So has anyone else been following the Pern deconstructions over at the Slacktiverse?
Fair warning #1: I’m not sure how to find the beginning of them. There doesn’t seem to be an index page or anything listing Pern deconstruction posts in order. I could be wrong. Go digging, though, and they’ve deconstructed The Original Trilogy (Dragonflight/Dragonquest/The White Dragon), the Harperhall Trilogy (Dragonsong, Dragonsinger, Dragondrums), a few of the short stories, and they’re currently on Moreta.
Fair warning #2: The deconstructions aren’t always particularly kind to Pern (or Anne). Which isn’t surprising, given that to a large degree they hold books written in the Sixties to the standards of the whatever-we’re-calling-this-decade.
I don’t always agree with the critique, and I often find myself irritably answering questions the deconstructors ask (before realising that I’m doing so with the benefit of having been reading Pern for 25 years, and that actually, sometimes those are VERY GOOD questions for someone to ask who’s never read anything beyond the actual canon novels; no DLG, no Anne-terviews, no forum discussions about dragon size or Impression theory or why greens don’t clutch).
But there’s a lot of very pertinent commentary about all manner of things that, when I first read Pern as a pre-teen, I just ignored or accepted – but as an adult, and as a Pern fan fiction writer, I’ve thought about much harder. Having written some 750,000 words of Dragonchoice, which in its own way deconstructs some of the popular tropes – mating flights are fun! the right girl always Impresses the queen! Weyrleaders are always romantic partners! – it’s been fascinating to read analysis of Pern that comes from a different angle than fandom.
Your mileage will almost certainly vary, though. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Continue to Dragonflight: early instalment weirdness a-gogo