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Hospital Station
James White
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Hospital Station (Sector General #1)

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  1,073 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Sector general is the home of many strange creatures, including humans! it is a vast sectionalized hospital, set up in space to care for all kinds of extra-terrestrials. Each section has a different atmosphere and habitat to cater for the many different species.. all the problems of the staff and patients are in this book.. how to design a spacesuit for a surgeon with eigh ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 0 pages
Published August 12th 1979 by Del Rey Books (first published 1962)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,823)
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Good-natured, high quality, pacifist SF that is ideal comfort food when looking to elevate your mood into the upper range of the happy scale.

This was just what I needed.

After my recent sojourn down the depraved, uber-violent pages of Crossed, Volume 1 and the beautiful, but deeply evocative entries of Loath Letters, I was in direwolf need of a major mood lift to replenish my joy reserves and Hospital Station, along with a big, fat glass of wine, was the perfect prescription.

This is the first
Ok I may have over reacted but I think this book is amazing - the storyline is good, the characters were great and the concept amazing- ok I am sure with all those others out there quick to reply - but I think this book was ahead of its time. A story about a massive hospital (ok not so special) that is in space and deals with aliens (ok thats different but hardly award winning) but which treats them all with equal respect and consideration where the aliens predicament and situation is the story ...more
Mar 08, 2013 Michael rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: old school sci fi fans, medical futurists, med students
Recommended to Michael by: Douglas Barlowe
This book was something of a mixed experience for me, with both good and bad elements; ultimately I felt that the "good" parts were underdeveloped enough to prevent it from getting a 4th star. Like other novels of the time (I’m especially thinking of Isaac Asimov) it consists of short vignettes which are almost stories in themselves, although with a common Universe and theme. It is a science fiction novel set in the far future, when access to hyperspace travel has allowed humans to explore most ...more
Emperador Spock
This book (and the series) was suggested to me as an excellent example of pacifist soft science fiction. And indeed it is: pacifist and excellent. Though war kind of lingers in the background throughout the novel, and there are some flaws.

The stories in the novel present a very detailed view of the non-human species, which are actually quite distinct, and markedly non-human (so no 'humans with pointy ears or hairy faces or green tits' here) — the author invested a lot of imagination into this as
I have not been into medical fiction - not in a long, long, long time, at any rate. The first time I attempted to read medical fiction, I'd grabbed the first Robin Cook novel I laid eyes on, and after three chapters I gave up on it. It could simply have been that I picked the wrong book, or that I picked the wrong author, but it kind of turned me off of medical-related fiction for a good long while. To be fair, it might have just been because I was twelve or thirteen at the time, and hence reall ...more
A fun read. More like a series of episodes/short stories than a proper novel, hence my shelving it under "short story collection." The niggling questions mostly held off until I was finished, so it was pretty enjoyable so long as I didn't think too much about the technical side of things--like, how the heck did they rig a translator for an alien who spoke a totally unknown language? That goes beyond the realm of technical wizardry into actual wizardry. But it didn't take itself too seriously, so ...more
First book in the Sector General series. It's a fix-up of five short stories set in a huge galactic hospital, where patients from many alien races are treated. The staff is also composed of professionals from many alien species. We do not find out how this works exactly, from a worldbuilding point of view: who pays for this hospital? Who are the patients, those who happen to be near it or do patients come from all over the galaxy?

Because of this series, James White is sometimes regarded as the f
Scott Golden
It's a solid premise for a series: A huge hospital out at the edge of the galaxy, outfitted with specialized wards that can be set (with changes in gravity, pressure and atmosphere) to treat the various alien species humans have encountered in their travels. St. ELSEWHERE indeed! White's writing is workmanlike (with a let's say 'generous' use of adverbs) but straightforward, and the stories -- which play as 'puzzle stories' wherein the mystery to be solved results in the accurate diagnosis and t ...more
Another book I'll have to keep posted for a while: but not as long as the others, since this is the earliest collection, though it doesn't necessarily have the oldest stories by internal chronology.

I MEDIC The Third Sector General story (next after "Accident", which is in the eponymous Sector General.

The large, muscular, and ugly o'Mara has gotten bored being constantly relegated to 'sustained, heavy labor'. So while working on the assembly of Sector 12 General Hospital, he does a little psychol
This is one of the most undervalued and overlooked gems in the science fiction genre.

Dr. House and ER in space.

Welcome to the Sector 12 General Hospital, the first intergalactic hospital where a multitude of species are employed and treated.


Meet the team of devoted specialists, nurses, technicians, and...


diagnosticians. (Actually, the picture is not accurate; the hospital employs not only human species). Here, all species are classified by a four-letter system, according to their natural habitat
Sector General is a series of twelve science fiction books and various short stories by the Northern Irish author James White. The series derives its name from the setting of the majority of the books, the Sector 12 General Hospital, a huge hospital space station located in deep space, designed to treat a wide variety of life forms with a wide range of ailments and life-support requirements, and to house an equally-diverse staff. The Hospital was founded to promote peace after humanity's first i ...more
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in April 2002.

This is the earliest of White's long running Sector General series about a hospital in space and, though billed by Del Rey as a Sector General novel, it is in reality a collection of closely linked novelettes with a more distantly related prologue. This is set during the construction of the hospital, designed to serve as the principal medical research centre in galactic Sector Twelve, home to many alien races each with their own peculiarities, p
Roddy Williams
James White is best known for his tales of Sector General, a vast deep-space hospital designed to replicate the environments of scores of aliens, a place to practice and teach xenobiological medicine.
The series begins with this book and starts with the story of O’Mara, contracted to work on the construction of the hospital and by dint of unorthodox methods of motivating a colleague and the challenge of simultaneously babysitting an enormous alien orphaned baby, is offered the post of Chief Psych
This is the first in White's Sector General series about a giant multi-species hospital in space following Dr Conway from his first entry into the hospital as an intern to his rise to become a Senior Physician. While some of the medical ideas may be outdated and somewhat quaint to our eyes, the idea of a medical mystery story (or rather, stories, since this is a collection of linked stories set in the SG universe) appeals to me and works quite well.

