Source: Wikipedia Wild Cards
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Wild Cards is a science fiction and superhero anthology series set in a shared universe. The series was created by a group of New Mexico science fiction authors, and mostly edited by George R. R. Martin. There were 12 volumes published between 1987 and 1993 before it switched publishers, which released three new volumes between 1993 and 1995; a fourth appeared belatedly in 2002, and a fifth in early 2006.
While most of the books are made up of individual short stories, they generally focus on a central theme or event. There were also several longer storylines which run through several of the books. Some volumes use the format of a mosaic novel. This involved several writers writing individual storylines which were then edited together into one novel length story. Finally, some volumes are a complete novel written by a single author.
Wild Cards was inspired by superhero comics, and many of the authors play with the conventions of the medium, while some characters are based on existing heroes (for example, Jetboy was modeled on the Hillman Periodicals' character Airboy). Many of the original authors were also inspired by a long-running Albuquerque, New Mexico campaign of the role-playing game Superworld, gamemastered by George R. R. Martin, and many modeled their characters on their in-game persona.