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Old Jul 31 2011, 07:41 PM   #121
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Quick thought on the Deep Ones and others like them: Maybe they're a Lovecraft reference/salute kind of thing?
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Old Aug 22 2011, 01:29 PM   #122
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I just read this book. I've been a fan of the 3rd pass books for the most part, I think Dragonsblood wasn't really all that thrilling but the others have been pretty good for the most part, so I'm not a big Todd detractor. And I obviously like the character of Kindan

That said, I thought Dragongirl fell flat in a lot of ways. I'm not a big continuity person, so I look at it from a quality of story perspective, for the type of post you can expect. Don't mind the controversial decisions about who rides what Dragon or who performs what duty.

It was really long, it felt like a lot of the information that was thrown in there was superfluous. A great example: it felt like Fiona told T'mar to "get some rest" so many times and with the same verbage that I felt I was rereading the same page at points and took me out of the story. There were a couple other instances of similar scenes that did that for me, where it felt like it didn't really progress plot or character.

On that token, the main problem with the book is it was really hard to tell what it was about for most of the book. It felt more like it was about Fiona cuddling as many people as she could more than it was a plight of too few Dragons. And though the author tells us very explicitly that their relationships developed, I didn't see that or feel that with the characters.

Which leads me to my last critique of the book: the characters felt really flat. I really thought Kindan had a cool harper thing going on in previous books, and Lorana was unique as well. In this book they both seem to blend together and the voices for them, Fiona, T'mar, Bekka, Terin, barely feel different from each other. It felt very flat the whole way, and I don't feel like the characters grew or changed much from their experiences of losing dragons or their relationships. It did *say* that they did in the book, but in my experience, coming way with the feelings of characters having changed and progressed without being told that they did is what makes good writing. On a tv show, I don't want to have a lot of dialogue about how sad someone is. If an actor really is moved to tears, we'll know it. Same with the dialogue of Dragongirl. What made the original Pern books so great is you really felt their plights and struggles.

So I have to say, I got through it. I like the setting that's been established through the book and the books before that. There's a lot of rich details to dragons and watchwhers that weren't told in the original series, and therefore a lot of potential. I hope I see it more in Dragon's Time.
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Old Aug 25 2011, 04:53 PM   #123
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Which leads me to my last critique of the book: the characters felt really flat. I really thought Kindan had a cool harper thing going on in previous books, and Lorana was unique as well. In this book they both seem to blend together and the voices for them, Fiona, T'mar, Bekka, Terin, barely feel different from each other. It felt very flat the whole way, and I don't feel like the characters grew or changed much from their experiences of losing dragons or their relationships. It did *say* that they did in the book, but in my experience, coming way with the feelings of characters having changed and progressed without being told that they did is what makes good writing. On a tv show, I don't want to have a lot of dialogue about how sad someone is. If an actor really is moved to tears, we'll know it. Same with the dialogue of Dragongirl. What made the original Pern books so great is you really felt their plights and struggles.
You're talking about the old rule of "Show, don't tell". I also see it as a bit of a weak spot in a lot of Todd's writing.
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Old Aug 26 2011, 12:47 PM   #124
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You're talking about the old rule of "Show, don't tell". I also see it as a bit of a weak spot in a lot of Todd's writing.
That's exactly what I was saying!
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Old Nov 4 2011, 07:15 AM   #125
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I've just finished reading Dragongirl. I enjoyed as I enjoy all Pern stories but I also found alot of things to nit-pick at. Don't you think Todd is going just ever so slightly too far with the 'liberal love' bit? Anne never really went THAT far from what I recall. Also I agree that when Fiona (very unpernese name) said "I'd sooner lose Talenth than Lorana" well...... that just dashed the whole concept of dragon/rider bonding didn't it?
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Old Nov 4 2011, 01:03 PM   #126
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Also I agree that when Fiona (very unpernese name) said "I'd sooner lose Talenth than Lorana" well...... that just dashed the whole concept of dragon/rider bonding didn't it?
Yeah, of all the things about Todd's Pern this is the one that bothers me most. In Anne's books we've never seen a dragonrider ever even THINK something like that--there's never really any question Moreta's going to chose the Weyr and duty over Alessan even if she hadn't taken that last ride, Lessa may SAY that "no one's flying Ramoth but Mnementh" but if push came to shove you know she'd do what's best for her queen, Brekke's got a massive hangup about sex but one of her biggest worries is that she'll hurt Wirenth by it somehow, she and Lytol only managed to survive losing their dragons because of having fairly strong minds and support systems...Dragons come first. It's not like it's a concept that developed later--Dragonseye/RSR is set before Todd's books and already there's the acknowledgement a dragonrider's first loyalty is to their dragon.

