lancer4 wrote on the Condolences page at pernhome.com:
I too am sorry to hear of Anne’s death and I offer sympathies to the family. But I have to express grave misgivings to items in the last book “Sky Dragons” I have to take exception to the writings of the dragons visiting the dawn sisters and looking for thread over the northern continent when previous novels have made it plain that the dawn sisters were in geo-synchronis orbit over landing in the southern continent. That makes observations of the northern areas impossible especially as the book mentions following the dawn sisters with the planets dawn to track thread fall. This goes against precident from earlier novels.
To see your way through your “misgivings” you need only consider the name of the objects in question, The Dawn Sisters.
You’ll recall that they’re always visible at dawn and only at dawn. And that they’re visible at dawn in the Northern Continent no matter where — from Ruatha Hold in the west to Benden Weyr in the east.
This means that the objects are moving across Pern in time with Pern’s sun, Rukbat.
And that means that they can’t be in geosynchronous or geostationary orbit. In fact they’re in sun synchronous orbit, tracking dawn.
When writing the Sky Dragons this issue came up and was discussed. The simple answer was that Mum was wrong in saying “geosynchronous orbit” (Mum’s degree was in Slavonic Languages and Literature; mine is in Mechanical Engineering) — although we were tempted to say that the colony ships were originally in geosynchronous orbit, if anyone asked.
While the second answer is a bit more forgiving, the truth is that a geosynchronous orbit (whether geostationary or not) is usually many planetary radii distant which is hardly the correct position for deploying shuttles — they usually operate in low orbit, such as LEO (Low-Earth Orbit) or on Pern, probably LPO (Low-Pern Orbit).
You might also note that “the last book” Sky Dragons was a collaboration with two authors: Anne McCaffrey and Todd McCaffrey.
Finally, I will say that I have no idea how old you are — it’s one of the cool things about the internet. You could be 4 or 40 or even 400. So it may be that you’re not used to writing to authors. With that said, I thought you might want to see an alternative way of saying what you said — one that’s more inquiring than insulting:
I, too, am sorry to hear of Anne’s death and I offer sympathies to the family. I’m writing — and I hope you’ll forgive me — because I was confused over an apparent contradiction between the latest book, Sky Dragons, and the earlier book, Dragonsdawn.
In Dragonsdawn, Ms. McCaffrey says that the Dawn Sisters were placed in geosynchronous orbit over Landing and now in Sky Dragons their orbit seems different.Could you please explain this difference?