The world of Pern

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Eyes High
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The world of Pern

Postby Eyes High » 25 Feb 2010 12:40

In another thread there seemed to be quiet a few who had an opinion about the Dragonriders of Pern. And, taken the suggestion of a wise man, I figured we might could start a new thread where we could discuss our memories of these books whether good or bad.

And no I'm not forgetting this is a DUNE forum. Just a bit of distraction for when Dune news might be slow.

Who has read the Dragon Riders and has anyone read the Dolphins of Pern?


I was introduced into the world of Pern and Author Anne McCaffrey when a book caught my eye while waiting in line to pay for my purchase at a grocery store. I picked it up, read the synopsis on the cover, and figure what the hey. It didn't cost all that much and if I didn't enjoy it, at least I wouldn't be wasting a lot of money. So placing the paperback in the small pile of items I was getting, I waited to pay and then headed back to the barracks. When it came time for bed that night I grabbed my new book with the white dragon on it and started my adventure into the World of Pern, not realizing I had purchase the third book in a trilogy.

Needless to say after I finished the book I wanted to find the first two books. I lucked up in that one of my co-workers had a brother who had several of the Pern books, so not only was I able to read the first two book in that series, he was kind enough to lend me the books for another series. McCaffrey became my favorite author and stayed that way for many years.

So guys and gals...What do you think of the Dragon Riders and what do you think of the author's work in general?
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Re: The world of Pern

Postby Omphalos » 25 Feb 2010 13:39

Ive never read any of them, but I have the first four books in an SFBC omnibus sitting in the pile.

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Re: The world of Pern

Postby lotek » 25 Feb 2010 13:50

I think I read some a while ago...
well at least it was about Dragons...

I've always liked those stories of men taming wild beasts of legend :)
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Re: The world of Pern

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 25 Feb 2010 13:52

Like I said somewhere else, I read the Pern books avidly and repeatedly from roughly the age of 7 or 8 until I was maybe 14 or so. I don't think I've read one in the last 10 years, but I have really fond memories of them. They are a really good transition from Fantasy to SF (for anyone who hasn't read them, the first Pern books read like a fantasy, dragons castles, swords etc (but no magic), but it later turns out that it's all actually a relatively Hard-SF setting), and it's possible that without having read her stuff I never would have gotten into SF when I was older.

I really liked the whole concept of threadfall, and as that idea gets elaborated on throughout the books it really shows how much work she put into the whole concept, and that she did in fact have an idea of the huge sweeping plot arc that comes about in All the Weyrs of Pern right from the very beginning.

If someone is just getting into Pern, I think some research is warrented as to where is best to start, or you might get a bad first impression.

Like I said, it's been a long time, so this is going from memory.

I started Pern with a trilogy about a young girl who wants to be a musician/teacher/historian (same thing in the Pern world) when that is a trade 100% exclusive to males. This is not an action serie at all, it's not even really SF or Fantasy, it's 99% drama, and it's really good - but if that's not your thing you might not like it as an intro to Pern. This is the Harper Hall Trilogy (I checked Wiki to refresh my memory)

The next option is for a bit more adventure orientied, but still high drama and this time more Fantasy style fare, it's the original series that Anne wrote. It starts with Dragon Flight.

Now, if you want to start right out the gate with SF rather than fantasy, you should start with Dragons Dawn, which is the story of how Pern was settled, there are some books after this dealing with the early history of the settlement that are pretty SF too.


Man, all the Pern talk makes me want to go buy all the books again! Especially since her son took over and there are a pile of new ones now (of course... we have seen that model fail before somewhere...)
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Re: The world of Pern

Postby Mandy » 25 Feb 2010 15:55

I'm pretty sure I started out with the Dragonriders trilogy, and then read a couple of the Harper Hall books, but I'm not sure if I read all three. I've read several books in that universe but I can't remember all of them.

Not too long ago I picked up one of the Acorna books, it was pretty good too.
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Re: The world of Pern

Postby SandChigger » 25 Feb 2010 17:09

I think I've read the first four or so?

I enjoyed them (I was more favorably disposed towards fantasy in those days), especially when they turned out to be science fiction. ;)

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Re: The world of Pern

Postby TheDukester » 25 Feb 2010 17:22

It was the Dragonriders series that was big around here. Maybe it was a case of good timing: those books were available in attractive paperbacks right when the bookstores in the area started adding separate SF/F sections.
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Re: The world of Pern

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 25 Feb 2010 17:23

Eyes High wrote:Who has read the Dragon Riders and has anyone read the Dolphins of Pern?


I know I read the Dolphins one, not totally sure if I've read the Dragon Riders... what was that one about? Is that the first trilogy that she started with?

