Month: January 2004

Letter from Hal

Letter from Hal


I sent this to your mother’s e-maill site:

Anne –

I have been a great fan of your writing for a long time. I just finished reading Dragon’s Kin which you and your son co-wrote. I would like to let you know that I found it just as enjoyable as all of your other Pern novels. I think he’ll do well in carrying on the McCaffrey tradition.

Hal Kemrite

I just wanted to let you know as well how much I enjoyed the book. It was perhaps made even more meaningful to me as my grandfather was a coal miner.

Keep up the good work.


Thank you very much! I’m glad you enjoyed Dragon’s Kin.

I’ll do my best with the McCaffrey tradition.


A Note from Debby about Dawn

A Note from Debby about Dawn

I’ve tried to find what you said about Dawn and her fictional work and haven’t been unsuccessful. I’ve been friends with Dawn for more than 7 years. We met online in a Pern email writing club and, since we both live on opposites ends of the US, finally had the chance to meet her in person last year at Dragoncon.

I had the chance to read the first chapter of her novel and I knew how much it meant to her to have the opportunity to work with you and Anne.

Whatever it was that you wrote, thank you. It’s hard some times to believe she’s really gone. . .



Blogger only shows so many entries. I’ve reposted my “Open Letter to Dawn” over in my “Noisemaking” blog. Hopefully you’ll be able to read it there.

I agree with you, it’s hard to believe she’s gone. She’ll be missed.

— Todd

Letter from Heather

Letter from Heather

I am soo glad you and your mom finally wrote a Pern novel together saving up to get it!!!!

I fell in love with your mom’s work first with The Lady a book I usually reread once a year!!!! I’m Irish Canadian and that lovely novel gave me back a lot of Ireland to me!!!

Then I found Harper hall trio and Hello Pern i never looked back!!!

I was sad when I heard the Pern tv series was a bust but glad that Ron Moore wouldn’t let the network he was attached to mess with the Pern lore!!!! I don’t get why US production companies can’t just adapt novels why they have to mess with them change character names for no reason cut key characters out or whole segments of the book!!!!

Will you be writing your own series soon?

I wish you guys would start up the Pern Calenders again by the time I got hooked into Pern they had stopped!!! Getting TV or movie calenders here in Northwestern Ontario is hit or miss!!! The only reason I got my Star Wars and Spike(Buffy vampire slayer)is thanks to my lovely pen pals!! Which I have many in UK Australia even one in Peru she’s my Bon Jovi buddie!!!

I share my brithday month with your mom my brithday is April 10 I think Cat’s brithday (The lady was set around that date?) So here’s looking forward to many more Pern novels and new series from you and maybe ask your mom if she has any plans to do a novel about Cat when she’s grown up?

May the force be with you!!!

Heather loyal Canadian fan!!!!


First let me apologize for not getting back to you sooner. I’d written a reply and was researching something for you which caused my computer to lock up, crash and burn.

I’m glad you liked Dragon’s Kin. Mum and I are talking about writing more stories following the characters as they grow to adulthood.

I’m working on completing Dragonsblood, which starts about fourteen Turns after Dragon’s Kin ends. As for my own series, I definitely have several ideas in mind. Right now, however, I’m concentrating on Dragonsblood and the Third Pass.

Adapting anything from one media to another is always difficult. The general rule with books and film/TV is that for every book that is made into a film or TV series, there are tens of thousands which aren’t. I, personally, want the best possible film made of Dragonflight and, after having dealt on the sidelines with various attempts to bring the Dragons of Pern to life, feel that a live-action feature-length adaptation of Dragonflight is the only way to go. A TV series would just not be as faithful.

Adapting is a difficult task. One simply can’t take every scene in a book and put it in a movie. If you did that with Dragonflight, you’d have over 5 hours of film! And it wouldn’t work. Some of what we’re willing to read can’t be translated to film and some of what we’re willing to put up with in a book will make us squirm with impatience in a film. The trick in adapting is to be true to the heart and spine of the work. When that occurs, you’ll find dialog or even whole scenes being added which actually add to the work.