In Dragonsblood people are reacting to their dragons dying like they lost a fairly well-liked pet. And it's just snowballed from there.
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Old Nov 4 2011, 03:17 PM   #127
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yeah, the last book was *the* last Pern book i'll ever buy. and those two of this trilogy i packaged up and put in the back of the closet, so my kids wont get hold of them. Todd wrote some good books, but he is apparently a sex maniac, who allows it to override everything his mother built.

after so many years of fighting off directors who wanted to do movies of Pern, because she wanted it to be canon, i am aghast that she is permitting her own son to destroy it, while she stands by and watches. has anyone seen or had contact with her? i can only guess that she must be very ill, and unable to keep tabs on his writing, because i cannot believe she would ever approve of this.

i knew that one day there would come an end to the Pern series....but i never would have guessed it that i would have to stop buying it because of her son's insisting on pornagraphy....it hurts so much to lose this wonderful world.
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Old Nov 4 2011, 03:35 PM   #128
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I'm nearly afraid of reading Dragonstime now....
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Old Nov 4 2011, 03:51 PM   #129
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its not about dragons and the bond with their riders, discovering new places, and all the beautiful things Anne wrote of... if thats what you loved, dont waste your money. put away the last two books, and go back to your shelf, and pull out the greats she wrote. my daughter loves them, especially Robinton. i find myself wondering about the tonguelashing he would give these so called Weyrleaders for their behaviours.

and Todd literally destroying the dragons, dying off while he concentrates on his sex soaked porn. its no longer "Dragonriders", but something i would never have thought to come out under the name of McCaffery.

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I'm nearly afraid of reading Dragonstime now....
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Old Nov 4 2011, 04:22 PM   #130
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While I appreciate that everyone has the right to their own opinion on the books, I'd like to ask LadyD a question.

How do you feel Todd's sex scenes differ from Anne's? What is it that crosses the line for you? When I look at what's written, on the one hand I see heterosexual sex which is frequently non-consensual or violent, and on the other I see consensual sex involving polyamorous and/or not-just-het lovers. And I know which I, personally, find to be the more tasteful.
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Old Nov 5 2011, 12:01 AM   #131
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I'm more interested in the holder/crafter side of the PBEM RPG I'm in, but I finally decided to submit a female Candidate --- who was heterosexual according to the persona sheet I wrote, but Impressed a blue hatchling.

I'm going to take the line that a baby dragon couldn't possibly know anything of the sexual preferences of its chosen human, and that my new Weyrling is not gay (initially at least --- she's still a virgin anyway, so who knows?). The new hatchling looks for either a strong or a gentle person as its partner. That may or may not correspond to an existing sexual orientation. In the clutch where my charrie found her life-partner, all but one of the blues and greens Impressed to girls. I believe this was due to certain traumatic events before the hatching, which caused them to seek a mother figure. Some of the boys who Impressed browns and bronzes were rather gentle types too.

