When the first humans came to settle the planet Pern, they did not come alone: intelligence-enhanced dolphins also crossed the stars to colonize the oceans of the new planet while their human partners settled the vast continents. But then disaster struck. The deadly silver spores called thread fell like rain from the sky, and as the human colonists' dreams of a new, idyllic live battered into a desperate struggle for survival, the dolphins were forgotten ...
Now, centuries later, as the dragonriders of Pern were preparing to complete the momentous task of ridding their world of Thread forever, T'lion, a young bronze rider, and his friend Readis, son of the Lord Holder of Paradise River Hold, made contact with the legendary "shipfish." and as the dragonriders grappled with the ending of an era, T'lion, Readis and the dolphins faced the start of a new one: reviving the bond between the land- and ocean-dwellers - and resurrecting the dreams of the first colonists of Pern!
Alemi saw the mast splinter and break, felt Readis' tightened grip, adn then abruptly they were upended as waves slammed into the starboard side and decanted them into the roiling sea. His grip on Readis tightened; over the scream of the storm he heard the boy's frightened cry.
Alemi flailed his free arm, trying to surface again, and his hand came hard against something. The upturned skiff? HE clutched at a roundness that was ot wooden, but firm and fleshed.
Shipfish! the hard edge of a dorsal fin filled his hand, and his body was swung against a long sleek shape just as another wave crashed over him. "Shipfish, Readis!" he shouted above the tumult of the storm winds. "Hang on!"
His savior raised its head and, water shooting up out of its blowhole, clearly said, "Not Fish! Mam'l. Doll-fin!"