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Here are five gripping episodes of early Pern -- from the very first space survey recommending colonisation, to the last, where the early world, its young dragon culture undetected, is condemned to be isolated in space.
Here is the saga of the mass evacuation from the volcanic southern continent, an entire group of people moved across the dangerous seas, guarded and guided by a flotilla of dolphins. Here, too, is the story of the creation of Ruatha Hold -- a mammoth undertaking in the early days of Pern.
And here is one of the most fascinating dragon tales ever written by Anne McCaffrey, when Fort Weyr was the only weyr, and when dragonriders and dragons were overcrowded to danger point. As the news broke of three fresh weyrs to be established, a young girl, Torene, came to realize that her dragon could be the next Queen of the newly formed Benden Weyr.
A quarter century after Dragonflight , the novel that introduced the vastly popular dragon planet of Pern, McCaffrey details the difficult yet exhilarating early years of the Pernese settlers in five highly readable tales. Trouble starts early when the original landing site is threatened by volcanic action, forcing the human settlers to ring ``The Dolphin's Bell'' in a plea for help from the intelligent sea mammals who migrated with them from Earth. Then there is the First Fall of the devastating Thread which leads colonists to the security of Rua Atha (Ruatha Hold) in ``The Ford of Red Hanarahan,'' while ``The Second Weyr'' recounts the creation of two new Weyrs to accommodate the growing population of dragons and riders who are essential to the colony's survival. The book begins and ends with the human federation, with the initial survey of Pern and, in the odd final tale called ``Rescue Run,'' with the story of how the planet was abandoned when a small Federation expedition, responding to a distress message sent by Pern during the First Fall, finds only 11 colonists led by a madman. Told of the Thread and convinced that these are the only survivors, the rescuers recommend that Pern and the entire system be interdicted. This collection will provide some answers long awaited by avid Pern fans.