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View Poll Results: The final Ninth Pass Novel: How many loose ends?
I want all the plotlines clearly resolved! 19 32.76%
Nothing in life is simple, life goes on - give me loose ends galore and room for doubt! 9 15.52%
I'm a fence sitter. Give me a mixture 30 51.72%
Voters: 58. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Sep 13 2009, 10:41 AM   #81
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Default Re: The last book of the ninth pass

I'm not sure Pern would survive the collision with the Red Star.

The Yoko (or either of the other two) yes, afterall it's starting from a geosynchronous orbit (so relative velocity zero). It would mostly burn up on entry (thank goodness none of the Dawn Sisters have their anti-matter engines any more).
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Old Sep 13 2009, 11:35 AM   #82
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I'm not sure Pern would survive the collision with the Red Star.

The Yoko (or either of the other two) yes, afterall it's starting from a geosynchronous orbit (so relative velocity zero). It would mostly burn up on entry (thank goodness none of the Dawn Sisters have their anti-matter engines any more).
Well, supposedly, earth suvived a collision with a mars sized object.

Of course, the whole mass became one molten object, with a splash of debris that became the moon.

So Pern could survive the collision, but nothing on Pern would survive it.

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Old Sep 13 2009, 01:22 PM   #83
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I'm not sure whether this could happen, but something like the Red Planet pulling some comet or something out of the Oort cloud and swinging it into Pern?
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Old Sep 13 2009, 02:27 PM   #84
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No! No more cosmic problems! The freaking asteroid was already a one-in-a-million shot. I am NOT reading another Skies of Pern. I own one cosmic impact Pern novel; that's enough.
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Old Sep 13 2009, 09:05 PM   #85
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No! No more cosmic problems! The freaking asteroid was already a one-in-a-million shot. I am NOT reading another Skies of Pern. I own one cosmic impact Pern novel; that's enough.
Agreed! Especially as the whole "dragons as skywatchers" thing is conspiracy-theory-level silly.

We now have something like eight plague books. Not another trend.
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Old Sep 14 2009, 10:54 AM   #86
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Agreed! Especially as the whole "dragons as skywatchers" thing is conspiracy-theory-level silly.

We now have something like eight plague books. Not another trend.
If you need a calamity, maybe say that the explosions on the red planet's which causes a new orbit, which will be the cause of the end of thread, has affected the current threadfall, so that it is heavier and more often.

Make those dragons work for the end of treadfall. And there are still the last of the abominators to clean up.

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Old Sep 14 2009, 08:26 PM   #87
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If I remember correctly, the Red Star was near in size to Pern. Described as a rouge "planet" and not a moon. Regardless, either size would more than likely leave a new ring of rocks in place around Rugbat, such as between Earth and Mars. Scientist aren't sure if it was due to a collision between two large bodies or not enough starting gravity to pull the astroids into a planet. Shame, as there could have been a near-earth planet here to check out! Maybe even with a sentinet lifeform.
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Old Sep 14 2009, 09:03 PM   #88
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My (for what it's worth {about }) cooked up before Anne anointed Todd.

Before shutting down, Aivas completed an original program (that judged stability of population and tech level) and sent a message back towards Central Worlds.

Message picked up just after Sassinak has saved the government, who want the hero to be well out of sight and not a rallying point. So Sassinak & Lunzie on the Zaid Dyan are sent to evaluate this long lost colony.

Their report of the telepathic linkages sparks incredulity in some quarters, so an expert has to be sent to check that it isn't due to some weird crystaline formations in the brains caused by the somewhat different chemicals in the vegetation etc. Who gets sent? Killashandra of course; now very ancient. She gets to do the journey by Brainship and at last meets Helva.

In other quarters the same report raises hopes that some of the population might be recruited to F.T.& T. so The Rowan also heads in that direction.

I suppose it MIGHT be possible to work in Herris Serano and Godmother Felicity as well?

Lessa and the Rowan meeting would be funny (to me anyway)
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Old Sep 15 2009, 06:04 AM   #89
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Default Re: The last book of the ninth pass

With Lunzie as referee?
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Old Sep 15 2009, 08:15 AM   #90
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If you need a calamity, maybe say that the explosions on the red planet's which causes a new orbit, which will be the cause of the end of thread, has affected the current threadfall, so that it is heavier and more often.
Wouldn't work.