I'd guess that I've read all of the ones that were written before 99 or 00, I could have missed one or two though.
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Re: The world of Pern

Postby SandRider » 26 Feb 2010 03:58

http://www.annemccaffrey.org wrote:Chronological Order of Pern Books

In the First Pass:
Dragonsdawn
The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall

In the Second Pass:
Dragonseye

In the Third Pass:
Dragon's Kin
Dragonsblood by Todd McCaffrey (release date to be announced)

In the Sixth Pass:
Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern
Nerilka's Story

In the Ninth Pass:
Dragonflight
Dragonsong
Dragonquest
Dragonsinger (overlaps with Dragonquest)
The White Dragon
Dragondrums (overlaps with The White Dragon)
Masterharper of Pern (overlaps with all of the above and more)
Renegades of Pern
The Girl Who Heard Dragons (short story)
(also the title of an anthology of short stories, not all of which are set on Pern)
All The Weyrs of Pern
The Dolphins of Pern
The Skies of Pern

Also note the following compilations:

The Dragonriders of Pern includes Dragonflight, Dragonquest, and The White Dragon.
On Dragonwings includes Dragonsdawn, Dragonseye, and Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern.

A Gift of Dragons is a collection of short stories which are mostly set in the Ninth Pass.



Pern
Publication Order

(The Dragonriders of Pern)
Dragonflight, Ballantine 1968 & Walker & Co (hc); also 2002 reprint of original, adapted for YA with illustrations
Dragonquest, Ballantine 1971
The White Dragon, Del Rey / Ballantine 1978
The Harper Hall Trilogy
Dragonsong, Atheneum 1976
Dragonsinger, Atheneum 1977
Dragondrums, Atheneum 1979

(Individual Pern Novels)
Moreta, Dragonlady of Pern, Del Rey 1983
Nerilka’s Story, Del Rey / Corgi Feb 1986
Dragonsdawn, Del Rey Nov 1988
Renegades of Pern, Del Rey Nov 1989 (hc)
All The Weyrs of Pern, Del Rey Oct 1991 (hc)

Chronicles of Pern: First Fall, Del Rey Nov 1993 (hc)

The Dolphins of Pern, Del Rey Sept 1994
Dragonseye (UK: Red Star Rising), Feb 1997
The Masterharper of Pern, Del Rey 1998
The Skies of Pern, Del Rey 2001
Dragon's Kin, with Todd McCaffrey, Nov 2003

(Pern Compilations)
The Dragonriders of Pern
On Dragonwings
A Gift of Dragons, Del Rey Oct / Nov 2002, Anthology of Pern short stories previously published plus a new short story.
Short Stories
Complete List of Pern Short Stories
Related Pern Works
The Dragonlover's Guide to Pern, ed. Jody Lynn Nye / Bill Fawcett, Del Rey Nov 1989
The Atlas of Pern
The People of Pern (aka Pern Portrait Gallery), artist Robin Wood, Donning Co. Nov 1988
The Masterharper of Pern CD and Songbook, musicians Tania Opland and Mike Freeman

DRAGONFLIGHT, DRAGONQUEST and THE WHITE DRAGON constitute the Dragonriders of Pern trilogy and the short story called 'A Time When' is included in THE WHITE DRAGON. DRAGONSONG, DRAGONSINGER, and DRAGONDRUMS comprise the Harper Hall trilogy. MORETA: DRAGONLADY OF PERN takes place historically before the two series. Despite the chronological spread in the three novels, DRAGONSDAWN, RENEGADES OF PERN, and ALL THE WEYRS OF PERN should be considered a third Pern trilogy.


my opinion is that these books should be read in the publication order -
otherwise, you'll miss the "discovery" of the "twist" ....
(spoiler alert)
reading from the first story in Dragonriders, you'll think Pern is another planet in some
fantasy world, like alot of other "space Opera" books of the late 60s (I remember one where
there was a Viking-like culture that traveled to war in FTL starships, landed and commenced
the ass-kicking in armor with swords on horseback ....) waaaaayyy later on, you'll find out
that Pern is a lost and damn-near-destroyed Earth Colony, and the (two? three? stars in the
low sky that don't move are the abandoned orbiting ships ....)

that was one of two things about these books that made me think there was a little more to
them than just female-dominated ripping-bodice fantasy ...

the other special thing had to do with the way the later books were written from a different
character's perspective in the same time period - events that happened in the original 68 book
happen again in books written decades later - you come to the same places at the same time as
other characters did in previous books, and there is a delicious sense of "Hey ! I've been
here before ..." (there's hot gay & lesbian DragonRider sex in one of the later books, too)

also, I seem to recall ... wait, what ? Ice Station Zebra just came on TCM ...
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Re: The world of Pern

Postby trang » 26 Feb 2010 04:15

I have had the original 3 for years, in individual paperbacks and a Book Club edition. Im familiar with the story from others talking about, just never sat down and read them. I always remember folks talking about how they look fantasy but play out more sci-fi.

