Stardoc (Stardoc Series #1)

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Overview

Dr. Cherijo Grey Veil leaves Earth and accepts a position as a physician at Kevarzanga-2's FreeClinic. Her surgical skills are desperately needed on a hostile frontier world with over 200 sentient species--and her understanding of alien physiology is nothing short of miraculous. But the truth behind her expertise is a secret which, if discovered, could have disastrous consequences between human and alien relations...
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Stardoc (Stardoc Series #1)

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Overview

Dr. Cherijo Grey Veil leaves Earth and accepts a position as a physician at Kevarzanga-2's FreeClinic. Her surgical skills are desperately needed on a hostile frontier world with over 200 sentient species--and her understanding of alien physiology is nothing short of miraculous. But the truth behind her expertise is a secret which, if discovered, could have disastrous consequences between human and alien relations...
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Editorial Reviews

Victoria Strauss
Dr. Cherijo Grey Veil is fed up with her life on Earth and with her cold, domineering father, Dr. Joseph Grey Veil. So she takes the first off-planet medical job she can find: a post in the Trauma FreeClinic on Kevarzangia Two, a world colonized by 200 different alien species, where human beings are definitely in the minority. She has never treated an alien in her life, but she's a talented doctor, and figures she'll wing it.

Arriving on K-2, Cherijo finds that her scant knowledge of alien medicine is only the beginning of her problems. Her boss hates her, and other colleagues are mistrustful. She runs afoul of various local customs, in part because she's too impatient to follow the rules (much as she hates her arrogant father, she has a hefty share of his physician's ego). The colony's chief linguist -- a handsome but creepy human named Reever -- has an annoying habit of trying to invade her mind with his telepathic powers. And her father, furious at her precipitous departure, is doing everything he can short of kidnapping to get her back.

Despite these difficulties, Cherijo manages to surmount medical challenges and make friends. But just as she's beginning to feel at home on K-2, a mysterious epidemic strikes the colony. Desperately, Cherijo races against time to find a cure. But there are many forces arrayed against her: the hostility of the powers that be on Earth, the fear and anger of the bewildered colonists -- and a terrible secret in her own past, which the epidemic may force her to reveal.

If you're one of those people who likes real science in your science fiction, Stardoc is probably not for you. This is SF in the Star Trek vein, with universal translators, alien races that breathe the same air and eat the same food, and some vague discussion of "molecular structure modification" to explain space travel. But if you're willing to suspend your disbelief and enter into the spirit of the thing, Stardoc is a rousing good yarn, with plenty of plot twists, inventive scene-setting, and quirky characters to keep readers thoroughly entertained. The convincing medical details (drawn from Viehl's own trauma centre experience) help to ground the more fantastic aspects of alien physiognomy so that they don't seem totally off the wall, and Cherijo's tart first-person narration gives the story a nicely sarcastic bite.

Viehl takes on some serious themes, including the extreme xenophobia of Earth, which has led to the passage of restrictive species-ist laws, and the question of what exactly makes a being sentient. But mostly Stardoc is a fun adventure story, with an appealing heroine, a lot of action, a sly sense of humour, and wonders aplenty. A sequel is scheduled for July; I'll be looking forward to it.
SFSite.com

