Dragons of Pern Series by Anne McCaffrey

Are dragons real or just the stuff of fantasy?
Are dragons real or just the stuff of fantasy? | Source

Science Fiction or Fantasy?

In author Anne McCaffrey's PERN series books, there is some of each genre. Fans of both will be pleased with the way the crossover is handled.

Ms. McCaffrey begins the series in modern times, with a crew aboard an interstellar spaceship traversing the universe. Shades of Star Trek, anyone? From that beginning, however, the series takes a very, very different turn than that explored by Star Trek in any of its incarnations.

In the very first book of the series, Dragons Dawn, this crew is piloting a spaceship of colonists, intent on setting up human habitation elsewhere in the galaxy. The mission was intended as a one-way trip. One of the officers remarks that "PERN," as it is bannered across their worksheets, probably stood for something...we later discover what that acronym was.

First Book in the Series

Dragonsdawn (Pern Book 1)
Dragonsdawn (Pern Book 1)

Kindle edition of Dragons Dawn by Anne McCaffrey

 

Lions and Tigers and Bears?

Well, no, but there are plenty of assorted creatures encountered by the explorers, and it would seem that somewhere along the line, the planet may have been visited before, as there are dolphins present, seeded from a prior expedition beyond memory. Ah, but these are very special dolphins...they can speak!

Among the other native fauna found are dragons. Yes, the fire-breathing kind. However, there is something unique and special about these dragons, and they are not to be feared, but actually make themselves quite useful: they can be trained and ridden! The relationship between the humans and the dragons as it plays out over the entire series is quite fascinating, and a well-done journey into the fantastic.

These dragons are able to take shortcuts to cover vast distances by going somewhere called "between," which most fans of science fiction will probably interpret as being something on the order of a wormhole.

The Whole Story?

Well, no, I'm not going to go into a full synopsis of the entire series--that would be a spoiler for sure. In point of fact, I cannot, as I have not yet read all of the books myself!

The series is a very interesting exploration, however, into how societies manage their culture, how traditions become entrenched, and in this case, what happens when a modern society reverts back to a pre-industrial culture.

For you see, somewhere along the line, the spaceship became inaccessible, and the explorers became settlers, stranded on Pern. They had to use what resources they still had, and for a time, the computers and data-banks were still operational.

The Masterharper of Pern

The Masterharper of Pern
The Masterharper of Pern

This was actually the first book I read, and I enjoyed it very much. It's my favorite, for it follows a story of one individual as he progresses in the society. Many of the books do so, but I liked this one the best.

 

As the population ages, and new generations come along, however, they begin to lose their TECHNOLOGY, until finally they have none. The books are worth reading for that alone--it is a lesson for us all, and points up the importance of keeping the schools intact and the young pointed toward the best education and hands-on training they can get, and yet, you just "get" this, without the stories being in the least preachy or lesson-like. They are purely fantasy, and enjoyable on that level alone.

Still, we should pay heed, though, lest we find ourselves in the same boat as the fictional settlers of Pern.

The Dragonriders of Pern

The Dragonriders of Pern: Dragonflight, Dragonquest, and The White Dragon (Pern: The Dragonriders of Pern)
The Dragonriders of Pern: Dragonflight, Dragonquest, and The White Dragon (Pern: The Dragonriders of Pern)

This is a collection of the next books in the series, The Dragonriders of Pern: Dragonflight, Dragonquest, and The White Dragon in Kindle format

 
Source

A Strict Series?

No, this is not one of those series the action of which directly follows from the previous book. You can pick up any one of the books and enjoy it on its own merits.

You may prefer to follow them in order, but it is not necessary to understand the characters and the action. It may be helpful to read Dragons Dawn first, for the general outline of how the people arrived at Pern, and their initial struggles, but after that, you will have enough of the concept to enjoy any of the books in any order.

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Comments 17 comments

GoGvo profile image

GoGvo 4 years ago from London

They are good books... Easy to read, pern is a entertaining escapism!


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 4 years ago from Taos, NM

Although I am not much interested in dragon stories or novels, this is an interesting hub and I had not heard of PERN books before. So, this is very informative and you are very knowledgeable on the subject. Great hub! voted up! And I like the illustrations!


