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Old Nov 10 2008, 02:33 PM   #1
T'mynn
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Question Thread, substance and other data

Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenB View Post
In my PhD viva I was accused of using "Occam's shaving brush", which is the opposite device to "Occam's razor". It allows you to wash over an issue and hide the dodgy arguments by enclosing them inside a lot of extra words.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenB View Post
If the night/day division of threadfall depends on the shape of Pern's magnetosphere, then perhaps something was happening to Rukbat during the period of Todd's stories? Rukbat might have been going through a phase like the "Maunder minimum", which happened to our own Sun a few centuries ago. (A phase during which almost no sunspots appeared.)
Now this adds an interesting variable.:-)

Someone mentioned that Todd's books state Thread is bio-luminescant. is this because of it's internal chemistry or a reaction to the magnetic particles in the atmosphere? Does it glow under water?

Another query, has anyone heard what Anne thinks of the changes to her universe by Todd's aditions?

Edith, I don't know if Thread is a cometary tail. Did it come from there or merely hitching a ride withh the Red Star's gravity well. It's a nice lil' puzzle Anne had made. Is it a complete fictional life form or a shadow of some Terran aquatic creature from the deepest depths of the ocean, or a bio-weapon left over from warring species long dead?

Pern's animals and aquatic life can eat Thread, has any person tried to? What's it's protien content? Is it squishy like a sea slug? or firm like a grub? (WHich aren't bad roasted, kinda' nutty tasting.) Can it be cooked? Sorry to be gross but it's a good question. :-)
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Old Nov 10 2008, 03:13 PM   #2
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Default Re: A question ...

Yes, T'mynn, good question but not belonging to the thread on Thread Falls (night and day) even though related to the oiginal topic.

I'm going to move your and my post your question(s)/remarks about the substance of Thread in a new thread. That way we keep discussion clean and on topic and gain another interesting one
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Old Nov 10 2008, 05:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: Thread, substance and other data

Not a bad idea Hans, many times one question tends to raise four more. :-)
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Old Nov 11 2008, 12:02 AM   #4
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Default Re: Thread, substance and other data

well, the Dolphins were able to eat the drowning thread, but comment at the time was that it had no taste. Thread itself was described a a form of fungus if I remember from DD. so probably a similar nutritional breakdown as mushrooms..... personally I wouldn't try to slice and saute that particular fungus with a ten foot knife.
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Old Nov 11 2008, 11:15 AM   #5
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Default Re: Thread, substance and other data



Well I figure this way, eat it before it eats you.:-)
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Old Nov 11 2008, 12:36 PM   #6
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Default Re: Thread, substance and other data

Well, we know both water and low temperatures renders Thread harmless.

No, that's wrong, it is water and the lack of a higher temperature that renders it harmless...
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Old Nov 11 2008, 03:24 PM   #7
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Default Re: Thread, substance and other data

Yep, a highly voracious fungus/lifeform.
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Old Nov 11 2008, 04:01 PM   #8
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Default Re: Thread, substance and other data

Apart from the discussion that (watch)whers and fire lizards can eat Thread, the dolphins can, of course, only do so after Thread has drowned first because Thread devours any living organism in it live state.
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Old Nov 11 2008, 04:09 PM   #9
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Default Re: Thread, substance and other data

If a human were to ever get a wide idea to eat it, it'd defiantly be in the drowned state.

The troublesome artifact is the thing's complete life cycle. it hasn't be stated or even conjectured..yet.
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Old Nov 11 2008, 04:12 PM   #10
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Default Re: Thread, substance and other data

I thought it gorged itself until it was a big, bloated ball and then died?
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Old Nov 11 2008, 07:52 PM   #11
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Default Re: Thread, substance and other data

Quote:
Edith, I don't know if Thread is a cometary tail. Did it come from there or merely hitching a ride withh the Red Star's gravity well. It's a nice lil' puzzle Anne had made.
Well, maybe if you haven't read AtWoP... In which they come to a pretty definite conclusion that Thread's origin is in the Oort cloud, and when the Red Star passes through the cloud it picks some of it up and trails more behind it.

I want to know how the ovoids reproduce, either on the planet or in the Oort cloud, since they're frozen solid in space!
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Old Nov 11 2008, 08:49 PM   #12
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Default Re: Thread, substance and other data

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans View Post
I thought it gorged itself until it was a big, bloated ball and then died?
I'm guessing if it has unimpreeded access to a food source it doesn't know when to quit.

