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Decision at Doona

(Doona #1)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  4,517 ratings  ·  103 reviews
A fateful encounter between star-roving races by the author of the bestselling Dragonriders of Pern series!

After the first human contact with the Siwannese, that entire race committed mass suicide. So the Terran government made a law--no further contact would be allowed with sentient creatures anywhere in the galaxy. Therefore Doona could be colonized only if an official s
Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 12th 1987 by Del Rey Books (first published April 1969)
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Average rating 3.77  · 
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The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon)
Here's another one that was written pre-Dragon-Flight.

I read this a long time ago and enjoyed it. This is the one written by Anne McCaffrey, not by someone else with thair name placed next to her's. It was one of three Anne McCaffrey stories that I remember as Science Fiction from McCaffrey. That made this different from her Dragon Rider (Pern) Series. Which i liked, but not more than this and the Dinasaur Planet series.

This is from the same vein, albeit older, as Coyote by Alan Steele . It's
Allynn Riggs
May 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Now this is the type of science fiction I love. Published in 1969 it looks at possible solutions to an overcrowded, bored, unenthusiastic world(s). McCaffrey also looks at the problems with non-resident government making ALL the decisions with few or none of the facts - even not believing the facts they are given or that the government may be incorrect. Adherence to rules absolutely also can get you into trouble so when things get out of control you have to punt and do the best you can. Sometime ...more
Karen GoatKeeper
Before dragons Anne McCaffrey wrote many other scifi books. Decision At Doona was one of these.
What happens when two sentient species find themselves colonizing the same planet?
Both species come from overpopulated, paranoid planets where most people are too apathetic to dare any adventure. Both species come from planets where almost the only life forms left are they themselves.
Todd is any parent's nightmare. He wants to be loud when rules call for quiet. He wants to run when rules call for mince
Oct 20, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
re-read again 10/8/2013
LG (A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions)
I’ve read many of Anne McCaffrey’s books, but for some reason I never got around to her Doona books. This first one primarily stars Ken Reeve. Earth is enormously overcrowded, so Ken is excited to learn that Doona, a planet uninhabited by intelligent sentient beings, has been discovered and that he and his family have been picked to be some of the first colonists.

The “uninhabited by intelligent sentient beings” part is important. Two hundred years earlier, a botched first contact situation led
Douglas Milewski
Jul 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Decision at Doona was published in 1969 byAnne McCaffrey, In this book, two races, both living on overcrowded world, decide to live on the same pastoral planet at the same time. Once they discover each other, both are wary, but quickly learn to overcome their differences. However, each believes that only misery will come from cohabiting with another race, and their laws forbid it. If not for the out-of-control and headache inducing son of the main character, all might be thrown to ruin.

Due warni
Dec 26, 2015 rated it liked it
After a long period of accidentally reading the second of the series without reading the first, I am only know reading Decisions at Doona. Being a long term fan of Anne McCaffrey. my opinion is that it's a pretty good book, but okay for her. It's not her best book, but I have read quite a few worse. The beginning felt a little choppy, like it was missing chapters or at least needed a slightly more detail to fill in the big time jumps they had. At one point the main character just found out that ...more
Lynnda Ell
Sep 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Decision at Doona, written by Anne McCaffrey in 1969, tells the story of two distopian worlds whose citizens accidently colonize the same world. Even after 39 years, this story captivates the reader with the the confusion that can come from two law-abiding groups when neither set of laws allows for the existence of the other. The story of how they get beyond confusion and politics to forge a dynamic new community is satisfying without being sacchrine. This book is still fun to read.
Altivo Overo
May 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: furry fans, science fiction fans
Recommended to Altivo by: @Hrrunka of course
Early McCaffrey at her best. This book is a classic so I will not say much other than that I had not read it until now. A must for the furry audience in my opinion. And I will certainly hunt down the other two books in the series, written and released much later in the author's career. ...more
Jul 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Good for what it is, but still not one of Anne McCaffrey's best. ...more
I really wanted to like this book more than I did. I'm a huge Anne McCaffrey fan, and I thought I'd long since read the vast majority of her bibliography. When I was hunting for a book published in a specific year for a reading challenge I came across Decision at Doona and realized I never had read this one. I was pretty excited to find a new (to me) Anne McCaffrey book - I love both her straight sci-fi books and her sci-fantasy books (even if she would have said they were all sci-fi)!

Anyhow, th
Hanna  (lapetiteboleyn)
Before the dragons of Pern, Anne McCaffrey wrote several sci-fi novels, this among them. In that context, it's an interesting read. Even outside of the context there's a lot to be said for the concept of aliens that are distinctly feline. Unfortunately it's so deeply rooted in the misogyny of the time that parts of it were just outright disturbing. Example: the novel finishes with a woman crying because she's pregnant and afraid and the male character goes 'why is she crying?? Is she happy? She ...more
Angel Ludwig
Dec 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
5 star story, 4 star import

Read this first when I was much younger and enjoyed it just as much this time around. 😃 Even remember how peeved I was that she kept calling the veterinarian a veterinary. 😣 Sadly, the scan to import to Kindle wasn’t great. Lots of rn-to-m kinds of things, as well as missing or wrong punctuation (commas to periods and vice versa). Makes parsing structure a pain and blows the reading flow. 😢
Steven Allen
Sep 09, 2019 rated it liked it
An old favorite reread again for the (?) umpteenth time. I had the misfortune of having this and three other paperback McCaffrey books on deployment once, they got read so many times they fell apart.
Jodi G.
Mar 13, 2019 rated it did not like it
tried and failed to separate the plot of the book from the inherent sexism that infuses everything that happens. A reminder of how ingrained gender stereotypes were, a female author wrote a book about the future with no women in leadership positions. All the women were subservient, in need of comforting and consoling, and had to have everything explained to them by men. Tough read.
Apr 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
I love the cats, the Hrrubans. So sophisticated, & advanced enough to approach the human settlers in a non-militaristic way. Far more advanced than humanity will ever be, & not just technologically, although they are attempting it in this piece of fiction. I enjoyed every minute of it & look forward to reading the much later sequels McCaffrey wrote with Jody Lynn Nye, Crisis on Doona & Treaty at Doona.

