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In 1946, an alien virus that rewrites human DNA was accidentally unleashed in the skies over New York City. It killed ninety percent of those it infected. Nine percent of those who survived mutated into tragically deformed creatures. And one percent gained superpowers. The Wild Cards shared-universe series, created and edited since 1987 by NEW YORK TIMES No.1 bestseller George R.R. Martin along with Melinda Snodgrass, is the tale of the history of the world since then - and of the heroes among that one percent. Now it is time for a new generation of heroes - and writers - to pick up the baton. Twenty-eight extraordinary people - Aces, people who have contracted the deadly Wild Cards virus and lived - sign onto a reality TV show. These young heroes have never really been heroic, but each has a superhuman skill. Initially divided up into four suits while competing in staged contests as only LA-LA land could dream up, the losers are voted off the show until, at last, the greatest American Hero will be left standing. As the weeks go by, those remaining in the competition are stunned by sickening events in the Middle East. Their inane challenges look silly when compared to those unpowered people risking their lives. Will this group of over-privileged and under-informed 'celebrities' be able to make a real difference to the world? And how many of them really care?
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