Anne McCaffrey Mary K. Chelton - Essay

Mary K. Chelton

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[The Ship Who Sang is a very moving novel which] grapples with the concept of the sustained living brain in a very compelling way. Highly recommended for all teens, SF fans or not, this may well have the same emotional appeal as Keyes' Flowers for Algernon.

Mary K. Chelton, "Fiction: 'The Ship Who Sang'," in School Library Journal, an appendix to Library Journal (reprinted from the February, 1970 issue of School Library Journal, published by R. R. Bowker Co./ A Xerox Corporation; copyright © 1970), Vol. 16, No. 6, February, 1970, p. 93.

[After] long years of peace, the Pern people have become lax and the dragon population is almost extinct. This ecological problem is followed by civil war [in Dragonquest] as well as the threatening Threads. [Anne McCaffrey] writes well and is very inventive. Her story, however, is likely to appeal only to those sword-and-sorcery devotees who have the patience to keep track of a big cast of characters.

"Paperbacks: 'Dragonquest'," in Publishers Weekly (reprinted from the April 12, 1971, issue of Publishers Weekly by permission of the critic, published by R. R. Bowker Company, a Xerox company; copyright © 1971 by Xerox Corporation), Vol. 199, No. 15, April 12, 1971, p. 85.

To review ["science fantasy" books] as SF and then to say they fail because they are not SF seems as churlish as dismissing Lear for being an inaccurate historical drama; nevertheless, they grew from the same roots as mainstream SF even though they owe more to The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle….

[Dragonquest] is a sequel to Dragonflight, which won the Hugo Award, itself a confirmation of full SF status…. Yet there is a minimum of SF in the book, barring the traditional nature of the setting…. Setting the story in the future does not make it SF, though. Revealingly, the Pernese have regressed to an Earthly historical era which Miss McCaffrey finds romantically absorbing, and her book is an account of tribal adventurings. They are vividly seen, yet somehow they are wishfully thought rather than imagined, and unless one is gripped by the world of Pern it all seems very safe and cosy.

"'Dragonquest'," in The Times Literary Supplement (© Times Newspapers Ltd. (London) 1973; reproduced from The Times Literary Supplement by permission), No. 3740, November 9, 1973, p. 1377.