Anne McCaffrey draws the reader back in time to an earlier Pern to tell the story of one of Pern's great and true heroines.An air of pleasant anticipation hung so thickly over the Halls, Holds and Weyrs of Pern that it had affected even the businesslike ways of Moreta, the Weyrwoman of Fort Weyr, where her dragon, Queen Orlith, would soon clutch. Then without warning, a runnerbeast fell ill. Soon myriads of holders, craftsmen, and dragonriders were dying; and the mysterious ailment had spread to all but the most inaccessible holds. Pern was in mortal danger. For, if dragonriders did not rise to char Thread, the parasite would devour any and all organic life it encountered. The future of the planet rested in the hands of Moreta and the other deicated, lelfless Pernese leaders. But of all their problems, the most difficult to overcome was time. . . .
Everyone, holder and dragonrider alike, pitched in to help--except Nerilka's father, who refused to share Fort Hold's bounty with the other holds. So, ashamed of her family and determined to doher part, Nerilka packed up medicines and supplies and sneaked off to aid her people.
Her quest to help wherever she was most neded led her finally to Ruatha Hold, where Lord Alessan was frantically inoculations against the dread plague.
Nerilika had long ago abandoned the hope of marraige and a home of her own. Now she found happiness in being useful and appreciated---first the Healers and then Alessan made very clear that they were grateful for her help.
She had no idea that her new path would change the course of her life forever!
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - Go back in time and visit Pern like it's never been seen before in this thrilling prequel about the creation of dragons.
The beautiful planet Pern seemed a paradise to its new colonists--until unimaginable terror turned it into hell. Suddenly deadly spores were falling like silver threads from the sky, devouring everything--and everyone--on their path. It began to look as if the colony, cut off from Earth and lacking the resources to combat the menace, was doomed.
"[McCaffrey is the] master of the well-told tale."--Chicago Sun-TimesAs long as the people of Pern could remember, the Holds had protected them from Thread, the deadly silver strands that fell from the sky. In exchange for sanctuary in the huge stone fortresses, the people tithed to their Lord Holders, who in turn supported the dragonriders, Pern's greatest weapon against Thread. But not everyone on Pern was protected. Some, like Jayge's trader clan, simply preferred the freedom of the roads to the security of a hold. Others, like Aramina's family, had lost their homes. Regardless of their differences, however, they all feared the outlaws who preyed on holds and holdless alike. The Lady Thella's renegades are the most dangerous yet--all they need is Aramina, whose telepathic link with dragons can help them evade the dragonrider patrols. But Jayge is out to stop Thella . . .and he will never let her have Aramina.
For generations, the dragonriders had dedicated their lives to fighting Thread, the dreaded spores that periodically rained from the sky to ravage the land. On the backs of their magnificent telepathic dragons they flew to flame the deadly stuff out of the air before it could reach the planet's surface. But the greatest dream of the dragonriders was to find a way to eradicate Thread completely, so that never again would their beloved Pern be threatened with destruction.
Let the queen of dragons herself take you back to the earliest days of Pernese history as Anne McCaffrey brings to life events that shaped one of the most popular worlds in all of science fiction, in this first-ever Pern short-story collection.
When the first humans came to settle the planet Pern, they did not come alone: intelligence-enhanced dolphins also crossed the stars, to colonize the oceans of the new planet while their human partners settled the vast continents. But then disaster struck in the form of Thread, deadly silver spores that fell like rain from the sky, devouring everything - and everyone - in their path. And as the human colonists' dreams of a new, idyllic life shattered into a desperate struggle for survival, the dolphins were forgotten, left to make their own life in the seas of Pern. As time went by, human memory of dolphins was lost to legend, and only the occasional tall tale of "shipfish" rescuing fishermen lost at sea kept the legend alive. But the dolphins never forgot, and from generation to generation they preserved their oral history against the day when humans at last might remember their old friends, and once again the seas would resound with the ringing of the dolphins' bells from docks and ships... Now, centuries later, the dragonriders of Pern were on the verge of ridding their planet of Thread forever. But T'lion, a young bronze rider, was not old enough to participate in that great venture. Instead, he and his dragon, Gadareth, were relegated to conveying people from place to place - until he and Readis, son of the Lord Holder of Paradise River Hold, made contact with the legendary "shipfish." And as the dragonriders grappled with the ending of an era, T'lion, Readis, and the dolphins faced the start of a new one: reviving the bond between land- and ocean-dwellers and, in the process, resurrecting the dreams of the first colonists of Pern...
Pern: a beautiful world colonized by humans, terrorized by the deadly spores called Thread, and defended by magnificent flying dragons. Anne McCaffrey's bestselling tales of this planet have yielded a multitude of unforgettable characters. And now, after years of urging by devoted readers, one of the most popular denizens of Pern takes center stage in a novel that chronicles his extraordinary life.
Along with the dragonriders, perhaps none are so revered on Pern as the harpers, whose songs record history, warn of the coming of Thread, and prepare Pern's people for the future. And no one is more influential than the Masterharper of Pern. The son of renowned composer Petiron and gifted singer Merelan, Robinton is a prodigy from birth and enjoys a special rapport with the telepathic dragons. But it is a time when Thread has not been a threat for centuries, the harpers have fallen into disfavor, and one despotic man is plotting to take over Pern. In this climate of unrest, Robinton will come into his own . . . driven by his belief in music, in the dragons, and in the salvation of his beloved Pern.
In this triumphant return to Pern, Anne McCaffrey takes us on an adventure as surprising and unforgettable as any that has come before . . .It is a time of hope and regret, of endings and beginnings. The Red Star, that celestial curse whose eccentric orbit was responsible for Thread, has been shifted to a harmless orbit, and the current Threadfall will be the last. Technological marvels are changing the face of life on Pern. And the dragonriders, led by F'lessan, son of F'lar and Lessa and rider of bronze Golanth, and Tia, rider of green Zaranth, must forge a new place for themselves in a world that may no longer need them. But change is not easy for everyone. There are those who will stop at nothing--not even violence--to keep Pern and its people pure. And now a brand-new danger looms from the skies . . . and threatens a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions. Once again, the world looks to the dragons and their riders to solve the crisis and save the world. But now, as the friendship of F'lessan and Tia begins to bloom into something more, unforeseen tragedy strikes: a tragedy destined to forever change the future--not just of the two young lovers, but of every human and dragon on Pern . . .