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Major Operation (Sector General #3)

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  421 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
The five short stories in the book are related to a new world called Meatball. In the first story, Invader, a series of strange accidents at the hospital lead Conway to suspect an alien presence. In the second story, Monitor Corps discovers an alien spinning ship near Meatball and brings it to the hospital in order to rescue the pilot. And finally, Conway joins a Monitor m ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 192 pages
Published April 12th 1981 by Del Rey (first published 1971)
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Oleg Kagan
Nov 09, 2013 Oleg Kagan rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi
I became fascinated as soon as I heard about James White's mash-up of medical drama and science fiction but waited a long time to read it. Would it be worthwhile or hokey sub-genre dreck? Finally, I was at Sideshow Books in West Los Angeles, just down the street from Alias Books and I saw a copy of Major Operation. The time was right and I bought the book. Let it be known that I'm glad I did.

Major Operation is a series of interrelated short stories that follow Sector General, a space hospital, a
Nov 26, 2016 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well I guess it was about time I was distracted again by books I am supposed to be sorting out. This time it was a couple of James White Sector General books.

This first one was a series of short stories collected together all under the theme of a massive hospital station serving the needs all all the space faring races.

What appeals to me about this book and the whole series is the fact that the aliens are truly alien rather than humanoid with only superficial differences. NO here we have creatu
Jan 18, 2017 Pat rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
A series of sequential short stories concerning a very odd planet and its lifeforms, which gives Dr. Conway plenty to decipher.
Leland Gilsen
too long... last few chapters too wordy and mostly boring
Major Operation takes place a few months after Conway was promoted to Senior Physician (this happens not at the end of Hospital Station, but in the penultimate story, "Visitor at Large"). Properly, 'Countercharm' (from Aliens among Us) should come between "Visitor at Large" and "Out-Patient" (both from Hospital Station).

The composite edition of Major Operation was copyrighted in 1971; but as noted by other reviewers, this was written as a series of short stories. The earliest listed is "Meatball
Read as part of Omnibus
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 ...more
Marcus Gipps
The third of the Sector General novels is actually a collection of interconnected short stories, and feels like it. This is old fashioned SF, and thus really rather fun. There are some huge gaps between the stories/chapters, and the reader has to work out what is being left out or implied. I can only imagine what it must have been like to read these spread over the five years of initial publication - although, of course, they may have been edited for this edition. Having said that, there are som ...more
Emperador Spock
Nov 27, 2013 Emperador Spock rated it it was amazing
The best entry in the series so far, the author clearly grasped what is the charming part of the series — alien races, and he clearly made sure that they wouldn't disappoint.

They don't. Meatball/Drambon is an odd and fascinating planet that is the home for even odder and more fascinating organisms — even by the series' standards. The plot is mostly intriguing, with a good share of mystery and medical/military/mining drama (I can't explain the last combo without spoiling anything, but the major o
Jessie J
Jun 29, 2012 Jessie J rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
I read Major Operation as part of this omnibus collection:

Beginning Operations (Sector General 1-3) by James White

Be warned that my rating may be biased, because I adore the Sector General series.

Major Operation concentrates on Conway and his dealings with a planet nicknamed "Meatball." Some very interesting "e-t" rescues/treatments ensue. The only murky spot is the 1960s attitude toward women, especially Conway's wife, Pathologist Murchison; but at least she got to keep her maiden name. ;^)

A short story collection of uneven quality. The first few stories are solid hospital procedure tales in space. The second half, while changing up the pattern of previous stories, is less charming, and prone to odd digressions. White's active and warm imagination is still at work here, so there's a lot to enjoy, but it becomes a bit monotonous after a while.
Aug 13, 2007 Rob rated it liked it
The third book in the sector general series, finds conway trying to help out a continent sized alien who just so happens to make the best surgical equipment in the universe.
Jun 11, 2014 Bill rated it liked it
Hard science fiction has never been so cute. I enjoyed this universe and would happily cross its path again.
Dmitry Belyavsky
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Aug 21, 2015
Karl rated it it was amazing
Apr 29, 2012
Wilson E. Stevens Sr.
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Oct 06, 2013
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Sep 29, 2013
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Dec 26, 2015
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Aug 24, 2013
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Aug 29, 2013
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Apr 06, 2012
C Gram
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Nov 10, 2014
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Mar 12, 2014
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Jul 23, 2014
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Dec 22, 2014
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Feb 24, 2016
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Other Books in the Series

Sector General (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Hospital Station (Sector General, #1)
  • Star Surgeon (Sector General, #2)
  • Ambulance Ship  (Sector General, #4)
  • Sector General (Sector General, #5)
  • Star Healer (Sector General, #6)
  • Code Blue --  Emergency (Sector General, #7)
  • The Genocidal Healer (Sector General, #8)
  • The Galactic Gourmet (Sector General, #9)
  • Final Diagnosis (Sector General, #10)
  • Mind Changer (Sector General, #11)

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