Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Ambulance Ship

By James White

A collection of short stories about Dr. Conway's adventures aboard the new ambulance ship attached to Sector General, the mammoth space hospital. Along with Dr. Conway are the lovely Murchison, formerly a nurse but now working as a pathologist; the sensitive and delicate insectile being and empath Dr. Prilicla and Nurse Naydrad, a furry, caterpillar-like being who always says exactly what she is thinking. Their mission is to perform rescues of spaceships in distress, to get the crews of those ships to safety and give them whatever medical attention needed and then transport to Sector General.

This was a pretty good read. As always, Conway and company have to cope with unknown beasties. Sometimes it is hard for them to tell if the creatures they are trying to help are intelligent beings or just animals. And knowing the kinds of exotic beings Sector General routinely deals with, sometimes it really is hard to tell, as in one of the stories where it seems the blind crew of a distressed ship have been routinely torturing two creatures they held in captivity. But, as is often the case in the Sector General universe, first impressions are usually wrong. But what is usual is that Conway and company manage to overcome the challenges and to preserve life and help the suffering and introduce the reader to all sorts of strange and amazing aliens. The author certainly had a knack for coming up with odd and wacky beings.

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