Major Operation

By James White

Rating: 3 stars

This is a series of linked novellas/short stories in the Sector General universe about staff at the hospital space station Sector 12 General Hospital (Sector General for short) and the weird and wonderful cases they deal with, from all the different life forms that make up members of the Galactic Federation, and beyond. I always enjoy the Sector General books which are that rarest of things: pacifist space opera. No matter what the shape or physiological classification of the creature that comes through the airlock, the first instinct of the doctors (of all shapes and sizes) is to treat it. This makes for a refreshing change, and a very starting point for dealing with a situation.

The focus of this book involves first contact with a particularly odd planet — christened “Meatball” due to the fact that its surface seems to be entirely covered with living material of some kind — and the various patients that come from there, leading up to the biggest, and very possibly strangest, patient that Sector General has ever had to deal with.

The various alien races that populate the book (and others of the series) are quite fascinating, and White has obviously put in effort to make his aliens truly alien, and not just humanoids with lumpy foreheads. While perhaps not quite up to the standards of its predecessor, Star Surgeon, this is still a very entertaining read.

Book details

ISBN: 9780345242297
Publisher: Ballantine
Year of publication: 1971

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