The RS is already heading out-system at that point in the Pass. The Pernese need to deal with the ovoids it's already seeded the inner system with, not the ones currently being dragged off back towards the Oort cloud.
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Old Sep 15 2009, 04:38 PM   #91
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What if the new tech has already started to affect the climate? If Pern's tipping points (permafrosted methane etc) would start at a temperature close to the current one, and this happened? Could lead to some sort of mass exodus to another planet, don't remember the solar system there enough to know if there's any planets nearby. At some point I assume the people are going to try and contact other human civilisations, although i agree with others that the role of dragonriders as astronomers was a bit... off.
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Old Sep 17 2009, 02:30 AM   #92
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Mass death? How about a comedy? How about Pern centuries into the future? How folks of this time look back on the history of their ancestors. I suppose lives have to be in danger for a book to be exciting and interesting—evil dragons? Oooo…
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Old Sep 17 2009, 05:23 AM   #93
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Hm-m-m. Dragon riders reduced to re-enactment groups?
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Old Sep 17 2009, 11:07 AM   #94
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If you really need a calamity, how about a massive social upheaval? With Thread no longer a threat, the Weyrs are no longer needed and neither are the Lord Holders. Once people get to seriously reading the Charter they'll start tracing their ancestors and demanding their own piece of the pie as their Right. Small-holders could stop bowing down to their Lords and start demanding equality. Maybe the drudges and wranglers could form unions demanding better wages and working conditions. All sorts of things could happen, great and terrible.
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Old Sep 17 2009, 04:16 PM   #95
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Sandi, that sounds like a whole lot more names to have to remember. ;-)
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Old Sep 17 2009, 08:08 PM   #96
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Well, my tongue was firmly pressed in my cheek when I typed that.
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Old Sep 18 2009, 10:28 AM   #97
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If your tongue was in your cheek, how did you press the spacebar?



MY spacebar tastes of polish!
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Old Sep 18 2009, 10:31 PM   #98
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Default Re: The last book of the ninth pass

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If you really need a calamity, how about a massive social upheaval? With Thread no longer a threat, the Weyrs are no longer needed and neither are the Lord Holders. Once people get to seriously reading the Charter they'll start tracing their ancestors and demanding their own piece of the pie as their Right. Small-holders could stop bowing down to their Lords and start demanding equality. Maybe the drudges and wranglers could form unions demanding better wages and working conditions. All sorts of things could happen, great and terrible.
Seriously, this is the most realistic outcome of the combination of mass education, enhanced technology, and the complete end of Thread. The dragons are a MASSIVE drain on resources and the hereditary feudal system of the Lords is based on need for tight regional control during a state of emergency (Threadfall.)
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Old Sep 19 2009, 11:37 AM   #99
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If your tongue was in your cheek, how did you press the spacebar?



MY spacebar tastes of polish!


Silly boy! I'd never touch my tongue to the spacebar!





I use my chin!
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Old Sep 19 2009, 12:51 PM   #100
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Seriously, this is the most realistic outcome of the combination of mass education, enhanced technology, and the complete end of Thread. The dragons are a MASSIVE drain on resources and the hereditary feudal system of the Lords is based on need for tight regional control during a state of emergency (Threadfall.)
I think a logical conclusion would be to progress the weyrs from a military organization to a psychic's organization, given all dragonriders have to have some degree of telepathy or empathy and with the dragons exploring their own telekinetic skills it seems logical to do the same with the humans, but then Pern would be edging towards both Darkover and Anne's own Talent series which seems silly.

Barring that--yes, the entire planet will finally be free to become a more standard colony.
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Old Sep 20 2009, 04:17 AM   #101
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Or the dragons could decide to sit on the humans backs?
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Old Sep 21 2009, 10:22 AM   #102
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Silly boy! I'd never touch my tongue to the spacebar!





I use my chin!
Apart from my fingers and thumbs I wouldn't use *any* other part of my body for typing...

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Old Sep 21 2009, 11:06 AM   #103
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I think a logical conclusion would be to progress the weyrs from a military organization to a psychic's organization, given all dragonriders have to have some degree of telepathy or empathy and with the dragons exploring their own telekinetic skills it seems logical to do the same with the humans, but then Pern would be edging towards both Darkover and Anne's own Talent series which seems silly.

Barring that--yes, the entire planet will finally be free to become a more standard colony.
Dragon Express - When it absolutely, positively has to be there yesterday.