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 4 years ago from Oakley, CA Author

@ GoGvo-- Thanks for your input. Nice to meet another Pern fan.

@ suzettenaples--Thanks so much for stopping by. You might want to check them out--the Pern stories are about so much more than just dragons! Thanks also for the votes!


capricornrising profile image

capricornrising 4 years ago from Wilmington, NC

I ADORE the Pern books, and own almost all, if not all, of them. The complexity of her world, its characters, society, the fabulous surprise tie back to Earth's "history" (really its future), and especially, the class strata, adventures and rituals that have arisen because of the necessity of dealing with "thread" make for highly satisfying journeys through each book. Sorry to go on and on, but thank you for this hub!


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 4 years ago from Oakley, CA Author

Hello, there, capricornrising--

Thank you so very much for your input. the Pern series is indeed complex and fascinating. So glad you enjoyed the article.


capricornrising profile image

capricornrising 4 years ago from Wilmington, NC

Ms. Lizzy, I didn't know that Anne had died in November until Patty Inglish posted about it just now. I wasn't sure you were aware. She was a great, great writer.


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 4 years ago from Oakley, CA Author

Hi again, capricornrising--

Oh, my goodness, no, I had not heard that bit of news. How sad. She was, indeed a wonderful writer! It is the end of an era. Thank you for sharing that information.

Gosh--another favorite writer of mine also recently passed on, well into her eighties, or maybe even ninety-something.


capricornrising profile image

capricornrising 4 years ago from Wilmington, NC

I've seen a few of my favorites leave us as well, recently. If only our best mentors could just hang out forever!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas

This sounds like a series that I would really enjoy I will have to check it out. Thanks so much for posting.


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 4 years ago from Oakley, CA Author

Hello again, homesteadbound--

Yes, it is a very engaging series--one that I have to read judiciously, as I can get involved in books and end up reading until 4:a.m.--so I have to mind what time I start reading! Glad you liked the post. Thanks much!


sarah 4 years ago

erm just wanted to point out that the dolphins of pern the book tells how the dolphins came with the first colonists and how they could already talk to them, via enhanced stuff. Also the dragons were gentically created by the colonists to help fight off thread from the fire lizards that they found lived on pern. Oh and the name of the planet was from the expolation team who found the planet before it was opened up for colonisation.


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 4 years ago from Oakley, CA Author

Hello, sarah--

Thanks very much for that input. I never was able to finish the entire series. I only intended to provide a general overview of these fascinating books. The books are a bit hard to keep straight as to proper sequence, as the list in each book is shown in a different order.

The books I had read had threadfall as a major problem above a nuisance, yet coming from the sky, and they did not know the source ... in a later book a meteor, or some other celestial object I believe, was suspected, due to the somewhat cyclic nature of the problem.

Thanks again for stopping by. Much appreciated.


lilbookkeeper 4 years ago

hello ive just got started reading the series and there was a sentenceim abit puzzled by.....when it says "lavender in bloom" does it mean unseen sorrow :o cause thats wat im getting and i thought id ask other readers but most my friends never read her books


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 4 years ago from Oakley, CA Author

Hello, lilbookkeeper--

Without knowing the context in which that phrase was used, I'd be unable to offer any insight. I've read several of these books and enjoyed them, but it has been a while, and I've not memorized any of the dialogue or descriptions.

Offhand, I'd want to just say to take it literally, as in there are flowers blooming.


lilbookkeeper 4 years ago

tyvm ill take it as that till i finish the book but ill reread bk so am able to give a page number/chapter etc its really a good book :o ive been reading since september


toomuchmint profile image

toomuchmint 4 years ago

The Pern series is one of my favorites. This hub is pretty bittersweet. Only through the comments did I learn of Anne McCaffrey's passing. She's an author who will be sorely missed.

Thanks Lizzy!


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 4 years ago from Oakley, CA Author

Hello, toomuchmint, This is a great and fun series of books, isn't it! I, too, was saddened to learn of the author's passing.

Thanks very much for your input; much appreciated.

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