The Power of Fantasy: Dragonriders of Pern

June 20, 2008

I while ago I noticed a book lying around the house called “Dragonriders of Pern”. The picture on the cover looked interesting (My usual criteria for choosing any book….If someone put an interesting cover on the “Pediatrician’s Guide to Childhood Nasties” and put it on display at Borders I would buy it) so I picked it up and started reading it.

Here is a short story background:
The setting is a very low-tech feudal society in which an elite ‘knighthood’ are chosen to become the “Dragonriders”. The riders form mental bonds with giant telepathic dragons whose mission is to protect the planet from a radioactive-like ecological menace called ‘thread’ that periodically falls from the sky when the Red Star passes too closely to Pern

I was blown away. This book had a magical power to it unlike any other book I have ever read. It was so mind numbingly stupid and empty of any substance, I found that I could do several things while still reading. I am not one for special super-hero powers, but this book brought me close. For example:

1 – I could watch TV and read at the same time (not even the Flash can do this!). I found that after the last chords to the CSI theme song (the original of course, not some of the knock-offs on nights other than Thursday) had sounded I had read 5 pages AND knew the plot to CSI AND had laughed at Grisom’s one liner. Match that Batman!

2 – I could run 2 miles (treadmill miles so you do the conversion), watch highlights on ESPN AND read whole chapters

Now, I live in a place that has passed a law where mobile phone usage while operating a motorized vehicle is considered capital punishment, so I never tried reading while in the car, but my guess is I could read a good 10 pages EACH direction of my commute, in heavy traffic, and get to work safely.

In my opinion, this power is unmatched by any other book!!


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