'Sector General' (17,000 words.)
Like a sprawling, misshapen Christmas tree the lights of Sector
General Hospital blazed against the misty backdrop of the stars.
I'm still not too sure whether 'Sector General' is too short for
its length or too long for its shortth. Jim himself ruefully
admitted that John Carnell would have rejected the story in its
present form if an upcoming issue of New Worlds hadn't sprung
a 17,000-word hole. But it's worth reading just for this
neat little first-contact scene: "My name is O'Mara, said the
Major in a pleasant voice. "I'm the Chief Psychologist of
this madhouse. You, I take it, are Dr Conway." O'Mara
smiles. Conway smiles in return, knowing that it looked
forced, and that O'Mara knew it also. Always start as you
mean to go on . . .
Synopsis by graham Andrews