The fight for America heats up in hopeful sci fi adventure


Base 1407 returns to help win back America’s freedom in uplifting continuation of the Aces HIgh, Jokers Wild series

Colorado – The stakes are higher than before as America starts to see the evils of the seven Corporations in O.E. Tearmann’s energetic sixth Aces High, Jokers Wild book, Deuces Are Wild (Amphibian Press, Jul 16, 2022). Will the crew of Base 1407 be able to help America win back its freedom?

They say to really free your body, you’ve gotta free your mind…

America is waking up. People are standing up for each other and a future worth living in. But they can’t do it alone.

Now, they don’t have to. The Democratic State Force is calling in all its friends and favors across the nation. Members of Base 1407 and hundreds of other teams across the country are teaching the citizens how to fight back on their terms, with tactics that hit the Corporations right where it hurts; in the wallet and the pride.

The seven Corporations who think they own the country are scrambling to keep control over the citizens’ communications, their decisions, and their lives. Every dirty trick is coming out of their bags as they lose their grip. It’s going to take a lot to beat them at this game for the country’s soul.

Life’s a bitch. She doesn’t play fair. Out-think her with every hand, and you might just win.

“Deuces Are Wild: An Aces High, Jokers Wild”
O.E. Tearmann | July 16, 2022
Amphibian Press | Science Fiction
Paperback | 978-1-949693-52-2 | $16.00
Ebook | 978-1-949693-53-9 | $4.99


O.E. Tearmann (they/them) is the author of the Aces High, Jokers Wild series. Their books include strong themes of diversity and found family, providing a surprisingly hopeful take on a dystopian future. Bringing their own experiences as a marginalized author together with flawed but genuine characters, Tearmann’s work has been described as “Firefly for the dystopian genre.” Publisher’s Weekly called The Hands We’re Given “a lovely paean to the healing power of respectful personal connections among comrades, friends, and lovers.”

Tearmann lives in Colorado with two cats, their partner, and the belief that individuals can make humanity better through small actions. They are a member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, the Colorado Resistance Writers and the Queer Scifi group. In their spare time, they teach workshops about writing GLTBQ characters, speak and plant gardens to encourage sustainable agricultural practices, and play too many video games. Find out more about them at https://oetearmann.com

Follow O.E. Tearmann on social media:
Facebook: @WildCards | Twitter: @ETearmann | Instagram: @O.E.Tearmann


Explore the Aces High, Jokers Wild series

Book 1: The Hands We’re Given
July 22, 2019

Aidan Headly never wanted to be the man giving orders. That’s fine with the Democratic State Force base he’s been assigned to command: they don’t like to take orders. Nicknamed the Wildcards, they used to be the most effective base against the seven Corporations owning the former United States in a war that has lasted over half a century. Now the Wildcards are known for creative insubordination, chaos, and commanders begging to be reassigned. Aidan is their last chance. If he can pull off his assignment as Commander and yank his ragtag crew of dreamers and fighters together, maybe they can get back to doing what they came to do: fighting for a country worth living in.
Life’s a bitch. She deals off the bottom of the deck. But you play the hands you’re given.

Book 2: Call the Bluff
July 22, 2019

It costs a lot to win. And even more to lose.
Seven Corporations rule the former United States with seven codes of conduct based on their ideas of morality. Comply with the code of the Corporation that holds your Citizen Contract, or suffer the economic consequences. Or fight back. For sixty years the Democratic State Force has been fighting to return representative democracy to the country. Living in the no man’s lands between cities and hanging on by their fingernails, the thinly spread guerrilla force hasn’t gotten far. But they have a secret weapon: their finest unit, Base 1407. Handle: The Wildcards.Pulled together after disaster by Commander Aidan Headly, the Wildcards are on top of their game again. They’d better be. They’ve just been called to act as backup in a mission bigger than anything the Force has attempted before. The team that went in first is probably dead.If they pull their mission off, everything will change.If they don’t, they’ll be lucky to survive the year.
Life’s a bitch. She’s got the game rigged. Keep the cards close to your chest.

