Magical Mondays: When in Doubt, Destroy Civilization

Nothing quite spices up a universe like some kind of cataclysmic event. Luce has written at length recently about the Dragonriders of Pern series, and it’s a perfect example of the plot device I want to discuss. In this series, a colonizing expedition to a new planet is unexpectedly overwhelmed by an indigenous threat: rain-like silvery spores called Thread that threaten their survival on their new home. The settlers use their highly advanced technology to bioengineer dragons that can withstand and destroy Thread, but as time—entire centuries—goes by, knowledge of the technology is lost.

When we’re introduced to the world in the first Dragonriders book, it’s reverted to a more prototypical fantasy world with medieval levels of scientific advancement and an understanding that the dragons and their powers are the result of magic rather than science. This sort of genre-switching destruction of civilization can be a powerful storytelling device, but it has to be used well to be effective.

What are these magical black rectangles?

What are these magical black rectangles?

Vague, minor spoilers for the new Star Wars movie after the jump.

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Sexualized Saturdays: Good Women Aren’t Like Other Women

dragonflight lessaAs I continue to revisit the Dragonriders of Pern series, I’ve been noticing a lot of questionable things about the way Anne McCaffrey built her world. There’s the fact that dragon hormone sex is very often actually rape, or the fact that McCaffrey has no real understanding of how other sexual orientations work. Both of those might be explained away due to misconceptions of the time in which the books were written (the LGBTQ+ one, at least, has been discussed in some detail throughout the years), but there’s another issue that’s pretty prevalent in the Pern books—something weirdly fundamental.

Spoilers for the series and a trigger warning for brief misogynistic slurs below.

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