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The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall (Pern (Publication Order) #12)

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  11,801 ratings  ·  153 reviews
Let the queen of dragons herself take you back to the earliest days of Pernese history as Anne McCaffrey brings to life events that shaped one of the most popular worlds in all of science fiction, in this first-ever Pern short-story collection.

From the Hardcover edition.
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published February 26th 2002 by Del Rey (first published October 1993)
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I really enjoy the Dragonriders of Pern books. Some of the later books get into some homosexual references, which I don't enjoy reading about. It is a side element and not a main plot line. But because of this I would caution the young reader from getting into this series, until they can clearly think through this issue.
It was when I read this collection of stories right on the heels of re-reading Dragonsdawn that I started to understand how much Anne McCaffrey loves logistics.

Seriously. She loves to give her characters a huge urgent practical problem, and then set the most practical among them to solving it. Whether it's dramatic or not. She wants to tell you all about how they dug the caves with rock-cutters to make Holds and Weyrs and they had to make the cutters last as long as they could, how they made hyp
I am not entirely sure how I got on this streak of nostalgic re-reads, but of course I had to re-read this after Dragonsdawn.

As a kid, I loooooooved Torene/Mihall's story. I used to check this out from the library and re-read it all the time. (It didn't entirely hold up, I suppose. I think maybe I was better at filling in the blanks as a kid. I wanted more this time. Loved the Sean/Sorka glimpses!)

I don't think I liked the second and third story much, judging by my lack of memory of them! (They
Kathy Davie
Five short stories in the Pern science fiction / fantasy series and revolving around dragons and their riders fighting for the survival of their colony.

"The Survey: P.E.R.N." (0.5)
"The Dolphins' Bell" (1.1)
"The Ford of Red Hanrahan (1.2)
"The Second Weyr" (1.3)
"Rescue Run" (1.4)

The Stories
"The Survey: P.E.R.N." is useful for explaining where the name for the planet came from and was very clever of McCaffrey. It makes me wonder how many other words have evolved from acronyms. It's also a
Overall, I liked the stories that focused on space rather than the dragonriders. The collection gives backstory and some additional information on the first and second generations on Pern.

The dragonrider stories are becoming so repetitive at this point.

PERN-C: Background as to how the planet got the name of Pern. Surveys by the first scientists from space.

Dolphin's Bell: The evacuation of the Southern continent. The dolphins, who have been genetically enhanced and can communicate with humans, h
Unlike many other creators of alternate worlds, Anne McCaffery continues to mine fresh ore from the soil of her imagined reality. Her storytelling is good, too.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gere Lewis
As this is another book of short stories, I will do a review of each story.

1. THE SURVEY: P.E.R.N. (2 stars)
This is the story of the survey team that first evaluated the planet
now known as Pern for human colonization. It explains how such a
major threat (thread) was missed. Not bad. Not good either.

2. THE DOLPHIN'S BELL (1 star)
This was over 40 pages of an incredibly slow moving and boring story. It chronicles the sea voyage to move people and supplies from the southern continent to the nor
Bunch of fun stories about a wonderful world. It ties a lot of the full novels together and answers some of the unanswered questions. Great book for Pern fans.
This book was okay -- it's a collection of five stories from early in Pern's history. The first is a short story, the others all long enough to be 'novelettes' (I guess). I enjoyed the fourth and fifth stories the best -- the fourth is about dragonriders and the earliest Weyrs (and the dragons with their riders are the best thing about Pern), and the fifth an interesting tale about one of the bands of survivors from the first time Thread fell on Pern.

Unfortunately, none of the stories that aren'
I loved this series when I was a kid and read them in publication order, so when I saw them all listed in a chronological order somewhere I thought I'd go back to read them, but doing so just reminded me these books are dumb as piss. Why are they so sexist? I thought this was the future, man. And what does McCaffrey have against the concept of consent? Also, you know what? Even when I was ten I thought those dolphins were stupid.