Brenda, I haven't gotten to All The Weyrs of pern yet. As my collection grows I'll get to it pretty soon.
Now I want to figure out how the ovids reproduce as well. Someone in another thread psited there were differant types of thread. Ones that are eating machines and others that can reproduce. I wonder if we'll ever know the complete ife-cycle3 of Thread if it doesn't gorge itself on food source.
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Old Nov 11 2008, 11:32 PM   #13
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Default Re: Thread, substance and other data

On the subject of dolphins and thread, in The Skies of Pern it was mentioned that except for one of the first dolphin, dolphins all love thread and do eat it.
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Old Nov 11 2008, 11:53 PM   #14
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Default Re: Thread, substance and other data

I remeber reading in Dragonsdawn when they encounter the wriggly stuff for the first time. In Dolphines of Pern, they were absolutly NUTS over that organism almsot finatical. They've weird tastes. Then again dolphines on Terra eat smelly fish like mackerl and love it.
It's possible Anne may never reveal Thread's entire life cycle, or if there any any other types, or true origions. Unless Todd takes takes a go at it, this will merely be conjecture.
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Old Nov 12 2008, 02:09 AM   #15
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Default Re: Thread, substance and other data

There is a 'Preliminary Report' on the life cycle of thread produced as a piece of fan faction (fiction posing as a scientific paper).

Hans: probably has a link to it.
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Old May 7 2010, 01:53 AM   #16
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Default Re: Thread, substance and other data

In DQ, I believe, when they find the closed room in benden, the metal medallion left by ted tubberman reads eureka, mycorrhiza! Mycorrhizae are a type of fungus that live in symbiosis with the roots of plants. The plant gives them sugars produced by photosynthesis and the fungus helps the plants with water and nutrient uptake. Obviously Thread does not live in symbiosis with the plant when it arrives from space. However, they do say that it seems to have another life stage after burrowing that they've never been able to see. I've always assumed that Thread becomes a symbiont at that point.
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Old Sep 2 2010, 12:23 AM   #17
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Default Re: Thread, substance and other data

the whole issue of Thread has always been confusing from the start, and become more so with each new book, it seems. does our good Master Archivist have clues or comments to help clear these questions?

* in the first three books by AMC, Thread fell only during the daylight/evening hours. if it touched anything living, it ate it. but the occasional references to firelizards and whers eating it is something that contradicts the statement that it eats anything alive....

* grubs are great Thread eaters. but they are in the ground. Thread has to hit the ground for the grub to get it. but in the second book, when F'lar has discovered the grubs, and there is mention of the pinhole burns on the leaves, why hasnt the Thread engulfed the plants on its way down? it certainly eats everything else it touches...how could having grubs in the soil give that kind of protection to the entire plant? there was a passing reference to the pots in the Ancients rooms that had grubs in the soil as 'seeming more healthy', but that would be from the excreta of the grub, much like with earthworms, i would imagine.

*why would Thread fall at night, in the time covered by Todd's books, but never in any of the Passes covered by his mother's books? it couldnt be something that the Weyr's just didnt notice at that one Pass, then never happened again...
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Old Sep 2 2010, 09:21 PM   #18
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Default Re: Thread, substance and other data

At one point I proposed that the grubs secrete something into the soil which strengthens the plants' resistance, so that the threads pierce them but are unable to consume them instantly - and then gravity will pull them to the ground, where the grubs can eat them.
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Old Sep 3 2010, 09:06 AM   #19
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Default Re: Thread, substance and other data

Clearly, the grubs do more than just eat Thread - they have some way of causing the plants themselves to be more resistant, and to heal faster once damaged. How this works? No clue. But if the grubs didn't have some kind of symbiotic relationship with the plants, they would only keep Thread from spreading, not from causing surface devastation. And they do, so, there is something more to the grubs than just 'eating' Thread.
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Old Sep 3 2010, 09:14 AM   #20
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Default Re: Thread, substance and other data

If I were to start speculating wildly, I'd say there was some harmless-to-Pernlife enzyme that the grubs secrete, similar to what Todd claims the Whers have in their saliva, and that it interferes with the surface-digestive abilities of Thread...
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Old Sep 3 2010, 09:32 AM   #21
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Default Re: Thread, substance and other data

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kath View Post
If I were to start speculating wildly, I'd say there was some harmless-to-Pernlife enzyme that the grubs secrete, similar to what Todd claims the Whers have in their saliva, and that it interferes with the surface-digestive abilities of Thread...
If that is the case, then it is possible that fire lizards have the enzyme, also. But that dragons do not have the enzyme due to a side effect of the bioengineering.

