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Third volume of the trilogy (White Queen, 1993; North Wind, 1996) about the exploitation of Earth by baboon-like, hermaphrodite, serially immortal aliens. Catherine is a human/alien hybrid. Though biologically human, her father is the influential Aleutian, Lord Maitri; mentally, Catherine herself the reincarnation of Clavel, the Aleutian Third Captain from the First Expedition. Now, after 300 years, the Aleutians are preparing to leave, and a human conspiracy, led by Misha Connelly and his friends at the Phoenix Cafe, are plotting against them. Catherine feels guilty for the rape she committed as Clavel, so she allows Misha to abuse and manipulate her. Then the Americans, who've permitted no contact with the Aleutians, prepare to receive a trade delegation. Maitri lies dying. Catherine discovers that Misha's plotters have been preparing ghastly biological weapons to use against the Aleutians, in retaliation for the aliens' refusal to share their advanced technology--though it turns out that they've developed the technology independently anyway. The biological weapons are for one human faction to use against another. Maitri dies, Catherine gets some explanations for her strange experiences, and the Aleutians depart. Wonderful aliens, unpleasant gender conflicts, heavy-handed metaphors, imperceptible plot: It all adds up to a churning, unsatisfying, rather unwieldy wrapup. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Gwyneth Jones: Winner of the World Fantasy Award; Winner of the James Tiptree, Jr., Award; and Two-time Nominee for the Arthur C. Clarke Award
"With White Queen and North Wind, the first two volumes, Gwyneth Jones created some of the finest, most intelligent science fiction of the past decade. Phoenix Caf maintains the first two volumes' high level of philosophical speculation. It is a superb novel." --The Edmonton Journal
"The two earlier books still seem to me among the finest SF novels published in the 1990s, and should be sought out by any reader willing to scramble up some slopes and gulp rarefied air in return for a dazzling view....As thoughtful and as gracefully written as the other two...Jones is never less than eloquent, and Phoenix Caf is full of incidental pleasures." --Washington Post Book World
"We never doubt that something of great importance is at stake...the nested levels of ambiguity that are Jones's stock in trade. But a tolerance for uncertainty seems appropriate in any thoughtful exploration of alienness. Anyone willing to take up the challenge should read this trilogy from the beginning." --The New York Times Book Review
"Gwyneth Jones continues her profound subversion of science fiction and the society it mirrors, not attacking them from without but going deep into SF's core to discover new truths. A fine work from one of SF's best writers." --Rachel PollackSee all Product Description