Dragon Airlines - Fly the friendly skies of Canth.

Dragons would still be useful for delivering news and people.

It might be difficult to hold a Lord Holder's Meeting without using dragons.

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Old Sep 21 2009, 11:31 AM   #104
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Yes, we Can(th)
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Old Sep 21 2009, 12:26 PM   #105
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You're talking about going from being the Flying Tigers and the Green Berets to being the UPS guy and bus drivers. POSSIBLE, but it will require a serious restructuring and repurposing of dragonrider culture. The dragonriders, Ninth Pass or Oldtimers, are used to being treated as being part of the upper class. Once they no longer serve a 'wartime' purpose, people are not going to be as ready to tithe or to defer.

Dragon coast guard? Sea accidents seem far more likely than asteroid strikes and having air support for ocean-going search and rescue would seem like a good purpose.
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Old Sep 21 2009, 04:41 PM   #106
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As the population booms with the end of thread, would wars be more likely? I can imagine each country's dragons becoming some kind of elite calvelry like unit, if they managed to get over the whole empathy with other dragons thing.
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Old Sep 21 2009, 10:11 PM   #107
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Dragons were engineered to never harm a human. Evolution and exceptions can be considered but I just don't see Pernese dragons ever becoming warrior beasts. I don't think Anne would stand for it, for one thing.
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Old Sep 22 2009, 12:01 AM   #108
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Also remember that they are "one" and not multiple "countries". It's posible that at some point there will be another Fax, but I think the mindset they currently have of overall planitary involvement will prevent a reoccurances of that. As I stated earlier, there's no reason why a group won't be formed to "police" all under unified rules. Teams representing each group (rider, holder and craftsman) would not be out of reason (in light of what they discovered about what the colonist were getting away from). Also, the riders, taking their own land in the south, will not need the tithing system and can become whatever. I don't see the "weyr" system completely crashing out, just modified as riders and families/friends form a smaller system. But the dragons will still bind them into a special social group.
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Old Sep 22 2009, 05:17 AM   #109
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I should think that (mankind being what it is) Lord Holders could 'develop' into the equivalent of kings.
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Old Sep 22 2009, 08:25 AM   #110
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Dragons were engineered to never harm a human. Evolution and exceptions can be considered but I just don't see Pernese dragons ever becoming warrior beasts. I don't think Anne would stand for it, for one thing.
That, and I don't see them fighting each other because some of their humans have gotten in a tizzy.
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Old Sep 22 2009, 10:47 AM   #111
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You're talking about going from being the Flying Tigers and the Green Berets to being the UPS guy and bus drivers. POSSIBLE, but it will require a serious restructuring and repurposing of dragonrider culture. The dragonriders, Ninth Pass or Oldtimers, are used to being treated as being part of the upper class. Once they no longer serve a 'wartime' purpose, people are not going to be as ready to tithe or to defer.
Don't a lot of military pilots actually go from military flying to flying for airlines and UPS/FedEx?

Granted, I would imagine that the fighter pilots would prefer to fly fighter planes, but the pilots for bombers and transports make the switch often enough.

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Old Sep 22 2009, 04:47 PM   #112
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Over here, quite a number of military helicopter pilots finish up flying the police and ambulance 'copters.
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Old Sep 22 2009, 04:51 PM   #113
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The difference is not only do dragonriders have the adrenaline kick, they also get automatic higher social ranking by virtue of being a dragonrider--better food, better places to live, higher social status. Become the Pernese equivalent of Fedex overnight pilots and (unlike the ex-mil, who are being asked to fly more boring but safer, better-paying, regularly scheduled flights that are likely to move them UP the social ladder by virtue of increased pay) they're going to have to get used to being..well, not so special.

Plus there's the resentment factor--not only are the "common folk" already at times prone to resenting dragonriders for being chosen, the more they know about their own history and what sort of society the Colonists wanted, the more they're going to resent the heirarchical society they're currently stuck in. Why SHOULD the Lords be determined by blood or at best self-selected?

I don't see a full-on Communist revolution (as truely communist societies inevitably become either dictatorships or slouch towards capitalism, or if you're China do both) or a representative democracy or republic (and a true democracy is highly unfeasible for a spread-out soicety like Pern). But something a bit more...libertarian? Especially when it comes time to explore and/or settle the Western continent--how connected that will be to the "old world" will very much depend on how dragons get integrated. They'll be a lot more welcome (big mass-eating resource drains that they are) if not only are they doing "useful" tasks (and sitting around the Pernese Mount Palomar is not useful) AND if there's a vastly increased sense of access.

