from the diary: “Tuesday 1/27/87
“Reading Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern.”
Thursday: “I was sitting in front of Merv’s Little Super on Mendocino Ave [Santa Rosa], waiting for the bus, reading bits of Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern, when I hear a roar, I look up, the bus is sweeping past. … Once, at the beginning of the school year I timed the bus in its circuitous route past Kaiser and County Administration. It always seemed like a long time and I wondered if I could walk to the JC from [the bus stop at] Coddingtown [mall] faster than the bus. The bus timed out to 10 or 12 minutes. Later I timed it walking – that took 17-20 minutes. So I had a chance today of catching that bus. I had a chance. … And, yes, I beat the bus [to Coddingtown]. Not by much. I got there and looked, looked – no bus. I thought sure I’d missed it. But no. It just then crossed Guerneville Road.
“… Finished Moreta this eve with Peanuts [pet cat] lounging quietly and contentedly against me.”
I enjoyed Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series, a sci-fi take on the fantasy of riding dragons. Every seven years this other scary planet passes near Pern and spits a nasty pestilent Thread across the gap. Only the fire breath of the Pernian dragons can burn away the Thread before it digs into the earth and sterilizes it. It seems bit of a stretch to expect a few flapping reptiles to protect an entire planet, but I bought it at the time. After reading Moreta I wondered if my tastes had changed and McCaffrey had always written that badly or if it was just, you know, a bad book. It didn’t make me want to read any more Pern or any more McCaffrey.