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The Bladerunner av Alan E. Nourse
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The Bladerunner (urspr publ 1974; utgåvan 1975)

av Alan E. Nourse

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
904225,991 (4.3)12
In 2014 seventeen-year-old Billy Gimp risks great danger as a procurer of illegal medical supplies for a skilled surgeon determined to provide health care for people considered unqualified for legal medical aid.
Medlem:shacklebot
Titel:The Bladerunner
Författare:Alan E. Nourse
Info:Ballantine Books (1975), Edition: First Printing, Paperback, 213 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
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The Bladerunner av Alan E. Nourse (1974)

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This book really deserves to be known for something other than lending its title to a movie....

It's a good story, set in our present (2017, apparently), about the impact "free" "universal" health care, written forty-some years ago. I don't see any need to recount the story; almost any summary would give away key plot details.

I do want to comment on Nourse's development as a writer, however. I've read three of his books in the past few days. His first novel (speaking loosely), The Universe Between, is an interesting idea written in the general style of early Robert Heinlein. The story's got some flaws, but it's well plotted and intellectually interesting. The second novel, Raiders from the Rings, is a piece of 50s SF junk that really needed a copyeditor to clean up the loose ends; typical pulp fare, really.

This one's well written, carefully plotted, and well thought out. The characters are better-rounded and far more convincing, and the story's better grounded in both life and politics. It's really hard to isolate the sources of improvement--some of it's probably experience, and some's probably because the subject's on Nourse's home turf (he was an MD).

Regardless, an excellent novel. Well worth reading. ( )
  joeldinda | Dec 18, 2018 |
This is the Sector General hospital author; nothing to do with the movie of same title (I think the movie was based on [b:Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?|7082|Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?|Philip K. Dick|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51figp+FE8L._SL75_.jpg|830939]). ( )
  Spurts | Oct 29, 2015 |
Is the title familar? Well, this book has nothing to do with the film which based on PKD's 'Do androids dream... ' but it's a great book nevertheless. Imagine a world where the cost of medical care is mandantory sterilisation. Illegal medical care is blooming and essential part of it are the blade runners.... And a great epidemic coming.... ( )
  TheCrow2 | Feb 5, 2013 |
A book that seemed both timely and dated when I read it in 1990. It still seems that way today. Spoilers follow. And, yes, this is the novel which lent its title to the famous movie adaptation of Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dreamof Electric Sheep. But the title is all it lent.

The computer directed helicopter transport network is something straight out of Herman Kahn's visions of the late sixties and early seventies. The old, 1960s' fear of a population explosion in America, not to mention the whole world, is reflected here. (Now people write books telling us that the Western industrialized nations don't have enough babies.) But other things are quite timely in a sociopolitical sense. We still debate socialized medicine and national health insurance. Computers are becoming more and more prevalent in medicine. Even the robot surgeons of the title look more probable now. And the demographic bulge of old people is growing along with their political power and drain on resources. Nourse prediction is right on there too. And the talk of rising medical costs and dangers of massive antibiotic use and immunization programs is familiar though the genetic costs of medical intervention in inherited disease is far less talked about now but, still, most of these are problems we're dealing with 38 years after the novel was written.

The background history of the novel is realistic and certainly aided by Nourse's experience as a doctor. A massive government program to curb population growth, pay for medical costs, and reduce the incidence of genetic frailty sets the stage. The program is simple: free medical care if you're sterilized. Nourse rightly points out the flaws in this idea. People resent the sterilization requirement; others reject medical care period (like some religious groups in America or health food/environmental types). Underground medicine -- the world of the three main characters: Dr. John Long, nurse Molly Barrett, and bladerunner Billy Gimp -- thrives.

And, of course, the characteristics of the Shanghai Flu, the epidemic central to the book's actions, attack the system's weaknesses and kill many. Those who are not sterilized, massive amounts of the population, try to ride the seemingly mild flu out until it suddenly turns deadly and help, even at a regular clinic, is almost too late. The epidemic threatens to kill millions and/or swamp the national health care system. It is then the Health Control officials reveal to Long that they have long been aware of his and others illegal medical activities and have tacitly allowed them as a safety valve necessary for the Health Care system to work. At first this seems improbably insightful and compassionate on the part of the administrators. But Nourse explains the laws implementing the Health Care system were enacted hurridly in the wake of the Health Riots and nobody felt really comfortable, not even the administrators, with them. The Health Control officials appeal to Dr. Long and his underground colleagues for secret help in stemming the flu epidemic. How they do so is a simple, yet well-told story and how the epidemic forces a changes in Health Control laws is plausible.

The relationship between the three main characters was nicely done and not too sentimental. Barrett and Gimp may get together at the end and Gimp is going to study to become a doctor, but Long is still alone (his wife and child killed in the Health Riots). Nourse nicely relates the details of underground medicine. (I also liked his computerized courts -- a plausible solution to a crowded judicial system.) One of the story's main points is a humane one. Like the main doctor in Nourse's The Fourth Horseman, Long feels compelled to personally help the sick even if it means violating the law. It is a pure example of the values of the Hippocratic oath. ( )
1 rösta RandyStafford | Sep 23, 2012 |
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Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Alan E. Nourseprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Swanson, KarlOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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In 2014 seventeen-year-old Billy Gimp risks great danger as a procurer of illegal medical supplies for a skilled surgeon determined to provide health care for people considered unqualified for legal medical aid.

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