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Old Sep 10 2010, 09:04 AM   #22
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Default Terran year versus Pernian turn

Has anyone found a mention of how long Perns orbit around Rukbat is compared to a Terran orbit around Sol?
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Old Sep 10 2010, 01:55 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Timetrvlr7 View Post
Has anyone found a mention of how long Perns orbit around Rukbat is compared to a Terran orbit around Sol?
It's mentioned in the guide, and it's as close as makes no difference. Slightly shorter days, but a few more of them.
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Old Dec 5 2010, 03:21 PM   #24
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Red face Re: Thread, substance and other data

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Originally Posted by ghost8772 View Post
well, the Dolphins were able to eat the drowning thread, but comment at the time was that it had no taste. Thread itself was described a a form of fungus if I remember from DD. so probably a similar nutritional breakdown as mushrooms..... personally I wouldn't try to slice and saute that particular fungus with a ten foot knife.
Second!

Also the local life forms in the seas, would flock to were Thread drowned, which the dolphins did report to humans, about this new food to them.

I recall one dolphin tried to safe a human that end up overboard, wasn't able to do so. With books half packed, for the move and finding references to them is hard, Dragonsdawn and here http://books.google.com/books?id=KEz...milian&f=false
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Old Apr 26 2011, 07:48 PM   #25
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Default Re: Thread, substance and other data

I was always under the impression that thread would eat anything it contacted on the way down, but it had to burrow to actually start to eat EVERYTHING. Since it's presumably very hot, one would assume that it could just burn right through thin plant leaves and whatnot, so long as it didn't hit dead center on the plant...and pernese plants would doubtless evolve to make being hit smack-on much more difficult.

If you assume that it has to go to ground before it can start eating all the shrubbery, then the grubs make a lot more sense. In addition, that could partially explain the increased size of the plants; the grubs would be the only thing that could eat the thread, which would then fertilize the ground beneath the plants, essentially giving the plants an unlimited food source.

Of course, this wouldn't work if the thread never made it to the ground, so there's got to be some other mechanic at work.
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Old Oct 12 2014, 02:31 PM   #26
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Default Re: Thread, substance and other data

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans View Post
Well, we know both water and low temperatures renders Thread harmless.

No, that's wrong, it is water and the lack of a higher temperature that renders it harmless...
Well in Red Star Rising/Dragonseye, The 10 Fall, it 'glowed' so the Dragonriders could see it being destroyed in the ranges heavy with snow.
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Old Jan 14 2015, 06:26 PM   #27
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Default Re: Thread, substance and other data

Quote:
Originally Posted by GHarris View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kath View Post
If I were to start speculating wildly, I'd say there was some harmless-to-Pernlife enzyme that the grubs secrete, similar to what Todd claims the Whers have in their saliva, and that it interferes with the surface-digestive abilities of Thread...

If that is the case, then it is possible that fire lizards have the enzyme, also. But that dragons do not have the enzyme due to a side effect of the bioengineering.

GH
Based on what can be interpreted from DragonsDawn & Todd's writing, I'm certain that there are intentional misunderstandings that are being propagated.

In all those mentions, it's always the characters' dialogue were those theories are coming from, and not the narrative of the story. If the author is a good one, their characters should not be necessarily a good source of information about how any world works. Actual "absolute truth" of any fictional world's science should only exist in the narrative of "omniscient narrative" type stories whereas the characters are supposed to "guess their way" to the truth--& depending on the aim of the story, they may or may not succeed in doing so.


Now what Kath says about the grubs secreting a substance that neutralizes the Thread certainly makes sense--since Ted Tubberman engineered those grubs, & no one knows just how they work since he died before he could be questioned.


As for Thread, it's pretty much a given that the hard outer shells get burned away from atmosphere entry, releasing the creatures' inner organs. Some of those organs are obviously destructive (let's call those the "digestive track" for lack of better labels). But there's a good chance that there are other organs that are not destructive ("heart", "brain", etc).


But for whers and fire-lizards, it makes more sense if we consider that perhaps those natives may have an instinctive knowledge of which type of debris are edible and which are not--a skill that Kitty Pring bred out of the Dragons by mistake.


