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Star Surgeon

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  426 ratings  ·  68 reviews
Dal Timgar had always wanted to be a doctor. As a Garvian and the first non-human to study medicine on Hospital Earth, he must face enormous adversity from classmates, professors, and some of the highest ranking physicians on all of Earth. Will his efforts be enough to earn him the Silver Star of a Star Surgeon?

Approx. 5.5 hours
Audiobook, 6 pages
Published June 14th 2007 by LibriVox (first published 1959)
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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Jan 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
The moment the humanity found a way to travel fast in space they discovered Galactic Confederation of different aliens. All of the members of Confederation were good at something and (to my complete and utter surprise) humans appeared to be great at medicine. Our good old planet was renamed to Hospital Earth and doctors from it traveled everywhere in the known space fighting epidemics, incurable diseases, exotic plagues, and other related medical emergencies.

Needless to say the humans jealously
Jun 30, 2015 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Noran Miss Pumkin
Audio via YouTube. A vintage 6o's Sci Fi story, written by a medical doctor. I wonder if he had the idea before Star Trek? The Earth develops space travel , and discovers a federation of worlds. Each planet, that is a member has to meet two criteria. First is to have the advanced technology for extended space travel. The second was to offer a special service/skill to the federation. Earth specialty became medicine/medical care. By contract of course, just like a policy. Four branches of service, ...more
Jun 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Published in 1959, Star Surgeon is the story of three young men (where was Cherry Ames when they needed her?) on a medical ship, boldly bringing health and wellness and healing to the galaxy. It seems that no other races had the medical knack, until now, and the Earthmen are hesitant to break the tradition. Nourse (I've been reliably told his name was to be pronounced "nurse," not "Norse," which is ironic since he wrote many medically-themed works), wrote some really entertaining stories over th ...more
Alec Lyons
Oct 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Enjoyable refreshing take on an intergalactic corporation that see's humans significant contributions to a galactic confederation as purely medical. A simple story following the narrative of finding your place within a world set on rejecting you. Dal (the only non-human in 'Medical Earth's' medical fleet) is humble with his surgical qualifications and abilities and at times unsure. But we follow his journey as he learns to trust himself and his place.

The ensemble is delightful enough, I particul
Jun 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Highly recommended. Never mind that it's old; it's relevant right now. I enjoyed the free audio from of this short public domain book and suggest you trust me (the narrator is a volunteer, but he's very good... there's also an ebook version on project gutenberg). If you want more persuasion, read on, but I can't really talk about it without being a bit spoilery.

Mostly surprisingly intelligent and wise. Ok, it does seem odd at the beginning that Tanner has to tell the committee his o
Carol Tensen
Jul 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Star Surgeon showcases Alan E. Nourse doing what he does best - science fiction with a medical theme. Dal Timgar’s character was well-fleshed out. The story reminded me of watching Star Trek reruns. For a Young Adult novel it was really satisfying.

If you haven’t read Nourse’s The Bladerunner, I highly recommend it.
John Desmarais
May 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a weird soft spot for medical drama science-fiction, so this book fits well into my personal tastes. Although a bit dated (it is nearly 60 years old) it holds up pretty well. Nourse's writing style was just a bit ahead of his time, so hit proses lacks some of the odd stilted was that many of his contemporaries share, making this a very easy read. Fun bits of light dramatic tension, although most readers will probably guess what the final resolution will be early in the book. All in all, a ...more
Perry Whitford
Aug 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just who in the name of DeForest Kelley would think to write a Star Trek-style science fiction novel featuring the Earth as part of a Galactic Confederation of spacefaring species in which the heroes boldly going where no one has gone before are - wait for it - doctors?

Answer? A doctor, of course.

In physician and sci-fi writer Alan E. Nourse's take on the future, we will all come to live on Hospital Earth, and due to our superior skills with surgery and all things medical will be 'in charge of t
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Star Surgeon was penned in 1959 but it still holds up remarkably well today. This novel is a good example of what I call "hopeful" science fiction-humanity has not put all its' faults behind it but has reached the stars and is trying to settle into a new existence as part of a confederation of galactic cultures. Though the book itself is short it is filled with timely events that will probably strike a chord with the modern reader-Dr Dal Timgar is the first non-human to attend and graduate from ...more
The novel is quite often mentioned as a ‘classic medicine sf’, so finding it in the Storytel catalogue I decided to give it a try. As with many classics the age shows. The story itself is a standard ‘overcoming the prejudice’ motive – Earth had already eliminated wars and racism (and I had to remind myself several times that black doctor has nothing to do with said doctor’s skin, and everything with his uniform), but prejudice against non-humans does occur giving the story a start.
What bothers m
Jamie Rich
Aug 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Star Surgeon by Alan E. Nourse

A very quick, easy read. Really I think this could fairly be a YA title? And please note that I do enjoy YA titles, so that was not a bad comment. I actually read the entirety of this book on my flights home from Denver a couple of days ago. Yes, it's that quick.
So, yes a quick read, but fun nonetheless. Basically a young outcast seeks to embitter himself, and also serve the greater good. He has troubles with his fellow crew on the Patrol Ship Lancet, and also from
Kent Archie
Aug 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
It's kind of dated, All the characters are men.
It's kind of a weird projection into the future that doctors would be color coded.
It was awkward every time they mentioned Black Doctor Tanner.
It seems that I recall a few other SF stories from the 1950s and early 1960s where capes are a fashion thing.

