Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dragonsdawn (Pern, #9)” as Want to Read:
Dragonsdawn (Pern, #9)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


(Pern (Chronological Order) #1)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  31,651 ratings  ·  548 reviews

The beautiful planet Pern seemed a paradise to its new colonists - until unimaginable terror turned it into hell. Suddenly deadly spores were falling like silver threads from the sky, devouring everything - and everyone - in their path. It began to look as if the colony, cut off from Earth and lacking the resources to combat the menace, was doomed.

Then some of the colonist

Hardcover, 384 pages
Published December 12th 1988 by Ultramarine Publishing Company (first published October 1st 1988)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Dragonsdawn, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Adrian Rose Actually, the mixup of names is in my copy of the book as well, and it is a paper copy. I think there was probably a problem with either the editor or…moreActually, the mixup of names is in my copy of the book as well, and it is a paper copy. I think there was probably a problem with either the editor or the original manuscript that no one caught. However, those little things doesn't detract from the story. It's still fantastic.(less)
Eragon by Christopher PaoliniThe Hobbit or There and Back Again by J.R.R. TolkienEldest by Christopher PaoliniBrisingr by Christopher PaoliniDragonflight by Anne McCaffrey
1,153 books — 2,220 voters
Ender's Game by Orson Scott CardDune by Frank Herbert1984 by George OrwellFahrenheit 451 by Ray BradburyBrave New World by Aldous Huxley
Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books
6,576 books — 20,900 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  31,651 ratings  ·  548 reviews

Sort order
Susan Kennedy
Aug 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is one of the series that I read that began to peak my interest in Fantasy. I think this is also the series that began my love of dragons! That was so many years ago that I thought it would be fun to listen to the series while I was at work or while I was crafting. I also decided that I would read them in chronological order this time around. And this series is still wonderful!

This book is about arriving at Pern, settling Pern, thread falling and them creating the dragons. I would not recom
As a child, this was one of my favourite Pern novels, and I can see why.
I can also see why I don't still read Pern.

The strengths, as with a lot of SF, lie mainly in the ideas. The excitement of interstellar colonisation, the hints at a broader future beyond the limits of the Rukbat system, the dragons, and above all the visceral horror of Thread, which at times is really skin-crawling (and saying 'skin-crawling' makes me think about Thread again, and now my skin's crawling...). When the book sw
Sep 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my all time favorite Pern novels. It tells the story of how people came to Pern to colonize the planet, how the first appearance of Thread almost destroyed them and the measures they took to survive. It is a wonderful story that includes the creation of the Dragons from the fire lizards, some of the top people that locations were named after, and a view of how a lot of the culture and traditions began. I love the science that is included in this book, but I don't think it is so "s ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I think this is my favorite of all the Pern books. It's especially satisfying to read after the original trilogy - it explains how things got they way they did. It's fascinating to reflect on what would cause a high-technology, space travelling society to revert to a feudalistic state.
Mar 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Confession: this one is a re-read for me. However, I started reading McCaffery in my teens, and I suspect I was about 20 when I read this one. I figure that 20 years or so down the road still counts as "reading". I must say that time gives perspective; I recall thoroughly enjoying McCaffery in my teens, and being entranced by her world of dragons that were more than simply goad-hoarding, fire-breathing monsters. Looking back now, I suspect that on some level, my enjoyment came out of the fact th ...more
Gere Lewis
Nov 09, 2012 rated it liked it
This is the story of how people came to Pern, the discovery of threadfall, and the genesis of the dragons.

The first 47 pages of this book contained some of the most boring sentences that I have ever read. The entire time they are on the spaceship, I didn't care. I can sum up the first 47 pages for you right now:

A bunch of colonists get in a spaceship and fly far enough away that there is only enough fuel for it to be a one way trip. As they approach Pern they start waking everybody out of hyper
Jessica (The Psychotic Nerd)
Anne McCaffrey is my mom's all-time favorite author, so she pushed this book onto me. I knew this was not the first book in the series, but she assured me that it shouldn't matter. This book takes place in the beginning of the timeline, with the people traveling to and colonizing Pern. I still had a hard time getting into it. There were so many characters for me to keep track of and there wasn't a whole lot happening at parts. I get the feeling that those who read the other books would not have ...more
I love this book sooooo much. I love Sorka and Sean so much. I didn't forget that that, but it's been years and years since I read it, so I was primed to fall in love all over again. I listened to it as an audiobook, which is usually something that takes me a while to get through, but I did not want to stop listening.

