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The Coelura

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  2,772 ratings  ·  64 reviews
The Lady Caissa, heir to the Ambassador of the Federated Sentient Planets to the world Demeathorn, had grown up knowing that she owed her sire obedience and unconditional loyalty. She was expected to do her duty, even to the extent of entering into a marriage alliance she did not understand with a man she despised. Lady Caissa, beautiful, rich, and well-educated, had never ...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published September 22nd 1992 by Random House Value Publishing (first published 1983)
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3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,772 ratings  ·  64 reviews

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The Captain
Feb 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Ahoy there me mateys! I am assuming that most of me crew has heard of Anne McCaffrey. I read a lot of her work when I was a younger lass. So when I was perusing some used books that be for sale, I snagged a copy of this short novel. I had never heard of it and it has a funny looking cat like creature on the cover. The edition I picked up was published by Tor in 1987. It is a hardback and part of its appeal were the 50 black and white illustrations by Ned Dameron.

It is an odd little snippet of a
Apr 27, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
This is a short illustrated novella. The drawings are outstanding and better in my opinion than the book itself. The book was certainly well written and many might find it very enjoyable. The story struck me more as a young adult novel, and there's nothing wrong with that. But the tale was really a very simple love story that didn't engage me strongly.
The first time I read this I must have been 12 or 13. I know I picked it up because the cover reminded me of one of my favorite comics A Distant Soil (and rereading now, I can see some other superficial similarities).

Its a short novella, made shorter by at least a dozen pictures (a few of which are double page spreads) depicting various scenes. For instance when Caissa is being desressed by her faithful servant Trin, we are shown this:
(not my image by the by, taken from here: http://www.thebook
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
This is the tale of the Lady Caissa, body-heir to Baythan (who has too many titles to repeat here), and her coming of age on the planet of Demeathorn. It depicts a very stylised, stilted society bound by rigid rules - especially when it comes to procreation. Body-heir contracts can be extensive and have clauses that can reverberate down the years.

When Baythan demands that Caissa consider a body-heir contract with a certain man, Caissa is determined to find out why. Her search - and frustrations
Sasha Strader
Dec 28, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Ridiculously simplistic from a writer who usually weaves such realistic worlds. The length, I'm sure, is part of it: this book is tiny. There is, though, almost no character development and the story line staggers like a drunkard.
Grace Troxel
This review originally appeared on my blog, Books Without Any Pictures:

The Coelura by Anne McCaffrey is a novella-length space opera about fashion, contracts, and alien life forms. It reminds me a little bit of the Kill La Kill anime, except pulpier and not quite as developed.

Contracts are very important in the world of Demeathorn. Rather than marriage, people enter into short-term contracts in order to conceive heirs. Caissa is the body heir to the Ambass
Oct 19, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: science-fiction
This was a very short novel that seemed to be written more to give words to the artwork (nothing special, and not in color) accompanying the story. The story itself had some serious shortfalls, was implausible, and was extremely time-worn. How many times has the plot device of a forced marriage been used to motivate a character to begin her quest? Add one more to that ever growing list. Luckily, while on her quest the lead character met her true love, and was later able to convince Daddy to give ...more
Melissa (ladybug)
Sep 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: SciFi lovers
Her father wants Lady Caissa to consider an aliance with someone she does not like at all. When Lady Caissa goes hunting to take her mind off her problems, she meets someone that makes her wonder what could be. Lady Caissa also will meet the Coelura. A species that makes clothes that are thought to be legend and if it is found, they will be hunted to extinction.

I enjoyed this short story. Most of the pages were drawings and the sentences were simple. It reminded me more of a beginner's chapter
Ashleah Younker
May 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
My first Anne McCaffrey book, I read this in 2 hours one night when I couldn't sleep.

It was a great read, and I will definitely be reading more from this author. There were parts that made me laugh a little bit out loud, but the entire story just transfixed me. I can't really explain why.
Gail Carriger
An oldie but a goodie. This is a novella length book with wonderful pictures included throughout, is a space opera mixed with highly class driven society romance. It's all about fashion, in the end. Which is probably why I love it so.
Apr 01, 2016 rated it did not like it
Too many illustrations, some of which were sultry, and not enough story. Easily the worst book I've read from this author.
Apr 10, 2008 rated it it was ok
Felt like the story was rushed and summarized.

As if it was a high school/college writing.

