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View Diary: My Favorite Authors/Books: The Dragonriders of P.E.R.N (135 comments)

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  •  Putting Things in Order (9+ / 0-)

    Thanks.  Now I don't feel so bad about blowing off the Sci-Fi/Fantasy club this week!

    It's been many, many years since I've read any of the Pern books.  I liked Dragonflight; I thought Dragonquest was okay.  I passed over the Harper Hall trilogy.  Unfortunately, the long-awaited third book, The White Dragon, didn't appeal to me, and I never picked up any of the later books.

    In general, I agree with McCaffery about reading a series in publication order.  Because a series tends to evolve and change over time and if you read it in the order in which it is written, you are discovering the world at the same time that the author is.

    You shouldn't have to read Dragondawn before reading Dragonflight, because the latter book was written without it and is a complete story as it is.  After you're done with Dragonflight you can expand your appreciation of the world by reading the sequels and the prequels.

    And because the author changes things as the series progresses, it's very possible that she might contradict something established in Book Primus when she writes Book Before Primus.  For example, some of the things C.S. Lewis established about Narnia and the White Witch are contradicted by things in the "origin story", The Magician's Nephew.  If you experience these changes through the course of a series in the order written, these changes seem more organic and natural; but if you insist on a strict chronology, these changes can cause cognative whiplash.

    (This same point applies to changes in an author's style.  If an author's writing improves over the course of his carreer, as ideally it should, it can be equally jarring to go from a well-written novel placed early in the chronology to a poorly-written one which was the earliest published but which comes in the middle of the timeline.)

    "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

    by quarkstomper on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 06:35:34 PM PDT

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