Dragonriders of Pern
|Name:||Dragonriders of Pern (book series)|
|Date(s):||1967 - 2011|
|Country of Origin:|
|External Links:||Official Website, Archived version|
Anne & Todd McCaffrey on Amazon.com
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
The series began as a novella called 'Weyr Search' published in the October 1967 issue of Analog, a professionally published science fiction magazine of considerable prestige, edited by John W. Campbell. A second novella, 'Dragonflight', was published in the December issue that same year. 'Weyr Search' won the Hugo for Best Novella, and 'Dragonflight' the Nebula in the same category. Anne McCaffrey is the first woman to win either award, breaking a science fiction glass ceiling.
The two novellas were collected for publication as one novel, Dragonflight. The Pern series continues to this day, with new novels being published by her son, Todd McCaffrey. Fandom is widely derisive of these new novels as being 'non-canonical' and full of unrealistic Mary Sue characters.
Having an organized existence since the late 1960s, Pern fandom is contemporaneous with many older First Fandoms, including Star Trek and remains active. The lure of dragons which cause mindless sex, canonical implied slash, and powerful female characters with archetypal roles help to explain this series' enduring lure to some fans.
Like many science fiction authors of her time, McCaffrey was uncomfortable with fanworks, and the battle over fanwork has shaped fannish practices. Due to pressure from Anne McCaffrey and her heirs, most fannish expression in this fandom involves the creation of original characters using the setting.
Pern was colonized by Earth people who then lost touch with the home planet. A deadly space rain called 'Thread' falls from the sky every two hundred years, devouring what it touches. In response, a race of genetically engineered, telepathic dragons were uplifted from native animals. These dragons soulbond to young humans and together they train to protect Pern by flaming Thread out of the sky. The dragons not only fly, but can also teleport (called "going between") to any place that their rider can clearly visualize.
A Weyr (rhymes with 'here') is a colony of dragons, riders and their support staff organized around the raising and training of dragons to fight Thread. Leadership is decided by mating flight of the senior gold dragon and the bronze dragon fast enough to catch her. The rider of the gold dragon is always a woman and gains the title of Weyrwoman, and the rider of the bronze becomes the Weyrleader. Weyrwomen are responsible for the domestic leadership of the Weyr - keeping tithes coming in, the health and welfare of dragons and riders, and some diplomacy.
Hatching dragons require a human to bond to; otherwise they die. From time to time, the Weyr rides out on 'Search' - a hunt led by experienced dragonriders for teenagers and young adults around Pern with the mental abilities to 'Impress' a dragon.
See Wikipedia for the list of novels in the series.
The handling of the screen rights to the series was a constant process.
The attempts by McCaffrey to sell her franchise to television, movie, and video game producers was a relentless one, beginning in 1978 or before.
The fact that the books were in a nearly-constant legal bargaining process had to have been an influence in how McCaffrey viewed her creation's sale-ability, and the relationships to her fans.
In 1992, McCaffrey said: "The rules are that my characters may be referred to but not used. BUT there can be no adventure/stories set on Pern at all!!!!! That's infringing on my copyright and can bear heavy penalties - particularly right now when there's a film deal (yet another) which has bought and paid for the right to use the material - which, I fear, e-mail users have not.
- Remembering Anne McCaffrey (mentions 1978)
- 10 Stalled Film & TV Adaptations That We Want To See Made (mentions 1983, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2011)
- The Pern Encyclopedia - I, Archived version (mentions 1992)
- SO WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE DRAGONRIDERS OF PERN MOVIE? (mentions 2002 and earlier attempts)
- The Dragonriders of Pern. The Best Series We May Never See Filmed. by WinterRose (June 13, 2014) (mentions 1996, 2002, 2006, 2014, also video game rights in 1983)
Tropes, Trends, and Fanon
In the novels, Pernese children are given names which combine the mother and father's name. Dragonriding men are given an 'honorific' upon impression. The rider's original name is elided with an apostrophe. For example, Fallarnon (son of F'lor and Larna) becomes F'lar. Famanoran (son of F'lor and Manora) became F'nor. Dragons always have names that end in -th.
Some weyr members take fannish names. These could be the names of their favorite self-created character, or in some cases, a Pernese version of their own names.
Fandom RPG clubs have featured heavily in Pern fandom. Originally published in printed fanzines, they moved to online/e-mail format and expanded. The roleplay was usually subject to certain rules, based on Anne McCaffery's own requests regarding fanfic and in the mid 1990s stringent rules were placed on the creation of new clubs and the governance of existing clubs, resulting in legal action against some fans.
Pern fandom has a long and storied history in the text-based MUD/MU* roleplaying community. The first Pern Weyr built on a text-based game was TinyTIM, a social game which opened circa 1990 and is still up and running. As the community developed a stricter RP policy than was considered acceptable for TinyTIM, it branched out into its own game: PernMUSH, also known as NorCon. Famously, a second game called SouCon (representing Pern's other continent) opened up and joined in-game canon with PernMUSH to run concurrent timelines until a split in August 2004.
