The White Widows

by Sam Merwin, Jr.
Release date: 1953
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: science fiction

The White Widows is also known as The Sex War (a slightly edited reprint, 1960).


Here is a unique, and highly controversial combination of mystery, suspense, and science fiction that only Sam Merwin, Jr., author of the classic House of Many Worlds could write. This science fiction classic begins when Larry Finlay, a young and unsuspecting chemist, discovers sinister forces have taken an interest in his new approach to the seemingly innocuous problem of hemophilia. Soon, Finlay is unwittingly caught up in a nightmare plot of violence and counter-violence. Behind it is the sinister cabal that calls itself The White Widows. But who are what are they? When Larry learns all these events are tied in to the concept of parthenogenesis, he realizes that a certain woman scientist has found the secret of giving birth without the need of males. She and the other White Widows are determined to end war, greed, violence, poverty, and the idea of cut-throat competition by eliminating all men! Particularly the man named Larry Finlay! The only person he can turn to for help is the woman he loves. If he can trust her with his life... And he'll have to!

The New York Times says Sam Merwin, Jr.'s sf novels are "Fast-moving." And the San Francisco Chronicle hailed them as "Entertaining and realistic." The editors of Galaxy magazine described The White Widows as "a masterpiece of danger, suspense, treachery and intrigue that will sweep you along with held breath, a great book." But Sf critic and editor Geoffery Kidd condemned it as "The war between the sexes gone nuclear... a nasty piece of work." Judge for yourself when you read this thought-provoking book that still remains controversial 50 years after publication.

(updated 2010-09-07)

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