2 journalers for this copy...
This is a 1986 edition, which means it was probably fairly new when I first discovered James White and Surgeon General and was busily trying to find copies of all of his books. It's been hanging out at my house for a long time, so I think it's time for it to stretch its legs a bit. I have an omnibus edition - Beginning Operations - which includes the first three Sector General books, so I'm telling myself I need to let this one go...
Here's another copy on my BookCrossing shelf.
USPS tracking # 9549 0104 3304 8218 3991 96
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Later: This book's more of a novel than an anthology, though each of the "chapters" has a self-contained story-arc. But the whole thing does spin out into a wildly elaborate attempt to make contact with an as-yet-unidentified intelligent species on a planet that seems to consist in part of a land-mass-sized being that's badly in need of medical care. There are loads of hilarious quips and snarks from the main characters (human and otherwise), and some ingenious kludges in both the engineering and medical portions of the story, along with White's typically inventive look at supremely-non-terrestrial lifeforms and how they might have evolved to be the way they are.
This book also gives Murchison more page-space. She was introduced as a nurse, and eventually a love-interest of Conway's, though the stories always underplay the private lives of the characters. By this book, Murchison's become a pathologist (a late-breaking advance by White; given his open-mindedness about the various alien species it always seemed odd that the Earth characters were nearly all men) and is married to Conway, leading to some really fun snark-debates between them when they face a dangerous situation.
There are more casualties in this story than in many of the others, quite a few of them taking place once treatment of the continent-sized (and hostile) patient has begun; while everyone involved realized the likelihood of this going in, it still takes its toll.
There were a lot of passages here that made me laugh out loud - and a few that got me a bit sniffly. Another entertaining entry in this ever-imaginative series. I would dearly love to see a decent film or TV series based on this; modern CGI would make it possible, and it has the lively plotting and sparkling dialog to make viewing worthwhile.
[There's a TV Tropes page on the series, with some entertaining tidbits.]
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
[See other recent releases in MA here.]
*** Released for the 2018 Keep Them Moving release challenge. ***
*** Released for the 2018 You're Such an Animal release challenge, for the embedded "rat" in the title. ***