The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall

This is an anthology of Pern stories. It doesn’t really stand on its own though, you’re much better off having read the other Pern books first. The stories are:

  • The Survey: P.E.R.N.: this story feels quite lazy. There are new characters, but they aren’t well introduced. They find the planet later called Pern, and explore it, but the story is entirely descriptive with no real plot to speak of. A story that’s only interesting if you’re obsessed with all things Pern. Its especially important that you’ve read Dragonsdawn before this story.
  • The Dolphin’s Bell: this story recycles characters introduced in Dragonsdawn to tell another side of the evacuation from Landing story. Its an ok story, but its not ground breaking.
  • The Fort of Red Hanrahan: covers the settlement of the second Hold on Pern. This story feels more like a real story, even if it is a bit shallow. Better than the previous two stories.
  • The Second Weyr: this is more of a traditional dragon rider story, and quite good. It doesn’t feel as much like an afterthought as the other stories, and was a good read. The title is a bit of a fib, as this story explains the existence of the next three weyrs.
  • Rescue Run: this was a good story too, covering why the settlers were never rescued.

Overall, I’d say this collecting was ok, but nothing particularly special.

[isbn: 0345368991]

All The Weyrs of Pern

This is the science fiction that I thought the Pern stories should have been all along. Its fair enough that there is a build up to this point, although it took a long time and involved a lot more light weight fiction than I would have liked. This was a good book, and I enjoyed it.

[award: nominee hugo 1992]
[isbn: 0345368932]

The Renegades of Pern

This book starts off in quite a disjointed manner, with the introduction of a variety of seemingly unrelated characters. The only thing that they all have in common is that they’re holdless. However, as the book progresses these characters are all weaved together into a relatively cohesive story line. I say relatively because there are gaps in the story telling, which can be a little jarring.

Interestingly, this book also clarifies some of the events of the others in the series. Most satisfyingly it includes more detail of the buried settlement at Landing than The White Dragon did, which ties in nicely with the introduction provided in Dragonsdawn. This gives me hope that later books will take the science fiction track I’ve been wanting them to for a while.

[isbn: 0345369335]


This book was similar to the other McCaffrey books I’ve read in that it felt like it lost its way in the middle for a bit. I’d been looking forward to this book for a while, because I really wanted to see the science fiction aspects of colonizing a new planet and developing a genetically engineered dragon explored. While this book did that, I don’t think it focused on the elements I wanted to — there was little discussion of the mechanics of either of these things, and instead a big sub plot about a jewel thief which was irrelevant and annoying. Overall, this book was ok, but not fantastic.

[isbn: 0345362861]

The White Dragon

This book took me ages to finish, and I’m not sure if that was because of distractions in real life (moving into a new house), or if it was because I just wasn’t all that into it. The first half of the book is the growing pains of Jaxom, the rider of white dragon Ruth. It was interesting in parts, but other parts seemed to drag on with endless character development. On the other hand, the plot of the last third of the book was really good, and I enjoyed it greatly. I don’t think this book was as good as the two previous Pern books however.

[isbn: 0345341678]