The Dragons of Pern

The world of Pern - "Parallel Earth, Resources Negligible" - was created by Anne McCaffrey and is the setting for her famous series of novels in the Dragonriders of Pern series. Although the books are often categorised as "fantasy", McCaffrey is adamant that they are in fact science fiction.

The Dragonriders first appeared in McCaffrey's Hugo winning novella "Weyr Search" which was expanded to form part of Dragonflight.

Dragons are, of course, extremely important in the Dragonrider books. There are over a hundred individually named dragons in the series. These include the gold dragon queen Ramoth.

Pernese dragons have four legs and two wings and come in a variety of colours. They are intelligent, telepathic creatures which bond with their riders. They are not a natural species but were created through genetic engineering. The native fire-lizard was genetically converted into the telepathic Pernese dragon as a means of defence against the destructive "Thread" that threatened the planet.

The genetic experiments were not always successful. As well as the main dragons, the scientists also created the "wher", an inferior creature that shuns light and is usually found underground.