Alan E. Nourse

Alan Edward Nourse (August 11, 1928 – July 19, 1992) was an American science fiction (SF) writer and physician. He wrote both juvenile and adult science fiction, as well as nonfiction works about medicine and science. His SF works sometimes focused on medicine and/or psionics.

His pen names included Al Edwards and Doctor X.[1]

Alan E. Nourse
Nourse c. 1963
Nourse c. 1963
BornAlan Edward Nourse
August 11, 1928
Des Moines, Iowa, United States
DiedJuly 19, 1992 (aged 63)
Thorp, Washington, United States
Pen nameDoctor X
OccupationNovelist, physician
Alma materRutgers University
University of Pennsylvania
GenreScience fiction
SubjectMedicine, science
SpouseAnn Morton (1952–?)

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Alan Nourse was born August 11, 1928, to Benjamin and Grace (Ogg) Nourse in Des Moines, Iowa. He attended high school in Long Island, New York. He served in the U.S. Navy after World War II. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1951 from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He married Ann Morton on June 11, 1952, in Linden, New Jersey. He received a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree in 1955 from the University of Pennsylvania. He served his one-year internship at Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle and practiced medicine in North Bend, Washington, from 1958 to 1963 and also pursued his writing career.

He had helped pay for his medical education by writing science fiction for magazines.[2] After retiring from medicine, he continued writing. His regular column in Good Housekeeping magazine earned him the nickname "Family Doctor".

He was a friend of fellow author Avram Davidson. Robert A. Heinlein dedicated his 1964 novel Farnham's Freehold to Nourse. Heinlein in part dedicated his 1982 novel Friday to Nourse's wife Ann.[3]

His novel The Bladerunner lent its name to the Blade Runner movie, but no other aspects of its plot or characters, which were taken from Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. In the late 1970s an attempt to adapt The Bladerunner for the screen was made, with Beat Generation author William S. Burroughs commissioned to write a story treatment; no film was ever developed but the story treatment was later published as the novella Blade Runner (a movie).

He died on July 19, 1992, in Thorp, Washington.

Some confusion arose among science fiction readers who knew that Andre Norton used the pen name "Andrew North" at about the same time. They mistakenly assumed "Alan Nourse" to be another Norton pen name.

Selected works

Fantastic universe 195701
Nourse's novella "Martyr" was cover-featured on the January 1957 issue of Fantastic Universe
Amazing science fiction stories 195809
Nourse's novella "Gold in the Sky" was the cover story for the September 1958 issue of Amazing Stories
Amazing science fiction stories 195912
A novella-length version of Nourse's Star Surgeon was the cover story for the December 1959 issue of Amazing Stories
Fantastic 196006
Nourse's novelette "The Mirror" was cover-featured on the June 1960 issue of Fantastic

Short stories


  • "High Threshold" (published in the March 1951 issue of Astounding)
  • "The Universe Between" (published in the September 1951 issue of Astounding)


  • Trouble on Titan (1954)
  • A Man Obsessed (1955)
  • Rocket to Limbo (1957)
  • Gold in the Sky (1958)
  • Scavengers in Space (1958)
  • The Invaders are Coming! (1959, with co-author J. A. Meyer)
  • Star Surgeon (1959)
  • Raiders from the Rings (1962)
  • "The Universe Between" (1965, a fix-up of "High Threshold" and "The Universe Between" )
  • The Mercy Men (1968, revised version of A Man Obsessed)
  • The Bladerunner (1974)
  • The Practice (1978)
  • The Fourth Horseman (1983)


Nonfiction books

  • So You Want to Be a Doctor (1957)
  • Nine Planets (1960, revised edition 1970)
  • So You Want to Be a Nurse (1961)
  • The Body (Life Science Library) (1965, revised edition 1981)
  • Intern (1965, under the pseudonym Doctor X)
  • Universe, Earth and Atom: The Story of Physics (1969)
  • Venus and Mercury: a First Book (1972)
  • The Backyard Astronomer (1973)
  • The Giant Planets: a First Book (1974, revised edition 1982)
  • The Asteroids: a First Book (1975)
  • Viruses: a First Book (1976, revised edition 1982)
  • Hormones: an Impact Book (1979)
  • Herpes: an Impact Book (1985)
  • AIDS: an Impact Book (1986)
  • The Elk Hunt (1986)
  • Teen Guide to Safe Sex (1990)
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases (1992)
  • The Virus Invaders: a Venture Book (1992)


