This page is part of my What is Science Fiction? site.

Is Pern fantasy?

Anne McCaffrey's Pern books are often a cause of vigorous controversy when people try to draw lines separating fantasy from ScF. A survey of the arguments on each side would be welcome; until someone contributes it, I'll fill in with my own list of features that Pern has, or doesn't have, in common with a "typical" fantasy or ScF world.

But first, let me state my bias: I think McCaffrey has the soul of a fantasy writer, but would like to be known as a science fiction writer, as long as she doesn't have to learn any science. OK, this is harsh; and I get it from reading only the first three Pern books, the first two Killashandra books, and To Ride Pegasus. However, a friend of mine offers what I think is an even harsher view: that McCaffrey is really a romance writer who likes to use fantasy or science fiction settings.

Why Pern is like fantasy

Why Pern is unlike fantasy

Why Pern is like ScF

Why Pern is unlike ScF


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