Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Rating: 4/5
203 pages
Publisher: Del Rey
Source: Kindle ebook

Description: On the beautiful planet Pern, colonized for centuries, Land Holders and Craftsmen have traditionally tithed food and supplies to the dragon weyrs to which they are bound. In times past, the mighty telepathic dragons and their riders were the only protection from the dreaded, life-threatening Thread.

But it has been over 400 years since the last Thread fall, and some people have come to doubt that the menace will every strike again. But F'lar, rider of Pern's greatest bronze dragon, has no such illusions. The Red Star is near; Thread will fall soon. (from Goodreads)

Review: This is a sci-fi book that has not aged well in a number of ways. And despite appearances, this is, technically, a sci-fi book.

Its still a good book in most areas. The world building is pretty good, though dated, and despite reading it a number of times, I still find the story fairly compelling.

But it's clearly a product of it's times in a number of ways. The most obvious of which is the odd sexism. There's no obvious reason that women aren't allowed to impress dragons other than queens, or that queens need female riders. This isn't the only example, but the Weyrs are portrayed as more progressive in the series than the general population. There's also a distressing amount of abusive behavior between F'lar and Lessa.

Other issues are less obvious if you haven't read later books in the series. There are certain names that change for no apparent reason between the first and second book and certain things that were established in this book get changed later on.

When I reread the book for the first time in a number years, I was also struck by the poor quality of the writing in the beginning of this book. There were some fairly basic errors, including rather clunky writing and a fight scene between two characters with names that are a bit too similar. This part was originally released as a short work, and the writing does improve in the later parts of the book.

There's also errors in the text that seem to have never been corrected over the years. They're present in my mother's copy, from the 60s or 70s, my paper copy from the late 80s, and the ebook I just bought.

I'm not sure what I would think of this book, if I read it for the first time at this point in my life. It has flaws that are easier for me to notice now, than when I first read it in my early teens, but I still enjoyed it.

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