PernMUSH has two historical importance: as the first 'real' Pern MU*, and because Ambyrl was one of the wizards. (A wizard being a gamemaster with the power to change the code that the game is running on.) For many years, PernMUSH was the testbed of a fork of TinyMUSH mushcode known as PernMUSH. When PernMUSH switched over to TinyMUSH, Ambyrl renamed the codebase PennMUSH, which remains in active development to this day.
By 1999 or so, there were roughly a dozen games that could be considered active.
Throughout much of the late 90s and early 2000s, the McCaffrey family had placed a ban on the opening of new games due to the development of a Pern video game. (This ultimately came out for Dreamcast in 2001.) It should be noted that Anne McCaffrey and her family had a long history of meddling with the fandom - see the infamous tentpeg statement and Pern's Renewable Resources documents, which can still be found with a quick google as well as the ban on fanfiction. Previously opened games were grandfathered through the ban by use of a 'permissions letter' from McCaffrey. Much fudging of the truth, splitting and fighting over the letters became involved.
The ban on new games was finally lifted along with the ban on fanfiction. There was a brief explosion of new games, many of which quickly faded away. Although the community of PernMU*ers no longer numbers in the hundreds of logins each night, development and activity continues. PernMU* maintains a forum for wank, rants and discussion at pernmu.com, and also the historical database of dragon genealogy which also serves as a history for the fandom. Previously run for many years by Neva, it is now maintained by Aya.
McCaffrey's estate currently has a set of fan fiction rules which state "Fan Fiction, Fan Art, and online RPGs based on any of my literary works will now be permitted so long as they occur on a non-commercial basis." The final rule is "Pornographic sites, based on any of my literary works, are expressly forbidden."
Weyrs are a combination of fan club and roleplaying club and began during the zine era. With the advent of the internet, the Weyrs moved online, with PbEM (Play by Email) and forum roleplay. An undated list of weyrs can be found here: The Worlds of Anne McCaffrey » Fan Links, Archived version DragonWeb is another listing of fan clubs - both online and in print, while for the online-only clubs, there was the Pern Weyr Webring.
- Argon of Cantee - SF/F fan club with special interest groups covering Anne McCafferey's Pern, Star Trek, Elfquest and others.
- Darriel Council - combined Darkover and Pern fan club.
- DragonWeb - Welcommittee.
- Fort Weyr
- International Fizzbin Society - fan club for Star Trek, Pern, Star Wars, Tolkien, and Darkover.
- Ista Weyr
- Kieres Weyr
- Aasulia Weyr
- Alcor Weyr
- Andromeda Weyr
- Crescent Weyr
- Crystal Weyr
- Haven Weyr
- High Reaches Weyr (10th Pass)
- High Reaches Weyr (9th Pass)
- Janus Weyr
- Kadanzer Weyr
- The Lost Weyr
- NorthWind Weyr
- Rocky Weyr
- Segel Weyr
- Shadow Ridge Weyr
- StarStorm Weyr
- Talkon Weyr
- Telgar Weyr
- Twin Peaks Weyr
- Visia Weyr
- On-line Simulations of Pern ("Some people have gone to the extent of attempting to duplicate Pern with a multi-user program designed to allow people to assume the roles of dragonriders, harpers, holders, etc." 
Roleplaying: Fan Comments: 2000s
From a 2000 interview, in which McCaffrey appears to tolerate gaming based on her books:
Wes Platt asks: The MUD Connector shows at least 11 online games based on the Pern universe. How does it feel to see your work brought to life by fans this way? Anne McCaffrey answers: Well, it's certainly an indication of how many people would LOVE to be on Pern. Actually, I don't go into the games - at the insistence of my publishers so that they are certain that any new novels will not inadvertently reflect something I saw or heard from another source. As long as folks enjoy the ambience, I'm happy that my books provide the Pern canon by which they play.
From a 2002 post by a fan that illustrates the opposite:
I got this  today from Alec Johnson, Anne McCaffrey's eldest son and webmaster of her website This was directed at the PernMangband website, but I'm sure PernAngband is just around the corner.
I maintain the PernAngband & PernMangband web sites.
I would think they'd be more interested in going after the game itself if they really cared about copyright infringement rather than the website. In any case, if anyone knows anything regarding licensing/copyright issues for Angband in general please contact me. For example, has the copyright owners for the Tolkien works threatened the Angband community?
I can't believe Anne McCaffrey would alienate such a loyal and dedicated group of fans. We don't cause her any lost revenue - if anything what DarkGod has done with PernAngband & PernMangband has increased awareness and fandom in the McCaffrey works. I was even going to post links to all of McCaffrey's books and recommendation reading order with forum for comments, but oh well....I haven't decided what to do, but I was going to write a letter directly to Anne. Perhaps if we all did she would understand what the whole Angband/open source community is all about? Think of all the hours we've put into developing and/or playing this game, at risk to our own family/social lives, and in my case I got carpel tunnel syndrome from playing so many hours in the day (which is why I haven't posted much to either web site recently).
Roleplaying: Fan Comments: 2010s
I remember playing on a Crystal Singer MUSH (text-based real-time RP) and having a very long conversation with one of the staff about whether my Sorter character could go to one of the minor moons for a vacation. Because, you see, one of the Rules in HELP RULES was “if you aren’t a Singer you CANNOT leave EVER,” and even though everything on a MUSH is ephemeral and even though the odds of anyone even associated with Anne McCaffrey, never mind McCaffrey herself, logging in were absolutely infinitesimal, we were seriously concerned about whether we would be Breaking The Rules by having that happen.
