Short stores of human and alien interactions. Includes a story from Sector General (Countercharm, in which Star Surgeon Conway had to share his brain with an alien medic - and the alien was taking over) and a prequel to the hospital's creation (Tableau - The Orligs were cute, cuddly teddy bears who wanted to destroy humanity. How could MacEwan and Grulyaw-Ki come to an understanding and stop the Earth-Orlig war?)
This book has seven short stories in it. "Countercharm" is a Sector General story about Senior Physician Conway's first encounter with an Educator tape. Sector General is an interspecies galactic hospital. The doctors need to know how to diagnose and operate on all the intelligent life forms in the Galactic Federation. To do this, they transfer the collected knowledge and life experience of a doctor of the species into their own brains. Think cyberpunk meets M*A*S*H. This is a nice story that fills in part of Conway's story, but be warned, it is only 21 pages long.
"To Kill or Cure" is the story of the confusion caused when an alien spacecraft crashes on Earth with injured survivors.
"Red Alert" is the twisted story of an unusual invasion of Earth.
"Tableau" returns to the Galactic Federation as a setting. It is the story of the two war heroes who were instrumental in the creation of Sector General. It is the story leading to their being put into a stasis field and displayed as a War Memorial. The story is complete in itself, since White often wrote for pulp magazines.
"The Conspirators" is a fun story of the lab animals on an Earth spaceship becoming sentient and telepathic. It reminded me of "The Rats of N.I.M.H." with mice, bonus guinea pigs, a pet bird and a pet cat.
"The Scavengers" is another invasion story. This time humans are doing the invading.
The final story is "Occupation: Warrior". For those that follow Sector General stories, this is the story of how General Dermod, a recurring minor character in the series, becomes a Guardsman. But that isn't relevant to this stand alone story at all.
I can always count on James White to entertain my brain!