100 Books in 2011 review: Aces High

Aces High is the second in a shared world series edited by George R. R. Martin. It’s alternate history sci-fi which takes the 1950s as its jumping off point and postulates that a virus outbreak creates mutated humans. Some get superpowe

rs and others get physical and mental disfigurements. The first book deals with people coping with becoming either an ace (superpowers, normal looking) or a joker (physical and mental disfigurements).

In the second book, set in the 80s, both aces and jokers are fighting alien invasion. It’s a series of short stories, written by a number of leading sci-fi writers, that builds up a story arc over the whole book.

I’m not really into superhero stuff but I quite like these. The writing is variable in style (not in quality) but all the stories blend well together. It has a kind of noir-ish feel, is a little bit pulpy and comicky, and is perhaps a little dated. But overall, it’s fun, lightweight, easy reading.

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