The first story in the book is somewhat of a pr
This is not top Sci-Fi but it is fun to read. Don't expect too much, lie on the beach an enjoy plethora of truly alien species - some of them trying to remove human appendix and keeping the patient alive for the very first time in history.

Written in a 1950-ies style it is a light--hearted soap opera about group of human and alien working in a giant cosmic hospital.

If you like light Sci-Fi - read it.

This not a novel, its a collection of 5 short stories that forms the first volume in White's Section General series.

I had read this 20 or 30 years ago and never read any more in the series, so this was a chances to revisit it as I didn't remember much about.

I wasn't very impressed. There was a classification system of 4 letters to classify the various lifeforms if the hospital, which maybe is needed in the real world but added nothing to the story and just confused me. The main character in the
David C. Mueller
James White's "Sector General" universe is similar to H. Beam Piper's "Terran Federation" setting in its approach to human star-faring technology but the cultural background is much different. In James White's vision of our future, humanity is a founding member of the "Galactic Federation" rather than the dominant sentient race. A number of physically very different sentient races exist relatively peacefully in this federation. A multi-sentient racial fleet called the "Monitor
Corps" patrols the
I enjoyed reading Hospital Station a lot, even though it's a very classic (as in dated) approach to SF and quite some of the tech involved is iffy to say the least, but thanks to the fact that it is never explained in overly much detail this doesn't harm the stories much. What did hurt them for me, is the fact that women play practically no role at all in White’s setting and only appear mentioned as nurses in the stories, which seems even for the time when it was written (in '63) unusual conserv ...more
Eric Simmons
This is a combination of medical fiction and science fiction. A sort of Dr. Kildare in space. It's the first in a whole series of novels by James White about medical adventures at Sector General a large hospital at the edge of our galaxy that cares for the various life forms that inhabit our galaxy. The series of short stories were enjoyable light reading.

There are some flaws in the concept. I would think a physcian of the same species as the patient would be infinitely more qualified care for
The discrete nature of the stories makes for uneven and at times repetitious reading, but when concept and narrative come together it's hard to put down. The setting is unique and endlessly compelling; hopefully the sequels improve on characterisation and cohesion. A fresh, unique, and warm take on the genre, even 50 years later.
This has some really fascinating ideas in it-- a hospital for many kinds of aliens (and their various gravity, atmosphere, etc. needs, to say nothing of the needs of the various medical personnel) would be fascinatingly complex. White does a good job of exploring physiological and, to some extent, cultural differences, but largely ignores gender. All of the major characters are male, and there's one insectoid supporting character who's an "it." There are a few female nurses, barely mentioned. No ...more
I think this is the one I read years and years ago. I remember it as fun and interesting. Having just finished it, I'm a bit surprised to find it was still good so many years later! As old as the series is, it's still fairly unusual and unpredictable. There is a sequence to these stories and I'm not completely sure which is the best way to proceed. Anyway, this story appears to be the first with Conway. It's a little like Dr. House of TV treating a new species every week: crotchety doctors/staff ...more
Imagine Dr. Who meets House. Sick aliens and a travelling all-species hospital.
go look at Andrew review ... fun to read with extra ET descriptions
1983 grade A
2005 grade B+

series book SG1
Norman Howe
I'm reading again. If you haven't found a James White book about the great hospital station which treats all aliens, find one NOW. Look at the used bookstore or whatever, but find it.

I'm on about the 4th read of this book (plus a half dozen more) that are so wonderful, you'll wonder how you've lived without them before.

Get into the minds and lives of alien species like no author has done before or since.

I cannot recommend this or other James White books enough.
White died in 1999, and many of his books have been collected into what amount to one-volume trilogies.

One of the problems authors of series have is that they need to explain to newcomers, while not boring those already in the know. White's solution--just to cut and paste whole explanatory paragraphs--has its charm...and you cah just skip those bits if you like, since you soon get to know how long they are. I tend to treat them as like a chorus of a song, myself.
Sean Randall
it seemed clear that this was originally short stories, and that format works really well here. I feel a little odd, reading what's really book form of the hospital dramas that grace our television screens. Really enjoying it, though - the pros is clear, the characters typically singleminded, and if the odd sentence is repeated word-for-word because of the story-to-novel conversion process, then it just serves to push me to the next sentence to see what's coming up.
The writing is a little uneven, but the overall concept, s space station hospital that treats a variety of life-forms, is solid and interestingly presented. Each chapter is a short story linked yo the previous one, rather that a novel presenting a single plot. Each story starts with a problem and ends with a unique solution, often requiring major out of the box thinking by the main character.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

James White was a prolific Northern Irish author of science fiction novellas, short stories, and novels. He was born in Belfast and returned there after spending early years in Canada.

He is probably best-known as the author of the Sector General series of novels. The first
More about James White...

Other Books in the Series

Sector General (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Star Surgeon (Sector General, #2)
  • Major Operation (Sector General, #3)
  • 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)
Star Surgeon (Sector General, #2) Ambulance Ship  (Sector General, #4) Major Operation (Sector General, #3) The Galactic Gourmet (Sector General, #9) Beginning Operations: A Sector General Omnibus (Sector General, #1-3)

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