Book Review: Anne McCaffrey’s The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall

Posted February 21, 2015 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Anne McCaffrey’s The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall

The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall


Anne McCaffrey

It is part of the , , , , series and is a fantasy, omnibus, science fiction, short stories that was published by Del Rey Books on October 1994 and has 305 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Dragonflight, The Masterharper of Pern

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 fascinating account of how the danger the colonists will face was missed — even in books, people suffer from the accountants! McCaffrey also was a horrible tease, giving me just a taste of what might be causing Thread.

The Dolphins’ Bell” recounts the dolphins’, dolphineers’, and sailors’ perspectives on the evacuation of Landing when Garben is getting ready to blow. I loved the interaction of the dolphins with their human counterparts! They love this new game the humans thought up for them.

The Ford of Red Hanrahan” is about the establishment of Ruatha Hold and includes the origin of its name as well as the truth behind that “front door”. An event that’s discussed in here triggers the start of the fostering system and the basis for the Harper Hall.

There are 500 dragonriders now with Sorka and Sean as the weyrleaders at Fort.

The Second Weyr” occurs 28 years after their landing and sees the establishment of Benden Weyr and how dragonriders are sorted out. It also sees the tradition of how a weyrleader is chosen established. It’s fascinating to read of how they plan this weyr out and decide what will go where. Although, I felt McCaffrey spent too much time on Torene’s whining on about wanting to grab that bit of land for the weyr. This story sets up the tithing process as well.

Rescue Run” is in answer to Ted Tubberman’s beacon and exploration and experimentation discovers the source of Thread. But it’s that nasty Stev Kimmer and his “family’s” beliefs that will leave the rest of the colonists abandoned.

It doesn’t sound as if the spaceships of this time period are all that sophisticated if they have to be so careful about lining up their shuttle with the ship or be left behind. They certainly did a lousy job of exploring the planet. I mean, hullo, if the Kimmer “family” has been reduced to a pre-tech lifestyle, how would young Benden expect to get radio signals from any survivors? Nor can I believe that Benden and crew could possibly not consider the possibility that Kimmer and company are smuggling more aboard on their persons. I mean, duhhh. A fascinating story with one aspect of the ending that pleased me (eek!) but it primarily left me annoyed.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a golden yellow sky with purple cliffs and a purple and orange dragon mixed with futuristic stonecutters and flying suits. A blend of Pern’s past and its future.

The title is about the early records of the events that shaped the future of Pern and its stranded colonists, The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall.