Aces High is the second volume in the Wild Cards shared universe fiction series edited by George R. R. Martin. It was published in 1987 and dealt with two main plots that linked the stories in the volume: the arrival of the alien Swarm and a Masonic conspiracy led by a bookish villain named the Astronomer. In the end, these two storylines connect.
The title "Aces High" comes from the name of a popular and ritzy restaurant of the same name that caters to a clientele consisting solely of Aces — those victims of the Wild Card virus who gain "superpowers" as a result of their exposure — and features in several of the stories, along with its proprietor Hiram Worchester (aka Fatman).
- Ancient Conspiracy: Subverted, it's less than a hundred years old and very obviously built around its founder's idiosyncrasies.
- Alien Invasion: The Swarm.
- The Atoner: Golden Boy. he starts his redemption fighting off the Swarm.
- Broken Ace: Captain Trips.
- Diabolus Ex Machina: The Great and Powerful Turtle gets this. He manages to find love, happiness, and a new life where he doesn't have to be a superhero - only to discover that if he has children they will have a 99% chance of either dying horribly or becoming Jokers.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Modular Man's inventor.
- I Hate You, Vampire Dad: Modular Man has the robotic version of this.
- Jerkass: Modular Man's creator takes this up to the 11.
- Morality Pet: Mai for Yeoman.
- The Quisling: The Astronomer and the Fraternity appear to be this.
- Ridiculously Human Robot: Modular Man.
- Robosexual: Cindy.
- Scary Dogmatic Aliens: The Swarm. The Network.
- The Swarm: Literally.