60 days or so should have the living situation settled, Ill pull off the shelf and try and squeeze in, not very long books. As for the rest, will have to obtain.
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Re: The world of Pern

Postby Hunchback Jack » 27 Feb 2010 19:40

I agree with SR regarding the reading order - definitely publication order is preferable.

I read from Dragonflight through to All the Weyrs of Pern in roughly publication order (I think I read the last Harper Hall and The White Dragon in the wrong order). I remember having to wait for Dragonsdawn, so I guess I read most of them in the late 80s. Oh, I also read First Fall (the short story collection) and a couple of other Pern shorts that appeared in the Legends I and Legends II compilations.

I haven't been able to get into Dolphins of Pern, and haven't tried the ones after (although they are on my bookshelf). I enjoyed the previous ones, though.

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Re: The world of Pern

Postby reverendmotherQ. » 28 Feb 2010 02:31

I enjoyed the first one in the triology and I am about one fourth of the way through the second. I just haven't had time to read it, plus COD again, and school material all at the same time. But I agree, she took scifi/fantasy out of the crutches of it's own little absurdities and made them into her own, and ultimately, it worked.

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Re: The world of Pern

Postby Snowball » 28 Feb 2010 15:26

I read the original trilogy a while back, and have All the Weyrs of Pern, The Skies of Pern, and Masterharper of Pern at ready to read. I've got a crapload of other books I haven't read though, I'll hopefully finish them all over summer vacation.

It's one of the first SF series I ever read and I like it, I like it a lot, but I don't think I'll be very interested in continuing after I read the remaining books in my possession. Unless anyone's got strong recommendations?

Also...Dolphins of Pern? Really? It sounds like the title of a thinly-veiled Douglas Adams tribute by KJA...
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Re: The world of Pern

Postby SandRider » 28 Feb 2010 18:30

as long as you get to the point in the story where they discover their origins
and fly dragons up to the orbiting colonization ships and then to the red star itself ...

was that a "spoiler" ? :?
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Re: The world of Pern

Postby Snowball » 28 Feb 2010 18:46

SandRider wrote:as long as you get to the point in the story where they discover their origins
and fly dragons up to the orbiting colonization ships and then to the red star itself ...

was that a "spoiler" ? :?

Naw, I'm pretty sure they do that in All The Weyrs of Pern.
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Re: The world of Pern

Postby chanilover » 08 Mar 2010 12:24

There seems to be a thumbs up all around on these, think I'll give them a try. There are so many books, though, and they're all about a fiver on Amazon!
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Re: The world of Pern

Postby SandRider » 08 Mar 2010 12:49

you (might) appreciate the way homosexuality is handled in one of the later books
(if you read it, let me know)

the skinny: dragonriders are mentally bonded to their dragons; dragons choose riders at hatching;
when dragons mate, so do their riders, and there are alot of male dragonriders bonded to female greens ..

(if I'm remembering all that right)
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Re: The world of Pern

Postby inhuien » 09 Mar 2010 04:01

I keep missreading this thread title as The world of Porn, just wanted to share that with you all as I'm in a giving mood today. :D
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Re: The world of Pern

Postby Xenu » 09 Mar 2010 06:15

inhuien wrote:I keep missreading this thread title as The world of Porn, just wanted to share that with you all as I'm in a giving mood today. :D

You're not the only one! I was kinda disappointed when I figured out the thread wasn't about a world of Porn.

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Re: The world of Pern

Postby Eyes High » 09 Mar 2010 10:25

Xenu wrote:
inhuien wrote:I keep missreading this thread title as The world of Porn, just wanted to share that with you all as I'm in a giving mood today. :D

You're not the only one! I was kinda disappointed when I figured out the thread wasn't about a world of Porn.



Now I know Xenu don't know me that well, but Inhuien! :angry-tappingfoot: You SHOULD know me better than that! :angelic-little: Why would I start a porn thread? :teasing-tease:

And Inhuien my friend :teasing-wedgie: Loves ye. :romance-kisscheek: :text-lol:


Now back on topic for a moment:

I havn't read too many of the PErn books written by Todd McCaffrey, but my understanding is that he actually wrote them with his mother and had her input on them so therefore it shouldn't be a case of a child dishonoring the world his parent created (like someone else we know about)
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Re: The world of Pern

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 09 Mar 2010 11:22

I haven't read any he was involved in but yeah, he co-wrote a few before being handed the torch so to speak, and I haven't heard anything about him doing a bad job.
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