Monday, June 8, 2015

Parallel Earth Resources Negligable

Today we get to go back to Pern YAY!  The book The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall by Anne McCaffery is a collection of stories giving us a quick history of our beloved Pern.  It takes us from the initial survey of the planet, to the mass exodus to the Northern Continent, to the spreading out of the colonists to one last rescue run.  Here is a quick overview of the stories in the book, as always SPOILER AHEAD!
The Survey of P.E.R.N. - This is the shortest story of the bunch and just gives us a quick overview of the planet before anybody arrived to colonize it.  The survey group is tight on time so they just do enough of a look to declare it habitable.  There are hints of the menace of Thread, but nobody realizes what it is.  This story ends with the suggestion that the planet be colonized.

The Dolphin's Bell - With the double menace of Thread and the volatile seismic activity of the local volcano's the entire colony has to move to the north.  This story follows them through storms, volcano's and the sheer logistics of moving an entire population with dwindling resources.  We see the dolphins which play a roll in later books and meet some of the people that places are named after.  We start to see how the society moves from high tech to survival and the beginnings of the dragon riders becoming their own group.

The Ford of Red Hanrahan - The colonist have all been crowded into Fort Hold and are ready to start expanding to the rest of the continent.  Red, his family and a portion of the colonists go to found the new Ruatha Hold.  This story shows how the colonists make the transition from well colonists to true people of Pern.  They start there own traditions, names, and social structure all while morphing into the Pern we know and love.

The Second Weyr - The dragons are outgrowing their first Weyr, and with the people of Pern spreading further out, the need for more Weyr's has become pressing.  We follow the young dragon riders as they establish new Weyr's, new customs and cement their role as protectors of Pern.  It is cool to see the stuff that is accepted as the norm in later books get developed here.

Rescue Run - A passing space ship picks up an almost 50 year old distress signal sent by an individual when Thread first started falling.  When the crew arrives they find Stev Kimmer and his family the sole survivors of the Southern Continent.  Due to the low level of technology and the thickness of the caves, the Northern contingent are not noticed and it is assumed that they are the only ones.  They (with a few mishaps) are rescued and the planet is marked as dangerous and no other ships come.
The coolest part about this book is if you have read the other ones, it makes thing very clear.  The Pern books tend to start from their present with no more then hints of the history of the people who live there.  This book gives us quick glimpses into the major events that shaped Pern into the form it is now.  It's a pretty straight forward, easy read that is broken up in perfect chunks.  I give it 8 out of 10 air sleds and recommend it to anybody who is a fan of Pern.  Happy Reading Everybody!

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