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The Dolphins of Pern by Anne McCaffrey
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2,863142,023 (3.68)20
Title:The Dolphins of Pern
Authors:Anne McCaffrey
Info:Corgi Adult (1995), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Tags:Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Pern

Work details

The Dolphins of Pern by Anne McCaffrey (1994)

Recently added bySFF1928-1973, iglified, rns1963_2, LitaVore, RyanKristina, private library, lizstib



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After all the exciting things happen--after the settlers land on Pern, and are nearly destroyed by Thread, and discover dragons, and set up Weyrs and Holds and Halls, all the while devolving into a sexist&rigidly hierarchal medieval society, and eventually Jaxom bonds with Ruth, and Menolly finds her firelizards and transforms Harpers, and they rediscover their computer and figure out how to end Thread-fall once and for all, and all manner of social changes start being forced through--after all that, this incredibly prosaic, boring little story takes place.

A number of people realize (practically simultaneously) that the "shipfish" of Pern are actually dolphins who travelled from Earth with the first settlers. They were engineered to have human speech and increased intellects, and even generations after humans stopped remembering them, they still remember humans. They're thrilled to have contact with humans again. One boy, Readis, runs away from home to form a Dolphin Hall. Meanwhile, a Holder is plotting to settle the Southern Continent against the Weyr-leaders' advice. And there's a big storm that doesn't actually do anything. That's pretty much it! Even famous characters like Leesa, Menolly, Mirrim or Jaxom are colorless and personality-free here.

This was easily the most boring Pern book I have ever read in my life. I would much rather read another book about the brave-flame-haired-fiesty-girl fighting against sexist-evil-old-dude and psychically bonding with a dragon; as trite and wish-fullfillment-y as that is, at least there's something there. This was just empty of all inspiration, emotion, plot, or character. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Readis of Paradise River, and his Uncle Alemi are rescued when their boat is swamped in a sudden squall by dolphins. The dolphins have long been known as shipfish because of their constant presence around the fishing fleets over many turns. But it is Readis and Alemi who realize that the dolphins can speak and have been trying to lead ships away from dangers and to the best fishing spots.

Their story is playing out in the midst of the excitement surrounding the promise of overcoming thread once and for all with the information and technology being provided by Avis, an Artificial Intelligence left behind by the original founders of Pern. ( )
  cfk | Apr 19, 2013 |
There was a little bit of the "same story from a different point of view" that she has been doing on and off - which irritates me. But, it went far beyond All The Wyers of Pern and had little to do with much that happened in the other book. I really liked it. I've ordered the rest of the series from Amazon as soon as I finished this book, so I would have to say that I am a "Pern fan". ( )
  Ameliapei | Apr 18, 2013 |
I didn't like this as much as the others -- I wanted dragons, and couldn't care less about dolphins. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
This book will always have a special place in my heart. It was my first introduction to Anne McCaffrey, probably when I was about 12 or 13. According to my mom, my grandpa called asking what I wanted for my birthday, and she said “Oh, any book with dragons or dolphins will make her happy.” How right she was! I didn’t get much out of it on my first read through, as you really need to have read the rest of the series first, but it stuck with me long enough that I picked up Dragonflight not too long afterward, and the rest, as they say, is history. I was pretty devastated last year when she passed :(

Not too long ago, I decided I wanted to start from the beginning and read the entire Pern series, picking up all the books I had missed in high school. This time I made sure to read them in the proper order – publication order is the recommended way to read them from the McCaffrey estate. (Link leads to a PDF of the suggested reading order) Every subsequent novel references the one directly before it so I highly recommend this order as well. No wonder The Dolphins of Pern made so little sense to me the first time through. I had no idea about impressions or fire lizards or harpers or any of that. Definitely do NOT accidentally start here like I did. Dragonflight is an amazing novel, start there.

The story of Readis being rescued by dolphins is briefly mentioned in a predecessor, I believe All the Weyrs of Pern, but it is much more fleshed out here. The dolphins are engaging and hilarious and plastered a big dumb smile on my face whenever they appeared. Unfortunately, the title belies their actual involvement in the story – there wasn’t nearly enough dolphin! But we had to get some good ol’ Pern politicking out of the way, and Menolly showing up is always a pleasure. The dragons are mostly in the background throughout this story, with a few exceptions. I think this is the first Pern installation without a hatching of any sort.

Anne McCaffrey’s Pern novels unfortunately start showing a tendency towards sexism. The lady hated women I guess! The Dolphins of Pern is the worst yet. There’s not a single main character in this book who is a woman. Menolly shows up, but all we hear about is her pregnancy and how she really wants it to be a boy. There are a couple other pregnant women in Paradise River Hold, and THEY all want boys too. Aramina is a gigantic bitch for no apparent reason other than “motherly worry.” I seriously wanted to punch her, and I wanted Readis to run away and be with his damn dolphins. This really detracted from the novel for me.

For the first half, I thought this was going to be my first 4-star Pern review since The White Dragon (Dragonriders of Pern #6). There was a lot of Alemi, Readis, and T’lion for the first part, and it kept my avid interest. Pretty soon however, it got back to the exhausting Lord Toric, and boring councils with the weyrleaders. Sadly, it dropped back to 3-stars for me, as I really just wanted more dolphins! I enjoyed it more than some of the Pern books before this, namely, The Renegades of Pern. Yuck! Definitely read it if you love Pern and you want a complete history, but only lovers of the world would enjoy it, and it does not hold up on its own.

See this book and more on my blog, Stumptown Books: http://www.stumptownbookblog.com ( )
1 vote areyoustillthere | Apr 19, 2012 |
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anne McCaffreyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Levis, ChristineMapsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morrill, RowenaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ostrop, BarbaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ross, EdmundAuthor photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, DavidCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weston, SteveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my granddaughter
Eliza Oriana Johnson
a princess-in-waiting
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Kibbe gave the bell rope one last pull.
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Book description
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!"
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345368959, Mass Market Paperback)

Two boys, one of them a dragonrider, re-establish crucial contact with the wise dolphins, the legendary "shipfish" of Pern.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:37 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

After being saved from drowning by talking dolphins, a boy sets out to integrate them into the world of humans. The dolphins--genetically engineered--were part of the original colony on Pern, but humans lost touch with them, preferring dragons who could be used to fight wars. By the author of The Chronicles of Pern.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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