Book 3: Raise the Stakes
July 22, 2019

It starts when you’re always afraid.
Seven Corporations run the former United States on the codes of conduct their founders set down. You’re signed into a Corporate contract the day you’re born. And the fear of dropping in the Citizen Standing Scores keeps people in line. What choice is there?The Democratic State Force has fought for the return of democracy for decades, but they need the restless population of America to fight beside them if they’re going to stand a chance. But when your Score goes down, so does your life. It’s time for a new strategy: take out the Citizen Standing Score system. And it’s time for the unit with the highest mission success rate, the best coder, and the craziest ideas in the Force to head the attempt. Base 1407 just got the call.
Life’s a bitch. She raises the stakes when you least expect it. Play your cards as best you can.

Book 4: Aces and Eights
May 16, 2020

The year: 2157
The mission: change everything
The Unit: Democratic State Force Base 1407
Call handle: The Wildcards
Seven Corporations control what was the United States of America. The food supply and its production is controlled by American AgCo. All agricultural seeds in the United States have been genetically designed to fail outside Corporate control.
At least, that’s what the Corporations say.
There’s a rumor that a seed bank has survived the destabilization that brought down old America, and the seventy-five years of Corporate ownership that followed. If it still exists, it would provide free, accessible food for the Democratic State Force and everyone in their care. It’s a risky hunt for a treasure that may or may not exist. Something to put the most resourceful team in the Force to work on. The Wildcards just got the call.
A hunt for hidden treasure.
Free food.
What could go wrong?
Never ask that question. Life’s a bitch. She’ll answer.

Book 5: Draw Dead
February 8, 2021

There’s a calm before the storm…
In 2159, the Democratic State Force gains ground every day. As they fight to bring representative democracy back, they become heroes to the citizens indentured to the United Corporations of America. Widely spread guerilla units support the first civilian protests the country has seen in decades. Now it’s the Corporations on the defensive. And they are getting desperate.
On Base 1407, the Wildcards start to think they just might help the former United States wake up from its nightmare after all. In spite of the hints of internationally banned weapons the Corporations may have up their sleeves, there’s hope. People whisper that maybe, someday, they might just win. But you should never say something like that too loud.
Fate’s a bitch.
You don’t want to tempt her.


Praise for Aces High, Jokers Wild

“I’d recommend [Aces High, Jokers Wild] to those who love futuristic dystopian stories where the oppressed fight back the best way they can, where love is discovered, where a family is rebuilt, and where something precious can be built in a desolate Country.”
– MM Good Book Reviews

“The author helps us open our minds and hearts, to embrace unfamiliarity.”
– Ulysses G. Dietz, Author of Desmond

“The Aces High, Jokers Wild Series is bound to leave you hot and flustered, gasping for more as you delve deeper into a world that closely echoes our own.”
– Hannah Baller, book reviewer

” These are the types of books that this generation needs. The hell with the perfect Cinderellas, we need Tweaks, Janices, Aidans and Billies. [*Your favorite cuss*] yeah!”
– Scribble’s Worth Book Reviews


In an interview, O.E. Tearmann can discuss:

  • The strength of community action to create change
  • The value of a true, community-based democracy
  • The value of human dignity over profit
  • Healing trauma in order to open oneself up to love
  • Found family throughout the series
  • Creating LGBTQIA characters and representing diverse communities throughout the story
  • A story that showcases equality and inclusion as a strength
  • Reimagining a positive future in the face of seemingly overwhelming social and situational odds
  • Writing a long series and keeping each book different and interesting from each other

An Interview with O.E. Tearmann

1. What inspired the Aces High, Jokers Wild series?

This project began a number of years ago, as the proverbial crap was hitting the fan in the United States. I run in a lot of progressive circles, and so many people in 2016 were saying ‘we’re screwed’ that I started to feel hopeless. So I said ‘okay, fine. Let’s posit ‘we’re screwed’. Let’s write the darkest version of America we can imagine. And then let’s write our way out of it and into a better world. This way, we prove to ourselves and others that no matter how dark it gets, we really can turn it around.’ What came out of that was the Wildcards, and their world.

