A Meeting of Minds - An Anne McCaffrey Discussion Forum  

Go Back   A Meeting of Minds - An Anne McCaffrey Discussion Forum > The Mezzanine > Monthly AMC Book Discussions

Monthly AMC Book Discussions Beginning on the 15th of every month, we hold an in-depth discussion of a theme from one or more books. Please join us!
Currently on hiatus.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old Jan 15 2006, 12:46 AM   #1
Cheryl
Master Archivist
 
Cheryl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Maryland, USA
Gender: F
Fan of: Pern!
Now Reading: Paladin of Souls (Bujold)
Gold General Pern Discussion 1

I'm taking over from Edith this month to lead a general discussion about Pern, based on the book Dragons of Fantasy by Anne C Petty. You need not read this book; it merely served to help me generate questions based upon observations/speculations about Pern that sparked my interest. Here's the first set of questions...

Many of you probably know the tale of Anne creating the basic structure of Pern one afternoon while waiting for her children to come home from school, and that her initial aim was to make likable dragons as they are so often portrayed as villianous. To do this she made a number of deliberate choices about what the dragons would be like as well as the nature of Pern, such as the following:

1. Anne rejected the traditional image of a spiny, scaley, reptilian dragon in favor of a warm-blooded, soft suede-like skinned dragon. How does this add to their likability? Would you have accepted scaled dragon instead in the role of a human-bonded lovable companion? How would that change your view of Pern and its dragons?

2. Anne used a regressed agrarian society as the setting in which the unique bond between humans and her model of dragons could be most fully explored and developed. Can you picture this same human-dragon bond in a high tech society? How might the relationship be different, and would it inspire as much envy for you as a reader?

3. As an intelligent alien species co-habitating a planet with humans, one might expect there to be natural tensions between the two species. Anne effectively quelled any inter-species competition by the one-to-one bonding of dragons to humans, along with uniting them against the common enemy of Thread. How might Pern and the relationship of humans and dragons be different without one or both of these attributes?
__________________
Visit one of the other sites of Cheryl's Anne McCaffrey Triad:
Sariel's Guide to Pern: a detailed guide to the series
The Many Works of Anne McCaffrey: largest fan site about Anne and ALL of her works
McCaffrey Quest: annual trivia contest.
Cheryl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 16 2006, 09:54 PM   #2
Lady Maelin
Master Artist


 
Lady Maelin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: California
Gender: F
Fan of: Pern,The Ship Who Sang
Now Reading: Anne's Pern EVERYTHING !
Default Re: General Pern Discussion 1

With the dragons being warm and soft, it allows the rider and the reader to get up close and tactile with them. It becomes a closer bond, beyond the mental one, with the support and inner peace that comes from the touching or holding on to each other in a crisis, in exhaustion or in a stressful time. The comfort from both mental and physical, that you could get with the warm blooded Dragon is so much more than that is in other stories of the hard scaled, and cold Dragons that we all have read or thought about.
I would have accepted a different dragon, but that is just it, it would have been very different. You can imagine being close with a hard or cold dragon, but it would seem more foreign.
After all is said and done it is the warm and soft to the touch that would make it more inviting.
__________________
"To the Horsehead Nebula and back we shall make beautiful music"..."Together!"

The stories of childhood leave an indelible impression,and their author always has a niche in the temple of memory from which the image is never cut out to be thrown on the rubbish heap of things that are outgrown and outlived........Howard Pyle
Lady Maelin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 23 2006, 03:27 PM   #3
Greenrider Tresa
The Contrary
Planetary Brain
 
Greenrider Tresa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Northern Indiana
Gender: F
Fan of: The Ship Who Searched
Now Reading: The Calhoun Collection, Nora Roberts
Default Re: General Pern Discussion 1

I used to ignore books on dragons until I saw Anne's. The dragons just look so likeable, without scales and horns and stuff. So I don't think I could have gotten into it and learned to like draogns if she'd gone the traditional route. As Maelin said, it's much easier to form a bond with something warm and soft than cold, hard and scaly.

Well, aside from the point that a technological society wouldn't have needed dragons so much, it just wouldn't feel right to me. Much easier to visualize the world with more farms and wide open spaces than say skyscrapers and concrete and glass everywhere. Dragons would get crowded in those small spaces.

3. They'd be competing for resources, definitely, maybe neither group giving the other the chnace to prove they can work together instead of against each other. Because they wouldn't have to cooperate. Or, dragons could be reduced to pack animals or somethng rather than respected partners.
__________________
Thinking, understanding, reasoning, willing, call not these
Soul! They are its actions, but they are not its essence.

