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The Skies of Pern Mass Market Paperback – January 2, 2002

253 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

Anne McCaffrey's Pern series has been running successfully for so long that most of the Dragonriders' original problems have been solved. In The Skies of Pern, she confronts her standard cast of characters with the consequences of those solutions, consequences that are a whole new set of problems. Now that the Red Star has been pushed to another orbit, there will only be a few more ravenous Threads descending from it for them and their dragons to fight--and what role will that leave for them? They have successfully reclaimed Earth's lost technology--and suddenly everyone with a craft that might be outmoded, or who is phobic about surgery, is on the rampage, sabotaging and smashing and making up rumors. These fundamentalist Abominators are sure that something terrible will happen if the old ways are not gone back to--and sure enough, fire descends, on cue, from the skies.

Anne McCaffrey's tales of genetically engineered dragons and a lost colony that has declined into feudalism are ultimately SF rather than fantasy because they are about finding solutions to problems, solutions that involve working with what you are given to start off with; The Skies of Pern is all about elegant solutions to credible problems. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Bestseller McCaffrey's first Pern novel in three years returns to the world of her most popular series, Dragonriders of Pern, reprising almost all the best-loved Pernese characters. In earlier episodes, hero and heroine F'lar and Lessa summoned the captivating dragons and their riders from the remote past to save Pern from a devastating rain of Thread, while the later discovery of Aivas, the artificial intelligence that guided Pern's original human settlers, brought technological marvels like printing to Pern and helped shift the Thread-producing Red Star from its lethal orbit before it self-destructed. Now neo-Luddite Abominators are bent on destroying all of Aivas's gifts and returning watery Pern to its primitive state, while the Dragonriders struggle to find new purpose in a Threadless world. F'lar and Lessa uneasily contemplate second careers or horrors! retirement, while their genteel and amorous son F'lessan and perceptive green rider Tai arrive at both a dragon-assisted romance and a whole new role for the telepathic and telekinetic dragons. McCaffrey's various themes traditionalism vs. technology, the necessity of societal change, feminist commentary on draconian psychology are at times awkwardly integrated. And her slightly watered-down villains seem peripheral to the action, merely a means to showcase familiar personalities performing during crises. Nonetheless, as all her Pern novels amply demonstrate, McCaffrey's sexy and cunning dragons carry the day and the novel with impeccable, irresistible panache. (Apr. 3) Forecast: A likely genre bestseller, but some younger Pern fans may be put off by the emphasis on retirement, unable to appreciate the angst of inexorably approaching age.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Pern (Book 16)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (January 2, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345434692
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345434692
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (253 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #251,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Anne McCaffrey, the Hugo Award-winning author of the bestselling Dragonriders of Pern® novels, is one of science fiction's most popular authors. With Elizabeth Ann Scarborough she co-authored Changelings and Maelstrom, Books One and Two of The Twins of Petaybee. McCaffrey lives in a house of her own design, Dragonhold-Underhill, in County Wicklow, Ireland.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Robert Thorbury on April 3, 2001
Format: Hardcover
As a long-time major fan of Anne McCaffrey's Pern novels, I gleefully pounce on them the moment they appear in hardback. In fact, they're the ONLY novels I'll routinely shell out so much money for. In the case of "The Skies of Pern", I managed to get my hands on the UK version.

Was it worth it? Definitely! I'd've downed it in one marathon sitting were it not for having to go to work and earn a living. And I reread it the following week. All 450 pages of it!

Once again Ms. McCaffrey visits our old friends in the Ninth Pass, picking up where "The Dolphins of Pern" leaves off. We get to see how they deal with the perils of anti-technology fanatics ("Abominators"), the uncertainties of the role dragons will play in a Thread-free world and Lord Toric's endless greed and conniving. A major new threat faces Pern from above, and the dragons have to come up with a novel and surprising way of dealing with it. A way hinted at in earlier books, particularly "All the Weyrs of Pern".

Along the way, Ms. McCaffrey does her usual excellent job of developing characters both old and new. Be prepared for a real tear-jerker toward the end.

So, if you're a Pern fan, this one is a must! While you're waiting for this one to arrive, you might want to dust off your copy of "All the Weyrs" and "Dolphins" just to refresh your memory and whet your appetite.

