Alan Nourse was born August 11, 1928 to Benjamin and Grace (Ogg) Nourse in Iowa. He attended high school in New York, and served in the US navy after the war. He earned a Bachelor of Science in 1951 and married Ann Morton the following year. In 1955 he received a Doctor of Medicine degree in 1955 and served his one year internship in Seattle. He practiced medicine in North Bend (Washington) from 1958 to 1963 and also pursued his writing career. Alan Nourse died on July 1992 in Thorp, Washington.

     Nourse wrote books that were mainly classified as Young Adult. I have four which I purchased around ten years after the time they appeared and find that they are still very readable. Star Surgeon in particular which remains one of my favourite books. It deals with bigotry, and the need for someone who is different from their people to find a place for themself. Some aspects of it strongly reflect the MedShip tales of Leinster but it’s no clone, rather a different take on a theme arrived at independently. Note against this book in the list below that it’s available in an audio version under Public Domain.


Short stories:

“Brightside Crossing” (published January 1956 issue of Galaxy magazine)

“Mirror, Mirror” (1967)


High Threshold (March 1951 issue of Astounding)

The Universe Between (September 1951 issue of Astounding)


  1. Trouble on Titan (1954)
  2. A Man Obsessed (1955)
  3. Rocket to Limbo (1957)
  4. Scavengers in Space (1958)
  5. The Invaders are Coming! (1959, co-authored)
  6. Star Surgeon (1959) In my opinion the best of all his novels –

    has been recorded as a public domain audio book at LibriVox

  7. Raiders from the Rings (1962)
  8. “The Universe Between” (1965, a mash-up of “High Threshold” and “The Universe Between” )
  9. The Mercy Men (1968, revised version of A Man Obsessed
  10. The Bladerunner (1974)
  11. The Practice (1978)
  12. The Fourth Horseman (1983)


  1. Tiger by the Tail and Other Science Fiction Stories (1961)
  2. The Counterfeit Man (1963)
  3. Psi-High and Others (1967)
  4. Rx for Tomorrow (1971)
  5. Short Works of Alan Edward Nourse (2008, reprint of seven of the stories from The Counterfeit Man)

also 17 non-fiction books

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