What do the 52 playing cards in a regular deck and 52 years for the reason that first moon landing have in widespread with “A Sport of Thrones” creator George R.R. Martin? A brand new e-book within the “Wild Playing cards” anthology sequence.
“‘Joker Moon’ is the primary e-book that’s dedicated to human — ace, joker and nat — obsession with, and plans for, and targets for, and desires for enlargement past Earth,” Michael Cassutt, one of many 10 writers who contributed to the Martin-edited book, stated in an interview with collectSPACE.com. “Most likely the longest standalone story within the e-book, the one I wrote — ‘Have Spaceship, Will Journey’ — is a sequel to the unique story in regards to the moon touchdown revealed [in ‘Deuces Down’] in 2002.”
“Joker Moon: A Wild Playing cards Novel”
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“Past that, there could have solely been one or two different tales which have ever dealt straight with this this theme of house historical past, so a lot of the house stuff in Wild Playing cards is in ‘Joker Moon,'” stated Cassutt, who along with his “Wild Playing cards” credit, is a tv producer and creator of a number of non-fiction books about house historical past, together with the biographies of astronauts Deke Slayton and Thomas Stafford, in addition to NASA supervisor George Abbey.
Within the context of the Wild Playing cards universe, earlier than the house race might start, an alien virus was launched into the ambiance that unfold over the globe, having a profound impact on human beings as they outwardly seem and the way they evolve.
“Of these the virus did not kill, 90 p.c had been remodeled into one thing hideous, one thing not human. These grew to become often called ‘jokers.’ The remaining ten p.c who had been affected, however did not turn into jokers, continuously had a useful mutation. They current as peculiar people as we all know them, however they usually have an influence — Superman-style powers and different issues. They’re often called ‘aces,'” defined Cassutt.
“There are additionally people who find themselves ‘nats,’ folks such as you and me,” he stated. “So, it turns into an alternate historical past from 1946, a few of which has echoes of our world, a few of which is wildly totally different.”
The U.S. and Soviet house applications nonetheless emerge, however with the information that hostile aliens exist.
“Sure, there was a von Braun, there was a Korolyov, however they had been coping with the information that there’s expertise far past something the human race might duplicate,” stated Cassutt. “In actual fact, von Braun’s folks wound up working with a captured alien ship for awhile, making an attempt to reverse engineer among the expertise, a few of which they really accomplish.”
By the point that the Nineteen Sixties come alongside, among the alien applied sciences have been built-in into our launch automobiles, or now we have retrofitted their spacecraft.
“For instance, the primary flight to the moon in 1968 was achieved by three amateurs utilizing principally a repurposed alien spacecraft,” Cassutt stated.
“Joker Moon” is ready in current day and largely facilities on the actions of jokers and aces, however there are nods to the previous, each in actuality and within the context of the Wild Playing cards alternate historical past.
“Particularly my story,” stated Cassutt. “It is in regards to the subsequent flight to the moon as a result of people, after moving into 1968 in a really offhand, amateurish method, by no means discovered a specific cause to do it once more. They had been too busy concentrating on house weapons and looking out past the moon,” he stated. “So it is a return to the moon, and in some sense you get the story of what the Soviets do on the moon.”
As in actuality the place business spaceflight is now coming into its personal, the first motion in “Joker Moon” is pushed by a well-funded non-public curiosity.
“The final word narrative is a few gifted — and you may love this Branson, Bezos and Musk followers — a really wealthy joker who has his personal plans for the moon. So it’s all about seeing him in the beginning of his exercise,” stated Cassutt.
Previous to the release of “Joker Moon,” Cassutt penned a brief story about how our house historical past suits into the Wild Playing cards world. And by “our,” we imply particularly what grew to become of a sure collectSPACE editor. In “Stolen House,” revealed on the Wild Playing cards Consortium web site, Robert Pearlman is a spaceflight fanatic with an ace.
“When you go read ‘Stolen Space’ online, I feel that may be a primary step or a zero step towards deciding whether or not you wish to put money into complete e-book that offers with how, and in what bizarre, unusual methods spaceflight may evolve within the Wild Playing cards universe,” stated Cassutt.