Akhenaton? (c. B.C. 1375)
Egyptian King and Monotheist


Greenrider Tresa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 23 2006, 03:52 PM   #4
edith
Dragonrider


Weyrwoman
 
edith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Delft
Gender: F
Fan of: Most of them :)
Now Reading: Don't You Have Time To Think- RP Feynman
Default Re: General Pern Discussion 1

I don't mind scaley things! so scaley or slimy dragon's woudn't bother me!

I agree with Tresa on point 2 though!

dunno about q 3 yet!
edith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 24 2006, 01:07 PM   #5
c_ris
Journeyman Harper Roedin
Wing Second
 
c_ris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Great Britain
Gender: M
Fan of: the Dragonriders of Pern!
Now Reading: The Elder Gods - Eddings
Default Re: General Pern Discussion 1

The warm-bloodedness of the Pernese dragons do aid the original likability of the dragons, though that is not essential to their likability, which generally comes from their mannerisms etc.
__________________
Roedin Of Pern

"When a harper is silenced, all men should listen harder." AtWoP
c_ris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 24 2006, 04:41 PM   #6
Pat69La
Member
Hiver
 
Pat69La's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Zachary, Louisiana
Gender: F
2cent Re: General Pern Discussion 1



I agree with Greenrider Tresa on the three questions.
Warm-blooded smooth-skinned Dragons are (in my mind) much prefered to the cold-blooded scaled ones! But I also believe the Dragon personalities are a real big draw.
As for Dragons & High-Tech Society? No way! Would not work at all.
__________________
" Wheel and Turn or Bleed and burn
Fly between, Blue and Green
Soar, dive down, Bronze and Brown.
Dragonmen must fly when Threads are in the sky! "
Pat69La is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 25 2006, 08:28 AM   #7
edith
Dragonrider


Weyrwoman
 
edith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Delft
Gender: F
Fan of: Most of them :)
Now Reading: Don't You Have Time To Think- RP Feynman
Default Re: General Pern Discussion 1

It could work but not as Pern!
edith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 28 2006, 07:54 PM   #8
Lady Maelin
Master Artist


 
Lady Maelin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: California
Gender: F
Fan of: Pern,The Ship Who Sang
Now Reading: Anne's Pern EVERYTHING !
Default Re: General Pern Discussion 1

I could work if they dwelt on the tops of the buildings, and they were the only flying things in the sky. No sleds or air cars or flying machines of any kind. Maybe, but this is much better with them on Pern and the low tech.
__________________
"To the Horsehead Nebula and back we shall make beautiful music"..."Together!"

The stories of childhood leave an indelible impression,and their author always has a niche in the temple of memory from which the image is never cut out to be thrown on the rubbish heap of things that are outgrown and outlived........Howard Pyle
Lady Maelin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 28 2006, 08:36 PM   #9
c_ris
Journeyman Harper Roedin
Wing Second
 
c_ris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Great Britain
Gender: M
Fan of: the Dragonriders of Pern!
Now Reading: The Elder Gods - Eddings
Default Re: General Pern Discussion 1

2. High tech societies don't have the image of the utopian ideal like low-tech agrarian cultures do. Although Pern's society is obviously not a utopia, it has many more aspects of this than pretty much any high tech social order could convey.
__________________
Roedin Of Pern

"When a harper is silenced, all men should listen harder." AtWoP
c_ris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 29 2006, 12:10 PM   #10
Jayru
Inactive
 
Jayru's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: A cozy house in the dales of Debyshire, in little old England
Gender: M
Fan of: The Pern Saga
Now Reading: No time to read, am writing!
Blue Re: General Pern Discussion 1

1/ When I first read Dragonflight, I pictured the dragons more as they are depicted traditionally. It wasn't until later that I picked up on the many differences Anne had put into her dragons. So I guess it would have no impact on me if the dragons were scaled, or spiny.

2/ Good question, and one I have never really thought about. I guess such a society could exist, and work. Maybe the high-tech world being more accomodating to the dragons would make it easier.

3/ Well - Anne has removed the problem of Thread, so maybe she'll answer this herself one day. My thoughts; Without the one-to-one bonding I could see major difficulties between the riders and the dragons. The dragons would be more able to act on there own, and the riders would be less bound up in caring for them. Without that link I think it would be feasable that riders would not always be paired with the same dragon.