Take that paranoia and multiply by 10,000 for anything on a static webpage where anyone could find it. (Multiply merely by 5,000 for anything behind friends-lock, because anyone could take a screenshot and save it and send it somewhere, right?)#paranoia strikes deep #into your life it will creep #it starts when you're always afraid #step outta line #the man come and take you(r fanfic) away 
It wasn’t just fanfics too! Anne McCaffrey used to send C&Ds to people RPing Dragonriders of Pern. You needed to have your site/etc approved by her personally or it would get shut down. She backed off in her later years, but yeah, this shit happened.#ooc 
As a giant nerd who did some Dragonriders of Pern fandom RPGing in High School, I can add that Anne McCaffrey was, not Anne Rice aggressive, but definitely threatening to fans. She especially didn’t like people trying to reconstruct Pern in a way that made it less inherently sexist and homophobic.
I’m still in a Pern RP that was approved back when one of McCaffrey’s team insisted on approving all new play by email Weyrs. We still have a lot of Anne’s list of rules in place because at this point they’ve been there 16+ years and we’re used to playing within them and some of the club runners think shedding them would be weird. I remember us having to password-protect our online post archive because we didn’t want to violate the “no fanfiction online” rule, and we were hoping that “must be a club member to read” and “locked behind member password area” would help it. Now our archives are open to all and it’s awesome.#fandom history #maaaaan i def remember pern RPs having to have So Many Rules #and I remember all the disclaimers 
Oh god, Pern. Pern was my first online fandom. Not gonna lie, I miss it, a lot.
So, back between 2002-2004, I played on NorCon MUSH, which was one of the bigger ones. I also played on SouCon. Had some different characters. One dragonrider, one weyrfolk, a bakercraft apprentice who I advanced to journeywoman. On SouCon I had a brewer and possibly another weyfolk? I don’t remember. And nobody paid attention to the “no gay stuff” rules, even outside of mating flights. But there were definitely not any unorthodox dragon colors.I played on Skies Apart for a while in 2013 as weyrfolk, a cook. No unorthodox dragon characters. Plenty of gay stuff. So I’m on AO3 ...(the forgotten history of disclaimers)
Someone above mentioned Anne McCaffrey, and I can never pass up the chance to tell people about The Time Anne McCaffrey Threatened to Sue a Middle Schooler.
Way back in the day, I was super big into the Dragonriders of Pern series. It was the earlier days of the World Wide Web and I’d found an internet home in an HTML-based chat site called WBS.net. There were tons of chat rooms, but I frequented most the Young Writer’s Clubhouse and DragonHold – the latter being a fantasy RP chat room. I’d signed up for the website as “Lessa of Benden Wyer,” misspelling unintentional at the time.
Since it was also “Back in the Day” a number of authors were just starting to make websites for themselves. Anne McCaffrey was one of them with Dragonhold Underhill, and on her website she’d posted her AOL email address. I was so happy, and I emailed her excited to talk to a REAL LIVE AUTHOR. I told her how old I was, asked her where she pulled her inspiration, and then mentioned that I roleplayed as Lessa online.
She replied back with the writing tips, and then at the end of the email, she threatened to sue me.My favorite author threatened to sue me. I was twelve years old. 
Discussions & Controversy
Dragons, Sexuality, and Gender
In the original Dragonriders stories, published as Dragonflight by Ballantine in July 1968 after having run as Weyr Search in Analog October 1967 and Dragonflight in December 1967/January 1968, dragons chose their riders based on telepathic affinity. When baby dragons hatch, young candidates are standing by, and the babies "Impress" upon whichever child they are able to connect with mentally.
There was no indication that women were allowed to Impress fighting dragons of any color. The only women on the hatchery floor were there to Impress with a newly hatched queen. All the green and blue riders in those stories were men. It is possible that McCaffery had intended to establish that they were gay, but the mores of the times (the late 1960s) would not yet permit this, particularly considering the fact that Analog was edited by John W. Campbell Jr., a political and social conservative.
There was nothing about sexual orientation added to these stories when they were published in the book Dragonflight. However, Dragonquest, the second volume (published in 1971), includes a subplot involving male riders whose dragons, a brown and a green, are described as "together". Readers could draw their own conclusions as to why these men were "in no condition" to attend a meeting after their dragons got back from a mating flight.
Nonetheless, the same book described considerable controversy over the suggestion that Mirrim, a young woman, could Impress a fighting dragon, clearly stating that women did not usually do this. In fact, Mirrim only Impresses (in the later book Dragondrums) because a green hatchling rejects all the male candidates and attempts to climb up into the witnesses' area to reach her.
Dragon and rider gender and sexuality was often a topic of discussion among fans, something McCaffrey herself weigh in on in this 1992 comment to a fan:
The behavior of the riders of mating dragons (and to a lesser extent firelizard 'owners') has generated considerable controversy on this newsgroup in the past. During one particularly vehement flamewar sparked by the topic, someone queried the Dragonlady, Anne McCaffrey, herself:
---[begin included text]--- From: s[email protected] (Sharon Fisher) Date: Wed, 23 Sep 92 18:26:59 GMT
Presumably this will settle the issue?
