I have some questions about the new web site. First though I wanted to say I’m really glad we can now read old letters. It’s nice when I’ve been away so I don’t have to worry that you’ll delete your response before I get a chance to read it.
I noticed that your new Letters page is missing everything after August 2005 yet I know you’ve responded since then. So I went back through your old letters, to see if the dates were in reverse order and found they weren’t but I did get pulled into reading letters I hadn’t yet read. In doing so I found this in a response to Doug May 23 2004:
“I’ve also wondered about compiling something along the lines of a ‘Pern Companion’Â which has chapters of information relevant to each book. However, that doesn’t lend itself easily to a trade paperback format. It would best be served by having a loose-leaf binder which could accomodate new sections for new books and for revisions. But that seems a bit unwieldy. I suppose a Pern Companion website on a subscription basis might work although it’s still not quite the same as curling up with a book. Hmm! (can you tell I’m brainstorming?) Perhaps the best is a set of ‘Pern Companions’ one for the first three adult books (Dragonflight, Dragonquest, The White Dragon), another for the Harper Hall trilogy, a third for the books following after “The White Dragon”Â and so on. Ah, but the trouble with that is then you have to consult a stack of books when you’re seeking an answer. Well, it’s a problem to be solved.Â
I know it’s an old letter but I was hoping you hadn’t given up on the idea of a ËœPern Companion” I would really enjoy one, however you work it out.
I also noticed some of the letters written in may 2005 have your response only and not the fan letters, were they lost? If so I think I still have mine, I’d have to look.
Hi Sue B,
I’ve had about two major computer crashes, and three re-installations on top of all that for about a total of 5 complete changes of data. Sadly, some of my e-mail went with it. Worse, the loss causes a large amount of time to be used up recovering and I find myself back-logged with unanswered e-mail because of it.
When I don’t throw up my hands in despair, I alternate between answering the oldest e-mails first and the most interesting e-mails first. Sometimes I find an e-mail that is (what’s the right word?) “perplexing” (?) and it just stops me altogether. I may come back later and answer it or I might finally decide that I don’t want to be bothered — it depends upon the nature of the letter.
Also, I have this firm conviction that people would like more Pern novels to read than answers to e-mails (particularly those who didn’t write the e-mails). And, truth be told, I don’t get paid to answer e-mails and I do get paid to write novels.
With regards to a Pern companion or a series of them, I think for the while the idea will just have to lie fallow. I don’t think there’s that great a call for them and what desire there is is probably being well-handled by the fan community. So, for the foreseeable future, we’ll continue to rely on the memories, insights, and kindess of other fans for answering those pesky questions we get.