  1. ^ Alan E. Nourse at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved 2015-07-19. Select a title to see its linked publication history and general information. Select a particular edition (title) for more data at that level, such as a front cover image or linked contents.
  2. ^ "Alan E. Nourse" Archived 2006-06-15 at the Wayback Machine.. Books 'n' Bytes ( Retrieved 2015-07-19.
  3. ^ Heinlein, Robert A (1984). Friday. New England Library. ISBN 0-450-05549-3.

External links

1928 in science fiction

The year 1928 was marked, in science fiction, by the following events.

Doctor X

Doctor X may refer to:

Doctor X (film), a 1932 Technicolor film starring Lee Tracy, Fay Wray and Lionel Atwill

Alan E. Nourse, who used "Doctor X" as the pseudonym of his 1965 journal Intern

Doctor X (wrestler), ring name of Mexican professional wrestler Clemente Valencia

"Doctor X", a ring name of professional wrestler Dick Beyer

"Doctor X", a ring name of professional wrestler Tom Prichard

Dr. X (Action Man), the arch-enemy of the 1993–2006 Action Man revival toy line

Dr. X, a pseudonym for Doctor Mario Jascalevich, accused of several patient murders

Dr. X, the primary antagonist of the Queensryche albums Operation: Mindcrime and Operation: Mindcrime 2

Dr. X, a mysterious illicit nanotechnology specialist from Neal Stephenson's novel The Diamond Age

Dr. Xeinos, an Utrom from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series

Doctor-X (TV series), a Japanese medical drama

Donald Malcolm

Donald Malcolm (1930 – 2013) was a Scottish author of science fiction and fact who was active as a writer from the mid-1950s until the mid-1970s. Some of his nonfiction was written under the pen name Roy Malcolm.

Frank Kramer (artist)

Frank Kramer (1905–1993) was an American artist known chiefly for his illustrations for

Jack Snow's two Oz books, The Magical Mimics in Oz and The Shaggy Man of Oz, founded on and continuing the famous Oz stories by L. Frank Baum. He also illustrated Robert A. Heinlein's Solution Unsatisfactory, Maureen Daly's Twelve Around the World (Dodd, Mead and Company, 1957), and many of Caary Paul Jackson's sports novels for children, including the Bud Baker series.

Other than a short biography (with an incorrect birth date) in Jack Snow's reference work Who's Who in Oz (1954), almost nothing was written about Kramer. Recently, however, the Spring 2011 issue of The Baum Bugle featured articles discussing his life, career, and work.

Snow notes that Kramer was born in New York City and lived in Brooklyn, and was a fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers, living as modestly as a "typical" (Snow's quotation marks) business man. He had indeed been a business man, but gave it up to become a freelance artist. His work appeared in Street & Smith magazines prior to Snow's discovery of his "flair for the imaginative" in his sports drawings that drew Snow to his art, which Snow states is known nationally.

Life Science Library

The Life Science Library is a series of hardbound books published by Time Life between 1963 and 1967. Each of the 26 volumes explores a major topic of the natural sciences. They are intended for, and written at a level appropriate to, an educated lay readership. In each volume, the text of each of eight chapters is followed by a "Picture Essay" lavishly illustrating the subject of the preceding chapter. They were available in a monthly subscription from Life magazine. Each volume takes complex scientific concepts and provides explanations that can be easily understood. For example, Einstein's theory of relativity is explained in a cartoon about a spy drama involving a train traveling very close to the speed of light; probability is explained with poker hands; and the periodic table of the elements is conveyed with common household items. Although progress has overtaken much of the material in the more than 50 years since their publication, the series' explanations of basic science and the history of discovery remain valid. The consulting editors of the series are microbiologist René Dubos, physicist Henry Margenau, and physicist and novelist C. P. Snow.