Then, for the Dragons & those riding them, they simply can't tell the difference & so assume that it's all deadly. And so, like the "Boy who cried Wolf", Kylara's potentially solitary truthful account of her fire-lizard eating Thread is dismissed, because as a character, she's totally unreliable.


Even if Todd is saying such about "saliva enzymes" in interviews, I feel those are mistakes on his part. That said, even Einstein once thought he was wrong about introducing the Cosmological Constant--but it turns out he "may have been mistaken" about being wrong If the pieces of the story fit in a "logical" sense, then I don't see a reason to pick it apart until it's just a shredded mass.


I do think Todd did make a mistake by having Thread fall at night--& perhaps T'mynn's original post about the different shape of the magnetosphere for the day/night side of Pern should've been considered as a valid reason for not having night-falls. However, there's a good chance that Todd may have been partially influenced by fan speculation over the lack of night action that he felt the need to introduce whers into the activities.


That said, Todd does have a valid point that whers can fly--over any fan nay-sayers--since the only other mention of whers being prominent was early in DragonFlight (where of course they couldn't fly because their wings were clipped).


Also, we should not forget: Todd's writing is of the earlier Passes. He's covering the beginning of their Dark Ages, where science, technology, understanding and knowledge are on the decline. Those stories are going to be, in general, depressing and disappointing, because the heroes "aren't supposed to win" like they were doing with Anne's 9th Pass "Renaissance Pern".
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Old Jul 25 2015, 02:30 PM   #28
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Default Re: Thread, substance and other data

It is possible that the rather cryptic message is actually an answer to a different question: "What do grubs eat when there is no Thread?". The symbiont fungus would both strengthen the plants and feed the grubs during Intervals, keeping them alive until the next Pass.
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Old Jul 31 2015, 02:33 PM   #29
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Default Re: Thread, substance and other data

Here's what fans ask and Todd says about night Threadfalls, firelizards/whers eating Thread, and what he and Anne both say on co-authoring together on Pern:

http://pernhome.com/tjm/

Quote:
Letter from Rae
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Feb 062005


I’ve just started Dragonsblood and I’m a bit confused. In the first segment in the First Pass, you write M’hall as saying that watchwhers fight Thread at night– yet Anne has stated more than once that Thread never falls at night due to the orbits of Pern and the Red Star. Also, you write that watchwhers “eat Thread, like the fire-lizards”, when in all the books the firelizards flame Thread. I remember only one mention in a 9th pass book where Kylara says her firelizard “ate” Thread, and numerous mentions of their flaming it. They taught Ruth how to chew firestone, and the original seventeen dragonriders as well. I’m sure the rest of the book is fabulous (I really enjoyed Dragon’s Kin), but these discrepancies are more than a little off-putting. What’s the deal?


Hi Rae,

Actually Mum more often says that Thread freezes at night because it’s too cold, which is exactly what M’hall noticed and what happens. If you look at the sky charts so expertly produced by Harry Alm in Dragonsdawn, you’ll note that there is nothing precluding a night fall of Thread — in fact, it has to happen. Mum knows this, she’s not only spoken with Harry on the topic repeatedly, she’s used his Threadfall charts (as do I in Dragonsblood).

As for fire-lizards, you are right that Kylara first mentioned their ability to eat Thread — it was also the first mention in Mum’s books at all of the fire-lizards’ ability to deal with Thread. What happens when the fire-lizards can’t get the firestone needed to produce flame?

As for firelizards teaching Ruth how to chew firestone, my recollection is that it was Jaxom who taught Ruth how to chew firestone and the firelizards merely provided encouragement.

Not that this matters, as it was clearly established that fire-lizards *can* eat Thread.

You are definitely going to run across one and possibly two other eyebrow-raising revelations in Dragonsblood.

One is that Wind Blossom is Kitti Ping’s daughter, not her granddaughter — this was an error in the original US edition of Dragonsdawn, corrected in the UK edition. When one of my early readers noticed it, there was a loonnngg conversation finally ended with Mum’s observation, “I would never had gone to two generations, Wind Blossom *has* to be Kitti Ping’s daughter.”

The other is mention to “the Plague.” It’s not the Sixth Pass Plagues of Moreta’s time — of which my Third Pass people know nothing. It is the latest pandemic (worldwide epidemic) to ravage Pern, and it happened within the living memory of all in the Second Interval/Third Pass to survive it (chronologically, it happened about four Turns after the end of Dragon’s Kin).

