The Other Winner of the First Tiptree Award
The White Queen (Aleutian Trilogy, volume 1)
By Gwyneth Jones
Gwyneth Jones’ 1991 The White Queen is one of the two novels that won the first James Tiptree Jr. Award ever. Unlike the other winner (A Woman of the Iron People), I have not heard much about The White Queen, and have not been looking for a copy of it for decades. Having read it, I find myself unenthusiastic.
2038’s socialist revolution in America is big news, especially for Americans, but for journalist Johnny Guglioli it offers very little hope of an end to his exile in Africa. Johnny is, according to top American authorities, a carrier of a particularly nasty (although apparently not especially contagious) retrovirus disease and despite his claims that the diagnosis is a politically motivated sham, the new government is no more likely to let Johnny back into the US than the one it replaced.
What might earn Johnny a chance at a reassessment is to become the celebrity du jour. What better route to that than to interview Aleutians? Who, despite their misleading name, are the very first aliens to visit the Earth1.