(It does not entirely hold up to the test of time, though. McCaffrey's non-hero women aren't portrayed in the best light. And the science and tech is now dated.)
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-read
Weer een geweldig boek in deze serie waarbij we helemaal teruggaan naar het begin van het verhaal. Een grote groep mensen komen naar de planeet Pern omdat zij een nieuwe maatschappij willen oprichten waar meer gelet wordt op zelfredzaamheid en een minder technische manier van leven. Dus veel landbouw en veeteelt. Het verhaal is spannend en ook het ontstaan van de eerste draken is fijn om te lezen. Een 9 maar hier een 10.
Feb 24, 2019 rated it liked it
The scope, storyline, and writing were all impressive.

However, there was an excess of profanity; that really brought it down.
Feb 17, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Those looking for something a little different in their sci-fi.
Shelves: reviewed, scifi, own, dragons
When the colonists first landed on the untouched, uninhabited world of Pern, they thought they had finally found the place they sought...a tranquil, serene new world that would allow them to create their own civilization, far away from the reaches of war and corruption that scarred their old worlds. As they threw themselves completely into the creation of the new colony, they were unaware that they were about to face an enemy more sinister than they could have anticipated. Several years after th ...more
Aug 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I have loved this series but this one really came to a stall for me about halfway through. I was eager to read about the initial colonization of Pern and how they bonded with the dragonets (fire lizards) and dragons for the first time. Maybe there was too much going on that it was distracting. Human dramas, figuring out how to live together & the best places to live, dealing with volcanos, the deadly & ecologically devastating Threadfall and wanting to know the source, engineering dragon ...more
Fredrick Danysh
As colonist settle the new planet they call Pern they run into several obstacles. First is a space parasite they will call thread that destroys all organic material. Then they have settled in a volcano zone. To counter thread the settlers will bio-engineer flying dragons. This is a great read.
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was a re-read. The Pern books got me though adolescence. Everyone needs to read at least one!
Aug 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, dragons, 1980s
Dragonsdawn is one of the best Pern books I have read so far. Even with that it's still 3 stars, as the series does show its age. In terms of series order with what book happened first in the timeline, Dragonsdawn, as its name suggests is at the very beginning.

Dragonsdawn describes the first colonists on Pern and their discovery of the disastrous Thread, and the development of telepathic Thread-fighting dragons. It is focused more on action, rather than character development.

It's interesting tha
Cécile C.
Jul 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Disclaimer: this is my first Pern book. So if the whole point of it is supposed to be in inside jokes about the world of Pern and casual explanations of the little details of the world-building of the other books, then I've missed it. This is going to be a review of the book as a standalone.

My overall impression is a decided "Meh". The world-building is okay. There's a certain levity of tone and plot I found entertaining. The details of the creation of the dragons are fine. And... that's about i
Aug 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Re-read most recently September 2018

RE-READ: Dragons and Jetpacks Buddy Read

I don't think that I can fully express my love for this book and for the world of Pern in general. Every time I read one of Anne's Pern books I am overcome with an inexpressible longing for dragons to be real and to 'impress' one. In fact, I think I would even be happy with fire-lizards... instead of being the crazy old cat lady, I would be the crazy old dragon lady, but you know, that would be ok, because I would have d
Feb 05, 2012 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been wanting to reread this series for a while and I have finally started the fantastic journey again! <3 I prefer to read the series chronologically so I start with this book then move into the main arc.

These books get better every time I read them. They seem to get deeper as I better understand them as I get older.