Each volume was written by a primary author or authors, "and the Editors of LIFE". The volumes are:

Matter (1963), by Ralph E. Lapp

Energy (1963), by Mitchell Wilson

Mathematics (1963), by David Bergamini

The Body (1964), by Alan E. Nourse

The Cell (1964), by John E. Pfeiffer

The Scientist (1964), by Henry Margenau and David Bergamini

Machines (1964), by Robert O'Brien

Man and Space (1964), by Arthur C. Clarke

The Mind (1964), by John Rowan Wilson

Sound and Hearing (1965), by S. S. Stevens and Fred Warshofsky

Ships (1965), by Edward V. Lewis and Robert O'Brien

Flight (1965), by H. Guyford Stever and James J. Haggerty

Growth (1965), by James M. Tanner and Gordon Rattray Taylor

Health and Disease (1965), by René Dubos and Maya Pines

Weather (1965), by Philip D. Thompson and Robert O'Brien

Planets (1966), by Carl Sagan and Jonathan Norton Leonard

The Engineer (1966), by C.C. Furnas and Joe McCarthy

Time (1966), by Samuel A. Goudsmit and Robert Claiborne

Water (1966), by Luna B. Leopold and Kenneth S. Davis

Giant Molecules (1966), by Herman F. Mark

Light and Vision (1966), by Conrad G. Mueller and Mae Rudolph

Food and Nutrition (1967), by William H. Sebrell, Jr and James J. Haggerty

The Physician (1967), by Russel V. Lee and Sarel Eimerl

Drugs (1967), by Walter Modell and Alfred Lansing

Wheels (1967), by Ezra Bowen

A Guide to Science and Index to the LIFE Science Library (1967)

List of X Minus One episodes

List of episodes for the X Minus One radio show.

List of science fiction novels

This is a list of science fiction novels, novel series, and collections of linked short stories. It includes modern novels, as well as novels written before the term "science fiction" was in common use. This list includes novels not marketed as SF but still considered to be substantially science fiction in content by some critics, such as Nineteen Eighty Four. As such, it is an inclusive list, not an exclusive list based on other factors such as level of notability or literary quality. Books are listed in alphabetical order by title, ignoring the leading articles "A", "An", and "The". Novel series are alphabetical by author-designated name or, if there is none, the title of the first novel in the series or some other reasonable designation.


Norwescon is one of the largest regional science fiction and fantasy conventions in the United States. Located in SeaTac in Washington state, Norwescon has been running continuously since 1978.

"Norwescon" was also the name of the 8th World Science Fiction Convention, held in Portland, Oregon, in 1950.


Nourse is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Alan E. Nourse, (1928–1992), American science fiction author and physician

Alice Nourse (1882–1967), American novelist

Amos Nourse (1794–1877), American medical doctor and Senator

Chet Nourse (1887–1958), American baseball relief pitcher

Christopher Nourse (born 1946), British arts administrator

Dave Nourse (1878–1948), South African cricketer

Dick Nourse, American news anchor

Dudley Nourse (1910–1981), South African cricketer and batsman

Edith Nourse Rogers (1881–1960), American social welfare volunteer and politician

Edward Everett Nourse (1863–1929), American Congregational theologian

Edwin Griswold Nourse (1883–1974), American economist

Elizabeth Nourse (1859–1938), American portrait and landscape painter

Henry Nourse (1780–1838), London wine merchant, lobbied Parliament for settlement of Englishmen in South Africa, 1820 Settlers

Henry Nourse (1857–1942), South African Businessman, gold mines, Olympic athlete, President S. A. Olympic Committee

John Nourse, bookseller died 1780

Joseph Nourse (1754–1841), first United States Register of the Treasury

Joseph Nourse R.N., C.B., Commodore (1780 – 1824), Naval officer, Napoleonic Wars, War of 1812