This is one of McCaffrey's earliest works & has a few time-related issues, but I just enjoyed i
Oct 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
I've never really liked McCaffrey's science fiction stories. They always feel like a sketch more than a painting. Pern, on the other hand, even if you read only one book, feels more vibrant and alive. I can almost taste the klah and bubbly pies. I can feel the dragons humming.

That being said, this is one of McCaffrey's better science fiction tales. Dated, of course, like watching old Star Trek episodes, and technology of today far outstrips anything imagined back in the 60s. But it's kinda fun t
Al "Tank"
Dec 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
If anyone else had written this book, I’d mark it as excellent and give it a good review (oh, I just did?).

But given that Anne McCaffrey, one of the best science fiction writers in the business, wrote it, I have to say it’s a wee bit below her best output. Still an engaging tail (spelling intentional, and a bit of a pun on one of her characters and a piece of rope — read it to find out).

Yes, I enjoyed it. Yes, I’ll reread it again and again over the years. And yes, I recommend it.
Dec 06, 2015 added it
just got the last book in the trilogy so rereading the first and i still enjoy it as well as i did originally. first contact is a common theme for science fiction and this is an interesting look at it,the story flows nicely and the moral fiber of Anne's books always rings true the character development is excellent and she doesn't allow introducing a whole new world and the home planets and there governmental organizations get bogged down in minutia. ...more
Jun 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I'd forgotten how much I enjoy this book. I was originally going to give it a 4, based on what I remembered of reading it before, but after reading it again, the pacing and general plot are just really good in this. I particularly enjoy Todd's character, as it reminds me very much of myself and some of the other kids in my family. Also, cat people are worth a whole star all by themselves. ;) ...more
Salvatore Leone
Oct 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
This sci fi story was written quite a while back but it holds up nicely. Two groups want to colonize the same world and the consequences, an interesting read, with especially vivid characters.
Jan 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. I find something new in it every time I read it. There's a pure enjoyment in the story and then there's appreciation for the ideas contained in this book. ...more
Sep 08, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
I was really surprized to find I enjoyed it as much as I did.
Wendy S. Delmater
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Doona books are not my favorite Anne McCaffrey series--that will forever be the Harper Hall Trilogy--but they're pretty good. A little of the characterization is sort of "on the nose," and you can often guess what's coming next, but Doona is a great world and this is a worthy opening to the trilogy.

Ken Reeve and his wife Pat live on a very overcrowded Earth and endure lesser privileges because their dream is to emigrate to another planet when one opens to colonization. They'd better: their
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
originally published in 1969 and it shows.

To me, the worst aspect of this book was the patriarchal nature of the male/female social roles. And I really don't understand why McCaffrey was stuck there when Andre Norton--a much older writer--had managed to move beyond the culture of the time. But no, Decision at Doona has an all male leadership in both alien and human cultures, while human men do all work outside the home, human women do all the cooking and childrearing, plus there's the classic fe
Javin Stanuary
Jun 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was Anne McCaffrey's third or fourth book, written before her divorce and move to Ireland. It's choppy and disjointed in some parts, with large time jumps. This book could have been 200+ pages longer if she would have gone into greater detail about some things, specifically the initial meeting of the humans and hrrubans.
Other reviews took issue with the treatment of Todd, but all I see is a worn out mother venting her frustration through science fiction. At the time this book was written,
Brown Robin
Jan 13, 2021 rated it liked it
This is a solid humans on an extrasolar colony world story, with the complication of superior ETs establishing their own colony. The political shenanigans are confusing, but the plot is straight forward, the characters are admirable without being incredible, the world is interesting enough but not too interesting. A solid sci-fi entertainment from yesteryear, though the "presence" of wimminfolk in the story is somewhat cursory. (It amuses me that writers often excused the subservient broodmare s ...more
Kate Millin
May 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
An early story and very sexist with male and female roles, but interesting nevertheless. Earth has become so heavily populated there are only a few square miles of country which you can only go to when you have been awarded time. Then a new agricultural planet is released for occupation, and families who have been preparing for this opportunity are happy to have the chance. As the men finish their first winter preparing the site they discover that they are not the only race living on the planet ...more
Sarah Nadler
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
When Todd and his family land on Doona, they think they're alone. Todd is the most "maladjusted" child on Earth (which actually means he's a perfectly healthy, normal human boy his age!) so he does just great as a colonist.

I think its ironic that, although McCaffrey wrote this book decades ago, the underlying message--a scoff at psychiatric mis-labeling of children, is even more apt today.

Read the book. Its cute, its funny, its scifi, its message is real and touching.
John J Sanders
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Found memories

I first read this story when I was a youth. Those days are long past. I write my own novels now and wanted to see how close my style was to this great author. You'll have to check for that answer on your own. But to the point of my review of this story. Like I found it so long ago, it was pleasantly entertaining and subtle upon the social dialogue that Anne was conveying. The characters were interesting and engaging. A great read for all ages.
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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

Other books in the series

Doona (3 books)
  • Crisis on Doona (Doona, #2)
  • Treaty at Doona (Doona, #3)

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