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

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  12,881 Ratings  ·  179 Reviews
Here are five gripping episodes of early Pern -- from the very first space survey recommending colonisation, to the last, where the early world, its young dragon culture undetected, is condemned to be isolated in space.

Here is the saga of the mass evacuation from the volcanic southern continent, an entire group of people moved across the dangerous seas, guarded and guided
Paperback, 288 pages
Published November 10th 1994 by Corgi (first published October 1993)
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Eragon by Christopher PaoliniThe Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienEldest by Christopher PaoliniBrisingr by Christopher PaoliniDragonflight by Anne McCaffrey
79th out of 1,028 books — 1,994 voters
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. RowlingMemoirs of a Geisha by Arthur GoldenA Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
Best Books of the Decade: 1990's
264th out of 2,129 books — 2,642 voters

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Community Reviews

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May 18, 2011 Swallowfeather rated it liked it
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
Dec 21, 2007 Dawnetta rated it liked it
Shelves: 14-and-up
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.
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
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.
Kathy Davie
Jan 31, 2015 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
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
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
Feb 20, 2016 Dj rated it liked it
So after the elegant wrap up to the series this book came out. Not a single story, but a series of short stories. All of the stories in this book take place prior to the original start of the series and involve things like why Dragon Riders have their names contracted, How Ruatha Hold got its name, as well as an actual rescue attempt by the civilized part of the galaxy.

A nice read, fun and worth taking a look at.
Nov 18, 2015 Suz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, audio, scifi
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.
Oct 18, 2014 Erika rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
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.
Amanda R
Man, I love Pernese history. Especially from back in the day when Anne was still good at it.
Nov 20, 2016 Lana rated it really liked it
I think I should have read this book before the other three which I read though I still cannot make sense of the reading list in order. I did enjoy reading about the way the people had first settled in the south, the volcanic eruption and the exodus to the north all guided and protected by a great flotilla of dolphins, this was awesome as was also the setting up of the new holds of which I had read so much in the other books, the beginning of ruatha, benden and the dragon weyrs and the shortened ...more
Nov 16, 2016 S-S-Long rated it really liked it
A lovely selection of short stories, detailing early episodes in the history of Pern. They were a good mix of sci-fi and fantasy; while all the stories were enjoyable, my favourite was 'Second Weyr', as this one focussed more on the dragons. (the other stories didn't, as such.) This is another book that I'll be enjoying again in the future.
Nov 14, 2016 Aj rated it really liked it
These short stories that explain much of the history of Pern make me want to find the time to reread the whole series again.
Cindy Monroe
Nov 26, 2016 Cindy Monroe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fills in first pass info

This is a group of short stories that picks up at the end of the second crossing. It includes the founding of my favorite hold and wyer.
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
Sep 20, 2016 Kate rated it it was amazing
Anne McCaffrey is the quintessential writer of fantasy books pertaining to dragons. These books are always wonderful, well written, and perfectly characterized. All of her series are great but the ones that take place on Pern are the best of all. Usually I do not particularly enjoy short stories but I love all the stories in this book without reservation.
Feb 07, 2013 Al added it
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

Mar 03, 2015 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 10, 2010 Kristine rated it really liked it
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
Dec 09, 2015 Casey rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-fiction, sci-fi
I fell into this series with Dragonflight and Dragonsong, both of which challenge sexism to some degree. I hoped to find similar feminist themes in the rest of the Pern series; so far, however, I have been sadly disappointed. The Chronicles of Pern in particular expanded heavily on the sexism McCaffrey ladled into her other pre-core Pern books. The sexism was made even more painful because I felt so empowered by the first books I read. Honestly, these early stories feel like an immense betrayal. ...more
Jerry Miller
May 31, 2015 Jerry Miller rated it liked it
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 ...more
Mar 09, 2015 Matthew rated it liked it
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'
Nov 04, 2010 Sharon rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2010
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 ...more
Jan 07, 2016 TheAromaofBooks rated it really liked it
This book is actually a collection of five short stories, all set during the early days of Pernese history. Each of them was well-crafted and engaging. I found myself wishing that I had read this book directly following Dragonsdawn . The beginning of the book includes a timeline of the first 28 years of settlement on Pern, and places the three stories that occur during this time in their appropriate location. This was definitely a necessary aid to understanding how these stories fit into the ove ...more
Jul 07, 2015 Theresa rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy, space
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
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
Apr 18, 2014 Vicki Jaeger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 31, 2010 Nick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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  • The People of Pern
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Anne McCaffrey was born on April 1st, 1926, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Her parents were George Herbert McCaffrey, BA, MA PhD (Harvard), Colonel USA Army (retired), and Anne Dorothy McElroy McCaffrey, estate agent. She had two brothers: Hugh McCaffrey (deceased 1988), Major US Army, and Kevin Richard McCaffrey, still living.

Anne was educated at Stuart Hall in Staunton Virginia, Montclair High Scho
More about Anne McCaffrey...

Other Books in the Series

Pern (Publication Order) (1 - 10 of 24 books)
  • Dragonflight (Dragonriders of 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)
  • Dragonsdawn (Pern, #9)
  • The Renegades of Pern (Pern, #10)

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