Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern series

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Books and Comics' started by padawanlissa, Jan 3, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Daughter_of_Yubyub Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2002
    star 6
    I really enjoyed this series, but I think it probably should have ended when they eliminated the Thread threat at the end of All the Weyrs of Pern. It felt like a natural stopping place, and everything after that has seemed hollow.
  2. arwen_sith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2005
    star 4
    I first got into seriously surfing the web thanks to Anne McCaffrey, some 8 years ago.

    I haven't read any of the books written by Todd McCaffrey, even in part. They've been more or less universally panned in AMC fandom.

    The forums on her official website folded, once the management realized that most of the folks posting there were a "captive audience" and would buy her books anyway, that it didn't work as a promotion channel very well.

    Anne would take grave exception to being called a fantasy writer. The stories are sci-fi, but admittedly not hardcore sci-fi. More than anything else, they're romance stories, and bodice rippers at that (except for the Harper Hall books, originally sold for the juvenile market).

    You can still buy a CD online: Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern. If you like acoustic Celtic-folksy music, you'll love it.

    Anne McCaffrey will be inducted into the Science-Fiction Hall of Fame, along with George Lucas, this year.

    The Dragonlover's Guide to Pern is interesting, but it contains a lot of information negated by later books, so you should take whatever it says with a large pinch of salt. Ramoth isn't the size of a jumbo jet, nobody could mount or straddle such a beast. The measurements which are in meters in the DLG should be in feet.
  3. SilSolo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2004
    star 5
    I love that website! Flessan's so cute.
  4. Ariadne Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2003
    star 4
    Thanks for the info on the CD, arwen_sith. I was half convinced that I had imagined it ;) And thanks also for clearing up the size issue. Now I think about it, it makes a lot more sense.

  5. Cliodna_ben_Lhee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2003
    star 4
    I know for a fact that I have read the first three dragon rider books: Dragonflight, Dragonquest and The White Dragon. It was way back in the 80?s when I did, I think I may have read others, but it has been so long, I am not sure.
    I do remember the basic storyline and that I absolutely loved them. I think I should go back and read them again some day. Especially if there is a story out there where they eliminate the threat of the thread.

    Speaking of McCaffery and the Hall of Fame induction, I am lucky enough to be attending this years ceremony in June. There is no word yet on whether she or any of the other inductees will actually be able to be present. I have heard that Anne?s health hasn?t been the best lately and that she can?t travel much.

  6. arwen_sith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2005
    star 4
    At 80 Anne's no longer quite spry, but she has been booked to attend Dragon*Con in Atlanta this year, so she won't be flying over to the US only for the induction. Let's hope her health lets her travel to both events.
  7. thesporkbewithyou Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2005
    star 4
    Well now, aren't I glad that I saw this thread when I decided to pop in?

    I think Dragonriders of Pern was the first fantasy series I ever read. I did start with Dragondsdawn, and I think Sean and Sorka are my favorite characters, though I think Mihall is a jerk... I like F'lessan a lot better.

    I agree with whoever said that the series should have stopped after Thread was destroyed. The rest of it would just be pointless, and I put down one of Todd's books after reading the summary. Quite frankly, I think the plotline stank.

    But the rest of the series still is good.

    As for that CD... sooner or later I've gotta get my hands on it. I've recently developed a taste for Celtic music.
  8. arwen_sith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2005
    star 4
    BTW, don't let Anne hear you call Pern fantasy. She's adamant it's sci-fi, although admittedly it's rather soft sci-fi, with a lot of romance thrown in.
  9. MasterKay Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 4, 2003
    star 5
    I love the Dragonriders of Pern. I've been reading and re-reading this series for years. I started with the Harper Hall trilogy. Menolly is such a compelling character. I've been hooked ever since. I haven't read the book by Todd though from the sound of it, it's just as well.

  10. Healer_Leona Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2000
    star 9
    A couple years ago I first discovered the McCaffrey's Dragonriders series and went thorugh every book I could fin in the matter of months. Thoroughly enjoyable books.
  11. Cliodna_ben_Lhee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2003
    star 4
    Interesting:

    http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire/index.php?category=1&id=36303&type=0

    I am taking a trip to half price books tonight, I will be lookig for any of the dragonrider books I can find, I am ready to start re-reading this series (and I had plans to do so even before I saw the news item I posted above)
  12. Gabri_Jade VIP

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2002
    star 5
    Now that's very interesting news. [face_thinking] I wonder how Pern will translate to that medium? And what exactly will be part of the attempt - what timeframe, which characters? I'm fascinated. [face_thinking]
  13. thesporkbewithyou Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2005
    star 4
    Heh. Calling it fantasy was just a relflex; I do know that she considers it sci-fi.

    But I'd always wondered when Pern was going to make it to the big screen. I think though that, if there's only going to be one movie (which might happen) it'll be more like a combination of Dragonflight, Dragonquest and The White Dragon. But it'd be great if they did all three seperately. Can't wait to see what F'lar, Lessa, Robinton, F'nor and Brekke look like.

    And I think I can kind of guess which elements the people who took that pilot off the air wanted to be changed. I can see their point, however... its presence is so subtle in the books that I don't see why it needs to be changed.
  14. Gabri_Jade VIP

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2002
    star 5
    I think though that, if there's only going to be one movie (which might happen) it'll be more like a combination of Dragonflight, Dragonquest and The White Dragon.

    If the powers behind the project were looking at only one movie, I'd definitely go with that era as well. But wow, would condensing all three of those books into one movie take a phenomenal scriptwriter! :eek: That's a lot of material. Awfully interesting to speculate about how it might be done, though. [face_thinking]
  15. thesporkbewithyou Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2005
    star 4
    If the powers behind the project were looking at only one movie, I'd definitely go with that era as well.