--- Date: 23-Sep-92 02:07 PDT From: Anne McCaffrey Subj: Pern question
- Well, now, it's like this...when the dragons mate, their riders are so consumed with their dragons' passions, that there's really only one way to vent it: enjoying the sexual act themselves. The double whammy is something incredible. Since most green riders are male, and most blue, brown and bronze riders are also male, the obvious need not be stated. However, it is permissible within the Weyrs for the less-enthusiastic about this pairing having an alternate of the opposite sex available. The green rider will also have someone of his preference available so that the double charge is not lost...if you don't mind me being a tad bawdy. Actually, many of the Candidates are weyrbred and accustomed to such demands and think little of it. It's the main bone of contention between the hidebound Halls and Holds and the the Weyrs for the Halls and Holds don't really `like' such innovations. Still, the rider is always compelled by concern for his dragon and THAT consideration makes the difference in such a sexual situation. And it is ALSO an incredible experience, one to be treasured.
- And yes, there could be more female riders of green dragons to relieve that dilemma but after the early Plagues, women were needed more as mothers to increase the population (something men still haven't been able to do on their own) and flying constantly between is how to abort on Pern. (Queen dragons are not always as horny as the greens and as they are low-level Thread fighters, their pregnant riders could generally manage without constantly going *between* in the performance of their duties.) Anyway, I thought homos deserved a place in the elite social structure on Pern.
--- Does that answer the question completely? Or do you need diagrams?---[end included text]--- 
In later tales, McCaffery did establish that part of the connection depends on the candidates' gender and sexual orientation. Green dragons (the most numerous) choose gay men and, later, women; blues choose gay men; browns and bronzes choose exclusively heterosexual men. A gold dragon can only impress a heterosexual woman.
This was changed by 2009 to include Lesbians, in Todd McCaffrey's "Dragongirl". Previously, McCaffrey had attempted to establish that there were no lesbians or bisexuals at all on Pern.
Due to the telepathic bond between rider and dragon, when dragons rise for a mating flight their soulbonded partners are compelled to have sex. Allowing for gays and Lesbians among the dragonriders was a bold step for McCaffery to take. It canonically established positions of importance for gays (and possible slash pairings in fan fiction) on Pern.
As gay civil rights have taken hold, Pern's gender policy has been increasingly seen by fans as a relic of outdated 1960s gender and sexual orientation theories, because the way things are set up, gays cannot obtain positions of power within the Weyr structure. The Weyrleader and Weyrwoman are always a heterosexual couple.
McCaffrey has also made controversial statements about gay men.
Some clubs and games allow women to Impress greens, blues, browns and gold. Others are more strict with their interpretation of gender and canon policies. Although Anne McCaffrey has allowed rules that bend the canon for women to become blue and brown riders for many years, a canonical lesbian blue rider only first appeared in "Dragongirl" (2009).
In addition to the five colors, Ruth, a white dragon, appears within the books. Ruth identifies as male, but is apparently asexual. He is also extremely intelligent and has special time travel powers. However, he is a sport, a mutation produced by chance from an otherwise normal clutch of eggs, and was meant by the author to be one of a kind. For many years, clubs were not allowed to create their own white dragons and this has been upheld by the more canon strict groups.
Many clubs and games run by younger fans will have white dragons and also create their own colors with different 'powers' - though this is much derided as immature teenage behavior by fandom oldbies.
Dragons, Sexuality, and Gender: Fan Comments
I'm pretty sure you're perfectly allowed to ignore Anne if common sense dictates that, realistically, there are most certainly lesbians on Pern and a few have Impressed over the course of a few thousand years. On top of that, some had to be dykes, and on blues (or perhaps even browns, if you want to go that far). Not that big of a deal.
My personal feelings are that if guys can be on all but gold, girls can be on all but bronze; but, of course, not everyone has to agree with me. My version of canon is a bit strange. I think the sexuality thing is blown out of proportion anyway -- it's probably just feminine folk vs. masculine folk, with sexuality thrown in as a side effect. Obviously, when you're a straight, but relatively feminine, guy, you've opened up the door to Impress a green. I don't quite understand Anne's hormonal thing, but I chalk it up more to the inner mind workings of humans.When Anne's rules fail, it's up to the fans to fill in the holes -- but logically.
There could not be another white dragon, aaaand:
Greens: only women and gay men
Blue: gay/bi men and women (maybe not even bi)
Browns: MEN ONLY
Bronzes: HET MEN ONLY
Queens: HET WOMEN ONLY
I heard tell that once upon a time, women were allowed by McCaffery to be brownriders, but that apparently there was some kind of fandom kerfuffle, and she responded by “taking the toys away.” At the time, I shrugged and accepted it, but now I wonder just what kind of people went whining to Anne freaking McCaffery that they didn’t want female brownriders in their rpg/fanfic group.#so naturally i made up my own character with a purple-ish bronze dragon because I Do What I Want #fic life #fandom life #q 
McCaffrey's Fanwork Policies
McCaffrey adopted several positions regarding fan fiction, some of which have softened over time.