Also, I don't recall the dragons being specifically bred to not harm humans. Asimov's First Law is not hardwired in their brains. They're certainly ready to do it in defense of their rider! (Morath certainly isn't hardwired not to maul Debera's father!) And in mating drive, or when a queen defends her eggs, they are ABSOLUTELY ready to attack other dragons. It seems more a biproduct of being tightly bound to a human life. It's not so much they cannot harm a human being, it's that they don't want to unnecessarily endanger the life of their own rider. Even THAT can be overriden-the instinct to fight Thread overrides the desire to avoid placing their rider in a dangerous situation.

It's also going to take a long, long time before there are countries or wars among nations kind of things--the Pernese are a (questionably) small number concentrated until VERY recently in a very small area. (We'll leave out how genetically sustainable this actually is. La la magic handwave.) It's going to be quite some time before there is territorial pressure--right now, the pressure is to expand, and the South and maybe the West are now providing an emergency valve. The easy way to deal with someone like Toric was at the outset is to say "You want land of your own? The new continent is thataway." The trick to avoid pissed-off sulky Older Toric is you then have to stay the hell off his back once he DOES set up a colony. Some of the biggest problems of colonialism in history have been from drawing arbitrary boundaries (a big chunk of the American Revolution came from attempts to restrict English colonists from moving west, which then ran into the problem the Pernese will NOT have, which is butting into people already living there.) To avoid major tension and bad will, the dragonriders and Lords are going to have to accept that they can't always have first dibs on everything by virtue of who they are. Try that and there is going to be justified resentment.

The more people expand, too, the more the crafts are going to have to adapt. Teaching by singing songs with journeyman Harpers is going to be very quickly outdated, plus impractical. Basically the whole society is built on having a small population crammed into a very limited area with intermitent periods where growth is further restricted by a Pass, and all resource development is predicated on that with major support having to go to the Weyrs. The Lord Holder system also places limits on the crafts in terms of resource access.

Let's not even get into what the presence of the dolphins does as far as fishing rights and ocean-going commerce.
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Old Sep 22 2009, 09:26 PM   #114
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Hmmm..how about a "Triumperat" (sorry on the spelling) goverment? Using the Charter as a base and a representitive from each social group. With more holds springing up, the originals will have less power, but together the would form as large a group as the crafters and riders. With the colonial history as a guide, a nominal chair can be picked from each for a duration of time and a overall guidance system put in place. The new harper printer systems can publish details to be voted on, the runners (postal service) delivers and picks up ballets with a rider and holder rep for overwatch and this forms, basicly, how the colonist planned to live: mutual co-operation.
I must say that as far as dragons go, most rider associations would have a rancher/farmer mentality as a base life style, with other occupations as secondary. Pretty much how many farmers are today in the industial countries.
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Old Sep 25 2009, 09:24 AM   #115
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You mean a Trumvirate (knowing me, I haven't spelt it right either if that's what you meant)? Like Crassus, Pompey and Caesar in Ancient Rome?
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Old Sep 27 2009, 08:05 PM   #116
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Yep-per, that's what I was thinking.
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Old Sep 29 2009, 02:08 AM   #117
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Dragon coast guard? Sea accidents seem far more likely than asteroid strikes and having air support for ocean-going search and rescue would seem like a good purpose.
This is what I've alwazys envisioned--ocean search-and-rescue and land-based SAR, too.The Pernese have a very spread out, in some cases nomadic society, and non-dragonrider non-firelizard-owning "average" people don't have the advantage of immediate, accurate communication. In addition to this, the dragonriders could do general humanitarian aid work, providing first-aid, clean water, etc., and using their advantages to help people out (and not getting caught up in the red tape of FEMA!).

Look how busy SAR units are on this planet and many do have good communicatiion (satellite phones, GPS, etc.)! People make silly decisions sometimes and get lost or hurt out there, and then they need someone to help 'em out.

I think that I've mentioned this before, but I think that dragonriders woluld make excellent firefighters. They ride these huge beasts that, um, breathe fire, and they can also get out quickly if they have to, courtesy of the betweening ability. They could fight out-of-control burns (Canth could cut one heck of a fireline--it'll probably be more like a road--that will hold the first time), and also used fire to help the forest. Dragons could also lift and fly buckets of water and fire-retardent to dump on the fire, and fly patrols to make sure it's where it's supposed to be. In DF I think, F'nor fired a whole field, and while that may have been an admittedly extreme case, it gives me ideas. . . .