    It's the one people are most familiar with. But I'd be really mad if they skipped to Aivas and post-Aivas era right away.

    But wow, would condensing all three of those books into one movie take a phenomenal scriptwriter! That's a lot of material. Awfully interesting to speculate about how it might be done, though.

    It could be done... they'd probably just need a three hour movie or so like Return of the King was. A lot of flashbacks would probably be used. Like maybe they would start from Ramoth's first hatching or Flight or something like that... hmm...

  16. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Hi: I've read everything in the Pern series. I love F'Lar & Lessa and Robinton the best. I love the idea of the dragonrider & dragon bond. Fascinating characters and wonderful plots. I'd love love love to see a movie--I also think it'd have to be from the Dragonflight era--though they should do a prequel also dealing with the setting up of the colony--which took place in Dragonsdawn. Spielberg or Lucas needs to do the special effects & directing honors. :) :)
  17. Cliodna_ben_Lhee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2003
    star 4
    I am nearly finished re-reading DragonFlight after having read it around 20 years ago. I am up to the part where F'Lar and Lessa are sending F'nor, Kylara and the others back in time to the uninhabited tropical forests of Pern.
    Anne McCaffery weaves a rich and wonderful world.
    I can?t wait to finish it and start on Dragonquest!



  18. Cliodna_ben_Lhee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2003
    star 4
    Anne McCaffery was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame this weekend! I got the chance to see her in person too!
    The Awards were held this weekend in Seattle. In conjunction with the awards on Saturday, Locus magazine held their annual award weekend. I had tickets to attend both.

    The weekend kicked off with a cocktail reception on Friday night. After I had gone through the snack buffet line, I was standing near the elevator waiting for a friend to make her way through when the elevator doors opened and out stepped Anne herself! She was standing no more than a foot away from me! But I had to step back to allow her and her entourage of people (some of who were assisting her with walking as she does have problems with her knees) to make their way into the room.

    On Saturday about mid afternoon, they had an autograph party where I got her to autograph two of my Pern books (that was the limit per author). And I shook her hand.

    The Actual induction ceremony was AWSOME!!! Anne was the only one of the inductees to receive a standing ovation (though I suspect if George Lucas had shown up in person instead of sending in one of his film effects designer people he might have received one too). When she stood on stage and talked to the audience about her career and what it meant to her, tears came to my eyes.

    On Sunday, I attended a panel where she along with three people she has co-authored with (including two of her children) the editor in chief of locus magazine and author Connie Willis (who was moderating the panel) discussed her life and career and opened up the floor to audience questions.

    Despite her age, her health troubles and her sporadic bouts of CRS (Can?t Remember Stuff ?though she used a stronger word for the S part of the acronym). She is a strong speaker with a quick and wonderful wit. I am so glad to have gotten the chance to see her in person before she is no longer with us.



    Oh, and I am nearly finished reading The White Dragon
  19. arwen_sith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2005
    star 4
    Thanks for the lovely report, Cliodna! Glad you had the opportunity to shake her hand.
  20. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    Wow, that sounds awesome!! I'm glad you had a good time :)
  21. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7

    Question is, has earlier publication given Pern a better "fond feeling" than if it were to be published today, now?
  22. arwen_sith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2005
    star 4
    That's possible, but what difference does that make? Weyr Search, which later became the first quarter of Dragonflight, was published as a short story in Analog nearly 40 years ago.

    Sadly Anne McCaffrey's writing has deteriorated badly in recent years; her characters have become more black and white and otherwise cliched than in the earlier books.

    Many Pern books cover the same time period, from different POVs (and occasionally with irreconciliable differences, consistency is not AMC's strong suit), but even so, it'd be very difficult to get everything included in one movie. Frankly, I think Pern'd do better as a miniseries, but the dragons, and especially the aerial threadfights would need a lot of CGI... Having seen King Kong, I'm afraid I'd like to put Weta in charge of those effects, IMO they're much better at animating animals/creatures than anything Lucas Arts ever came up with.
  23. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7

    Well, for an animal, ROTS Yoda looked damn real. ;)

    How do you think Pern would hold up today, if published?
  24. arwen_sith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2005
    star 4
    I'm not sure, given that I tend to read lots from an author I like, rather than chop and change. At one time I was really keen on Anne McCaffrey (although frankly I've always preferred the Talent and Freedom series to Pern), although my interest in her more recent work has waned considerably, given that its quality has severely declined in the last decade. But since my time is as limited as anyone else's, I haven't read that much contemporary science-fiction or fantasy. Most of what AMC writes, and Pern certainly, is romance thinly disguised as (extremely) soft science-fiction.

    Anne McCaffrey's writing, particularly Pern, suffers from one serious drawback: it's full of internal inconsistencies, such as dragons changing name or color, or characters changing names from one book to the next. The amazing thing about her books isn't their inherent quality as such, but rather, the fact that they're compelling reading, in spite of suffering from implausible science (never even attempts of explanation in the story, and retconning tends to create more problems than it solves), and especially the latest books, cliched characters; but rather the fact that knowing all the imperfections, I still re-read Pern nearly as often as Lord of the Rings.

    In short, I think that Anne McCaffrey would face considerably more trouble getting her work published if she started out today, but the same could be said for Asimov, Clarke and Heinlein, whose characters tend to be cardboard cutouts rather than distinctive personalities. Clarke often uses co-authors to help him with characterization, or so it seems to me; the books with the most believable characters have been co-written with others.
  25. Gabri_Jade VIP

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2002
    star 5
    I'd have to agree with that. Any number of things about the books irritated me (especially the internal inconsistencies and some of the romance aspects), but I still read most of them and loved them despite all their flaws. There's certainly room for improvement in the Pern books, but they're still a very enjoyable read - which is, ultimately, the most important thing.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.