Anne McCaffrey's Pern
series has been running successfully for so long that most of the Dragonriders' original problems have been solved; inThe Skies of Pern
, she confronts her standard cast of characters with the consequences of those solutions, consequences that are a whole new set of problems. Now that the Red Star has been pushed to another orbit, there will only be a few more ravenous Threads descending from it for them and their dragons to fight--and what role will that leave for them? They have successfully reclaimed Earth's lost technology--and suddenly everyone with a craft that might be outmoded, or who is phobic about surgery, is on the rampage, sabotaging and smashing and making up rumours. These fundamentalist Abominators are sure that something terrible will happen if the old ways are not gone back to--and sure enough, fire descends, on cue, from the skies... One of the reasons why Anne McCaffrey's tales of a lost colony declined into feudalism and of genetically engineered dragons have always been, ultimately, sf rather than fantasy is that they are about finding solutions to problems, solutions that involve working with what you are given to start off with; The Skies of Pern
is all about elegant solutions to credible problems.
"'Anne McCaffrey, one of the Queens of science fiction, knows exactly how to give her public what it wants'" (Walter Ellis The Times