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Sector General Books In Order

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Publication Order of Sector General Books

Hospital Station (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
Star Surgeon (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Aliens Among Us (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
Major Operation (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
Futures Past (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ambulance Ship (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sector General (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Star Healer (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Code Blue -Emergency (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Genocidal Healer (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Galactic Gourmet (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Final Diagnosis (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mind Changer (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Double Contact (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon

Sector General is a series of science fiction novels from James White about a massive hospital in deep space that services the needs of any and all life forms that walk through its doors.

+The Story

It might surprise some readers to learn that there is, indeed, a series of novels about a giant hospital in space; but that is exactly what Sector General is. The space station is as large as they can get, boasting facilities designed to contend with the needs of a variety of species.

Sector General was created from the ashes of the first war in space that human beings ever fought. Heroes from either side of the conflict had the foresight to put their misunderstandings aside to create Sector General, a facility that was expected to promote peace.

Because Sector General is designed to serve the needs of various species, it has been equipped with a wide range of environments and facilities, though a notable amount of James White’s novels revolve around situations where the doctors of Sector General encounter a creature the space station was not build to accommodate.

Sector General is a very deliberately paced series of novels, especially during the first few books which primarily explore the life of a character known as Doctor Conway as he slowly rises through the ranks to become the chief diagnostician.

Things change when the Galactic Federation decides that Sector General’s services are being wasted and the space station could better promote peace by availing its emergency services to new space faring species. This change in the plots and stories, though refreshing for some readers, was considered juvenile, immature and unnecessary by others.

Readers that are new to the Sector General series and who envision it to be a science fiction version of the Television Show ‘House’ are not too far off the mark. Because Sector General is supposed to accommodate all manner of species, its staff are expected to possess the skills necessary to contend with different kinds of physiologies.

However, every novel finds the team dealing with something truly unexpected, either an alien of truly mysterious origins or a disease they simply cannot begin to understand. The objective then becomes to solve the medical mystery presented even as the medical staff in question contends with problems of a personal nature. The characters in the Sector General series are referred to as Earth Humans. They are not called strictly humans because the people of Earth are not the only species that use that term to refer to themselves.

Matters like gender tend to become issues, with the protagonist often forced to use ‘it’ to refer to some of his patients and colleagues when he cannot determine their sex or how sensitive they might be to their gender designation.

Doctor Conway, the protagonist of the earlier books, shares screen time with an attractive Earth female called Murchison, a large and fragile winged insect creature by the names of Doctor Prilicla and a giant caterpillar of a nurse by the names of Naydrad to mention but a few.

The Sector General series has been described as a pioneer in the arena of medical space operas. The concept of Sector General, specifically the fact that it deals with so many unique aliens means that it had the capacity to maintain a sense of freshness throughout its run.

James White has been known to attract criticism for the books because of his thin plots. Many a publishing professional has accused him of taking short stories and doing them a disservice by stretching them into the length of a novel.

Interestingly enough, the Sector General concept began as a series of short stories back in 1957. And the series would have ended earlier, except James White was pushed by his publisher into expanding the Sector General story across a few more books.

+The Author

James white was an Irish author who died in 1999. James’ love for science fiction was ignited while he was a child. He went on to contribute his writing efforts to two fan magazines before his friends encouraged him to get some of his short stories published.

James White didn’t win many fans with his stance against violence. The author’s Sector General books were set during a largely peaceful period of time, and he used the medical emergencies to generate tension.

James White was considered a revolutionary during his time. While other authors sought to create grand tales about epic space battles, James was happy to simply tell his medical stories set in space, refusing to indulge in explosive concepts and action-oriented plots.

+Hospital Station

Sector General is one of a kind, a massive hospital in deep space armed with specialized facilities designed to accommodate the needs of any alien species that walks through its doors.

However, even with all the tools on hand, Sector General isn’t the easiest place to work, what with all the medical mysteries that bombard the staff of the space station.

The first novel in the Sector General series is primarily designed to introduce the hospital to readers. Because the hospital is staffed by such a wide variety of aliens, this book’s strongest aspect is the interactions between the different characters and players of the story.

Readers looking for a long and engaging narrative will be disappointed by what turns out to be a collection of novellas.

+Star Surgeon

Sector General is in danger. The Space Station was designed to accommodate all manner of species. However, the creatures that come seeking assistance are unlike any Sector General has ever seen. It will take everything the staff of the hospital has to stall the impending havoc.

The second book in the Sector General series is weaker than the first primarily because James attempts to write a proper novel and, more or less, fails. Many of the characters are little more than cardboard props.

There are very few female characters in the story. And the ones that do make an appearance are very flat and uninteresting, unless they are attractive.

James still succeeds at making the interactions interesting. The medical staff has a hard time of figuring out the best way to handle all the wacky aliens they encounter, especially when they have little understanding of their customs.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Sector General

One Response to “Sector General”

  1. Jack Simons: 5 months ago

    I read the Sector General books when I was a lot younger and they were, without a doubt, my favourite read on multiple occasions. I can no longer read too well, with very poor eyesight. I wonder if it is possible that the Sector General books could become available as e-reader books so that I am able to read them again please.


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