Anne McCaffrey on creating Pern


In her foreword to 40 Years of Pern, Anne McCaffrey wrote (and I believe it’s ok to quote this!):

“How did I come to write Pern? That is extremely easy to remember because it’s emblazoned on my mind as One of Your Better Ideas.
I had by then published Restoree and parts of The Ship Who Sang, so what did I want to do next? Maybe animals… I’m good with them. Okay, what sort of animal? Andreproduct_thumbnail Norton had mentioned that dragons had a bad press in the West. So, why don’t I make them the good guys? Fire-breathing, too, because that’s what dragons do, even the best ones. But I remembered Analog editor John Campbell saying that you couldn’t just populate a planet with critters that didn’t have any¬†ecological reason to be there, so I needed a menace for my dragons to flame. Okay, and I hate wars between people – for any reason – so it would have to be menace that didn’t know it was a menace, or care. All right, it could be something airborne that had to be neutralized before it fell on the planet’s surface. Good.
Well, one didn’t want even good dragons flaming, overhead without control, not when they are 25 feet long, or longer. So, taking a hint from ducklings, which go after anything that moves in front of them after their hatching, I decided my dragons would bond with a suitable human as soon as they hatched. They would be starving, so the bonded person had to stuff them with food, to complete the bonding.
Now who knows anyone who speaks dragon? Harry Potter only speaks snake (though he was not yet thought of at the time I was recreating dragons). So the dragons are psychic, telepathic (and as we later discover, telekinetic). And, I thought, give them a break, and they know their names when they hatch, even if some of them are rather odd. Still, if that’s what its name is, fine!” (p.10)

I don’t know if I noted these sites in a logical place before, but:


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