Initially, McCaffrey set out the following guidelines:
- Fanworks are strongly discouraged outside the approved "fan Weyr" clubs.
- McCaffrey's characters are off-limits without prior approval, as main characters, minor characters, or even as background.
- McCaffrey's primary setting, Benden Weyr, is also off-limits, as a story location, or even as a point of origin for original characters.
A good outline regarding her earlier policies can be found at the the Writers University . Among some of these early rules were: "no crossovers, no canon characters and no white dragons may appear in fan fiction based on the Dragons of Pern." In addition, fan fiction and fanzines had to be approved by Anne McCaffrey: "The 'zines cannot be published on the Internet on publicly accessible sites. Distributing a limited number of copies of the 'zine to a special group via regular -snail- mail is the norm." (ca 1992). In 2001, Anne McCaffrey's son went after Yahoo Geocities websites in an effort to eliminate fan fiction based on Anne's novels. (Ibid).
Another historical look is posted at FanWorks.org: FanWorks.org : Fan Works Inc. - Help & Tools Index : Anne McCaffrey, Archived version
From Southern Enclave in 1991:
[McCaffrey] has her guidelines (no sport dragons; no using her characters in our fiction; no men on golden dragons or women on bronze dragons), and a couple of Weyrs that violated her tenets were closed down because of that (and those Weyrs that allowed silver dragons were told to get rid of them-- except for Ista 9)" 
In autumn 1992, there were several pro writers that clarified or tightened up their rules about fanworks based on their books. Mercedes Lackey, P.N. Elrod, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, and Marion Zimmer Bradley were four of them. This closer attention to perceived legalisms was due to The Marion Zimmer Bradley Fanfiction Controversy.
To repeat - it's not Anne who forbids this: it's her publishers - and they are NOT required to tell her of any such actions which they may be undertaking. The first she will probably know of it is when someone tells her, having heard over the net... To expand on this a bit, this prohibition is meant to protect Ms. McCaffrey from legal problems along the lines that have prevented Marion Zimmer Bradley from publishing one of her books. (I'm not completely familiar with the specifics of this case; inquiries to rec.arts.sf.written will probably result in more information than you ever wanted to know. ;-) 
McCaffrey's statement reposted to he FAQ list of the newsgroup alt.fan.pern (dated October 8, 1992), called "InterNet Pern rules":
The rules are that my characters may be referred to but not used. BUT there can be no adventure/stories set on Pern at all!!!!! That's infringing on my copyright and can bear heavy penalties - particularly right now when there's a film deal (yet another) which has bought and paid for the right to use the material - which, I fear, e-mail users have not. On CIS, I have asked people to limit Pern material to a discussion of their persona and dragons, fire-lizards, etc., in a diarist form. Fanzines have slightly more latitude as the zine is usually mailed only to members so that's limited publication, and a due copyright notice is included. As there is no such protection on electronic mail, we authors have to be insistent on these safeguards. I know this can be confusing since Paramount and Star Trek are handled differently, but that's the point: they are, and have been. Individual themes and characters of s-f/fantasy novels are not. And such indiscriminate usage of our characters, worlds, and concepts on a 'public' media like electronic mail constitute copyright infringement AND, which many fans disregard, is ACTIONABLE! Both the e-mail company AND the person. My publishers are most insistent on that point! So it's to safeguard the interested e-mail user that I make these very strong, and perhaps unpalatable points. 
2004: Relaxation of Rules
I know that many of you have enjoyed my works so much that you have written your own fan fiction, created your own fan art, and built your own online role-playing games.
I worked very hard to create my worlds and I am so glad that you like them so much that you have followed the old adage, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”
But I have to be concerned that none of this “imitation” could expose me to the loss of control of those same much-adored works. Along with many of you, I would dearly love to see DRAGONFLIGHT, or any of my books on Pern, turned into a movie. To realize that dream requires that I handle all fan-related material very carefully – sometimes more carefully than I would like.
Now, I believe that – with your help – I can relax some of those restrictions, by establishing some guidelines/rules which I believe will both protect me (and you) and allow you to engage in “fannish” activities.
1. Fan Fiction, Fan Art, and online RPGs based on any of my literary works will now be permitted so long as it occurs on a non-commercial basis.
2. With respect to Fan Fiction, Fan Art and transcripts of online RPG activity, care must be taken to ensure that such material displayed on these sites can only be downloaded or accessed for personal, non-commercial purposes. Owners of websites supporting Fan Fiction, Fan Art, and RPGs must take every step possible, including, but not limited to, posting appropriate and prominent notices to ensure compliance with these restrictions. Any reference to the mark “Dragonriders of Pern ®” must be accompanied with a trademark notice indicating registration and my ownership of the mark. You may wish to consult your own attorney about online and Internet law and the rules governing copyright and trademark notices.
3. Mindful that many fans take advantage of “free” web space requiring operators to display banner ads, I will not consider such sites as engaging in “commercial activity,” even if the ads contain “click-through” sales features, so long as displaying the ads are a condition of securing the web space and the website creators do not use sites to sell, or assist others in selling, McCaffrey related derivative merchandise. Fan operated sites are not ‘licensed’ by Anne McCaffrey, are not approved by Anne McCaffrey and do not create an agency or joint venture relationship with Anne McCaffrey, even though they may be maintained with Anne McCaffrey’s permission.