I can’t say about Pern calendars but you might try for calendars. Maybe you’ll find something there that takes your fancy.

I don’t know if Mum plans to write any more books following “The Lady”. My suspicion is that most fans want more Pern novels!


Letter from Mal

Letter from Mal

I have just finished reading “Dragon’s Kin” and would like to take the opportunity of congratulating you and your mother on an enthralling novel with a good twist at the end.

But please could you please refrain from using the American use of “GOTTEN” when writting for the Pern series, as I feel it detracts from the reading of the story. For Anne McC. never used it in any of her stories.

Good first time colaberation.



I’m glad to hear that you liked Dragon’s Kin.

Your comment regarding “gotten” sent me off to first my dictionary and then my book on etymology. I do tend to think with “gotten” and “forgotten” and I do believe that you’re right and Mum uses “got” and “forgot”. I was quite interested to see if the reason was something recently acquired in the Colonies or not.

The answer is surprising. According to “The Barnchart Concise Dictionary of Etymology” the verb “get” probably came into English around 1200 from geten, borrowed from a Scandinavian source (those Vikings sure got around!). However, there was an Old English -gietan equivalent form which is found in such words as forgietan, forget.

Now that sent me to looking up forget and, of course, I found that it has its origins in the Old English forgietan but in more recent times we’ve pretended that it has the Middle English geten instead of Old English -gietan origin.

So, to be true to the origin words, the past tense of “get” should always be “got” but the past tense of “forget” should always be “forgotten” because, while forget sounds like it should be a compound of “for” and “get”, it really isn’t (and we’ve forgotten that).

Of course, thank goodness, English is an evolving language and this issue with get/got/gotten and forget/forgot/forgotten is actually a case of evolution in action. We English-speaking peoples are trying out both variations to see which we’ll incorporate into the language and so, right now, there are actually two correct spellings of the past tense of both get and forget — and both of those spellings are wrong.

I could go further and argue that as most of Mum’s books are placed in the Ninth Pass and I’m writing Dragon’s Kin in the Second Interval — nearly two thousand years earlier — that perhaps what we’re seeing with the different spellings on Pern is the extinction of the past participles “gotten” and “forgotten”. And then I’d sound rather like a genius for having thought of such a subtle thing to put into a book, wouldn’t I?

Sadly, it wasn’t so. Why Mum never caught it is even more interesting — has she been hearing “gotten” and “forgotten” so often in her speech that she’s now decided to accept those past participles? Or did she just perhaps leave it for our editor to catch? I don’t know.

I did, immediately, go to Dragonsblood and changed all “gotten”‘s to “got”‘s. But now that I’ve looked at the “forgotten”‘s, I think I’ll leave them as they are. In particular, I’ve a line in the book,

“What’s going on?” she demanded suspiciously, her peace mission forgotten.

And it just seems to sound better than,

“What’s going on?” she demanded suspiciously, her peace mission forgot.

which would clearly have to be re-written as:

“What’s going on?” she demanded suspiciously, forgetting her peace mission.

to avoid sounding awkward to the ears (and mind).

Now it may be that this difference in using “gotten” and “got” and “forgot” and “forgotten” has a lot to do with accents — in fact I’m sure it does. I can’t remember if, when I’m in Ireland long enough to get a proper accent back, I say “got” or “gotten”. The Irish tend to speak very musically and sentences construct themselves to a well-established rythm which encourages the liberal use of adjectives. In America, there’s more of a tendency towards direct speech and adjectives are nearly scorned — but that’s a very regional thing. In New York City, everyone speaks very straight the point. In Los Angeles, where the heat is oppressive, everything tends to slow down, you know, like fer sure, dude — and I think that will have a (sadly, universal) affect on how English in spoken in the (near) future.

Anyway, Malcolm, thanks very much for bringing this point up. It was uninentional in Dragon’s Kin. I’ve changed all the “gotten”‘s in the current draft of Dragonsblood to “got” and will try to remember in the future. I’m not so sure about “forgotten” being changed to “forgot”. But I will bear it in mind!


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