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Wild Cards Volume XXI — Fort Freak

300px-Fort Freak.jpg

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First Published
June 21, 2011 (hardcover)
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Fort Freak is the twenty-first volume in the Wild Cards shared universe fiction series edited by George R.R. Martin. It is the first novel in the Mean Streets triad. The manuscript was delivered to the editors at Tor Books and weighs in at six hundred and eight pages.


This book revolves around the Old Bowery 5th Precinct, known in the Wild Cards series as Fort Freak because of its proximity to Jokertown. The writers have said that while the series has ranged all over the world, it's nice to get the characters back on their home turf. The lineup this time around includes stories by Wild Cards veterans Melinda M. Snodgrass, Stephen Leigh, John Jos. Miller, Kevin Andrew Murphy, and Victor Milan, and introduces newcomers Cherie Priest (Hugo-and-Nebula finalist), David Anthony Durham (still wearing his Campbell Award tiara), Mary Anne Mohanraj, Ty Franck (George R.R. Martin's assistant), and Paul Cornell (Dr. Who scriptwriter).

New characters introduced include Ramshead, the Rook, Tabby, Slim Jim, Abigail, Sgt. Squinch, Ratboy, Flipper, Tinkerbill, the infamous Black Tongue, Natya, Maggie Graves, Puff, Beastie, and Dr. Dildo. Older characters from the series will also appear. Father Squid, the Sleeper, and the Oddity have been mentioned on George R.R. Martin's site.

Book Covers[]

The cover is by illustrator Michael Komarck and depicts Detective Inspector Leo Storgman at his desk.


  • This is the first book in the series without a title that relates to cards and card game play.
  • This title was released in hardcover on June 21st, 2011.



Fort Freak contains the following stories:

Story Author(s) Description
"The Rat Race" Cherie Priest Follows Detective Leo Storgman as he gets dragged into an old case.
"The Rook" Melinda M. Snodgrass Follows Officer Francis Xavier Black on his first days on the job
"Faith" John Jos. Miller follows Father Squid and his connection to an old crime.
"Snake Up Above/Snake in the Hole/Snake on Fire" David Anthony Durham Follows Marcus Morgan as he arrives in Jokertown and falls afoul of the police.
"...And All the Sinners Saints" Victor Milán and Ty Franck Follows public Defender Charlie Harriman and Internal Affairs detective Vincent "Ratboy" Marinelli as they deal with a police involved shooting.
"Sanctuary" Mary Anne Mohanraj Follows Kavitha, her boyfriend Detective Michael Stevens and his ex girlfriend Minal.
"Hope We Die Before We Get Old" Stephen Leigh Follows Oddity as they face a life changing development.
"More!" Paul Cornell Follows Abigail Baker as she faces both her big break and police scrutiny.
"The Straight Man" Kevin Andrew Murphy Follows James "Slim Jim" McTate as he investigates a series of unusual burglaries.