|Ballantine Books paperback, 1962. Cover artist uncredited.|
"SECTOR GENERAL is the home of many strange creatures, including humans. It is a vast, sectionalized hospital, set up in space to care for all kinds of extra-terrestrials including those that 'breathe' methane gas, or live under water, or come from planets with pressures and gravities altogether different from those of Earth.
Each section of the hospital is rigged to duplicate the living requirements of its various patients. But the doctors, human and otherwise, must of necessity shift to one kind of space-suit to another in the course of their rounds. How to devise a working spacesuit for a delicately expert surgeon with eight legs so fragile that mere earth gravity would crush them? How discover what is ailing the incommunicable, elephant-sized infant offspring of some vast behemoth before "baby" wrecks the joint? How get close enough to teat a mangled crew-member whose life-force is hard radiation?
These and many other problems - funny, dangerous, dramatic - are the daily bread of Sector General. But above all there is the job of keeping the hospital going, maintaining harmony and discipline among a wildly disparate group of aliens - this is the job that falls to a human."