Monthly Archives: December 2013

DragonRiders of Pern Issues: Sexual Politics

Issues. Oh, my goodness, do I have issues. Let’s start with the ones that really make my head spin – the sexual politics. Because they are vast and ugly and often convoluted, and form huge swathes of the plots, so … Continue reading

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Part 1 – Pern

The most important thing about Pern is not the dragons. The most important thing about Pern, the real gimmick of the world building, is Thread. There’s a whole lot of handwaving sciency stuff to explain it, but it’s not really … Continue reading

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Dragonriders of Pern: Introduction

When I was a teenager back in the seventies, I discovered a wonderful world. It had dragons that could transport through space and time and Lords and Ladies, and a terrible menace from the skies but it was also NOT … Continue reading

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Now with extra book reports

I’m a fan of Adam Lambert, and sometimes I like to talk about him. I’m also a fan of reality (and other) television, and I sometimes like to talk about that. But what I mostly am is a fan of … Continue reading

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Dragonriders of Pern Discussion – Introduction

When I was a teenager back in the seventies, I discovered a wonderful world. It had dragons that could transport through space and time and Lords and Ladies, and a terrible menace from the skies but it was also NOT fantasy. There was no magic – it was set up as science based. And I loved science fiction. I wasn’t quite as into fantasy yet. These were already considered classics in the field, too.   Not only did Pern have wonderful intelligent dragons and nobility and and long dresses and songs, but it also had something I very much craved – strong female characters. They rode the biggest of the dragons, they had mental powers that could wreak revenge, they could fight alongside the men. Why, they could even be the viewpoint character. And they were romantic, with star-crossed love stories, or just love stories. Plus they had sex on occasion.   And did I mention dragons? Charming, loyal, LOVING dragons telepathically bound to their riders so tightly that if the human died, the dragon committed suicide, and if the dragon died, the human was considered only half a person, and might well follow. Which, for a lonely 14 year old, was beautiful. To love and be loved so very much, even though it was with with a non-human? Yeah, I liked that a lot. It spoke to me hard.   I didn’t give it much analysis, or notice, at the time, many of the problems in continuity, and certainly not in either the political set up OR the sexual issues that now glare at me. Sometimes it’s not smart to visit old friends – the charm wears off.   Although never on the dragons.    So, a discussion, if you will, on Anne McCaffery’s <i>The Dragonriders of Pern</i> as seen through the eyes of a feminist adult bothered by things the teenager never was.    

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