Interesting to think about.
Jayru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 31 2006, 09:24 PM   #11
Spaceman Spiff
Inactive
 
Spaceman Spiff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Gender: M
Fan of: PERN!!!
Now Reading: Lord of the Rings
Default Re: General Pern Discussion 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayru
3/ Well - Anne has removed the problem of Thread, so maybe she'll answer this herself one day. My thoughts; Without the one-to-one bonding I could see major difficulties between the riders and the dragons. The dragons would be more able to act on there own, and the riders would be less bound up in caring for them. Without that link I think it would be feasable that riders would not always be paired with the same dragon.

Interesting to think about.
Nope. Pern was never meant for a high tech society and will never become one, it just doesn't have the necessary resources. They could become highER tech, but never anything advanced, or even building cities with very large buildings.

But what do you mean without one-to-one bonding? Dragons are dependant on humans. Without someone to bond, they WILL die, Kitti Ping engineered them that way. They can't drift away from a bond either, it's either having that bond always or die. And people would ALWAYS be bound up in caring for them. Despite being rid of threadfall, it's still a huge job being with a dragon, they need bathing and frequent oiling, and that in itself is a giat task with such large creatures.


As for the original three questions, I'm pretty much with everyone else.
Spaceman Spiff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 2 2006, 02:42 PM   #12
Jayru
Inactive
 
Jayru's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: A cozy house in the dales of Debyshire, in little old England
Gender: M
Fan of: The Pern Saga
Now Reading: No time to read, am writing!
Default Re: General Pern Discussion 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaceman Spiff
Nope. Pern was never meant for a high tech society and will never become one, it just doesn't have the necessary resources. They could become highER tech, but never anything advanced, or even building cities with very large buildings.

But what do you mean without one-to-one bonding? Dragons are dependant on humans. Without someone to bond, they WILL die, Kitti Ping engineered them that way. They can't drift away from a bond either, it's either having that bond always or die. And people would ALWAYS be bound up in caring for them. Despite being rid of threadfall, it's still a huge job being with a dragon, they need bathing and frequent oiling, and that in itself is a giat task with such large creatures.


As for the original three questions, I'm pretty much with everyone else.

Hummmmm....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheryl
1. Anne rejected the traditional image of a spiny, scaley, reptilian dragon in favor of a warm-blooded, soft suede-like skinned dragon. How does this add to their likability? Would you have accepted scaled dragon instead in the role of a human-bonded lovable companion? How would that change your view of Pern and its dragons?

2. Anne used a regressed agrarian society as the setting in which the unique bond between humans and her model of dragons could be most fully explored and developed. Can you picture this same human-dragon bond in a high tech society? How might the relationship be different, and would it inspire as much envy for you as a reader?

3. As an intelligent alien species co-habitating a planet with humans, one might expect there to be natural tensions between the two species. Anne effectively quelled any inter-species competition by the one-to-one bonding of dragons to humans, along with uniting them against the common enemy of Thread. How might Pern and the relationship of humans and dragons be different without one or both of these attributes?
Yep, I did read it right

I love these sort of "what if" questions. It's good to pause for thought and examine something from a different perspective.
Jayru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 5 2006, 02:37 PM   #13
Cheryl
Master Archivist
 
Cheryl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Maryland, USA
Gender: F
Fan of: Pern!
Now Reading: Paladin of Souls (Bujold)
Default Re: General Pern Discussion 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaceman Spiff
But what do you mean without one-to-one bonding? Dragons are dependant on humans. Without someone to bond, they WILL die, Kitti Ping engineered them that way.
Right, because Anne chose to make it work that way. The question is does that help make Pernese dragons particularly appealing, or how could you see Pern working without that restriction.
__________________
Visit one of the other sites of Cheryl's Anne McCaffrey Triad:
Sariel's Guide to Pern: a detailed guide to the series
The Many Works of Anne McCaffrey: largest fan site about Anne and ALL of her works
McCaffrey Quest: annual trivia contest.
Cheryl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 6 2006, 02:20 PM   #14
edith
Dragonrider


Weyrwoman
 
edith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Delft
Gender: F
Fan of: Most of them :)
Now Reading: Don't You Have Time To Think- RP Feynman
Default Re: General Pern Discussion 1

they've enough character to be appealing- but you'd miss the little private asides and comments
edith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 6 2006, 10:04 PM   #15
Spaceman Spiff
Inactive
 
Spaceman Spiff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Gender: M
Fan of: PERN!!!
Now Reading: Lord of the Rings
Default Re: General Pern Discussion 1

D'oh, sorry, I missed the last sentence of that question
Spaceman Spiff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 13 2006, 11:58 PM   #16
Kater
Menetteth's Rider
Weyrling
 
Kater's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Over the Rainbow
Gender: F
Fan of: Pern, Tower, and Pegasus
Now Reading: Watchers by Dean Koontz
Default Re: General Pern Discussion 1

1. Anne rejected the traditional image of a spiny, scaley, reptilian dragon in favor of a warm-blooded, soft suede-like skinned dragon. How does this add to their likability? Would you have accepted scaled dragon instead in the role of a human-bonded lovable companion? How would that change your view of Pern and its dragons?