This book is fantastic if you've read the story before as you can really pick up on all the connections in the other books and you finally get a history to the world of Pern.
...Dragonsdawn is a prequel of sorts and I guess to an extend is suffers from the problems many of these books almost inevitably run in to. The outcome is known, the solution to the threat the colony faces is obvious, the colonists' loss of their technological base a certainty. I guess that problem is what really tips the scale for me. Compared to Dragonsflight, McCaffrey's writing has matured a lot but with a more or less predictable story and the book's tendency to jump from one character to t ...more
Jan 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
I actually wanted to like this book. I've heard some good things about the Pern series and Anne McCaffrey over the years. Unfortunately, this prequel to the original Dragonriders of Pern books is nothing if not uninteresting.

The plot is good: it is the story of the early colonists as they land on Pern and their adaptation to the new planet. Sadly, McCaffrey's writing is often plodding, many if not most of the characters are uninteresting and don't rise above two-dimensions, and the few exciting
Leah Alvord
May 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is the single most important book in my entire personal library because this is the one that introduced me to Anne McCaffrey's wondrous world of Pern. When I had first picked up this book, it was near the top of a stack of books I had sitting beside my bed. The stack started at books I thought I would find less interesting and proceeded downward to those I thought would be more to my new-to-the-fantasy-genre taste. I could not have been more wrong.

Treasured perhaps above any of my books is
Mar 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: dad, fantasy
Having recently finished 'The White Dragon', in which the current residents of Pern have just uncovered an area formerly settled in the distant past, this was a good follow-up. I enjoyed learning why and how the first settlers came to Pern, and to get the back-story filled in. I was disappointed in how many great characters got killed off willy-nilly, often so abruptly whacked and forgotten that it made my head spin. I feel like many of the characters set up to be major ones in subsequent books ...more
A good, solid space opera/new colony story. It's interesting how some of the sci fi still feels fresh, but some of it is so dated (book tapes! Dials on the shuttle!). And introducing Earth flora and fauna seems like a really bad idea, ecology-wise. What if you ruin the planet? You purposefully set it up so there's no way off!

McCaffrey seems to make a point of address many of the issues of the first Pern books (lack of women in positions of authority, sexism, lack of POCs), which makes sense bec
Karen’s Library
Out of all of the Dragonriders of Pern books (and trust me, I've read all 24 of them, some many, many times), Dragonsdawn is my favorite!

In Dragonsdawn, the book starts with the original colonists seeing Pern for the first time from space and going through the trevails of settling on a brand new world.

After 8 years, their first threadfall hits and instead of defeat, the colonists rally and do what's necessary to survive. They also create the dragons for future generations to fight thread.

I love
Dec 26, 2014 rated it liked it
I enjoyed re-reading this tale about the original settlement of Pern. It's an interesting twist to go back in Pernese time and yet forward in ours.

I thrilled with the first Impression, the first flight, the first going between, the first fight against Thread. I loved seeing where some of he Pernese place-names came from.

Like many Pern books, it's pretty plot-driven, without much in-depth character development. This book perhaps even more so because it covers such a span of years.

I was seriously
Amalia Dillin
Dec 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romantic
Rereading Moreta and Nerilka made me want to start at the beginning again--Dragonsdawn holds up just as well as those two, I think. And it's a lot more science fiction than the chronologically later books in the series, which feel more like science fantasy at times. This sets up all the history of the colonists and their initial arrival and settlement on Pern, including the genetic engineering of the dragons, as the title suggests.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Dragons & Jetpacks: BR Dragonsdawn - Anne McCaffrey: August 2014 16 36 Aug 07, 2014 01:10PM  
  • The People of Pern
  • The Atlas of Pern
  • The Dragonlover's Guide to Pern
  • Anne McCaffrey's Dragonflight #3
  • Sharra's Exile (Darkover, #21)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)
  • Arrow's Flight (Heralds of Valdemar, #2)
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

Other books in the series

Pern (Chronological Order) (1 - 10 of 25 books)
  • The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall (Pern, #12)
  • Dragonseye (Pern, #14)
  • Dragon's Kin (Pern, #17)
  • Dragon's Fire (Pern, #19)
  • Dragon Harper (Pern, #20)
  • Dragonheart (Pern, #21)
  • Dragonsblood (Pern, #18)
  • Dragongirl (Pern, #22)
  • Dragon's Time (Pern, #23)
  • Sky Dragons (Pern, #24)
“And so we must arm ourselves with tongues of flame.” 2 likes
More quotes…