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