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White Queen [Hardcover]

Gwyneth Jones
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 1 1993
When humanoid aliens invade Earth early in the twenty-first century, they claim to desire only a peaceful settlement, but their presence changes the world in disturbing ways. By the author of Divine Endurance.

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Product Description

From Amazon

It's 2038 and the earth has been devastated by tectonic shifts accompanied by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The U.S. has undergone a socialist revolution, retro-viruses are rampant and most technology relies on a powerful organic "clay" instead of microprocessors. When aliens land near American-exile Johnny Guglio's adopted African home, Braemar Wilson, a cutthroat reporter, befriends him to get a jump on the story. Though no one knows the alien's intent, White Queen, an anti-alien group, begins working to undermine human trust. Even as ambassadors from both worlds talk, Braemar and Johnny must work together find themselves in a unique position to uncover the truth. The book won the 1991 James Tiptree Jr. Award. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Jones ( Divine Endurance ) turns her incisive talent toward a perennial science fiction theme: first contact with aliens. By 2038, Earth has been devastated by tectonic shifts accompanied by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The U.S. has undergone a socialist revolution, retro-viruses are rampant, and most technology relies on a powerful organic "clay" instead of microprocessors. American exile Johnny Guglioli, infected with a virus inimical to human tissue and the computer clay, meets cutthroat reporter Braemar Wilson, who sees Johnny as a way to get closer to aliens rumored to have landed near Johnny's adopted African home. But before she can break the story, the aliens make contact themselves, and the expected havoc breaks out. Are the aliens powerful saviors, seductive invaders, opportunistic pirates--or a bit of each? While ambassadors talk, an anti-alien group, White Queen, works behind the scenes to undermine human trust. Jones's viewpoint is always fresh and provocative, and, despite a basically human appearance, her aliens are the most convincingly alien beings to grace science fiction in years. Jones's unusual ending amply demonstrates why the British edition of this novel won the James Tiptree Award last year. This mind-bending look at meeting the alien is one readers will not soon forget.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

2.9 out of 5 stars
2.9 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Sedate Alien Encounter Novel July 7 2004
Format:Hardcover
Book Review by C. Douglas Baker
Set in 2039-40 A.D., this novel of first contact creates an almost credible near future earth and avoids the cliche of vastly superior aliens swooping down to subjugate humanity and strip its resources. Instead, Jones' aliens live among humans for awhile, cloaking their existence, until a strange emotional relationship between Johnny Guglioli, a UFO chaser, and Agnes/Clevel, an alien residing in Africa, leads to their discovery. Jones spends a lot of time creating our future world doing a credible job on technological and ecological aspects but the socio-political aspects are more alien, and unlikely, than the extraterrestrials. For example, the United States has been overthrown by socialists and are minor players in world politics. Equally unlikely is the lackadaisical response of the Earth's population to the discovery of aliens and the central role played by politically marginal actors in dealing with them.
Johnny Guglioli, the most interesting character, is infected with a "petrovirus" that destroys the substance "blue clay", which evidently has replaced silicon as the key data processing material. Being a former "eejay" or engineering journalist, his occupation is destroyed because he can no longer work with computers or similar machinery because his virus destroys the data processing capabilities of the "blue clay". Having his livelihood ruined he chases UFOs as a hobby, leading to his encounter with Agnes/Clevel, an alien who reveals itself to him. Enter Braemer Wilson, a journalist ostensibly searching for a story who seems to have information about aliens possibly living in Africa.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A Disappointing Payoff Dec 2 1999
By CCG
Format:Paperback
I was very disappointed when I got to the end of this book. I felt like the last page had been ripped out. It was as if the author got tired and decided to finish the story later. It was a difficult read, I had to constantly go back and pick up clues to help follow the story. After all that work how dare it just stop. Now I have the unpleasant task of reading North Wind just to tie up loose ends.
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2.0 out of 5 stars What am I missing here? June 15 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I really, really wanted to be impressed by "White Queen", because of what I'd read about it. But I found it nearly incomprehensible. When I finally finished reading the book (and it was a challenge to finish it), I sat back, sighed, and quoted myself a little Shakespeare about sound and fury.
I don't recommend it, and I think I owe my sci fi book club an apology for choosing it as this month's reading selection.
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3.0 out of 5 stars fascinating and frustrating May 24 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I am ten pages from finishing this book. It is very hard to follow but it is fascinating. The writing is strangely phrased which adds to the difficulty. There are no characters I care at all about. The aliens are a total mystery. But something keeps me reading - perhaps just a hope that all will eventually be made clear - but I am assuming at this point that it will not. Still - some part of me is fascinated by it.
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