James White's picture

James White

UK flag (1928 - 1999)

James White was a prolific Northern Irish author of science fiction novellas, short stories, and novels. He was born in Belfast and returned there after spending early years in Canada.

He is probably best-known as the author of the Sector General series of novels. The first novels were assembled from strung-together short stories, but later Sector General adventures were written as full-length novels. The first Sector General novel was published in 1962, and the last published posthumously in 1999. The short-story collection The Aliens Among Us (1969) is also related to the Sector General series, since it includes the Sector General story "Countercharm" and the quasi-Sector General story "Occupation: Warrior".

His novel The Watch Below is considered by some aficionados to be his finest work - a claustrophobic book describing the travails of parallel survivors of war (human) and accident (alien).

"The Silent Stars Go By" is an excellent example of alternative history. A Gaelic visitor to Alexandria, Egypt, realizes the industrial potential of a primitive steam engine constructed by Hero. The resulting society launches a starship in the year 1492.

Genres: Science Fiction

   The Secret Visitors (1957)
   The Escape Orbit (1965)
     aka Open Prison
   The Watch Below (1966) (with Rudolf Steiner)
   All Judgment Fled (1968)
   Tomorrow Is Too Far (1971)
   Lifeboat (1972)
     aka Dark Inferno
   The Dream Millennium (1974)
   Underkill (1979)
   The Interpreters (1985)
   Federation World (1988)
   The Silent Stars Go By (1991)
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Series contributed to
Anthologies containing stories by James White
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Short stories
The Apprentice
Counter Security
Christmas Treason (1961)
Invader (1966)
Vertigo (1968)
Blood Brother (1969)
Meatball (1969)
Major Operation [short story] (1971)
Commuter (1972)
Spacebird (1973)
Answer Came There None (1974)
Custom Fitting (1976)Hugo (nominee)
Second Ending (1977)
Something of Value (1985)
Un-Birthday Boy (1997)Hugo (nominee)

Nebula Awards Best Novel nominee (1966) : The Escape Orbit
Hugo Best Short Story nominee (1977) : Custom Fitting
Hugo Best Short Story nominee (1997) : Un-Birthday Boy