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Andrea K Höst

Australian writer of science fiction and fantasy.

Star Surgeon (Sector General, #2)

Star Surgeon (Sector General, #2) - James White The second in a short series of Doctor in Space stories by James White. The strength of the stories overall is one of problem-solving. The Doctor faces some strange, alien-related medical problem, and comes up with an obvious or not-so-obvious solution. The first problem faced in this book is a good example of this - unconscious, possibly criminal alien appears to be dying of minor skin infection, but seems to automatically defend against any attempt to cure it. Main character Conway thinks outside the box, and comes up with a solution.Yeah, it's House in space, with aliens.This particular story goes off the rails halfway through, losing the interest of the puzzle-solving while retaining the more general problems of the books. The galaxy of widely diverse species has a 'monitor corps' made up entirely of humans, for a start. The role of women is to be hot, or to be nurses (Conway, of course, is romantically involved with the hottest nurse). No female doctors are sighted at all, and where the doctors are alien gender isn't mentioned (the only mentions of alien gender in this book is one genderless friend of Conway's, and a female nurse). At one point the nurses are told not to worry "their silly little heads" about something.Conway is ridiculously valorised in this book - he figures out what's up before the genius, demi-god alien whose lifelong purpose is meddling with the motives of other races. The book ends after a cringeworthy "oh shucks" scene where everyone is standing around telling Conway how wonderful he is.Other books in the series are stronger for sticking to the short story puzzle solving format. If you're going to read one of this short series of books, this is definitely the one to avoid.