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Old Oct 7 2011, 07:18 AM   #1
Kohaku
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Default Writing and Records-Keeping

While I'm quite sure of the answer, I still must pose the question as I need help and more opinions than just my own and a friend's, and would appreciate any help I can get in tracking down proof within the books (I have all of them, but can't for the life of me remember which one(s) may have the information I seek) that I can reference, or just supported opinions here.

On Pern, post Second Pass and pre-AIVAS and the rediscovering of paper, all writing and records-keeping is done on slates (temporary) and hides (more permanent), correct?

The reason I ask this is because we have a mutual friend who refuses to listen to us when we try to tell them that books do not exist on Pern, just hides. They then go on to say that 'if it's bound together, it's a book', and refuses to listen when we say that we don't believe they bound the hides in any way, but simply stacked them (and not even like scrolls, as those don't exist on Pern either, do they?).

Any help to prove or disprove would be appreciated. I will admit if I'm wrong, but I'd at least like to see at least some minor points if I may!
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Old Oct 7 2011, 09:15 AM   #2
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Default Re: Writing and Records-Keeping

I have a funny feeling that slates can be found in either Nerilka's Story or Moreta's Ride but not sure which or was it in the Harper Hall trilogy.

Scrolls are made up of papyrus, parchment or paper and although AMC uses the term "hides", we would know it commonly as vellum which was used from Roman times to the middle ages as a form of parchment.

Don't think the Pernese would call bound hides as being called books until Avias came along. They didn't understand a lot of terminology until it was explained to them what it meant and a lot of people were still hidebound by the old standards. Pardon the puns there but I hope that helps a little.
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Old Oct 7 2011, 10:42 AM   #3
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Default Re: Writing and Records-Keeping

In DF, there are mentions to both wax-covered somethings, which I am assuming are stone tablets, used for lessons and local messages, and hide used to store records and other data that needs to be more durable, including messages sent elsewhere.

All quotes from DF on Google Books. As such, I have no page numbers, so I'll give context to make things easier to find in print.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lessa copying ballads as lessons under R'gul
"Guard all passes."

She dug the phrase out with the stylus, thinking to herself: So no dragonrider can leave the Weyr undetected.

<...>

"Red Star passes."

That benighted, begreened Red Star, and Lessa jammed her stylus into the soft wax with the symbol for a completed score.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just after Lessa and F'nor explore Southern
"Sketch me some references, will you, Lessa?" F'lar asked.

There was a definite plea in his eyes as he drew clean hide and a stylus to her. He wanted no questions from her now that would alarm F'nor. She sighed and picked up the drawing tool.

She sketched quickly, with one or two details added by F'nor until she had rendedred a reasonable map of the plateau they had chosen.
Quote:
Originally Posted by F'lar and Lessa discussing the degredation of Records over time
"Which is another item I'm hoping to find... the old preservative technique that kept the skins from hardening and smelling." <F'lar>

"It's stupid, anyhow, to use skins for recording. There out to be something better. We have become, dear Weyrleader, entirely too hidebound." <Lessa>
Quote:
Originally Posted by F'lar and Lessa, discussing diagrams at Fort Weyr, find the Mycorrhiza plate
He rummaged amonth the skin sheets on teh table, and an object dropped to the stone floor with a metallic clatter. <F'lar>

<...>

"Primative or no, they had a more permanent way of recording their visions that is superior to even the well-preserved skins," she murmured. <Lessa>
Promptly followed by this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by F'lar, F'nor and Lessa reviewing a message from Lytol before Ramoth's first clutch hatches
F'lar's use of the Hold-born as riders served an additional pirpose. Shortly before the actual Hatching and Impression, Lytol, the Warder appointed at Ruatha Hold, sent another message.

"The man positively delights in sending bad news," Lessa remarked as F'lar passed the message skin to her.
Anyway, searching for 'skins' and 'stylus' will get you most of the relevant results in that book. I searched Moreta in the same manner and got a reference with Capiam recording his health progress while ill on a skin as well.
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Old Oct 7 2011, 01:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: Writing and Records-Keeping

Quote:
Originally Posted by jube View Post
I have a funny feeling that slates can be found in either Nerilka's Story or Moreta's Ride but not sure which or was it in the Harper Hall trilogy.

Scrolls are made up of papyrus, parchment or paper and although AMC uses the term "hides", we would know it commonly as vellum which was used from Roman times to the middle ages as a form of parchment.

Don't think the Pernese would call bound hides as being called books until Avias came along. They didn't understand a lot of terminology until it was explained to them what it meant and a lot of people were still hidebound by the old standards. Pardon the puns there but I hope that helps a little.
In Chapter 2 of Nerilka's Story, Nerilka gets out one of the oldest of Fort Hold's medicinal records, which she calls a 'tome' (an old word for a large book). It has a cover, and can be opened, so clearly it has multiple pages.