4. Participation in any site promoting such Fan Fiction, Fan Art, or online RPGs must be entirely free to participants. No membership fees or other charges may be levied in connection with these sites.
5. Pornographic sites, based on any of my literary works, are expressly forbidden. But I’m sure you know that. I’m a grandmother, after all.
1. I ask that anyone creating a site for Fan Fiction, Fan Art, or online RPGs endeavour to use good taste. I will not interfere with the internal affairs of fan sites, nor intervene in disputes, or manage them in any way, other than to enforce the rules above.
2. Fans who have read my books know fully well what can and cannot take place on my various worlds and need no reminder. While I would prefer that my well known rules be followed, I will not insist that you conform to such “implicit rules” so long as my explicit rules are observed.
1. I will be creating an online database that will allow fans to register their Fan Fiction, Fan Art, and RPG sites with The Worlds of Anne McCaffrey, Ltd. This database will, in turn, be used to create web pages on the Worlds of Anne McCaffrey website to allow fans the opportunity to share or discover these online resources.
2. In the event rights to any of my literary works are granted or sold for film, television, or other media exploitation, licensees may, at their option, choose to restrict Fan Fiction, Fan Art or RPGs. While I cannot protect fan websites from restrictions my licensees may impose, I will notify my licensees of the registered sites in our database, described in (1) above, that have complied with our reasonable restrictions, and encourage licensees to permit the continued existence of those sites. I wish we could offer more “protection,” but quite honestly this is all I can reasonably do.
3. Fans operating sites must understand that they are solely liable for their content and that The Worlds of Anne McCaffrey, Ltd., assumes no responsibility for them, for their administration, operating policies, or activities.
4. I reserve the right to change these rules, guidelines, and caveats at any time without prior notice.
Finally, I hope you continue to enjoy the time you spend in my worlds. Please, as I have told my grandchildren, “play nice.”
Yours very sincerely,Anne McCaffrey 
On one ocassion, relaxation of the rules led to forum closure. From a letter by Todd McCaffrey, Anne's son:
What’s KT? KT is the abbreviation to Kitchen Table also known as Kitchen Table Live, or Kitchen Table Bulletin Board. The Kitchen Table was part of Mum’s website when it seemed a requirement to keep strict control on anything related to Pern—or lose any chance of possibly seeing a Pern film. Fortunately, particularly when looking at Harry Potter fandom, it’s become clear that such strict policing isn’t necessary and we’ve relaxed such tight controls. Nowadays there are several websites devoted to discussing Mum’s various works.
An Official Register of Pern Fanworks: Along with McCaffrey's 2004 relaxing of the rules regarding fanworks was the creation of an official register of fanworks. She mentioned it in her 2004 fanworks statement: "I will be creating an online database that will allow fans to register their Fan Fiction, Fan Art, and RPG sites with The Worlds of Anne McCaffrey, Ltd. This database will, in turn, be used to create web pages on the Worlds of Anne McCaffrey website to allow fans the opportunity to share or discover these online resources."
The site has this introduction:
Below are a list of links to external websites where fans can go to play various roleplaying games associated with the Worlds of Anne McCaffrey. For more information, please check the FAQ or contact us via this link.
All Fan Websites listed here have met the minimum requirements necessary for inclusion in the Worlds of Anne McCaffrey Fan Site Database. If your site is not listed here, please refer to the FAQ for how to get it listed.If the link is not correct, please email the Fan Site Database with the name of your group and it’s current URL.
McCaffrey has had a extensive history of periods of her relative leniency with fanworks and then C&Ding her fans.
Regarding a fan-created birthday portrait in 2009 seen at Dragonriders of Pern and Anne McCaffrey resource site: the Pern Museum & Archives, Archived version, McCaffrey wrote: "The new painting by Eicher is marvelous and I would love to have her permission to use it on a bookplate. It's a softer 'me' and younger and one of the best I've seen. I'd love to have a full size copy. Not sure where I'd hang it but it would give me great pleasure to see it on a daily basis. I look gentler and kinder than my mirror says I am... and at 83 I do need flattery. But thank her profusely for me and if she wants to sell copies, she has my permission to do so. It's really very good." 
Fanworks and Activities
Websites and Resources
Pern fandom has for many years had its own dedicated track at DragonCon known as WeyrFest. This dates back to McCaffrey's appearance as Guest of Honor in 1989 and continues to this date. Cavatica, a well-known persona in the Pern MU*ing community, helps to run this. The track usually features special guests - such as artists for the series, or the author herself. Zines and other fancrafted material can be purchased. There are panels dedicated to topics of concern within the fandom. Many fans dress up in Pernese garb with stuffed firelizards, and there are opportunities to LARP Pern hatchings and gathers.
More info: Weyrfest LJ
Due to the power of Harper Hall in Pernese society, the inclusion of Harper lyrics in the books, and the many beloved Harper characters, Pern filk has always been a popular fan activity.
- Igen Weyr
- Dragonchoice I & II (online here)
- Dragon's Gate (Stargate SG-1/Pern crossover)
- Dragon's Pride - slash novel by Dan Kirk (online here)
- Lakesedge Weyr - Sixth Pass group
- The Atlas of Star Rise Territory - art and nonfiction published by the StarRise Weyr.
