White Queen

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

On one level, WHITE QUEEN is a moving story of love, betrayal, and reconciliation, which happens to be set in A.D. 2038. However, on another level, the novel is a thought-provoking picture of the dystopic world which could exist just four decades away from the present. Jones shows third world countries filled with ruined buildings and disease-ridden people, while the once-proud, overpopulated cities of Europe, such as London, are made up of rabbit warrens reeking of sewage. The United States is convulsed by race riots and revolution. Meanwhile, throughout the world, there are bloody battles called the “Eve-wars,” because they are initiated by angry feminists. Not surprisingly, when aliens appear on a planet seemingly so bent on its own destruction, they are welcomed as potential saviors.

At first, this optimism is shared by Johnny Guglioli, an exiled American engineer-newsman. He tends to trust the young female alien who is following him more than he does the beautiful reporter Braemar Wilson, who has persuaded him to help her get a scoop. However, Guglioli and Wilson soon find themselves deeply in love, and even after she betrays and deserts her lover, he cannot forget her. When it becomes evident that the aliens are not the angelic super-beings they seem to be, Guglioli is drawn into Wilson’s courageous but foolish anti-alien plot. Although their efforts are useless, the story of the lovers becomes the stuff of myth. In a corrupt world, Jones suggests, there are still people who are capable of ethical action and transcendent love. WHITE QUEEN is a troubling picture of what may be, but also a strangely reassuring one.