My only hope is that the next installment comes soon.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By WILLIAM H FULLER on September 4, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The Skies of Pern strikes me as analogous to a flight of inexperienced dragonriders, each of whom independently tries to burn every bit of thread falling from the red star, resulting in a great deal of confusion and not exactly 100% success. It seems as though McCaffrey is struggling to come up with enough story lines to fill a novel and, while she does achieve that goal, she fails to integrate the various stories into a composite whole. Were this book a student essay, I would have to say that it lacks unity.
There are several potentially wonderful narrative themes in the book. We have the sabotage and vandalism wreaked by the Abominators, who are determined to stop and reverse the many technological innovations initiated by AIVAS, the artificial intelligence system brought by the original colonists and lately rediscovered. We have the huge tsunami generated by the impact of a comet fragment that plunges into Pern's sea and the heroic efforts of the dragons to rescue the land bound holders. We encounter the depredations of the giant felines on the Southern Continent. Running somewhat weakly through everything else is the angst of the dragonriders who fret about what they will do, now that threadfall is nearly at an end forever.
Except for the dragonriders' fretting, which grows quite tedious, any of the story lines could have been detailed and developed into a wonderful novel-length work, but none is pursued to any great depth. Instead, they are strung together like a weakly constructed anthology of unrelated events. This is not to say that the book does not have some delightful high points, both dramatic and humorous. The result of Golanth's first "heavy-handed" attempts to practice the dragons' newly recognized skill of telekinesis by moving trundlebugs is hilarious.
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104 of 122 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I love Pern. I've loved Pern since the first books have come out. I've read and re-read every book so many times that I have a list of all the typos and chronological "boo-boos" in each one. But I still love Pern and the wonderful dragons.
The Skies of Pern is a fair book. It takes me back to Pern and I get to meet all my old friends again. See how they've grown, what new changes are taking place. It's like going home again.
But there are some major descrepancies that just cannot be ignored. For these four serious blunders I have to give only three stars instead of five.
Blunder No. One: Lady Lessa. Lady?? Since when is Weyrwoman Lessa called Lady? She is not a Holder's wife. She gave up the right to be Holder of Ruatha at Jaxom's birth. Aivas called her Lady once and was trounced quickly as to her real title and rank. She is Weyrwoman or Ramoth's Rider. This is a very serious mistake. How can Anne not remember the titles and ranks of her own characters??
Blunder No. Two: Golly. The noble bronze dragon Golanth is called "Golly"? In Dragon's Dawn the first dragons clearly let it be known that they will not tolerate nicknames. The dolphins might shorten a name due to pronunciation, but for the humans to pick up on it and follow along is wrong. It demeans the dragon.
Blunder No. Three: Mirrim. OK, to be honest here, I can't stand Mirrim. I didn't like her in DragonQuest, I tolerated her in Dragonsong, and I wished she had been banished to the Far Reaches in White Dragon. But she keeps popping back up like a really bad penny. I like Toric more then Mirrim. But besides all that. What is she doing being a weyrleader? She is only a green dragon rider. Where is the Queen Dragon of Eastern? Who is the Queen dragon of Eastern?
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By E. L Wagner on August 10, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This book deals with the question of how Dragonriders would continue to play a role in Pernese society once thread is gone and Takes up more or less where All the Weyrs of Pern had left off. The dragonriders had made sure that they staked out a huge chunk of the southern continent for their future needs so that they would not be dependent on holders after the last pass ends. Still, there are hints that things could be dicey for them in the future as Pernses society evolves. Certainly, many dragonrides in earlier books have been capable of greed and meglomania. Could future generations of dragonriders be drawn into the disputes of holders as Pern fills up and industrializes and the threat of thread no longer requires everyone to (mostly) stick together? Will dragons' fertility decline the way they did in long passes and eventually dwindle to nothing? Could future generations of dragonriders fight with holders or even each other for resources once usable land starts to run out? Will Pern begin to experience some of the environmental issues that Earth had once Pern begins to industrialize somewhat (and cut down its tropical rainforests)and its population is no longer constrained by the need for thread protection? Is it possible that Pernese could eventually try to go back to the stars or perhaps become industrialized ebough that they could be rediscovered by spacefaring humans? Could dragonkind be of assistance to space travelers as they were in All the Weyrs of Pern and would greedy and unscrupulous people from elsewhere perhaps want to exploit draconic abilties? Could all this lead to new opportunities? It's occurred to me that any or all of these questions could make excellent future novels that could depart somewhat from the patterns of earlier noves (potential spoiler follows).Read more ›
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