Roots of Pern: "Weyr Search"
by Hans van der Boom
How it all began,
at least where Pern is concerned. Most of you will know that the
book that was later to be published as Dragonflight, was
originally published as three short stories in Analog,
Science Fiction – Science Fact of October 1967 (originally
sold for 60 cents). Anne’s first Pern story "Weyr Search" was a
feature and John Schoenherr made a few illustrations and also
did a cover with, admittedly, a hideous dragon Anne still
chuckles over the rather silly cover because held upside down,
she says, the dragon resembles the male sexual organ…
The magazine isn’t
particularly rare but special in the sense that it holds the
first installment (the other two were published as
Dragonrider part I and II in the December 1967and January
1968 editions) of the Pern stories and books ever. It usually
sells for anything between about $2.50 and $10, depending on the
state. The cover is apt to be damaged (the color print rubs off)
because of the poor quality of paper. These weren’t called pulp
After the story
"Weyr Search" appeared in Analog, the text was heavily
revised for inclusion in the novel Dragonflight.
NOTE: All anthology appearances, and there are quite a few, of
the story use the text that was originally in Analog.
The story was nominated in 1967 for the nebula Award for Best
Novella but it lost to "Behold The Man", by Michael Moorcock. It
was the winner of the 1968 Hugo Award for Best Novella, tying
with "Riders Of The Purple Wage", by Philip Jose Farmer.
It has to take a
place of honour in the collection of every diehard Pern fan!
These are the
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