Book I of a super series. There is a secret history of the world, in which an alien virus struck the earth in the aftermath of World War II. endowing a handful of survivors with superhuman powers. Come were called Aces – gifted with extraordinary mental and physical abilities. Others were Jokers – cursed with bizarre mental or physical deformities. Some used their talents in the service of mankind – and others used them for evil. Described as a mosaic novel, with contributions by Edward Bryant, Stephen Leigh, Roger Zelazny, Leanne C. Harper, George R.R. Martin, Victor Milan, John J. Miller, Lewis Shiner, Melinda M. Snodgrass. Howard Waldrop and Walter Jon Williams.