I've never understood why the Pernese didn't manufacture a printing-press while they still had the how-to information. Going from superannuated computers right back to manuscript doesn't make sense. If they only had one press at the Harper Hall for the whole of Pern, and lost the blueprint when Kindan set fire to the Records Room, that might explain why they lost the technology, but they should have built that press at the start of the First Interval at the latest.
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Old Oct 7 2011, 02:05 PM   #5
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Default Re: Writing and Records-Keeping

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Originally Posted by Eriflor View Post
I've never understood why the Pernese didn't manufacture a printing-press while they still had the how-to information. Going from superannuated computers right back to manuscript doesn't make sense. If they only had one press at the Harper Hall for the whole of Pern, and lost the blueprint when Kindan set fire to the Records Room, that might explain why they lost the technology, but they should have built that press at the start of the First Interval at the latest.
I believe this has to do with the lack of paper. A printing press is only really useful when you have paper to print on, and from what I gather, the ability to make paper was lost pretty early on - either due to loss of knowledge or lack of suitable materials. Paper only manages to make a come back in early 9th Pass because of the proliferation of wood that resulted from the Long Interval. Wood was much more available for experimenting with than it had been in previous Turns, when it was a rare and valuable commodity as sizable forests were uncommong and had to be carefully protected during Passes.
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Old Oct 7 2011, 05:40 PM   #6
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Default Re: Writing and Records-Keeping

In Renegades, a boy gives Crenden a scroll... maybe these were reserved for messages, but I think it's possible there would be more of them if for some reason several hides were loose instead of bound together. To protect the ink or save space or something.
Google Books says it's page 22.
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Old Oct 7 2011, 08:26 PM   #7
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Default Re: Writing and Records-Keeping

There are books in Nerilka's story - a few, precious sets of bound records that she searches through for any mention of similar diseases to the plague.
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Old Oct 7 2011, 10:07 PM   #8
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Default Re: Writing and Records-Keeping

They had the abilty to make some solar power things in Dragonseye/RedStar Rising, the printer press, need paper, which the wood, and the old rags, for paper making, were still known, and the other item, could be 'eaten by the return of the Red Star.

The message skin, the weight of what a runner could carry, wherhide, 'tanned wherries hide' for Short Story Runner of Pern.

More later, on this subject, my demo has 'timed out'.
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Old Oct 7 2011, 11:03 PM   #9
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Default Re: Writing and Records-Keeping

Quote:
Originally Posted by semantre View Post
I believe this has to do with the lack of paper. A printing press is only really useful when you have paper to print on, and from what I gather, the ability to make paper was lost pretty early on - either due to loss of knowledge or lack of suitable materials. Paper only manages to make a come back in early 9th Pass because of the proliferation of wood that resulted from the Long Interval. Wood was much more available for experimenting with than it had been in previous Turns, when it was a rare and valuable commodity as sizable forests were uncommong and had to be carefully protected during Passes.
If they'd had even a single printing press, they would have made sure there was paper for it. They were using paper in Dragonseye/Red Star Rising, although they recycled it to the utmost. They just wouldn't have been running off books by the thousand, or newspapers. They might even have done most of their printing in the second half of each interval, when trees were most plentiful, and stockpiled the books they deemed most essential.

Anyway, I can't pursue this any longer, I'm off on vacation tomorrow. Bye!
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Old Oct 8 2011, 09:43 AM   #10
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Default Re: Writing and Records-Keeping

The message hide, that was using to send back to the Harper Hall, was used so much, the ink ran from being scraped so much and very small, the one that Rocky carried back.
He was only able to send in drum code, job done, safe, delayed old dragon for Oldtimer's dragonriders were there the same day as he was sent for, the cut one he put in the boots, but the uncut ones were hung on his runner's tack, next to his water flask. Dust from the travel, covered his Harper blue trouses, and he turn his jacket inside out to hide his badge.
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Old Oct 11 2011, 10:49 AM   #11
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Default Re: Writing and Records-Keeping

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eriflor View Post
If they'd had even a single printing press, they would have made sure there was paper for it. They were using paper in Dragonseye/Red Star Rising, although they recycled it to the utmost. They just wouldn't have been running off books by the thousand, or newspapers. They might even have done most of their printing in the second half of each interval, when trees were most plentiful, and stockpiled the books they deemed most essential.
All it takes is losing the art of papermaking, and suddenly, a press is so much wood and metal that is far more valuable elsewhere. Anne makes it very clear that there is no paper between the Sixth and Ninth Passes, so papermaking was lost - or deliberately abandoned - before the Sixth Pass. I don't know if Todd has paper in his Third Pass works or not.
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Old Oct 13 2011, 12:42 PM   #12
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Default Re: Writing and Records-Keeping

They also used sand tables for transitory jottings.
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Old Oct 16 2011, 03:25 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by semantre View Post
All it takes is losing the art of paper making, and suddenly, a press is so much wood and metal that is far more valuable elsewhere. Anne makes it very clear that there is no paper between the Sixth and Ninth Passes, so paper making was lost - or deliberately abandoned - before the Sixth Pass. I don't know if Todd has paper in his Third Pass works or not.
They do, but that is in the co-written ones, that why the fire in Dragon Harper, destroyed so many records, the heat from a torch plas flim if there were any records made of them, melted and burned many records.
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