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Beginning Operations: A Sector General…
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Beginning Operations: A Sector General Omnibus: Hospital Station, Star Surgeon, Major Operation (vuoden 2001 painos)

Tekijä: James White (Tekijä), Brian Stableford (Johdanto)

Sarjat: Sector General (Omnibus 1, 2, & 4)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
361871,064 (3.92)77
Sector General: A massive deep-space hospital station on the Galactic Rim, where human and alien medicine meet. Its 384 levels and thousands of staff members are supposedly able to meet the needs of any conceivable alien patient--though that capacity is always being strained as more (and stranger) alien races turn up to join the galactic community. Sentient viruses, interspecies romances, undreamed-of institutional catering problems--it all lands on Sector General's doorstep. And the only thing weirder than a hitherto unknown alien species is having a member of that species turn up in your Emergency Room. The first of two omnibus volumes reprints the works that began the Sector General series, which were previously published asHospital Station(1962),Star Surgeon (1963), andMajor Operation (1971).… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:wallcraf
Teoksen nimi:Beginning Operations: A Sector General Omnibus: Hospital Station, Star Surgeon, Major Operation
Kirjailijat:James White (Tekijä)
Muut tekijät:Brian Stableford (Johdanto)
Info:Tor Books (2001), Edition: 1st, 513 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):
Avainsanoja:sf, ebook

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Beginning Operations: A Sector General Omnibus (tekijä: James White)

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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 8) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
The first 3 novels of the Sector General Hospital.
Hospital Station.
A collection of short stories of varying quality. There is an interesting variety of alien lifeforms imagined here. I did not like the character O'Mara but he only features in the first story.
Star Surgeon
I like the concept of the space station with 384 levels dedicated to providing the atmosphere, gravity, environmental and nutritional needs of 80 different species and how they all work together to save their critically ill patients. Unfortunately, the second half of the book is involved with war and dealing with casualties which I did not find very interesting. I have difficulty buying that personality as lacking in empathy and diplomacy as O'Mara's could really work as the head of such a facility. Conway's relationship with Murchison almost seems like an afterthought- not a real romance.
Major Operation
Conway is placed in charge of a new, mysterious patient. Very interesting.

read 2/20/2024 ( )
  catseyegreen | Feb 20, 2024 |
James White’s Sector General series should be required reading for ANYONE assigned to first contact missions. Note in the first paragraph below (from Alien Emergencies), the inclusion of specialists in communications, philosophy, and psychology. Note the exclusion of specialists in any of the hard sciences. And the military. (Note also, the more effective way.)

“The Cultural contact people were the elite of the Monitor Corps, a small group of specialists in e-t communications, philosophy and psychology. Although small, the group was not, regrettably, overworked …

“… During the past twenty years,” O’Mara went on, “they have initiated First Contact procedure on three occasions, all of which resulted in the species concerned joining the Federation. I will not bore you with the details of the number of survey operations mounted and the ships, personnel and materiel involved, or shock you with the cost of it all. I mention the Cultural Contact group’s three successes simply to make the point that within the same time period this hospital became fully operational and also initiated First contacts, which resulted in seven new species joining the Federation. This was accomplished not by a slow, patient buildup and widening of communications until the exchange of complex philosophical and sociological concepts became possible, but by giving medical assistance to a sick alien.”

I can’t recommend White’s work enough. Finally, an intelligent approach to alien life. (Because yes, pretty much every novel I’ve read, and every movie I’ve seen, to date, has been embarrassing for its UNintelligent approach to alien. Why haven’t we discovered intelligent life out there? Because we’re too stupid to visit.) ( )
2 ääni ptittle | Apr 22, 2023 |
Hospital Station
The first book in the series was a collection of short stories originally published in magazines with little to no linking material. I found the first one with O'Mara as the main character a little heavy going but the rest kept me reading to see what the answers to the puzzles were, though I could have done with more exploration of the different species and how their psychology differed as well as their physical differences.

Star Surgeon
The first part, where the doctors try to work out how to treat Lonvellin, is much more interesting than the second part where Sector General comes under military attack from an empire trying to cover up its own misdeeds.

Major Operation
The third novel starts with mysterious incidents in an operating theatre, which ultimately lead to an operation on a very, very, large patient.

There was quite a bit of repetition from book to book, so the omnibus format may not be the best way to read these. I will continue with the series but after a break. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Jan 2, 2022 |

Beginning Operations (A Sector General Omnibus) by James White

I was looking forward to reading this book because I had very much enjoyed a couple of the later works of this author. However, Beginning Operations (which is an omnibus of the first three Sector General novels) did not quite live up to my expectations.
This is classic science fiction from the 1960s, but with a rare pacifist message.
The book is really a series of short stories or vignettes which unfold in the setting of the same massive galactic hospital.
While the content is very imaginative and positive, it certainly has a dated feel to it.
James White proved that he had a fertile imagination through the aliens he envisaged, who are certainly not of the Roswell kind. He described oxygen, chlorine, and methane breathers, and the many strange shapes and sizes of those from planets with wildly different environments and gravitational strengths. There are even some who need hard radiation to survive, and like to bathe in the heat of atomic furnaces.
However, it will probably be noted that the author failed to predict technologies and attitudes of the coming decades. For example, despite the many widely differing environments on the hospital station, many of which would be instantly lethal to a being unsuited to them, people can simply walk in and out through the airlocks without any security measures like ID cards or passwords. For this reason, a runaway shape-changing alien is able cause havoc on the station. Also, the staff do not carry portable communicators, and have to rush to the nearest wall unit to answer urgent messages.
All the doctors and administrators seem to be male, while the nurses who get ordered around are female and sometimes objects of desire. At one point, the protagonist's superior states that misogyny is an allowable neurosis. So, while some elements of the story may be considered groundbreaking, in other ways it is very much a work of its time.
Although this is pacifist literature in an age dominated by military science fiction, and features many species of aliens all working together toward a common objective, the way that humans sometimes refer to their alien colleagues and patients is less than flattering, and seems to imply an overall sense of human superiority. Some of the medical cases are quite interesting, but the minimal character development can sometimes make the stories feel a little flat and unengaging.
I would, however, highly recommend other works by this author. All Judgement Fled (1968) is in some ways similar to Hospital Station, but has more complex and convincing characters and a more interesting plot. The Silent Stars Go By (1991) shows a far greater level of maturity, and is probably his best work.