The rider may eventually end up having sex (during gold or greenflights) with persons of either gender, and the experience may or may not result in a change in his/her sexual orientation. Holder children are raised to think of marriage to a person of the opposite sex. Becoming weyrfolk gives them other options they may have resisted before, or may not have considered at all.
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Old Nov 7 2011, 12:26 PM   #132
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While I appreciate that everyone has the right to their own opinion on the books, I'd like to ask LadyD a question.

How do you feel Todd's sex scenes differ from Anne's? What is it that crosses the line for you? When I look at what's written, on the one hand I see heterosexual sex which is frequently non-consensual or violent, and on the other I see consensual sex involving polyamorous and/or not-just-het lovers. And I know which I, personally, find to be the more tasteful.
You have a very good point there Kath. I hadn't though of it that way. I suppose it's because the stories are normally more 'dragon love' based rather than 'human love' so maybe it's stands out more. Not enough time dedicated to our beloved dragons perhaps?

Just a curiousity, has anyone else noticed that in Todd's last books the characters seem to be having 'klar and hot rolls' ever so much? I remember one scene when Fiona (in Dragon'sgirl I think) went to the harper hall, had hot rolls and klar and then straight after, went to one of the weyrs and had hot rolls and klar? Just thought I'd share my thoughts..

One things for sure, I always end up with a craving for 'Klar' whilst reading Pern books!!
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Old Nov 7 2011, 04:30 PM   #133
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It's called "klah", not "klar."

Todd seems to get into 'trademark' items, like a default--klah and hot rolls (he decided "meat rolls" are too heavy?)

I don't think it's less about the dragons than that the dragons are less--human love was BIG in Anne's books, but the sticking factor in rider/non-rider relationships was that the rider could never love anyone or anything the way they did their dragon. In Todd's books, people barely notice their dragon dies, they care more about someone else's reaction it than their own, they offer to GIVE their dragon away, they say things like they'd rather lose their their dragon that another person...the dragons are basically intelligent pets.

LadyD--never read the Freedom books or the short story Anne used as the basis for them. The short story was her attempt to cash in on the sf/softcore market. Hot human-on-cat-man action.
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Old Nov 7 2011, 04:56 PM   #134
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The rider may eventually end up having sex (during gold or greenflights) with persons of either gender, and the experience may or may not result in a change in his/her sexual orientation. Holder children are raised to think of marriage to a person of the opposite sex. Becoming weyrfolk gives them other options they may have resisted before, or may not have considered at all.
Nothing can change a person's sexuality, I'm afraid, no matter what Mrs. McCaffrey says. It's true the Weyrs are more open, and people of alternate sexualities can stop denying they're not heterosexual, but it still doesn't work like that.
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Old Nov 7 2011, 11:25 PM   #135
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What I meant was that a person who assumed (perhaps from lack of experience) that he/she was heterosexual may decide he/she is gay or bisexual after experiencing sex with a person of the same gender.

Or if definitely heterosexual, riders may simply accept the occasional homosexual episode as part of the price of riding a dragon.
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Old Nov 8 2011, 02:23 AM   #136
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Oh, I gotcha now.
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Old Nov 8 2011, 09:59 AM   #137
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LadyD--never read the Freedom books or the short story Anne used as the basis for them. The short story was her attempt to cash in on the sf/softcore market. Hot human-on-cat-man action.
As a side note: There are not cat men in the Freedom series. The species name is Catteni, but they are in no way cat-like. They are very human-like with most differences being in coloration and size - Catteni tend to be larger than humans and have a denser build due to origins on a higher gravity world. The 'racial' slur of calling them 'Cats' is simply a shortening of the species name, which is meant to show disrespect toward them.
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Old Nov 8 2011, 12:26 PM   #138
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Here's my take on the Fiona thought that seems to be causing a lot of controversy: Fiona is definitely a different individual compared to a lot of the weyrwomen we've seen. That's kinda a big defining character trait that she does put love of humans above the dragons. Now if this was a book about Moreta or Lessa, I think we could make an argument that it's very out of character and the bond they have with their dragon supercedes a lot, but I'm definitely open to the fact that different individuals can feel different ways. Also - just because Fiona thought that, didn't mean she was thinking it through and truly meant it in an emotional moment. I know I've thought things that if push came to shove, probably wouldn't be true.