VOYA
Dr. Cherijo Grey Veil leaves Terra in a hurry, fleeing her overbearing father and some uncomfortable revelations about her origin. Landing on Kevarzangia2, a lush, Earthlike planet, she is swept immediately into her new job as a physician. She faces plenty of challengesthe obvious dislike of her chief, Dr. Mayer, the outright animosity of Phorap Rogan, an incompetent colleague, and the fact that she must treat aliens of all descriptions when her only experience has been with humans. Overcoming all these obstacles, Cherijo manages to fall in love with the blueskinned, whiteeyed Jorenian, forestall an epidemic, tangle with a mindreading linguist, lose her lover, and create a diplomatic rift between the Jorenians and the League. Viehl's plotting is swift and skillful, and the scenes in the trauma unit are especially riveting and well written. Characterization is more problematic. Dr. Cherijo is subject to frequent, irritating tantrums; her Jorenian lover, clearly an interstellar Mr. Nice Guy, never comes to life; and her horrid father bears a definite resemblance to an updated version of Simon LeGree. Most questionable, however, is a scene in which Cherijo is raped by Duncan Reever, the linguist who is possessed by a foreign entity at the time of the attack. The implication is clear that despite the fact that this is forced, unwanted sex, the good doctor really wants it underneath all her protests. Surely a perpetuation of the "women really want it" myth is not a good thing to aim at the adolescents who will comprise the majority of the audience for this book. Despite this rather serious flaw, the book is involving, with enough solid supporting characters to maintain plot complexityandinterest. Readers of this first installment will anxiously await the promised sequel. VOYA CODES: 3Q 4P S A/YA (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult and Young Adult). 2000, Penguin, Ages 16 to Adult, 394p, $6.99 pb. Reviewer: Ann Welton
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451457738
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 1/28/2000
  • Series: Stardoc Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 400
  • Age range: 18 years
  • Product dimensions: 4.48 (w) x 6.56 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 37 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(24)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2002

    Great SF and Great New Writer

    I catalog hundreds of books each year and write summaries for many of them. It is rare for me to get excited about many of the fiction books many of which lack substance and a story line that can keep me enthralled. In Ms. Veihl I am excited to find an author with imagination and the writing skills to put them into words. This first novel was a treat for a science fiction fan looking for a good plot, interesting characters and a relaxing way to spend a few good evenings.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2001

    Thrilling Medical SF With Twist after Twist

    'Stardoc' is the first in a continuing series of novels featuring the adventures of Doctor Cherijo Grey Veil after she flees Earth to prevent a terrible family secret from destroying her. The first several chapters are like James White at the top of his form, as Cherijo struggles with a new job as a physician with the Free Clinic on Kevarzangia Two -- relying only on her wits and her medical genius to cope with a flood of exotically alien patients. Cherijo develops into an engaging character, and faces dangers to herself and her adopted world with courage and delightful humour. Twist follows twist, each utterly unexpected but flawlessly set up, culminating in an ending that's just right. The devastating revelation on the final page leaves the reader wailing for the next book: which, luckily, is readily available: 'Beyond Varallan.'

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2000

    Rave review for this outstanding new novel.

    Sheila Viehl takes us on a new adventure which is an engrossing first novel. The main character Cherijo is a strong and likeable character. The wide range of races which inhabit this planet will surprise and keep you entertained up until the end of the story and leave you wanting more. You will learn to like Cherijo and her menage and want to hear more about them. I can't wait for the next edition. I recommend it highly.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2012

    Fantastic

    I've recently overcome a reading slump thanks to the quality of writing displayed in this book. The characters are easy to hate and love and the plot is very in depth. Viehl has created a vibrant world in this series with just enough description to make it "real"; and pulls the reader in with a relatable protagonist who is suffering from problems many people deal with in their lives (And ones we rarely see). Only she is very far in the future.

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  • Posted May 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Really enjoyed....

    Its really pretty good...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2011

    Fun, entertaining, imaginative and adventure filled

    This book along with the whole series are for those who enjoy reading the day to day trials and adventures of a doctor treating many differnent kinds of sentient beings and evading capure by her evil father. I enjoy reading her books because they make me truly feel I have escaped my day to day life. Sit back and follow her adventures. They take you all over the universe!

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  • Posted July 30, 2009

    Another great book by viehl

    This is the best series in science fiction. A wonderful space opera that is great all the way through the series. I just read the last one and it is just as good as the first one. There aren't many authors who can keep a series as exciting as Viehl does Stardoc.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2005

