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My Pern Page
I discovered Pern in the eighth grade when I picked up a school library copy of The White Dragon. I was halfway through the book before I realized this was not the first time I had picked up a Pern book. Several months previously I had chosen Dragonflight, but lost interest less than a chapter into it. I finished The White Dragon, restarted Dragonflight and found Dragon Quest.

Thus begun a facination with Pern and all things dragon. At the time only six of the current 13 books had been written, the Dragonriders Trilogy and the Harper Hall trilogy. I searched out other Anne McCaffrey books such as Restoree, The Ship Who Sang and Dinosaur Planet. The more books AM wrote, the more hooked I became.
c Michael Whelan, Dragonsdawn
Now, 18 years later I have read all but 3 of AM's works and own almost the entire collection in hardcover. AM has aged and has slowed down her production, so what is a fan to do?

Once I became comfortable with the Internet I began searching the net for Pern stuff. I was thrilled to find the huge selection! I quickly founded a discussion club on the new Yahoo forums, called  "
The Dragonriders of Pern". It was not long before I found my way to the Fan Fiction Clubs. As an aspiring writer the combination of my writing skill and my passion for Pern appealed to me. I looked over several clubs and found myself frustrated with the lack of post-AIVAS clubs that accepted technology. I joined several clubs to learn the ropes, then I wrote to Anne McCaffrey and asked for and recieved permission to found my own club, and so Dawnsisters Weyr was born.
c Michael Whelan, Dragonflight
In the summer of 2000 Anne opened her new website, "The Worlds of Anne McCaffrey", complete with a chatroom. Immediately began posting. After a month the fan response overwhelmed the simple forum and the forum moved to a UBB board as well as a chatroom. There Alec made me one of the dozen or so "Hosts" who moderates the board and chatroom.

On November 3, 2000 I was in Ireland for a day. Alec and Anne were gracious enough to invite me to her home, Dragonhold Underhill, in County Wicklow. Of course I accepted! There I had the opporotunity to meet Anne, her son Alec (her Webmaster), other members of her family as well as her Maine Coon cats and her dog. I was given a tour of her home, including the office where she writes her wonderful books. I had a wonderful visit there and went away feeling as if I had just visited a favorite great-aunt.

Thank you, Anne!
Anne McCaffrey and myself at Anne's "Kitchen Table" November 3, 2000  Photo credit: Alec Johnson
So what is Pern?
P.E.R.N. stands for Parellels Earth, Resources Negligible, the geological description given this colony planet by the team who explored it.

Anne McCaffrey first wrote about Pern in a short story for a science fiction magazine. The story was so well recieved it became a book, Dragonflight. That was soon followed by Dragonquest, then the Harper Hall trilogy. She has now written the stories of the exploration and initial colonization of Pern, historic events in Pern's past and of course continued the saga of Weyrwoman Lessa, Masterharper Robinton and young Lord Jaxom and his white dragon Ruth.
c Michael Whelan, Dragonquest
Pern is the only dragon story I have ever seen in which there is no magic whatsoever. The dragons of Pern are genetically engineered. Their flaming breath comes not from some magical source, but from a phosphane bearing rock which the dragons chew.

Pern is a pastoral planet, the settlers intended to eschew technology to live the simpler life. What they never expected was a "natural" disaster which would cause them to lose even the most basic of technology, plunging the people of Pern into the dark ages with feudal systems, herbal healing and Craft Apprenticeship systems, putting children to work as early as age 10.

Most of the stories take place 2500 turns (years) after the colonization of Pern, the origins of their people have degenerated into myth.   The current leaders of Pern are far reaching and innovative, determined to regain the lost knowledge of their ancestors.
c Michael Whelan, All the Weyrs of Pern
Pern Books
in chronoligical order. Anne McCaffrey recommends reading the series in order of publishing date but I recommend this order for maximum clarification of various references.

Survey P.E.R.N (anthology First Fall)
The Dolphin's Bell (anthology First Fall)
Ford of Red Hanrahan (anthology First Fall)
The Second Weyr (anthology First Fall)
Ever the Twain (anthology Gift of Dragons)
Dragonseye aka Red Star Rising
Dragon's Kin (with Todd McCaffrey)
Moreta, Dragonlady of Pern
Nerilka's Story
Masterharper of Pern
Runner of Pern (anthology Gift of Dragons)
The Smallest Dragonboy (anthology Gift of Dragons)
The Girl Who Heard Dragons (anthology Gift of Dragons)
The White Dragon
Renegades of Pern
All the Weyrs of Pern
Dolphins of Pern
The Skies of Pern

Reference books

The Dragonlover's Guide to Pern
Atlas of Pern
The People of Pern
c Michael Whelan, The White Dragon
Visit Anne's website, discussion board and chatroom at:
c Michael Whelan, The Worlds of Anne McCaffrey (banner)
Visit Michael Whelan's Pern Gallery at:
My Fan Fiction Personas
Dawnsisters Weyrhold
Weyrwoman Arwyn

Weyrhealer Geana

Greenrider (Weyrling) Dacia

Journeyman Herder Zeva

Brownrider (Weyrling) J'nat
Click here to join Dawnsisters Weyrhold