CharlasWeyr and Hold

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Ago 18, 2008, 11:47am

I noticed that this group's posts are dormant. As I started a McCaffrey post on my own out Fantasy Fans, I'll see what I can do to get something going again here.

I have read all of Anne McCaffrey's books (and Todd's Pern ones) and still have many of them in my possession (actually in my son's) and the later ones I have been borrowing from the library (space problems, you know).

Nov 25, 2008, 6:01am

Seems very dead, doesn't it!

I have all the original Pern books - I bought the first one by Todd, but was disappointed and probably won't try any more. I'm afraid Anne too had become very formulaic by the end.

I do reread them occasionally and still enjoy them. The overall 'design' of the history of Pern is, I think, excellent. It does puzzle me that some people call it fantasy rather than science fiction.

Nov 25, 2008, 6:23am

The opening books are clearly fantasy rather than SF, there is no technology, no explanation of the genetic meddling simply dragons and firelizards exist, the culture is a utopian fantasy model with bards and small holders etc, and the feel of the books is fantasy.

Later on as they start to discover more complex technologies and Avis then I agree that it heads through a crossover mix into soft SF. But there is no clear distinction between the fields anyway.

Nov 26, 2008, 10:33pm

For the first few books, the story was fantasy and the only mention of science fiction was in the forward. Later books brought in AIVAS, genetic engineering, and the original colony.
I loved the start of the series and am less enthusiastic with each additional book as they rewrite history and ignore canon. The first few books fit together and I loved the universe and story. By the end of the AIVAS arc, the stories didn't fit as neatly into the universe.

Abr 30, 2009, 9:09pm

Actually, I disagree that they were ever fantasy. They were always science fiction, because there is a scientific basis for everything, from why/how dragons can breathe flame (the phosphine rock/gas igniting when it hits air) to Thread (spores dragged from an Oort cloud - a real astronomical phenomenon/structure - by the Red Star, etc.), to the fact that the dragons are bioengineered. Also, I think the author always had the outline of how they got to Pern in mind - the original Dragonriders trilogy refers to lost technologies, the Dawn Sisters that never move in the sky, and the discovery of the original settlement on the Southern Continent. That they had lost technology, forgotten about fire lizards and genetic engineering can be accounted for by the fight to survive using what resources they had on the planet. That there is a rich culture and society largely devoid of technology doesn't make them fantasy.

Mayo 1, 2009, 7:04am

Just because in the author's mind there may have been technological underpinnings of the ideas doesn't make it SF. As a reader, especially if you haven't read the rest of the series, the opening books have NO technology in them at all, there is simply nothing to imply it is anything other than fantasy.

Assuming of course that one is going to try and draw a line between SF and Fantasy. Pern very clearly illustrates why this is such difficult and perhaps pointless thing to do.

Mayo 1, 2009, 9:35am

I agree. I always considered this series fantasy until she started the back stories where you were told how they arrived on Pern and then also when the Pernians rediscovered the technology and started using it.

Editado: Mayo 3, 2009, 8:02pm

If having technology is the only thing that distinguishes science fiction from fantasy, then I suppose you have a point. I agree that sometimes the lines are blurred, but I haven't ever thought so in this case.

Abr 15, 2011, 12:29pm

Well since I enjoy both fantasy and sci-fi it doesn't bother me how they are classified - as long as they are great books to read :)