    Every SF stereotype fulfilled

    Ever run into the type who say they hate science fiction or won't read any science fiction novels because: 'it's geared toward adolescents; it has no character development; it's just about a bunch of aliens; it has no depth...' Well in Stardoc S.L. Veihl has managed to nail all of these stereotypes and then some. Even pure formula space opera may have some depth, some exploration of novel concepts, some character development, some spark of originality. Stardoc is actually rather amazing in the degree to which it avoids all of these laudable goals. I imagine miss Viehl composing her story as follows: Hmm, let's have a woman run away from a control freak father, and fall in love with tall, dark and handsome stranger and let's throw in a half-baked medical mystery, which my character can solve to save the day. Golly, that's pretty bare-bones. I know! science fiction is groovy and sells well. Maybe without doing any real writing I can still get it published. Okay let's see, how can I science-fiction-up this story. Make the foreign land my protagonist runs to another planet! Let¿s have all the patients and other characters be aliens! I¿ll just make up alien sounding names and say this one looks like a giant lobster and that one is green and slimy--voila, I'm a science fiction writer! This short excerpt aptly sums up the novel: (page 232): ¿I related most of what happened on Caszaria¿s moon to the Chakacat, and listened as it told me of the latest art studies. It certainly was enthusiastic about something called tonal sculpture, whatever that was.¿ Imagine, not only are we being fed such inane filler as the sickeningly made up and yet still unoriginal,¿tonal sculpture,¿ but our author is so kind as to tell us that this is indeed just made up bunk that will not be explicated. ¿Whatever that was¿ indeed. What is truly sick to me is that she has succeeded. A novel as poorly plotted, as clunkily written, as depthless and soulless as Stardoc could only have been published under the label science fiction. And yet there are so many fine science fiction novels. I hope noone's first encounter with the genre comes in the pill that is this novel. It may just confirm all they have heard.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2001

    A fantastic 1st novel.

    S.L. Viehl's very personal 1st person style causes things to develop more slowly than the same story would in 3rd person, but also more intimately. We aren't just observing Cherijo Grey Veil's journey, we're taking it with her. Viehl has a talent for writing confrontations. Several long term conflicts develop quickly, ensuring that the story's tension never flags for long. Some of the plot twists are very clever. Several times I thought I knew what came next, only to be surprised, then surprised again at what natural extensions of the story this twists really were. It was all done very smoothly and convincingly. The rape scene was one instance when 3rd person could not have conveyed so much. We're right inside of Cherijo's head, experiencing everything as it happens. My great complaint about this story is the proliferation of futuristic object names in the early going. This is on the editor's head though, not S.L Viehl's. Why? Because the editor kept pushing for more of this. Thankfully they reached a compromise and once the story gets going this is no longer a problem. I also wish Cherijo cared more for herself. She's frustratingly accepting of way too much. Considering her background, and what a piece of dung her father is this is probably an unrealistic expectation on my part. S.L. Viehl did tell me that Cherijo develops significantly over the next couple of books. This can only add intensity to an already compelling story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2000

    where's the sequel!!!

    this book was so good,I got on the internet,trying to find more of her books. PLEASE WRITE MORE!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2000

    Exciting Medical Drama meets Science Fiction

    Physician Cherijo Grey Veil needs to get off world and fast. She hops a space freighter and flies into more trouble -- medical, political and romantical -- than you can shake a stethoscope at. The StarDoc gets herself mixed up with an assortment of weird and wonderful aliens, a plethora of medical emergencies reminiscent of a pangalactic ER, and enough problems of the heart to cause ventricular fibrillation. This fast and entertaining read has plenty of laughs(an odd assortment of colorful characters!), action (battles in the Clinic, on a space ship and in the bedroom) and love interests (so many aliens,so little time!) to make a series -- which is good because this StarDoc isn't finished yet. If you are looking for interesting, well-drawn and engaging characters, fast and furious medical action, and all the conventions of SF -- faster than light ships, genetic tampering, aliens of every size and hue, blazing weapons and battles of the sexes -- look no farther than STARDOC. S.L. Viehl is a writer worth following into the vast reaches of black space and the inner working of the beating heart. Now I just have to wait until summer for a sequel! Quick, Healer Grey Veil, pass the tranquilizer hypospray and put me in cryosleep until July!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2000

    Riproaring Fun

    This is my first sci fi read, and what a treat! S.L. Viehl has assembled a large cast of fascinating charaters in this tale of a surgeon in a remote free clinic. ER meets Star Trek in this riproaring adventure.

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    Posted January 28, 2010

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    Posted December 25, 2009

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    Posted April 13, 2010

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    Posted January 19, 2011

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    Posted October 14, 2010

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    Posted January 26, 2010

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