Month: December 2009

Happy St. Stephen’s Day (UK), Happy Battery-Replacement Day (US)

Happy St. Stephen’s Day (UK), Happy Battery-Replacement Day (US)

I hope you have had a great holiday so far and hope it gets better toward the New Year.

We had a nice Christmas, lots of turkey with cornbread stuffing, corn, mashed potoates, caulliflower au gratin, broccoli, and cranberry dressing. I lay claim to all but cranberry dressing and only partial claim to the gratin sauce as I had despaired of getting it thicke enough until Ceara’s mother rescued it. Just between us, I rather blew it because I started the veggies to coincide with the time the turkey should have finished cooking. Which meant that, twenty minutes later, the veggies were not up to snuff (the broccoli, in particular, was most disappointing). All the same, the turkey was great, the stuffing marvelous — and this the first big meal I’ve cooked in the new place and the first I’ve cooked at all in the past two years or so.

After dinner we watched Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog which I’d gotten for my daughter and which Jenna (Ceara’s Mom) hadn’t yet seen.

After that, I collapsed and am now only partially recovered — it was good turkey!

Letter from Nathan

Letter from Nathan


I have recently been re-reading the Pern series and I’ve been wondering if you, as the inheritor of the authorship of this series, have considered a story that would explore the issues that would arise from the discovery by the Federated Sentient Planets (Or at least Earth) that Pern was not actually destroyed just after colonisation?

I have been pondering the idea, and I vaguely imagine having it set in Lord Jaxom’s 5th or 6th decade (a year or two before the end of the last pass). The cause of their rediscovery could be accidental, the Nathi mentioned in Dragonsdawn could be making a quiet resurgence and a scout ship could be shot down and land dramatically in Benden Weyr during a hatching. Depending on how the various stories mix an alien (possibly Hrruban?) pilot would impress a dragon.

It would take a few years for the Nathi to find Pern and an invasion and defence would make for a good story. I imagine the Nathi as a cross between Babylon 5’s “Narn” and Star Trek’s “Species 8472”.

The scout would have sent off a distress signal/becon and the Pernese would know they only have to hold until the FSP/Earth comes to stem the tide, but it could be milked quite well.

I hope I’ve not just wasted five minutes of your life with this because I can’t give it back!

What do you think?

Kind regards,


G’day Nathan,

The idea of telling more stories about the Nathi has been discussed by Mum and myself on and off for years. She asked me years back, long before we started collaborating, to write the military-sf prequel(s) to Pern. I’ve got many ideas on the subject but, truth be told, I think less people would be interested in reading those stories than stories set directly on Pern. The military-sf people would likely be concerned that it was set in the realm of Pern, the Pernese fans would probably be concerned that the stories took place off Pern.

Also, here’s the open secret of writing a good book — the author has to invest himself in the book. And by “invest” I mean that the author really has to want to take the journey that the book represents because books — or, at least, good books — change people, the author most of all.

I’ve developed a lot of Nathi lore and background, I’ve developed a whole bunch on the Eridani as well and I can see what sort of stories would come of that writing. One day, perhaps, I’ll go there because they are quite interesting but I think it’s a pretty dark story with the happy ending really coming with Dragonsdawn (and that, come to think of it, is more of a bittersweet ending).

For the time being, there are more interesting stories to tell on Pern and in my own unique worlds.


Letter from Rachel

Letter from Rachel

Hi Todd,

I was so excited when I found out that you were going to continue with the Pern legacy. I first read Dragonsong when I was a teen and couldn’t read the series fast enough. I had made my way through all of them shortly before Dragon’s Kin came out, so I was thrilled that I didn’t have to give up Pern.

I’ve always had a little bit of trouble wrapping my mind around Timing it. It’s not the timeline that bothers me, but the way that the dragons get there. Lessa used the Red Star to guide her way, but what’s to say that she didn’t end up at a time when the Red Star was making another Pass? Or when the weyrlings drill on recognition points, those are what they use for the rest of their lives. How come they don’t end up in the same time whenever they arrive? What if they’re going somewhere and there’s a Gather? It would be impossible to picture everyone. Does it take really extra details in order to travel across time?

That’s it, really. The Pern books hold a special place on my bookshelf and I look forward to reading everything that you and your mother continue to gift us with.


Hi Rachel,

I’m glad you like the new books.

As for timing it — it’s one of those magical things. Given that space and time are one in the same, it makes sense that if dragons can go from one place to another, they can just as easily go from one time to another.

As for Lessa, she had the night stars along with the Red Star. It didn’t bear mentioning but the night stars move enough in hundreds of Turns (just as the night sky changes with the season) that there’s a distinct difference between the position of those distant stars between Passes.


Letter from Farli

Letter from Farli

I would like to thank you for continue writing in the Pern Series. I immensely enjoy reading all your books and I am so happy that I can still read about the Dragons I love so much! My name I have taken from one of your mother’s books (Dragondrums to be specific). Farli is the name of Piemur’s gold fire-lizard and I have had this as my online name for about 8 years now. Anyway, back on subject. Thank you for being such an amazing author and for “rolling” out so many books so quickly (that way my imagination does not collapse in on itself). Keep up the fantastic work and I cannot wait for Dragongirl next year…

Sincerely Yours,

Hi Farli!

(I have to admit, it’s rather disconcerting to be talking with a “fire-lizard”.)

I’m glad you’re ready for Dragongirl, but it’ll be out in July, not April next year as I was previously told.


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