Star Surgeon

ISBN: 1406835641
ISBN 13: 9781406835649
By: Alan E. Nourse

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About this book

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"Alan E. Nourse sure knew how to write! This is a peppy little novel, that though first published nearly 50 years ago, still crackles with energy. It plays out like a typical Heinleinian juvenile, minus the lectures... one of those rare novels that tells its story from the perspective of an alien... I’m pleased to be able to recommend it as a listen to just about anyone.Scott Farquhar reads the novel with a clinical precision, he enunciates each word loud and clear... Amateur narrators looking for a role model, should look towards Farquhar!" - SFFaudio

Reader's Thoughts


Dal Timgar and his very small, fuzzy, pink companion. Dal is studying medicine on Earth. "But as long as Dal could remember, he had wanted to be a doctor. From the first time he had seen a General Practice Patrol ship landing in his home city to fight the plague that was killing his people by the thousands, he had known that this was what he wanted more than anything else: to be a physician of Hospital Earth . . ."

Ralph McEwen

Audio Book


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 ship, there was a set of bar bells and gymnasium equipment ingeniously designed to collapse into a unit no larger than one foot square, yet opening out into a completely equipped gym. Dal's eyes glittered at the new sets of surgical instruments, designed to the most rigid Hospital Earth specifications, which appeared almost without his asking to see them. There were clothes and games, precious stones and exotic rings, watches set with Arcturian dream-stones, and boots inlaid with silver. They made their way through the corridors, reluctant to leave one display for the next. Whenever something caught their eyes, the commander snapped his fingers excitedly, and the item was unobtrusively noted down by one of the underlings. Finally, exhausted and glutted just from looking, they turned back toward the reception room. "The things are beautiful," Tiger said wistfully, "but impossible. Still, you were very kind to take your time **

Simon Ford

Good story told through an alien who happens to be the first non-human to attend Hospital Earth, for the 8 year training required to be a surgeon.Typical pulp sci-fi.


(Audible) This story is very much of another day - there are no women mentioned in the entire book and the characters interact with viral pathogens without the fear that we now have of the HIV virus - but it's a solid, entertaining story. It's either written for the YA market or suitable for that market (in 1960!) but I liked the three main characters, simple thought their characterizations were and this is a good example of a story that is great for the Audible market. Who could resist doctors in space working on alien creatures - especially when the main character is an alien himself?


Simple, somewhat dated now, but I still enjoyed the coming of age of the main character


decent book, rather light fare.was rather surprised to know that in the future, we'll have biochemistry during the third year of medical school. horror!


Star Surgeon by Alan E. Nourse (2000)


The story of a future world where Hospital Earth was the mdeical arm of the Galactic Confederation. Giant hospital ships patrolled sectors and the smaller General Practice Patrol ships followed a circuit as well as answering emergencies.In such a world, Dal Timgar, an alien, dared to want to be a doctor. Most of humanity wanted him to fail, with only one friend, classmate Tiger Martin, and one backer, one of the powerful Black Doctors of Pathology, Arnquist. But an equally powerful Black Doctor, Tanner, wants him out.Dal wants the red cloak of surgery and, most especially, the silver star for his collar of Star Surgeon.


A fun romp with some classic sci-fi, if you don't mind a little xenophobia with your storytelling. It amazed me that an author would write a book with such a rampant amount of xenophobia in an otherwise enlightened intergalactic alliance, although this does end up being a central point of the book.A fairly easy read with mostly likeable characters and some interesting alien species.


One of the SF novels that I read in childhood that really stuck with me...upon re-reading more because of the way the author handled the "racial prejudice surmounted" theme than the credibility of the plotline. This is the one with the symbiotic tribble.

Michael Pryor

A bit of nostalgia. Uncomplicated, adventurous fun.


** spoiler alert ** I grabbed this e-book in desperation one evening, when I had some time to kill after work & before bible study, and I had forgotten to being the book I was currently reading. So - iPhone to the rescue! This was a free book, in the Gutenberg Project, and it was Sci-Fi, and I'd read other books by this author when I was a kid, so I grabbed it. I knew it would be a bit out-dated, but it wasn't as bad as I'd feared - a few too many references to EarthMEN, and no female characters, but overall, it was a pretty decent read.The story is about Dal, the first non-human to train on Earth as a doctor. (At this point in Earth's future, we are known as "Hospital Earth" and known as the galaxies best doctors.) Dal faces prejudice and fear as he graduates, and it is clear that there is one senior doctor who is definitely out to "get" Dal and prevent him from becoming a full "star surgeon". Nevertheless, cooler heads prevail and Dal is put on a probation ship, with two other doctors-to-be. The three young men travel around the galaxy, answering pleas for help, and we see further prejudice by one of the other crew. They encounter various medical trials, and finally learn to respect one another when faced with a planet-wide plague that they can't figure out how to stop. Dal manages to figure out what the problem is, and the 3 think they will be awarded their "stars" (as full-fledged doctors), but Dal's nemesis shows up and it's clear he's going to twist circumstances to get Dal kicked out. But then he has a massive coronary, and only Dal can save him. He does, the doctor relents and Dal gets his star!I found the characters pretty one-dimensional (though Dal's relationship to his symbiont, 'Fuzzy', was original, and the intelligent virus was good), and as soon as the mean doctor showed up at the end, clearly ailing from a bad hear, I knew how Dal would win him over. It was all just a little too pat. I find this kind of plot and writing to be very common-place from novels of this era (1950's), so I wasn't surprised. I still managed to enjoy it, and thankfully it was pretty short.If you are interested in "intergalactic medicine" then there is a far better, and more recent series, I HIGHLY recommend James White's "Sector General" series (the first is "Hospital Station").


What an odd book. Huh. Very old-fashioned scifi, but I liked the non-traditional alien lifeforms.


I read this as an audio book and I enjoyed it so much that I'm thinking of getting a print copy. It's kinda like the movie Outbreak, only in space. Where the protagonist is the first alien to get through medical training on "Hospital Earth." In other words, fun.A little dated in feel, in some of the technology (microfilm-like data tapes), but it's still wonderful. :)

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