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, and A Dance with Dragons—as well as related works such as Fire & Blood, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, The World of Ice & Fire, and The Rise of the Dragon (the last two with with Elio M. García, Jr., and Linda Antonsson). Other novels and collections include Tuf Voyaging, Fevre Dream, The Armageddon Rag, Dying of the Light, Windhaven (with Lisa Tuttle), and Dreamsongs Volumes I and II. As a writer-producer, he has worked on The Twilight Zone, Beauty and the Beast, and various feature films and pilots that were never made. He lives with his lovely wife, Parris, in Santa Fe, New Mexico.