Irish author James White dished up more than just cosmic fun in his Sector General series where aliens of all varieties (human DBDG classification inclusive) interact in a massive 384 level Hospital space station located on the Galactic rim. I just finished reading these brilliantly conceived books – all 12 of them – during a bout of kidney stones that caused high frequency close encounters of the commode for several weeks (indecisive kidney stones ≠ good for their immediate universe- ME!)
The Galactic Gourmet caught my eye in our local library during an emergency stockpile visit (many book piles at home are of the ‘you must think as you read’ variety – not the most conducive to pain mgt!) I had not heard of James White, but liked the description of Gurronsevas, a massive, 6-legged, elephant-likeTralthan chef who takes on the ultimate challenge as Sector General’s new Chief Dietician: making hospital food palatable.
As the former star chef at the galaxy’s premier inter-species luxury hotel, Gurronsevas must adapt to the insanely chaotic life at Sector General and prove himself to entities-in-charge (Chief Psychologist Major O’Mara thinks G. is in over it’s culinarily capable appendages while Monitor Corps Hospital Administrator Col. Skempton, after a series of well-meaning-but-catastrophic ‘accidents,’ wants Gurronsevas gone, gone, GONE!)
How Gurronsevas redeems himself while hidden away from Col. Skempton on an emergency mission of the Ambulance ship Rhabwar, with friendly help from able crew Dr. Prilicla, Pathologist Murchinson, Dr. Danalta, and Charge Nurse Naydrad is inspiring … and absolutely HILARIOUS! I laughed so hard I cried (not from the kidney stones) and kept on laughing to the end of the book.
This is Book #9 of the series. I thoroughly enjoyed going back to the first book- Hospital Station- & reading through to the last page of Final Contact (Book 12.) The first six books feature trainee Doctor Conway, an earth-human DBDG who muddles his way through inter-species surgical challenges, interstellar ‘police actions’ and planetary plagues up the hospital hierarchy ladder to Senior Diagnostician. The Genocidal Healer (Book #8) deals with slightly heavier issues – redemption for Tarlan Surgeon Capt. Liorien who, after demanding the death penalty for himself for professional negligence, must find his way personally & professionally – it is my favorite of the series.
If you are looking for summer holiday reading, check these out & enjoy some delightful medicine for your ailments: cosmic hilarity at Sector General!