- Callaway Conspiracies - published by the StarRise Weyr.
- Crystal Singer - newsletter
- Crystal Singer Omnibus - newsletter
- Dragonchild - fan fiction published by members of the Berkshire Weyr
- Dragonfire - fan fiction published by members of the Berkshire Weyr
- Dragonhunt - Pern - fan fiction published by members of the Berkshire Weyr
- Dragonmusic - fan fiction published by members of the Berkshire Weyr
- First Flights - fan fiction published by the StarRise Weyr
- Flights of Fancy (Sable Weyr Newsletter) (Issue #2 - October 1985)
- Fort Drums (Issues #2-5, January 1990-January 1991)
- Fortfolio (Issues #1-4, 1984?-1989)
- From Hall and Hold - The Crafter/Holder zine
- Gar Hold - newsletter
- The Ghosts of Star Rise - fan fiction published by the StarRise Weyr.
- A Guide to the Star Rise Weyr - published by the StarRise Weyr.
- Harper Beat (Issue #37 (February 1989); #39-44 (June 1989-April 1990); #45 (June 1990); #47 (October 1990); #49-50 (February/March – March/April 1991))
- Ista Images #1-2
- Legends of the Lost Weyr (Issues #1-3,April 1980-January 1981)
- Out of the Blue (Issue #3 (December 1989); #5/6 (September 1990)
- Pern Portfolio - Anne Zeek
- Recipes from Pern - a cookbook in zine form
- The Spire - a quarterly newsletter of the High Reaches Weyr collecting stories, poems, hold and weyr reports. 
- StarRise Weyr Manual - fanzine published by the StarRise Weyr.
- Weyr Fest
- Weyr Watch - (Western Weyr newsletter)
- Weyr Words - newsletter
Crossover and Fusion Fanworks
Crossovers and fusions are a bit thin on the ground. This may be due to one of McCaffrey's earlier policies the Writers University which stated, among other things, "no crossovers, no canon characters and no white dragons may appear in fan fiction based on the Dragons of Pern." 
Also see Dragon AU.
- Caison Occurrence by Signe Jesson, Pern/Star Trek: TOS, from Alpha Continuum #1 (1976)
- The U.S.S. Dragon-prise by K.J. Barrett, Pern/Star Trek: TOS, from Beyond Antares #7 (1985)
- Solo Flight by Diane Hawley and Eileen Roy, Pern/Man from U.N.C.L.E., from The Paladin's Affair #1) (1986)
- Dark Dragon by Hindman, Pern/Man from U.N.C.L.E., from Karmic Concurrence #1) (1987)
- Flights by Linda Terrell, Pern/Blake's 7, from Southern Seven #4) (1988)
- Between Leaps by Jane Mailander, Pern/Quantum Leap, from Green Eggs and Ham #4 (1994)
- Between Battles by Teresa Sarick, Pern/Blake's 7, from Magnificent Seven #8) (1989)
- Dragon's Gate by Mitch, Pern/Stargate SG-1 (2008)
Crossover and Fusion Fanworks
- Dragon Riders Of Pern Chat And Fic Dragon Riders Of Pern Chat And Fic; [ archive link] Description: a place to chat about the series, or share a story, gen, het or slash, fiction archived at WWOMB, a multi-fandom, all genres fiction archive, unless there is a "No Archive" note in the story headers
- InfiniteFics "InfiniteFics". Archived from the original on 2009-01-21. Description: "A fic list for all of Angyl, Orithain, and Rina's original and fanfiction. Stories, except Pern fic, will also be available on our website www.infinitum4.com, usually the same day. Stories will run the gamut from gen to adult, so by joining this group you are agreeing that you are of legal age where you live." [Archive/other website: Infinitum]
- Arolos Weyr "Arolos Weyr". Archived from the original on 2007-10-22. Description: "It's the beginning of the 8th Pass, and the Northern Weyrs of Pern are becoming overcrowded. To solve this problem a new Weyr is set up in the Southern Continent. This is Arolos Weyr. We need riders, Holders and Crafters. Email us at [email protected] for more information on what's available. A basic knowledge of the world of Pern is required (and we'll be happy to give you a crash course). Only roleplaying and moderator messages may go to this list. Out-of-character messages should go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/arolosooc. For a smaller game in the same world as Arolos, try http://www.darkfort.co.uk. (A note for the curious: This is our second main list, hence the oddness of the old post counts. We switched over from the old one because the archives got full and we didn't want our old messages to get eaten.)"
- Triad Weyrs "Triad Weyrs". Archived from the original on 2003-10-14. Description: "A Pern play-by-email game set in a post-AIVAS world with a female repression scenario and heavy emphasis on member plotting and writing. Dragonriders, crafters, holders, and even less savory types like bandits all welcomed."
Forums and Bulletin Boards
- alt.fan.pern (Usenet) "The group has been largely dead since the advent of Anne McCaffrey's own message board. With the upcoming closure of that board (Dec 15, 2004), alt.fan.pern may become active again." 