I've mostly enjoyed the new series, not as much as the old certainly, and I think the books haven't been quite as good since Dragon's Fire, but they're not the disasters a lot of these threads make them out to be. If you're looking for hard attention to extreme details of continuity, then the McCaffrey family is not going to be your cup of tea, Todd or Anne.

Where Anne excels above Todd is the basics of a "show, don't tell" in regards to storytelling. Anne instantly, no matter the story, connects you to the love and the bonds between people in a way that's not easily definable (or I'd write a zillion novels myself that copy that style exactly), Todd tells you very outright that this person feels this love for x. And I don't know either person very well, but I think it's just because of where the primary interests lay with each of them. Todd seems way more interested in mechanics like time travel and how many dragons would die in each fall, how would that impact the total dragon numbers in 3 weeks, in one year? Anne seems much more interested in relationships and how Lessa and F'Lar would come together and how would that ripple through other people's relationships.

Or I could be wrong.
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Old Nov 8 2011, 01:14 PM   #139
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And I don't know either person very well, but I think it's just because of where the primary interests lay with each of them. Todd seems way more interested in mechanics like time travel and how many dragons would die in each fall, how would that impact the total dragon numbers in 3 weeks, in one year? Anne seems much more interested in relationships and how Lessa and F'Lar would come together and how would that ripple through other people's relationships.

Or I could be wrong.
The thing is - it's not an either--or. One can explore the mechanics of the worldbuilding at the same time as plagues and relationships and dragon/rider bonds and all sorts of things. (At least, that's what I try and do. Current just-finished fic has explored the intersection between Impression mechanics and personal growth against the backdrop of post-plague recovery. Fic in progress is politics and dragons and relationships and murder and scheming and love and threadfighting and timing and more politics and also some Hawt Sex, against the backdrop of more politics and falling in love and things not actually working out how the protagonists want in the end...)
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Old Nov 9 2011, 10:45 AM   #140
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Fic in progress is politics and dragons and relationships and murder and scheming and love and threadfighting and timing and more politics and also some Hawt Sex, against the backdrop of more politics and falling in love and things not actually working out how the protagonists want in the end...)
That sounds very intriguing!
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Old Dec 20 2011, 02:04 PM   #141
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What I meant was that a person who assumed (perhaps from lack of experience) that he/she was heterosexual may decide he/she is gay or bisexual after experiencing sex with a person of the same gender.

Or if definitely heterosexual, riders may simply accept the occasional homosexual episode as part of the price of riding a dragon.
Believe it or not, but only 6% at either end of the human scales are either 100% gay or 100% heterosexual. Almost all the rest (~75-80%!) are more or less bisexual (to varying degrees) with roughly 5-10% being other-sexual.

It is socialisation and peer pressure which makes us strictly this or that and hide our ulterior interests currently.

It is quite possible for people to "change" sexual orientations the way you describe. All it often needs is growing aware of what they suppress.
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Old Aug 15 2014, 07:18 PM   #142
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The dragon decides, the rider complies.

Really, it's GREAT to see this. Lesbians exist, and if a green can accept a gay man, there's no logical reason why a blue wouldn't find a gay woman an ideal match.
I always thought that was one of the parts that made the most sense here. If greens will happily choose gay men, why wouldn't blues accept a lesbian just as cheerfully?

Tazith has no reservations, so neither should we.

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I wouldn't say that Loranna stole Tullea's Queen as Loranna had asked one more time. I was also let down at the end since we still don't know (for sure) that it was Loranna that took Fiona back to Igen.
Minith has already proven more than once that she has a mind of her own. She's quite possibly the most self directed dragon in canon other than Ruth. She thinks, she makes decisions for herself, and she overruled Tullea at times.

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