CharlasWeyr and Hold

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Abr 24, 2007, 6:19am

I'm not an avid Pern reader, but have picked up most of them, and enjoy the early books particularly.

To the biggest question regarding Pern. Is it Fantasy or SF?
(Ignore what the author says what do they know!)

For me it starts as pure fantasy and crosses over later in the series to SF.

Abr 25, 2007, 3:33am

In many ways, I think the Pern books have to be considered as Science Fantasy described on Wikipedia as "Science fantasy is a mixed genre of story which contains some science fiction and some fantasy elements".

I think there are others who might describe the books as science fiction and they are probably closer to that than they are to fantasy. They deal after all with what essentially started out as a colony in the human diaspora in space.

Abr 25, 2007, 5:44am

But there is no science involved at all in the early books - its been a while since I last re-read them, but I'm not sure that even the dragons being bred from fire-lizards was known until later in the series.

The early books are about people, and there is no technological edge to drive any of the plot lines. Until the later books the whole story could simply be an alternative world, eg fantasy.

What is more they feel far more like fantasy.

Abr 25, 2007, 9:40pm

The "legend" that dragons were bred from fire lizards is mentioned in Dragonflight, the first Pern book. (Until F'nor impresses his queen, fire lizards are considered by most people to be mythical.) F'lar finds old records, drawings, and materials which indicate lost knowledge and technology. The Mastersmith is able to reinvent flamethrowers after seeing a tapestry that depicts their use.

By the second book Dragonquest, they've found old rooms in weyrs and holds which contain a microscope, a telescope, a chart of their solar system, etc. They are busy inventing
a telegraph and other handy gadgets.

Abr 27, 2007, 5:53pm

Why just Weyr and Hold? What about the Craft Halls?

Mayo 3, 2007, 9:50am

Two reasons.

1) I recall there was a saying "Weyr and Hold"
2) I forgot about craft halls. How embarassing! I think the harpers would create a song which would never let me forget again.

Mayo 3, 2007, 11:03am

Is it just restricted to Anne Mccaffery's Pern books, or all the rest of her writing?

I've read the Crystal singer Trilogy which I enjoyed. It has references to I think the ship who sang, which I've not read - is this now a series of a few?
Also the Freedom's landing series, which was fun, if somewhat simplisitic.

Anybody got any recommendations for particularly good books out of her other work?

Mayo 4, 2007, 10:18am

May as well be her whole corpus. I didn't enjoy Crystal Singer, but I can recommend Decision at Doona.

Mayo 4, 2007, 5:01pm


In that case, how about editing the Group Description?

Mayo 7, 2007, 2:53am


Done. Thanks for the prompt. I have expanded the description to include all of Anne McCaffrey's works as well as any Pern works written by Todd McCaffrey, her son.

Editado: Mayo 7, 2007, 10:41pm

The Todd McCaffrey books seem to be more science and less fantasy, but I read them with pleasure, just the same.

Jul 1, 2007, 10:22pm

The only non-Pern book of Anne McCaffrey's I've read is The Coelura, which I loved. It's one of those 'strange new worlds, new life, new civilisations' that Star Trek promises but, especially in its latest incarnation, so often fails to deliver.

As for whether Pern is science fiction or fantasy or science fantasy or romance, I don't really care. To me, it's only relevant where big bookshops file by genre. Are there people who refuse to read them because they think they're the 'wrong genre'?

13angelgin Primer Mensaje
Jul 4, 2007, 2:38pm

When I was trying to get my life partner to read the books, I told him they fall under fantasy. He was the one who pointed out to me that they are science fiction because the dragons were bioengineered. No matter where they are classified though, I am glad that Anne McCaffrey created these books. I love her work. I am very glad she gave such a beautiful farewell for Robinton.

Nov 12, 2007, 8:20pm

I've read and enjoyed most of the Pern books, the Hive series, the first Peetaybee trilogy and the Pegasus trilogy, as well as several others I can't recall now. I didn't enjoy the first Pern book written by Todd McCaffrey on his own. I find the writing more pedantic and less 'magical' than Anne's. It just seems to plod along more than Anne's and I'm hesitant to try another by him. I wasn't too keen on the Acorna books either. But overall I'm sad to find that Anne seems not to be writing much anymore and the Pern books not at all anymore.