I will probably end up re-reading more of them just because I alrea
Jerry Miller
I have been a follower of The Dragonriders of Pern since the 1970's. I fell behind in my reading, but always had the books on the shelf, waiting until I got around to them. McCaffrey wove a good tale, and the books are filled with interesting characters. A combination of fantasy (dragons) and sci-fi (space flight, other planets, alien life forms) form an intriguing mix. The stories center on the planet Pern (which took me until this book to see where the name came from) and an alien life form ca ...more
2015 audiobook re-read

I'd probably go with a 3.5 with this one. The entire anthology of novellas had lovely stories about the first settlers of Pern, but it was a bit jarring listening to some of the characters without the accents that they had in the previous book that was narrated by a male, this book being narrated by a woman.

Still, Pern is a nice world to escape to.
Leighanne Stottlemire
Another wonderfully installation of the series

As good as any Anne McCaffrey book! I personally found it hard to keep up with the jumps in time between the sections of the book but once I reoriented my self and made the connections it was great. It is refreshing though not to have to wait three books for a new generation. Being as Michael "Mihill" Connell was just born at the end of the last book and is grown and taking on riding responsibilities at the end of the second section. It makes it easi
Vicki Jaeger
I can't tell you how many times I've read this series. Telepathic dragons, strong female characters, great relationships, and the Harpers' guild and music as a strong guiding force. What could be better?
In hindsight, I still enjoy reading the series in order written (versus actual chronological order of events). This title is a collection of stories that help explain events within the first 2 generations of settlers on the planet. My family always joked that these books were compiled because An
Air Knight
Not the place to start with the Pern saga, although it looked promising enough.

First fall is a collection of short stories which chronologically are into the first stage of "Pernese" history, but the setting and descriptions don't feel complete enough without previous knowledge of the world of Pern. The style felt also kind of odd, which makes the stories a little les pleasant to read.

But the stories are entertaining enough despite no previous Pern knowledge and they left you hooked enough to at
Amanda R
Man, I love Pernese history. Especially from back in the day when Anne was still good at it.
The more I read about Pern, the more I enjoy it. I only gave this book 3 stars because, while the stories were great, there was very little plot; this really seemed like McCaffrey had notes about how the world began, and she published them. Don't get me wrong, I love backstory and history of world making, but I was a little underwhelmed by these stories.

We do get the first introduction to the dolphins of Pern here, which was probably my favorite story in the collection.

I'm not giving up, I'm act
I enjoyed this collection of short stories from the early days of Pern. I recommend reading after "Dragonsdawn," as a few of the stories have some of the same characters, and chronologically in the history of Pern, that order is a good fit.

I have some quibbles about the Pern series which I've discussed in other reviews, but I love the world and the dragons and have mostly enjoyed my recent re-reading of the founding and "modern" era books. This collection added a nice bit of extra detail and inf
I remember loving the Anne McCaffrey's Pern books when I was in my early teen-age years. It's great escapist fiction that's simply fun to read. Perhaps I'm just going through a phase, but I'm loving juvenile fiction again! There's nothing particularly deep in a Pern book--the characters, while well-drawn, tend to be either good or bad, and good things always seem to happen to the good people while bad things happen to the bad ones. Sometimes that sort of wish-fulfillment is just what satisfies. ...more
I read most of the Dragon books as they were being written in the late 60', and early 70's and I remember it as being very frustrating having to wait an entire year for the next one though incredibly exciting when they were published. If I remember correctly the Merlin series (Mary Stewart) was being written about the same time and equally as frustrating waiting for them too, though worth the wait. Then my life changed and I missed about a decade of everyone's books. Thankfully, I can now go bac ...more
From Publishers Weekly

A quarter century after Dragonflight , the novel that introduced the vastly popular dragon planet of Pern, McCaffrey details the difficult yet exhilarating early years of the Pernese settlers in five highly readable tales. Trouble starts early when the original landing site is threatened by volcanic action, forcing the human settlers to ring "The Dolphin's Bell" in a plea for help from the intelligent sea mammals who migrated with them from Earth. Then there is the First

First book of the wonderful saga of the Dragonriders of Pern, written by Anne McCaffrey this collection of 5 short novels is really a pleasure to read.