Joseph Nourse R.N., Lt. (1807–1903), Naval officer, Port Natal, Farmer

Lauren Nourse (born 1982), Australian netball player

Sir Martin Nourse (born 1932), British judge

Mary Nourse (1880–1971), American educator

Rebecca Nourse (1621–1692), executed for witchcraft in the Salem witch trials

Robert Nourse, entrepreneur

Victoria F. Nourse, American professor of law

Rocket to Limbo

Rocket to Limbo is a 1957 science fiction novel by Alan E. Nourse. It was first published in book form by David McKay Co., Inc, and was later incorporated into an Ace Double (with Echo in the Skull, by John Brunner). It first appeared in the October 1957 issue of Satellite Science Fiction.

The Bladerunner

The novel The Bladerunner (also published as The Blade Runner) is a 1974 science fiction novel by Alan E. Nourse, about underground medical services and smuggling. It was the source for the name, but no major plot elements, of the 1982 film Blade Runner, adapted from the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick, though elements of the Nourse novel recur in a pair of 2002 films also largely adapted from Dick's work, Impostor and Minority Report.

The Fourth Horseman

The Fourth Horseman may refer to:

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the concept in the Christian Bible

The Science Fictional Solar System

The Science Fictional Solar System is a 1979 anthology of science fiction short-stories revolving around the solar system. Its editors are Isaac Asimov, Charles G. Waugh, and Martin H. Greenberg.

The World That Couldn't Be

The World That Couldn't Be is an anthology of science fiction short-stories selected by Galaxy Science Fiction editor, H. L. Gold.

The Worlds of Science

The Worlds of Science is a series of science book paperbacks by various authors published by Pyramid Books in the 1960s. The series included both reprints of works originally published independently and new works written especially for the series. Prominent contributors included Isaac Asimov and L. Sprague de Camp, among others.

Books in the series include:

The Human Brain, by John Pfeifer

Maya, by Charles Gallenkamp

Nine Planets, by Alan E. Nourse

Living Earth, by Peter Farb

Chemistry Creates a New World, by Bernard Jaffe

The Road to Man, by Herbert Wendt

Giants of Science, by Philip Cane

Snakes of the World, by Raymond Ditmars

The ABC of Physics, by Jerome S. Meyer

Computers, by Stanley Englehardt

Man and Dolphin, by John C. Lilly

Kingdom of the Octopus, by Frank W. Lane

Dinosaurs, by Nicholas Hutton III

The Story of Weather, by Capt. David C. Holmes, USN

Fact and Fancy, by Isaac Asimov

Electronics, by Stanley L. Englehardt

Conquest of the Moon, by William Hines

Elephant, by L. Sprague de Camp

Tiger by the Tail and Other Science Fiction Stories

Tiger by the Tail and Other Science Fiction Stories is the first collection of short works by Alan E. Nourse, issued in hardcover by publisher Donald McKay in 1961. It was reprinted in paperback by MacFadden Books in 1964 and 1968. A British hardcover edition was published by Dennis Dobson in 1962, with a paperback reprint, retitled Beyond Infinity, following from Corgi Books in 1964.

Triton (novel)

Trouble on Triton: An Ambiguous Heterotopia (1976) is a science fiction novel by American writer Samuel R. Delany. It was nominated for the 1976 Nebula Award for Best Novel, and was shortlisted for a retrospective James Tiptree, Jr. Award in 1995. It was originally published under the shorter title Triton.

Delany has said that Trouble on Triton was written partly in dialogue with Ursula K. Le Guin's anarchist science fiction novel The Dispossessed, whose subtitle was An Ambiguous Utopia. It is also loosely linked to other books by him (particularly Neveryóna) in its references to "the modular calculus", a vaguely described future mathematics that would analyze analogies, fictional constructs, and possibly human personalities. The most recent US edition from Wesleyan University Press (1996) has a foreword by the postmodern novelist Kathy Acker, focusing on Trouble on Triton as Orphic fiction.

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