Includes my story "The Wolf and the Butterfly"
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.
Featuring stories from:
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