( )
1 ääni Hoppy500 | Dec 1, 2021 |
{First of 14 Sector General series; sci-fi, adventure, alien medicine}

Introduction by

This is the first book in Beginning Operations, which is an omnibus editions of books 1, 2 and 4 of the Sector General series. These were originally published in magazines.

Chapter 1: Medic

This is set when what will become the first hospital to cater to hundreds of alien species is being built and is the aftermath of an accident involving two Hudlarian parents. O'Mara has to take care of an infant Hudlarian whose home planet has much denser gravity than ours.

It took me back to the days when my second son, especially, was a newborn. A baby is still a baby, with feeding demands and so on, no matter the species or physiology.

The process of being painted with food seemed to be a pleasant one for the young FROB. It ceased to cower in the corner and began blundering excitedly about the small bedroom. For O’Mara it became a matter of trying to hit a rapidly moving object while practicing violent evasive maneuvers himself, which set his injured leg throbbing more painfully than ever. His furniture suffered, too. Practically the whole interior surface of his sleeping compartment was covered with the sticky, sharp-smelling food compound, and also the exterior of the now-quiescent young alien, when Caxton arrived.


4.5 stars *****

Chapter 2: Sector General

The hospital is now well established and O’Mara has found his niche but this story is about Conway, a young doctor who has to counter his own prejudices against the Monitor Corps while rescuing a being whose ship has crashed deep into the hospital.

3.5-4****

Chapter 3: Trouble with Emily

Conway is chosen to assist a doctor of a telepathic, ethical species with a patient of yet another species who is perfectly healthy, whom the hospital staff name 'Emily' (a groan-worthy pun). Despite the doctor's brusque manner and mysterious manner about Emily, Conway finds that he quite likes him(?)/ her(?).

They were an old, wise and humble race, O’Mara concluded; intensely humble. So much so that they tended to look down on other races who were not so humble as they. Conway would have to be very tactful because this extreme, this almost overbearing humility might easily be mistaken for something else.


4.5*****

Chapter 4: Visitor at Large

Dr. Conway acquires a new assistant from another species, Dr. Prilica who is an empath, to help him in the Nursery wards. They also help track down a runaway juvenile delinquent whose parent is a patient in critical condition.

4****

Chapter 5: Out-Patient

The Monitor Corps brings in an urgent case; the wreckage of a ship of unknown origin and buried within it, a sole survivor. Dr. Conway has to tread carefully with this first contact of an advanced species who seems to disagree with his proposed treatment plan.

Conway approached the patient again and switched on the Translator. He knew before he spoke what the reaction would be so it was probably an act of wanton cruelty to say the words, but he had to test this theory once more for his own reassurance. He said, “Don’t worry, young fellow, we’ll have you back the way you were in no time ...” The reaction was so violent that Dr. Prilicla, whose empathic faculty made it feel everything which the patient felt at full intensity, had to leave the ward.


4****

I like the way that White has thought about other alien species and that they are non-humanoid - in fact, our nearest 'relatives' in his classification scheme, fellow DBLFs, look like furry caterpillars - and I appreciate the way that Tralthans and not humans are the best doctors (even though his main protagonists are, necessarily, human). I like the idea of his classification scheme itself, which quickly separates species into vital characteristics such as water/ oxygen/ chlorine breathers, telepathic abilities and so on which also helps the medical staff in identifying potential treatments.

I did find the way he builds suspense by getting his main characters to withhold information from their superiors for the good of the patient to be a bit repetitive. But as a magazine series (the stories' original format) that wouldn't have been so obvious and its real purpose is to keep the reader in the dark. For example in 'Outpatient'- medical issues aside - the resolution of the first-contact problem seems obvious in hindsight.

Averaging: 4.1-4.2****

The other two books in my omnibus edition of Beginning Operations are:

[Star Surgeon]
[Major Operation]
  humouress | Jul 23, 2021 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 8) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu

» Lisää muita tekijöitä

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
White, Jamesensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Hayden, Teresa NielsenToimittajamuu tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Stableford, BrianJohdantomuu tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Harris, JohnKansikuvataiteilijamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Russo, CarolKannen suunnittelijamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu

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Sector General (Omnibus 1, 2, & 4)
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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Sector General: A massive deep-space hospital station on the Galactic Rim, where human and alien medicine meet. Its 384 levels and thousands of staff members are supposedly able to meet the needs of any conceivable alien patient--though that capacity is always being strained as more (and stranger) alien races turn up to join the galactic community. Sentient viruses, interspecies romances, undreamed-of institutional catering problems--it all lands on Sector General's doorstep. And the only thing weirder than a hitherto unknown alien species is having a member of that species turn up in your Emergency Room. The first of two omnibus volumes reprints the works that began the Sector General series, which were previously published asHospital Station(1962),Star Surgeon (1963), andMajor Operation (1971).

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