Book Recommendation: The Sector General series by James White

Recommended by David Magle, co-owner OtherWorlds Books & More

James White was a Northern Irish author of science fiction novellas, short stories and novels. His best-known novels were the twelve Sector General series, the first published in 1962 and the last after his death.

White abhorred violence and medical and other emergencies were the sources of dramatic tension in his stories. The Sector General series is regarded as defining the genre of medical science fiction, and as introducing a memorable crew of aliens.

The novels in the series have been collected into three omnibus books: Beginning Operations, Alien Emergencies and General Practice. The series revolves around an interstellar hospital dealing with groups of humans and aliens so diverse biologically, culturally, psychologically and physically, all learning how to interact with each other.

If you ever wondered how doctors and nurses would handle a ship full of aliens, these stories will bring light to that question. Will lifesaving oxygen for one kill a different one because they breathe chlorine? How do you make first contact with a race when your first instinct is to run away? Even the question of why dessert is an important part of any meal is answered in these series.

There is so much to this series that, even though written 60 years ago, it is still relevant today. The books may look daunting, but the reward of reading them is great.

Related Organizations