Gollancz has acquired High Stakes, the 23rd book in the Wild Card series, a long-running sci-fi and superhero series co-edited by bestselling author George R R Martin and Melinda M Snodgrass.
The series was created by a group of writers, with each writer keeping the copyright to their own character and stories, while Martin and Snodgrass are appointed the overarching editors.
High Stakes features the writing of Snodgrass, John Jos. Miller, David Anthony Durham, Caroline Spector, Stephen Leigh and Ian Tregillis and is described as "a rousing and very gritty story" by agent Chris Lotts, who struck the deal with Gollancz senior editor Rachel Winterbottom.
Pitched as a novel of superheroes, villains and Lovecraftian horror, it concludes the triad that comprises Fort Freak and Lowball. The plot follows officer Francis Black of Fort Freak, vigilante joker Marcus ‘The Infamous Black Tongue’ Morgan and ace thief Mollie ‘Tesseract’ Steunenberg who are stuck in Kazakhstan. There, the coldblooded Baba Yaga is forcing jokers into an illegal fighting ring, but her hidden agenda is much darker: her fighters’ deaths serve to placate a vicious monster from another dimension.
High Stakes will be published in e-book on 28th February and in paperback on 4th May 2017.
Winterbottom said: "It’s such a pleasure for us to publish the latest instalment of the absolutely incredible Wild Cards series. There’s no other series quite like this: an epic shared universe, written by the very best in the genre. It depicts the most extraordinary heroes and villains as real, fallible human beings. Alternate history, superheroes, epic battles, gritty realism, bombshell twists - it’s perfect for both people who adore this genre, and those who are looking for something entirely new."
Lotts said: "George and I are very pleased that Gollancz is soon to publish this massive last volume in the Wild Cards trio of novels that began with Fort Freak and Lowball. It's a rousing and very gritty story that shows Wild Cards at its best."
A TV series is currently in development for WIld Cards with Universal Cable Productions, with Snodgrass attached as excutive producer of the project alongside Gregory Noveck of SyFy Films. Martin will not be working on the Wild Cards TV series himself due to his exclusive development deal with HBO for “Game of Thrones” and committment to finishing the sixth book in the Song of Ice and Fire series, The Winds of Winter (HarperVoyager), upon which "Game of Thrones" is based.