To join the Galactic Federation,a planet has to have something to contribute to the Federation and what Earth has to offer is probably not realistic but unexpected and interesting.
The motive for Tanner
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a reread for me, the first reading was completed in the 60s when I read as much scifi as I could find. The book retains the elements which impressed me first at age 15, and even though our world today belies some of the advanced science in the story, the inter-species relationships still hold their worth. A well scripted story, with a surprising twist and the subconsciously hoped for outcome.
Travis Rhodes
Apr 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
It was an interesting read. Quite imaginative, and a nice change of pace from the standard Sci-fi War stories I normally read. May be slow for some with the technical/medical stuff involved, along with the crew dealing with long stints of space travel and how they get along. Still pretty neat how they have to get creative in order to save the lives of the multiple alien species throughout their initiation voyage so they can become fully qualified Star Surgeons.
Dec 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Haven’t read a lot of classic sci-fi lately, so this was a refreshing read. I enjoyed the protagonist,Dal Timgar, for his bravery and take-charge persona. The dialogue comes across a little stuffy in a few spots, but the storyline and supporting characters are solid. Overall, a nice escapist tale!
Mar 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This is a Librivox ( audiobook in the public domain.
I don't remember reading it in my younger days, but the straight forward story brings back thoughts of a time when anything was possible.
I enjoyed the story and I would recommend it to none critical fans of classic science fiction.
A good read.
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Not since junior high school so many years ago have I read a book that captivated my soul. Probably my reaction has not a little to do with my training and practice as a physician since then. Even though this book was primarily about the practice of medicine, there were interesting comments that pertain to the current, 2018, social status of my country.
Mar 30, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Star Surgeon seems to me more of a book written in the 40s than the late 50s. It has the feel of a fix up, but I don't think it is. I found the plot to be rather simplistic although some of the things the surgeons come across are different. Over all I liked it, but if it had been longer I might not have.
Katherine George
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
I'm going to be honest here, this book wasn't worth the read. The idea was interesting, but it felt that the author couldn't make up his mind on how to end the book. Just very dissatisfied with this book, it could have been so much better.
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
very interesting and somewhat realistic in the sense of competition.Probations doctors have to work together and that is not always easy when one my have a chip on his shoulder. Howeever, human natue has a way of bringing people together regardless.
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I saw this book laying around the living room and decided to give it a shot. As it happens it's a juvenile book. The plot is straightforward with an obvious moral and obvious antagonists for obvious reasons. If you need a quick read, this will do nicely. At least it doesn't drag.
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
pretty good story. there were a few parts that seemed to be a bit rushed. but overall an enjoyable read.
Mary May
One of my first introductions to science fiction, I read this book when I was in Grade 7. Its story has stuck with me all these years and I am determined to find a copy somewhere and read it again.
Dawn Meyer
Apr 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was really interesting! I enjoyed it quite a bit.
Michelle R. Wood
Oct 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: solo, science-fiction
Space opera creators tend to focus on military commanders and revolutionary leaders, plucky adventurers and scrappy underdogs. Until I read Star Surgeon I never considered what an entire story based on intergalactic medicine might look like. Turns out doctors are as complex, imaginative, and just plain fun to sail the stars with as any other hero, with the boldest mission yet: not only to seek out new life, but to save it as well.

Star Surgeon is also unique in choosing to cast an alien character
Apr 26, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: e-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
Very much a product of its time.

Earth is poised on the brink of becoming a full member of the Galactic Federation. Of all the races so far encountered Earth's humans have the best skills in medicine, and Earth has become the sole provider of medical services to the galaxy at large, contracting out their services to a multiplicity of species. Dal Timgar is the first non-human to be accepted by Hospital Earth as a student. His ambition is to become a surgeon.

He encounters hostility and prejudice
Mar 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Excerpt: ... now it seemed they were walking through an incredible treasure-trove stocked with everything that they could possibly have wanted. For Jack there was a dress uniform, specially tailored for a physician in the Blue Service of Diagnosis, the insignia woven into the cloth with gold and platinum thread. Reluctantly he turned away from it, a luxury he could never dream of affording. For Tiger, who had been muttering for weeks about getting out of condition in the sedentary life of the

Oct 17, 2016 rated it liked it
A bizarre and unlikely future, Star Surgeon is more fantasy than hard science fiction. No intelligent machines whatsoever inhabit this future. Dated card- and ticker-tape using computers abound. I listened to this book as a LibriVox public domain audiobook on YouTube. The story hasn't aged well, but some aspects of it are surprisingly modern. For example, despite being published in 1959, only 6 years after the discovery of the structure of DNA, many modern ideas are present, including full bioch ...more
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Alan Edward Nourse was an American science fiction (SF) author and physician. He also wrote under the name Dr. X
He wrote both juvenile and adult science fiction, as well as nonfiction works about medicine and science.
Alan Nourse was born to Benjamin and Grace (Ogg) Nourse. He attended high school in Long Island, New York. He served in the U.S. Navy after World War II. He earned a Bachelor of Sci

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