Because it is written the way it is we see it this way. If it had been written any other way we'd probably have a problem with it this way. I think that even though the hids are soft and suede like, I still imagine the vague outline of scales. I still see the dragons as slightly raptillion though.

2. Anne used a regressed agrarian society as the setting in which the unique bond between humans and her model of dragons could be most fully explored and developed. Can you picture this same human-dragon bond in a high tech society? How might the relationship be different, and would it inspire as much envy for you as a reader?

If the society were higher tech they probaly wouldn't have needed the dragons for their defense. I don't see more than a human firelizard bond if the society were more high tech. If there were dragons I have a feeling Kit Ping might have made different choices when engineering them.
__________________
Everything I know I learned from Piglet, Eponine and Nimby

Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore
Kater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 14 2006, 04:49 PM   #17
Brenda
Senior Member
 
Brenda's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: St. Louis
Gender: F
Default Re: General Pern Discussion 1

Having held snakes, I know firsthand that their scales are relatively soft. I picture that sort of feel.
Brenda is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 16 2006, 08:54 PM   #18
monkeysrule
Firelizard
Hatchling
 
monkeysrule's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: High up a tree somewhere
Gender: F
Fan of: Monkeys
Now Reading: expensive textbooks!
Default Re: General Pern Discussion 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brenda
Having held snakes, I know firsthand that their scales are relatively soft. I picture that sort of feel.
Larger snakes can have smoother scales. But you're right, a lot of snakes have that softness.

I've always imagined dragon's hide to feel like the belly of a green anole lizard or a bearded dragon, both of which are softish, but with out the scalyness when you rub the wrong way.
monkeysrule is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 26 2006, 06:08 PM   #19
Unregistered
Guest
 

Smile Re: General Pern Discussion 1

Hey,
Lady Maelin and Greenrider Tresa.... I am using quotes from the two of you in a research project i have to do on ann'e writting style!
Thanks for your wonderful ideas!!!!
  Reply With Quote
Old Mar 27 2006, 06:48 AM   #20
granath
Talent
Tower Prime
 
granath's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Proud Mom!
Gender: F
Fan of: Afra Lyon
Now Reading: PiF
Default Re: General Pern Discussion 1

Yes, I could have accepted a scaly dragon, provided that Anne left the personalities intact. Reptilian doesn't necessarily mean cold-blooded. Anything fast enough to fly would more or less have to have a metabolism fast enough to be warm-blooded. Most of the faster dinosaurs are thought to have been warm-blooded.

I can picture a human-dragon bond in a high-tech society (at least up to current levels, not sure about a society sophisticated enough for interstellar travel). It wouldn't quite have the same feel, though.

The end of thread is in sight, so that uniting against a common enemy part of it is gone. I can picture dragons becoming nothing more than glorified faster runners, used for law enforcement and emergency transports. Sad but true. People also get away with far too much, there are far too many romantic relationships between dragonriders for the uniqueness of the dragon bond to pull any weight any longer. If Anne had really written Pernese dragons as fully equal to their human partners, there'd be no romantic relationships between dragonriders, who'd only be interested in sex as a release during their dragon's mating flight, caring not a jot who the partner happened to be, with all their emotional resources tied up with the dragon. To my mind that would've been a fair trade against the fact that dragons always die when their rider does.
__________________
Decaf coffee is an oxymoron. Instant coffee is an abomination. Give me the real thing and nobody gets hurt.
"Do. Or do not. There is no try" -- Yoda
VP of the Afra Lyon fan club!
granath is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Pern Book, Short Story, and Miscellany List; Common Abbreviations Cheryl Dragonriders of Pern 1 Jun 28 2008 09:53 AM
Collecting Highlight (43) - The Atlas of Pern c.s. Hans Collecting Highlights Archives 23 Feb 25 2007 09:30 PM
Need some help from members... Hans Café Archives 21 Jul 24 2006 07:09 PM
General Pern trivia ghyle Monthly AMC Book Discussions 1 Feb 14 2006 01:18 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:33 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

ds and characters based on Anne McCaffrey’s fiction are copyright © Anne McCaffrey 1967-2008, all rights reserved, and used bA Meeting of Minds forum owned by Cheryl B. Miller.
All references to worly permission of the author.