Survey P.E.R.N - the really beginning of the saga - allows us to discover how Pern was discover, why she received her name and why it was a blessing for her futur residents to have been qualified as P.E.R.N.

The Dolphin's Bell set during the First Pass, at the same time as "Dragonsdawn", explains how the dolphins interact with the humans on P
It's many years since I read one of these Pern books. This wasn't as enjoyable as I remember previous ones being. Maybe it's because this is really 4 unconnected stories. The first 3 are fairly interesting but the last one really adds nothing. The first 3 stories are about the early years of the settlement. The last one is about a small group of settlers led by a greedy, bitter old man
Second in the chronological-order undertaking. A very nice collection of stand-alone stories that slot in nicely between/concurrently with events in Dragonsdawn. A few mildly odd ret-cons (what's with the Michael/Mihall thing?) but overall very satisfying.
Pretty fairly decent collection of longish short stories. Wha? I mean that there's only 4 stories, so a couple of them are more like novellas. Main criticism is that if you haven't already read a ton of the books in the series, you'll be pretty lost here. (Minor criticism is a boring love story that hijacks an otherwise interesting story about fleeing a massive volcanic eruption.) The stories do technically stand on their own, but if you don't realize what kind of context they're supposed to fit ...more
One of McCaffrey's later Pern additions, this is a set of short stories based around the founding of the planet Pern. Most of these are decent additions to the novel Dragonsdawn, in which she shows long-time fans the early days on Pern before the dragons came to be. "Second Weyr", the foundation story of Benden Weyr, is probably the best thing in here. The dolphin story bored me to tears, I'm afraid, and "The Ford of Red Hanrahan" was only a little bit better in that it was also a foundation sto ...more
The history of Pern was pretty thoroughly sketched out in the original books; honestly I don't think there's enough to say about it to make it much of a story. The (sadly) usual dose of weird sexism and kind of not-exactly-consensual sex made me grit my teeth through some parts.
I liked this better than most Pern books. I think McCaffrey is in her best form when she writes short stories.

As an aside, a previous reviewer mentioned warnings for younger readers because the book has homosexual references. I think there was one sentence that off-handedly mentioned that blue (or green?) male riders had a preference for partners of a same-sex orientation. It was definitely not any more specific than that. I think the public receives more exposure to gay relationships in the ave
It was fun to see more of the story of how the once space-faring society adapts to a very different level of technological ability. Torene's story was fun, but the rescue one at the end was kind of creepy in the abandoned-by-all-known-humans way.
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  • The People of Pern
  • The Atlas of Pern
  • The Dragonlover's Guide to Pern
  • Anne McCaffrey's Dragonflight #3
  • Dragonholder: The Life and Dreams (So Far) of Anne McCaffrey
  • A Dragon-Lover's Treasury of the Fantastic
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  • Elvenborn (Halfblood Chronicles, #3)
  • Traitor's Sun (Darkover, #26)
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Anne McCaffrey was born on April 1st, 1926, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, at 1:30 p.m., in the hour of the Sheep, year of the Fire Tiger, sun sign Aries with Taurus rising and Leo mid-heaven (which seems to suggest an early interest in the stars).

Her parents were George Herbert McCaffrey, BA, MA PhD (Harvard), Colonel USA Army (retired), and Anne Dorothy McElroy McCaffrey, estate agent. She had two
More about Anne McCaffrey...

Other Books in the Series

Pern (Publication Order) (1 - 10 of 25 books)
  • Dragonflight (Pern, #1)
  • Dragonquest (Pern, #2)
  • Dragonsong (Harper Hall, #1)
  • Dragonsinger (Harper Hall, #2)
  • The White Dragon (Pern, #3)
  • Dragondrums (Harper Hall, #3)
  • Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern (Pern, #7)
  • Nerilka's Story (Pern, #8)
  • The Girl Who Heard Dragons (Pern (Publication Order), #8.5)
  • Dragonsdawn (Pern, #9)

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