Cute story though, wish it had more to it.
I loved this short quick book with all the pictures throughout it showing scenes from the story. There was almost a picture every other page in parts of the book and sometimes every 4-6pages. The story was well thought out, no pesky plot holes here. The only thing that left me wanting was the very end, why was everyone acting like the womb-mother wasn't happy in getting exactly what she had wanted for so long? That part was never explained, and did leave you hanging at the end in wondering why s ...more
Jul 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Not my favorite of Anne McCaffrey's. This is a short illustrated novella, probably fits in best as a YA, although the protagonist is 20. If it had been written by any other author, I would have said s/he was trying to hard to make the reader believe in the society and world being described. I don't expect that from this author, so I don't know why the writing style was so off-putting to me. The many illustrations did not improve the story for me either: the style was a bit 80's (when this was or ...more
I had never heard of this McCaffrey story, but I found a lovely, illustrated hardcover edition at a second hand bookstore, and I couldn't pass it up. The story itself was of middling interest, but it was worth reading for the illustrations alone, which were 80's fantasy imagery at it's best, fairytale-esque and psychedelic. (Now I have to go seek more of Ned Dameron's art, to see if it's all as glorious as these were.)

So, 4 stars for the reading experience and art, 3 stars for the story. (My us
Jul 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Not a whole lot going on in this story, and it's mercifully short on order to make that OK. I think this would work well for a bedtime story for a child (I read it in bed and it was a relaxing sort of simple), but there's not much to chew on for an adult.
Amanda Rosenberger
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
The illustrations were much better than this novella. I’ll read just about anything by Anne, but this just isn’t her best work
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very cute book. Seems more for younger readers, but I enjoyed the story nevertheless. A nice little Sci Fantasy piece. Easy to read in one sitting.
Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
I love McCaffrey but I'm not sure what I just read. What a mess.
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Beautiful little book. I wish I had a dress spun by the coelura. Or just a Murell.
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The original art is a lot of fun and it takes almost no time to read. This is a great one for romantics.
Zoe's Human
An illustrated fantasy-romance novella. Not really my thing, but the world is created with McCaffrey's usual creative world-building.
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Just a short novella with interesting pictures. The world building needed more pages to expand but very different.
Kenneth Flusche
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Strange but interesting read
Adrian Rose
Dec 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Once upon a time, on the planet of Demeathorn, there lived a lifeform called the coelura. These fabulous musical creatures had the talent of producing a fabric that could shape itself into whatever outfit was desired, and even changed color to match its wearer’s mood. Unfortunately, human hunger for coelura fabric was so insatiable that it drove these magnificent creatures into extinction. The demise of the coelura caused an entire city to be abandoned, and the places where they lived to be inte ...more
Brian Schiebout
Mar 18, 2014 rated it liked it
The Coelura by Anne McCaffrey is a young adult science fiction romance set in the Crystal Universe. The main character of the story is Lady Caissa who is heir to the Ambassador of the Federated Sentient Planets to the planet of Demeathorn. She has spent her entire life on this rustic world where hunting is the main form of entertainment with her father who enjoys the hunt. However she realizes that something is wrong on her world when she hears a reference to the coelura. As she investigates the ...more
Douglas Milewski
Sep 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Coelura (1987) is a novella first published by Anne McCaffrey in 1983. The romance is a throwback to the pop SF of the 50's and 60's, with great regard to form and little regard to function. There's nothing amazing about the story, but it's an entertaining enough romance and an absolute representative gem of retro fiction. (Arguably, since Anne got her start with this sort of fiction, for her it isn't retro at all, just a little misplaced in era.)

Accompanying the story are some gorgeous ink
Sep 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
This was a pleasant sci-fi short story (if I read it in less than an hour it's not a novella, no matter what anyone claims). I thought, given its limited length, that the author did a nice job of concisely explaining the politics on this mythical planet in a believable fashion, and then making the story of product of that. However, I never felt emotionally attached to any of the characters, which is probably because it was such a short story.

Side note: both the edition I read and the edition to
A sweet little novella.

I was confused at points, but that was mostly due to listening to it while at work. I know I own the book, which I would love to see the images that go with the story, I shall have to make sure I reread it when I get my books out of storage.

I didn't dislike the main characters.
It was a nice YA/New Adult short story.

Though I think my only gripe, was it felt like the main character was getting most of her information on assumptions... either that, or I missed something.
Jun 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Read like a short story rather than a novel due to its length. It was very sparse on background/world details, just kind of throws you into (which can be nice). I felt the conflict was kind of thin and just kind of "wrapped up," which also contributed to the short-story feel (even though I know many short stories are anything but).

It reminded me of "Nerilka's Story" in that it felt like a side character/side plot was fleshed out, but "Nerilka's Story" is much better.
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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
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