Looking for a book I read back in 2003 that featured a card game like poker and the ultimate hand to get is the celestial dragon hand. It features a story about a future Hitman with a lot of really cool tech and great writing.

Any ideas?

  • HI there! :) the card game sounds like Yu-Gi-Oh, though it seems to obvious. Maybe take a look at this guide to try and think about more details? Like, what language did you read it in? Was the book pretty new or could it have been published ten years before that? This will make your question clearer and increase your chances of getting an answer :) – Jenayah May 24 '18 at 20:18
  • Just to clarify, is the book specifically ABOUT the card game to a significant degree? Or is that just one distinctive feature you remember? – starpilotsix May 24 '18 at 20:28
  • 2
    Not hard science fiction, but sounds a bit like Robert Asprin's Little Myth Marker. Though we are pretty sparse on details so far. – eshier May 24 '18 at 20:44
  • It's is not little myth marker but thank you. To clarify it is not about the card game but it opens with a scene featuring it and the celestial dragon is the ultimate hand to get. The main character also has a huge scene that is a showdown featuring The game later in the book and he ends up getting the celestial dragon. There is a main plot aside from this. The game is the side plot but it stuck out most to me. – Josh c May 25 '18 at 1:38
  • The game is also similar to poker and is played in a casino. Not like Yu-Gi-Oh at all sorry for being vague – Josh c May 25 '18 at 1:39

A Game of Universe by Eric Nylund.

The hit man is Germain and the celestial dragon stuff crops up when he's playing an unnamed card game with his shipmates Virginia and Quilp:

It was Quilp's deal. His shaking hands threw me two blank vacuums, a pair of planets, a gas giant, and a binary star, which gave me the beginnings of a system.
Discarding my pair of vacuums, I hoped for another planet, a comet, or even an asteroid to complete my system. Instead, I got a black hole and a section of the celestial dragon for my wishful thinking. That left a single pair of planets—a lousy hand—but that wouldn't stop me from bluffing. Another round of betting and cards remained. I felt lucky.

There is a decent summary of the book on Amazon.

  • OMG thank you so much. I've been looking for this for years!!! You've made my day – Josh c May 25 '18 at 9:55

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