On the subject of dragonriders no longer having their 'special' social status, and becoming 'normal' pilots--well, it does happen, here on Earth. Many ex-military pilots fly for air medical transport services, and as search-and-rescue--and they are the best! Especially for SAR missions that require getting into and out of remote areas, ex-military pilots' precision and 'nerves of steel' can't be beat, so I think that is something that dragonriders could do after Thread is over.

What about the little guys? The firealizards can be pets, looking pretty sitting on someone's shoulder, or they can be more. I know that I've mentioned the idea of firelizard working as a service/assistance animal before--if dogs caN do it, why not firelizards? Another idea is maybe a dragon, their rider, and a firelizard working together to rescue folks after an avalanche; kind of rescue dogs and their partners do. An off-the-wall concept, to be sure, but a lot of 'common' things were considered 'weird ideas' at first.

So that is just my 2 cents.
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Old Sep 29 2009, 07:57 PM   #118
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I guess this is my 2 cents. I figure there would be different responses once thread has gone. Some would strike out since they didn't need to hide in the caves any longer, some would push for a rebellion against the system, and very likely the majority would stay as things are, since they can't imagine a different way to live. The lord Holders will push to stop the tithe system to the dragonriders, however they will still expect the smaller holders to continue to tithe to them. The dragonriders have already begun to scale back their presence, finding and holding lands that are less than accessible for moving material into and out of. As far as their employment ideas, its possible they could become the PNN (Pern News Network) as well as skywatchers, and NPO avoidance systems.
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Old Sep 30 2009, 03:56 PM   #119
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Default Re: The last book of the ninth pass

Again, re social status, it's not an accurate comparison. While there are a few social 'perks' to being, say, a fighter pilot (and a heirarchy among pilots--it's a lot cooler to fly fighter/attack planes than big slow bombers and air transport missions!) there is no automatic social RANK granted. Mostly because the majority of the world (especially those with the technology and population to have an air military force) does not operate on a feudal ranking system. F'lar is only 'someone' because he rides a dragon--but it's a big deal that even in DF he is "Lord F'lar" and treated as essentially Fax's social equal, because he rides a bronze dragon. The whole society is based around birth status, except the dragonriders where it's based on the fact that they're dragonriders. F'lar makes sweeping declarations about land rights and exploring Southern. The Lords go along--but how long before the people start resenting that just because someone was born, he gets to be a genuine (as opposed to figurehead) socio-political leader with the Lords, too? Especially once they can strike out into uncharted lands. Why should a lord even back at, say, Southern Hold, dictate where and how they settle? Let alone a bunch of old men on the Northern Continent?

And as for the dragonriders, why do they get to dictate, either? It's hard to argue that it's because they risk(ed) their lives when they were paid back by first, all the social and personal privilges that come from being bonded to a dragon, and second by being the beneficiaries of the tithe system. Once the "hero generation" of the Ninth Pass dies out (F'lar through Jaxom's generations) that'll be even harder to justify.
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Old Oct 1 2009, 11:13 AM   #120
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Default Re: The last book of the ninth pass

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I think that I've mentioned this before, but I think that dragonriders woluld make excellent firefighters. They ride these huge beasts that, um, breathe fire, and they can also get out quickly if they have to, courtesy of the betweening ability. They could fight out-of-control burns (Canth could cut one heck of a fireline--it'll probably be more like a road--that will hold the first time), and also used fire to help the forest. Dragons could also lift and fly buckets of water and fire-retardent to dump on the fire, and fly patrols to make sure it's where it's supposed to be. In DF I think, F'nor fired a whole field, and while that may have been an admittedly extreme case, it gives me ideas. . .
If you have not, you should really read Dragonchoice by Faye Upton. It's a Pern novel set in an alternate 7th Interval in which the southern continent has been settled, and the last several chapters involve dragonriders fighting a forest fire. (You should read the whole thing, but the fire stuff starts in chapter 10.)

Oh, and I think what you're remembering in DF is F'nor leading a firestone drill to scour weeds off the rocks - they would not have destroyed fields, because they didn't want to completely antagonize Fax. That would have been tantamount to an act of war.
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