Star Surgeon

Cover image for


Author: Alan Nourse
Published: 1959
Language: English
Wordcount: 51,748 / 156 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 66.5
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 3,001
Added to site: 2006.06.03 13819

Born on a planet of a distant star, Dal Timgar is the first alien to attempt to become a qualified physician of Hospital Earth.

Show Excerpt

but just enough to set him apart and make him easily identifiable as an alien. He had one too few digits on his hands; his body was small and spindly, weighing a bare ninety pounds, and the coating of fine gray fur that covered all but his face and palms annoyingly grew longer and thicker as soon as he came to the comparatively cold climate of Hospital Earth to live. The bone structure of his face gave his cheeks and nose a flattened appearance, and his pale gray eyes seemed abnormally large and wistful. And even though it had long been known that Earthmen and Garvians were equal in range of intelligence, his classmates still assumed just from his appearance that he was either unusually clever or unusually stupid.

The gulf that lay between him and the men of Earth went beyond mere physical differences, however. Earthmen had differences of skin color, facial contour and physical size among them, yet made no sign of distinction. Dal's alienness went deeper. His classmates had been civil enough, yet with


Average Rating of 3.7 from 6 reviews: ****
Dai Alanye

Well-written but predictable and with an alien hero, which makes for weaker escapism. Worth a read, though.

V. Soni

Really good. Enjoyed the audio-book like never before. Children (10-16) will love it.

R Stephan

Just like military SF caters to the potential souldier, this one tries to evoke fascination for the medical profession, quite successfully. The plot develops a bit slowly but soon enough Earth is left, and all the usual problems of a medical team growing together under pressure are coming up. Not excellent, but well worth a read.


One of my favorites as a kid. It's a good story, and also a pointed tale about prejudice. Membership in the galactic federation requires two things: that you have FTL travel, and that you have something to contribute. Earth is the most advanced in medicine, and becomes Hospital Earth. Humanity becomes the galaxy's doctors. The hero of the story is the first member of any alien race to try to become an Earth trained doctor, and must overcome resistance and prejudice from patients and human colleagues to do it. Good stuff for teh juvenile/YA audience, and fun for adults as well.


Solid pulp fiction, nothing sparkling but well-written and I enjoyed the alien viewpoint and the medical stuff doesn't seem too dated. A fun, quick read, try it.

Arvo Henifin

Alan Nourse was a real life physician who wrote a series of children's/teen's sci-fi books using medical themes. Well written for what they are.

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