Finally, Rae, and perhaps most reassuring to you, Mum and I corresponded on Dragonsblood while I was writing it. If I did anything that I thought might not work, I ran it by her first. In fact, Mum read and approved the original outline of the book, read the first draft of the book (and made numerous, extremely helpful comments), and read the advanced readers’ copy. There isn’t anything in Dragonsblood that Mum hasn’t approved — as she makes abundantly clear in her introduction to Dragonsblood.

Cheers,
Todd
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Dear Todd,
First, let me say that I have just finished “Dragonheart”, and I loved it; I’ll have to find my copy of “Dragonsblood”, and reread it. I am thrilled that you are carrying on the tradition.

Second, I’m puzzled/worried by your introducing the idea of thread falling at night. I can’t remember that occurring in any other Pern book, and I’ve read them all (I started back in the 70’s). This is a really fundamental change. I’d love to hear your comments on this.

Sincerely,
Simon


Dear Simon,

First, thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

Second, not everything is known all at once, else Lessa would have never gone back in time, F’nor never would have gone to the Red Star, et cetera.

As mentioned in Dragonsblood and Dragonheart, night falls result in a large amount of dead Thread which is of no consequence.

But, as mentioned in Dragonflight, the watch-whers of the time had their wings clipped. At lest, the captive watch-whers had their wings clipped. There’s no mention of wild watch-whers (and why would there be?) but there must have been a reason to clip their wings and chain the poor beasts. This reason is indirectly discussed in Dragonsblood (because the watch-whers will fly Thread at night unaided).

So there were clues back in Dragonflight but not story to tie the clues together.

Dragonsblood provided the chance to match up the clues and draw conclusions. Dragonheart starts at the same time as Dragonsblood but actually ends earlier in the Third Pass (although more actual time has elapsed).

Cheers,
Todd
Quote:
Comment from Virginia
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Feb 052014



I just finished reading Sky Dragons. The whole 490-500 AL set is great EXCEPT there is a glaring inconsistency in the last book. Is there any chance you’ll be able to do a rewrite and have a corrected version published? The Dawn Sisters CANNOT orbit the planet to be visible at dawn all around the world because your mother set them in stationary orbit above Landing to keep the Yokohama in sync with the AVIAS. The storyline for Sky Dragons could still work but only so far as the dragons might have visited the Yokohama once or twice to locate the island since the Yoko was written as visible from the southernmost part of the northern landmass. You’d need to change the way the riders watched for thread to simply going higher and higher but without again mentioning the ships. I don’t know if that bothered anyone else but for me it left a large sour note at the end of an otherwise excellent storyline.


Dear Virginia,

I’m glad you liked the book.

The Satellites website has this to say:

“There is a special kind of sun-synchronous orbit called a dawn-to-dusk orbit. In a dawn-to-dusk orbit, the satellite trails the Earth’s shadow. When the sun shines on one side of the Earth, it casts a shadow on the opposite side of the Earth. (This shadow is night-time.) Because the satellite never moves into this shadow, the sun’s light is always on it (sort of like perpetual daytime). Since the satellite is close to the shadow, the part of the Earth the satellite is directly above is always at sunset or sunrise. That is why this kind of orbit is called a dawn-dusk orbit. This allows the satellite to always have its solar panels in the sun.”

As you can see, this definition meets the criteria Mum established. Originally she used the term geostationary because she thought that’s what it meant. However a geostationary orbit is a much higher orbit — on the order of several planetary radii.

When I pointed out that this would put the colony ships very far away from the colonists (roughly twenty-two thousand miles in the case of Earth) she said to me, “Well, fix it.”

The dawn-to-dusk orbit meets all her original criteria and gives a great observational location because it allows daylight mapping of the entire planet as it turns beneath the orbiting craft. The ‘fix’ actually came before I realized how nicely it could be used in the novel.

So there is no need to change any part of Sky Dragons. Nor is there any need to change Dragonsdawn (except, perhaps, to correct the US edition to match the UK edition in its statement that Wind Blossom is Kitti Ping’s daughter). And, I should point out, if Mum felt there was any need, as co-author, she would have made the changes herself.

Cheers,

Todd
https://books.google.com/books?id=5G...uction&f=false

Sadly, I can't seem to find the whole introduction to Dragonsblood by Anne. But look on page x. She tells him thanks, and that he did her proud.

EDIT: Found the rest of page x- and the rest of the Introduction too, it seems.

http://www.amazon.com/Dragonsblood-P...der_0345441257
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