Ambulance Ship

by James White
Reviewed date: 2006 Jan 15
184 pages
cover art

Ambulance Ship is a book set in James White's Sector General series. The Sector General hospitals are the galaxy's top medical facilities, and they treat all manner of intelligent beings. Ambulance Ship is three short stories about Senior Physician Conway's assignment to the ambulance spaceship Rhabwar. His mission: respond to spaceship distress calls and render medical assistance to the survivors. The story ideas are mildly interesting but not compelling.

  • Contagion: Conway and crew answer a distress call from the Tenelphi, which collided with an unknown derelict spaceship. The Tenelphi survivors are unharmed by the collision but are near death from an unrecognized disease.
  • Quarantine: The Rhabwar rescues one alien of an unidentified species. But strangely, the alien apparently carries a contagious disease that affects several other species--a kind of cross-infection hitherto thought impossible.
  • Recovery: Ambulance ship Rhabwar answers distress call of a ship which turns out to be undamaged. The crew seems to have been killed by a violent pet kept in a large cage, for an unknown reason. Stranger still, the entire ship appears to have been designed to accommodate these clearly unintelligent pets as well as the ship's crew.

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