WHITE, James

WHITE, James
   UK writer from Ulster who worked as publicity officer with an aircraft company 1968-84. He began to publish sf with "Assisted Passage" for NW in 1953. To many readers (though his singleton novels are equally engaging) he is known almost exclusively for the tales about galactic MEDICINE comprising the Sector General sequence, set in a 384-levelspace-station/hospital "far out on the galactic Rim" and designed to accommodate all known kinds of XENOBIOLOGICAL problems. Dr Conway (he seems to have no first name), a human member of the 10,000-strong multi-species staff, solves alone or with colleagues a series of medical crises with humour, ingenuity and an underlying Hippocratic sense of decency. The sequence includes Hospital Station (coll of linked stories 1962 US), Star Surgeon (1963 US), Major Operation (fixup 1971), AmbulanceShip (fixup 1979 US), Sector General (coll of linked stories 1983 US), Star Healer (1985 US), Code Blue - Emergency (1987 US) and The Genocidal Healer (1992). Some further Sector General tales appear, along with stories set in similar sf venues, in The Aliens Among Us (coll 1969 US; cut 1979 UK) and Futures Past (coll 1982 US; with 1 story dropped and 1 added rev 1988 UK). White's capacity to conceive and make plausible a wide range of alien anatomies seems unflagging.Other collections include Deadly Litter (coll 1964 US) and Monsters and Medics (coll 1977), but theircontents are generally less appealing than his series tales, though they share an ease with sf hardware and a quickness of plot. His singleton novels are more impressive. Second Ending (1962 chap US) encompasses in a few pages the end of humanity, an eons-long perspective, and new hope for a sole survivor. Open Prison (1965; vt The Escape Orbit 1965 dos US) is exhilarating adventure sf. Perhaps the most successful is the ingenious The Watch Below (1966 US), a tale whose two narrative lines dovetailcleverly. In one a WWII merchant vessel sinks, leaving 3 men and 2 women to survive in a large air pocket, work out life-maintenance systems and eventually breed there UNDER THE SEA while 100 years pass. In the other, water-dwelling ALIENS, who have long been seeking a wet world like Earth to inhabit peacefully, land their starship in the sea in time to save the descendants of the 5 20th-century survivors. The various correspondences between the two sets of "prisoners" are neatly and humanely stressed. In The Dream Millennium (1974) a physician dreams a Jungian version of thehuman story in SUSPENDED ANIMATION as his slower-than-light ship takes him and other passengers to a paradisal planet. Underkill (1979) marks a grim contrast, suggesting that an alien race's response to the internecine savageries of humanity might be the just extirpation of almost the entire species. It might be noted that JW tends to grow more genial the further from the present he sets his stories; if some of the Sector General tales seem at times almost wilfully upbeat, their ebullience may have been palliative in nature. Underkill clearly represents a vision any writer might be glad to step around.
   Other works: The Secret Visitors (1957 dos); All Judgement Fled (1968); Tomorrow is Too Far (1971 US); Dark Inferno (1972; vt Lifeboat 1972 US); The Interpreters (1985 chap dos); TheSilent Stars Go By (1991 US), an ALTERNATE-WORLD tale.
   About the author: James White, Doctor to Aliens: A Working Bibliography (1986 chap) by Gordon BENSON Jr.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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  • White, James (Springer) and Ellen (Gould) — orig. Ellen Gould Harmon born April 8, 1821, Palmyra, Me., U.S. died June 8, 1881, Battle Creek, Mich. born Nov. 26, 1827, Gorham, Me. died July 16, 1915, St. Helena, Cal. Cofounders of the Seventh Day Adventists. James was a schoolteacher and… …   Universalium

  • White, James (Springer) y Ellen (Gould) — orig. Ellen Gould Harmon (8 abr. 1821, Palmyra, Me., EE.UU.–8 jun. 1881, Battle Creek, Mich.) (26 nov. 1827, Gorham, Me.–16 jul. 1915, St. Helena, Cal.). Cofundadores del movimiento de los adventistas del séptimo día. James fue maestro de escuela …   Enciclopedia Universal

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  • White (surname) — White is a surname. In the 1990 United States Census, White ranked fourteenth among all reported surnames in frequency, accounting for 0.28% of the population. [United States Census Bureau (9 May 1995). . Retrieved on 2008 07 04.] A list of… …   Wikipedia

  • James Bain White — (* 26. Juni 1835 in Stirlingshire, Vereinigtes Königreich; † 9. Oktober 1897 in Fort Wayne, Indiana) war ein US amerikanischer Politiker. Zwischen 1887 und 1889 vertrat er den Bundesstaa …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • James Springer White — James White James Springer White (* 4. August, 1821, Palmyra, Maine; † 6. August 1881, Battle Creek, Michigan) war Mitbegründer der Siebenten Tags Adventisten und Ehemann von Ellen G. White. Er gilt als der Vater der christologischen Deutung der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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