Reviewed date: 2007 May 14
Major Operation is one of James White's Sector General novels. Senior Physician Conway of Sector Twelve General Hospital solves several medical mysteries related to the newly discovered planet Meatball. The planet Meatball is so named because its entire land surface is covered in a carpet of living matter. In the course of his studies, Conway discovers that the carpet is deathly ill. The Sector General hospitals are committed to treating any and all living creatures, so Conway commandeers an entire sector fleet and begins healing the planet.
Major Operation is a fixup novel.
- Invader: A physician at Sector General makes a mistake during surgery, and Conway investigates the circumstances. Conway suspects an outside influence is causing numerous mistakes throughout the hospital, but he cannot identify the source.
- Vertigo: A mission to the planet Meatball results in the rescue of the planet's first attempt at space travel. But when the rescuers try to stop the wildly spinning Meatballian spacecraft, the creature inside nearly dies.
- Blood Brother: Conway travels to Meatball to find the toolmakers who create thought-controlled tools.
- Meatball: Conway thinks the SRJH life forms on Meatball are the toolmakers who invented the thought-operated tools, but efforts to communicate with the SRJH creatures are unsuccessful.
- Major Operation: Conway commandeers a sector fleet to operate on the living carpet that inhabits the planet Meatball. They can perform the operation, but the carpet resists their efforts and threatens to interrupt the delicate surgery unless Conway find a way to communicate with the creature and explain the lifesaving procedure.