Thread: Slavery on Pern
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Old Apr 28 2008, 01:08 AM   #15
Greenrider Dawna
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Default Re: Slavery on Pern

Originally Posted by Sandi View Post
Actually, we do know there is at least one form of slavery on Pern. It seems fairly routine to sentence criminals to work in mines. This always struck me as odd because it shows a lack of respect for mining as a craft. I suppose there is a fair amount of "grunt work" in mines that just about anybody could do once shown how, and I suppose that's what the "prisoners" are doing. Still, mining is a dangerous and exacting occupation and if they have a lot of people with little to no knowledge of the craft chipping and hammering away they could have some pretty spectacular accidents.
I've also thought this was strange since I was under the impression that mining was a respectable craft on Pern. Maybe, as you suggested, the prisoners are doing the hard, manual labor and perhaps there was not a lot of concern for their personal safety. I also do recall, in one of the books--I can't remember which one at the moment since I read it years ago--where a group of criminals were sentenced to be drudges in Holds where such workers were needed.

Also, as Mawra and others have suggested in this thread, things should change after AIVAS: there will be less need of manual labor as technology improves. I wonder what kind of world Pern will be centuries after the 9th Pass. But that's probably a topic for another thread, if it hasn't been already.
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