A new novel of Pern.
Anne McCaffrey was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She graduated cum laude from Radcliffe College, majoring in Slavonic Languages and Literatures. A prolific bestselling author, she is best known for her handling of broad themes and the worlds of her imagination, particularly in her tales of the Talents and the novels about the Dragonriders of Pern. Anne McCaffrey lives in a house of her own design, Dragonhold-Underhill, in County Wicklow, Ireland. Visit the author's website at www.annemccaffrey.org. Todd McCaffrey, Anne's son, is a computer engineer living in Los Angeles. The approved heir to Pern, his first solo Dragonriders of Pern novel, Dragon's Blood, will be published by Bantam Press in 2005. Visit his website on www.toddmccaffrey.org
Beloved bestseller McCaffrey has joined forces with her son, Todd, to produce another delightful entry in the Pern series, which began with Dragonflight in 1968. The action here centers on Camp Natalon, the site of a coal mine. Now that the surface seams of coal have begun to run dry on Pern, it's imperative to start extracting coal from deep underground, despite the increased danger. Some of the miners rely on the expertise of the watch-whers, smaller versions of dragons, to help keep them safe in the mines. As Kindan, blind Nuella and master harper Zist puzzle out the lore, habits and abilities of these nocturnal creatures, they find out more about the watch-whers (and themselves) than they thought possible. Fans who have become comfortable with McCaffrey's smooth trademark style over the years will notice no seams-which bodes well for any solo novels her coauthor, the heir apparent, may contribute to the Dragonriders saga. (Dec.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
While the colonists of the mining camp Natalon on planet Pern prepare for the cycle of "Threadfall" (a sort of deadly confetti), their search for the planet's coal intensifies. Two young people, Kindan and Nuella, and Zist, a paint-by-numbers curmudgeonly teacher with a heart of gold, discover how the beasts called watch-whers (the titular dragon's kin) communicate and see in the dark. The whers are then harnessed to aid the Pern folk. While the thread and whers prove intriguing, listeners will long for more "hard" sf and more action, especially early in the story when this feels all the world like a coming-of-age tale (think Peggy Leon's Mother Country in space). Narrator Dick Hill does an admirable job bringing the rather simple characters to life. The Pern series began before many of its readers were born; some puzzle over both its longevity and its popularity. While this is undoubtedly low-quality Pern, it remains essential for public libraries where the series is popular.-Douglas C. Lord, Connecticut State Lib., Hartford Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.