Teaser Tuesday 9/1/15: “The Dragonriders of Pern”

So this week I’m reading a little thing called The Dragonriders of Pern, by Anne McCaffrey.  Maybe you’ve heard of it.

Here Be Dragons
Here Be Dragons

Yes, I somehow made it through over four several decades of consuming mostly fantasy and science fiction novels without ever reading any of the Pern books. I do know what Thread is, though, so I must have picked that up from somewhere. Most likely I read the review of the video game in “Compute!” magazine, way back in like 1984.

Hi-Res Panorama

The Thread-fighting sequence is played on a colorful, hi-res panorama of Pern’s countryside that’s complete with a castle. As wisps of Thread drift slowly toward the surface, you maneuver a flying dragon that burns them up with its fiery breath while avoiding their deadly touch. It’s vital to do well in this phase, in order to convince the Holds of your capability to defend them.

Ah, yes, 1984, with its state of the art hi-res panoramic graphics.

The realism! It burns!
The versimilitude! It burns!

But this is Teaser Tuesday, so we need an excerpt from a book, not from a video game review:

These dragons—named for the mythical Terran beast they resembled—had two valuable characteristics: they could get from one place to another instantaneously and, after chewing a phosphine-bearing rock, they would emit a flaming gas. Because the dragons could fly, they were able to char Thread in midair, and then escape from its ravages.

And here I thought I was being so clever having my dragons eat rocks so they could breathe fire.

T’Sian regarded him for a moment, then said, “I will tell you a secret, man. We require two different kinds of crystals to make our fire: Red ones, which come from the islands near your home, and blue ones, which are found in the ice sheets far beyond the great lake.”

Well, you know what they say …

6 thoughts on “Teaser Tuesday 9/1/15: “The Dragonriders of Pern”

    1. Hi Nishita! I’m a little over 100 pages into the first one. It’s not bad at all, but stylistically it’s a touch dated (especially in the area of dialog attribution), and so far the human villains are somewhat of the mustache-twirling variety, but look! Dragons!


  1. Jim, if I had known you were interested in fantasy novels in college, I would have let you borrow my copy… I may have had it lying around the suite at Potsdam.


    1. Thanks! 🙂 I don’t think I got a heck of a lot of fiction reading done in college other than comic books, which probably explains why you didn’t know that. It’s so much easier to carry books around in an e-reader now. I also had managed never to read “Dune” until a few years back someone in the office loaned me their copy, and before long I got so irritated trying to read it at lunch and hold it open and turn the pages that I returned the paper copy and finished it on the Kindle. 😉


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