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White Queen (Aleutian #1)

3.32  ·  Rating Details  ·  131 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
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 r ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 312 pages
Published January 1998 by Vista (first published 1991)
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Community Reviews

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Jul 13, 2010 tish rated it liked it
As a first contact story, I liked the book. The Aleutians are fascinating, if kinda gross--there are a lot of references to waste management and underwear before you ever get an explanation--and by the end I really wanted to know more about them. The alien/human politics leading up to the climax were also really interesting, but god, the character development. I just didn't care about anyone. There were too many hints that weren't followed up on and characters doing out of character things that ...more
Nicholas Whyte
Jan 09, 2012 Nicholas Whyte rated it it was ok

started off very much enjoying the well-constructed future Earth of the story - the decayed America, the peculiar infections, the African setting for many of the chapters, the aliens who are more than human and less than human in various ways, the central character who is a newsblogger avant la lettre. But I didn't quite feel that the plot then did much with this promising elements. Perhaps it's just that I got to it towards the end of a long plane flight,
Jan 09, 2012 Dawn rated it it was ok
I found this a rather difficult read, particularly at the beginning. However, it got easier and more gripping as it went on, probably because I got more used to the writing style. The aliens were very alien and I would have liked to have found out more about them. The writing was good but I found the plot rather uninteresting and the characters were quite unsympathetic. It was OK but not really my cup of tea.
Very disappointing.

It is at once very traditional (Aliens coming down to save us, culture clash of different sexual mores), of it's time (lots of aids parallels, the collapse of governments, very 80s technology) and contemporary (reproductive interest, environmental catastrophe). Whilst in some cases this can create an interesting medley, but here it's just a mess.

First of all, far too much is crammed into this short book. We get huge long unnecessary descriptions of potential future development
Aug 02, 2007 Wealhtheow rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
Set in the near future, two journalists try to break the story of an alien landing. Although the characters were well-developed, the technology was casually used and often gritty, and the aliens quite alien, I just didn't like this book much.
Aug 07, 2015 Peter rated it it was ok
Shelves: sf
Cluttered, pretentious, and nearly impossible to read through, this overwrought exercise is saved from the flames by its interesting conception of the alien Aleutians who visit a near apocalyptic Earth sometime in the twenty-first century. Roughly humanoid, the Aleutians wander through space in a large mothership, looking, insofar as Jones bothers to explain this, for opportunities to trade. They reproduce asexually, communicate telepathically, and ascribe a highly peculiar place to electronic m ...more
Dec 05, 2008 Liviu rated it it was amazing
Shelves: genre-sf
After the extraordinary Spirit, I went back to the original Aleutinian trilogy starting with this book and I have to say that despite that it is set in a somewhat dated future - we can interpret it as an alternate Earth without the Internet essentially and with violent revolutions, split in the late 80's from our Earth - this books is still very entertaining though not an easy read.

The story of the first alien contact, Johnny the retrovirus infected journalist with an affinity for the Aleutini
Feb 24, 2013 Salimbol rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
As intelligent and uncompromising as any of Gwyneth Jones' other works, this boasts the creation of a* truly* alien society, and examines the tragic misunderstandings that ensue when humanity and aliens make first contact while labouring under some fundamentally flawed assumptions. It has her usual searing and frequently discomfort-inducing treatments of politics and sexuality, and some solid characterisation and carefully-considered world-building.
I admire the hell out of her writing, but (sma
Jenny (Reading Envy)
It is 2038, and a great economic disaster in 2004 derailed the United States and most of Europe as any super power. Japan and China are now one country. Most of the book is set in Africa. At some point, the USA changes to the United Social States of American and nobody cares. It doesn't even make the mainstream news! And then the mind-reading aliens come....
Jun 21, 2012 Ed rated it did not like it
Shelves: sf, first-contact
I feel guilty as this was the first novel for ages I just could not finish, despite doggedly persisting with it for almost a month. I don't mind admitting that I was basically totally baffled from start to finish. A very strangely written novel that shot right over my head.
Feb 05, 2010 Judith rated it it was ok
Didn't finish it, was a little cold and overly sci-fi for me. I like aliens and space but this one got a little wierd. writing was good, just didn't care for the story line.
Sep 05, 2012 Kim is currently reading it
I'm understanding the book more now, at page 74, but the writing jumps around a lot and I am having a very hard time understanding some of the basic world setting.
Jan 04, 2013 George rated it did not like it
Shelves: audio-book
White Queen
Didn't really understand or enjoy this book.
Lily C
Feb 13, 2012 Lily C rated it it was ok
Didn't really grab me
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Gwyneth Ann Jones, born in Manchester, 14th February 1952, writer. She's the author of more than twenty novels for teenagers, mostly using the name Ann Halam, and several highly regarded sf novels for adults. She's won two World Fantasy awards, the Arthur C. Clarke award, the British Science Fiction Association short story award, the Dracula Society's Children of the Night award, the P.K.Dick awar ...more
More about Gwyneth Jones...

Other Books in the Series

Aleutian (3 books)
  • North Wind
  • Phoenix Café

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