2. The series is centered on a trans man and openly discusses his experiences. What brought you to make that choice as an author?

I’ve got two reasons. First, on the personal level, it was a way of working out gender dysphoria on the page.

Secondly, this is the lived experience of a lot of people in my circles. The LGBT crowd don’t get to see ourselves on the page as much as we should, especially not in authentic, non-fetishized ways. I wanted to portray a character who was just living life trans, and show what that really is day to day.

3. There are a lot of environmental details in your work. How do you decide what the world might look like?

I was raised on a farm and trained as a horticulturist, so the land and its effects on the way we live have always been a part of how I think. As a person working with the land today, I’m already noticing seasons and heat changes that affect how we schedule work; it seemed natural to include these concerns in a future world. To get my environmental details right, I read the climate reports, double check with NOAA’s models…and get really freaked out.

4. You show a lot of themes around found family and cooperation. Was this intentional or did it happen on its own?

This is definitely intentional. A big part of this work is showcasing a positive, healthy found family taking care of each other in spite of the darkness of the world. Showcasing these interactions as part of a high-stakes, energetic story is integral; these characters serve our readers by showcasing the radical acceptance and collaboration of many people across many genders, ethnicities, and personal histories. We show characters from privileged backgrounds using their advantages for good and acting in empathy, and we show characters from marginalized backgrounds being supported and starting to reach their fullest potential as they thrive. Since much of the audience is from various marginalized backgrounds, I see this as a way to support the readers; I’m reminding them that yes, they can find a place where they’ll belong and be supported. There is a tribe out there for them. I want them to know that.

5. “Hopeful” and “dystopian” aren’t two words that are frequently put together. How did you find that balance?

I think I’ve found this balance by substituting the word ‘resolve’ for the word ‘hope’. I see a lot of hopeful people end up in despair and, in some cases, turn cynical. ‘Everything’s a mess and nothing can fix it’, is a refrain you hear pretty often.

In my writing, I push back against that with resolve. My characters do live in a very dark world, because I wanted to showcase the kind of scrappy resolve in spite of the odds the world needs right now. Our characters look the situation in the face and say ‘yeah, this sucks. I know. So what are we going to do about it?’ I want to see more of that. So I wrote it.

6. What is the role of mental health in your work?

Mental health plays a huge role, mostly as my way of pushing back against all the bad rep I’ve seen in the media. Too often mental health issues are used to make a character ‘interesting’ or ‘edgy’ (cough crime dramas). Or people suddenly find the ‘cure’ for their issue as the reward at the end of the story. As somebody neurodivergent myself, I’ve got two things to say:

  1. You don’t ‘cure’ the way you’re wired. But you do support it, and cope with it in healthy ways. And when you get the support and tools you need, you can have a pretty great life.
  2. Is it really those with mental health issues who are broken? We’ve ended up in a society that blasts noise 24-7, never allows for rest, creates threats that never go away and isolates individuals from a gregarious species. This society expects a lot of stuff the human being didn’t evolve to handle. And when some humans have trouble coping, the society says ‘something’s wrong with you’.
    I’d say Society might want to look in the mirror.

7. Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you?

I’ll give a tip of the hat to Charles DeLint, the author who got me through high school. Anne Block, Tamora Pierce, and the writers of the TV show MASH 4077 shaped a lot of my writing. And these days Kim Stanley Robinson is showing us how it’s done with great stories founded in solid research, and the reminder that there’s always something to fight for.

8. What do you hope that readers take away from your work?

I hope readers get a couple things from this work. A good read, of course. Maybe a chance to walk in somebody else’s shoes for a minute. The validation that you’re not alone. The resolve to keep doing something every day, even if it’s small. And the knowledge that, even if they’re not beside you right now, there are people out there on your side.

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