- Kitchen Table Bulletin Board
Online Fanfiction Archives
- Pern fanfiction at Fanfiction.Net (606 stories as of June 2014)
- Pern fanworks at AO3 (492 fanworks as of June 2014)
Fanfiction activity in Pern fandom remains low, and it is best considered a Yuletide fandom. A old trend seeing resurgence on AO3 is to write fusion fic with Pern setting from other fandoms, often as younger versions of themselves so that the characters can go through the process of Impressing and raising young dragons.
McCaffrey's Fanwork Rules: Their Legacy
2007 Fan Comments
By itself, an author's stance on fanfiction will not stop me from reading the author's books, but it's definitely one factor that influences my reading habits. Mostly it depends on how I already feel about the author; whether the author is rabidly anti-fanfic or just feels weird about it is secondary.For example, when I was ten/twelve years old, I absolutely loved M. Lackey and McCaffrey but I guess I outgrew them at some point because although I continue to love my old favorites, I lost interest in reading their newer books. When I stumbled upon their attitude against fanfiction, it solidified my opinion against them -- I don't see myself ever buying any of their future books.
When an author/creator gets obnoxious about fanfic it really turns me off the creation. Because ultimately it means the creator is both trying to control how I enjoy the creation, and insulting me (and my friends) for choosing a way in which s/he disapproves.If I did continue to write in that fandom, I would probably keep it more hidden than I would my other fanfic. For example, I have a half-baked idea for a Dragonriders of Pern fanfic simmering somewhere on my hard drive. If I ever get around to finishing it I probably would be more circumspect about posting/advertising it. It's more about self-protection than any respect for the creator, though.
2011 Fan Comments
Anne McCaffrey and I had a history, though she wouldn't have been able to pick me out of a lineup. And Anne McCaffrey had a history with fandom, of which my own history is but a small part.
Anne Inez McCaffrey was the first woman in science fiction/fantasy to win the Hugo and the Nebula Awards in the same year, cementing her place in fannish and feminist history. The works she won them for would eventually be joined together as a novel, Dragonflight - the first book in the beloved Pern series. With the exception of Verity Lambert, McCaffrey is one of the few women who can claim to have created an enduring media fandom - even today there are young children who dream of impressing one of Pern's magnificent dragons and hop online to write their story, just as many young authors began with the magic blue box. For children of a certain age, Pern is a window into a better world, where they are loved. It's this power among others that make it one of SF's enduring series and fandoms.
Indeed, there was a time when Pern was almost as big a fandom as Star Trek or Doctor Who. Fanlore has dozens of Weyr zines archived and partially digitized, there are hours of filk and you couldn't type 'dragon' on Usenet without hitting a Pern discussion. People used to log in by the hundreds every night to PernMUSH in the late 80s and early 90s for a chance at impressing their very own dragon. There were tie-in books and board games and little mini figures for tabletop RPGs.
And now here we are, in 2011, after two solid decades of mismanagement of the world she created. Half a dozen companies have owned the rights to make a movie, or a TV show - the most notable failure being Ron Moore, post-DS9 and pre-Battlestar Galactica. As in so many of the great SF book franchises, a son took over the writing of the novels and ran them into the ground. The active parts of Pern fandom are tiny compared to what they once were in large part through the hounding of its fandom to give up the fanfiction and fanart and RPG. Yet the memory of Pern lingers in the media conscience, on the tips of people's tongues. "Don't Daenerys' baby dragons remind you a little of..." and "Those soul-bonded pterodactyls in Avatar were almost like..."
I've been in Pern fandom almost fifteen years, and I've seen the best and worst of it. Her legal team sent me a C&D for running a Pern RPG when I was thirteen. I'll never forget it - I came home from my Bat Mitzvah in Paris to find the email sitting in my inbox. And I was lucky, because I took down the site right away and they stopped pursuing me. People who had sold Pern art or Pern crafts at cons often weren't so lucky. I've seen fans sell out other fans to her legal team in exchange for positions of 'power' as online enforcers. I've seen people backstab each other for bits of code, or one of the all-special 'permission letters' which would allow you to run an online game. It was an era when that sort of fandom micromanagement wasn't uncommon, but she earned a deserved reputation for it. Time made her sexual politics seem creaky at best and creepy at its worst and soon the magic window to Pern wasn't a doorway but a tiny prison.
I've also seen the women who became artists because they started drawing dragons, and the ones who went on to careers in game design and software, the ones who said 'to hell with it' and made their own worlds in their own novels. Perhaps her strangest, most enduring and necessary legacy to fandom is the Organization for Transformative Works. I have no doubt that when naominovak gave the seed money to start the group, the former PernMUSH wizard thought of McCaffrey's campaigns against fandom amongst others.In the end, all of Ramoth's golden daughters flew away and founded Weyrs of their Own. Allowing people to write Pern fanfic and play on Pern RPGs and books aimed for children hasn't brought them back. They win Hugos and Nebulas, they work for Blizzard and Ubisoft and they've all left Pern far behind them.
When I was 11 years old, I created a new account on Yahoo! and joined a role-playing group for the Dragonriders of Pern. These groups were mostly made up of teenagers writing participatory fanfiction. Someone, usually the host of the group, would be the head of the “weyr,” and everyone else would write characters for the hatchings. The host would decide who wrote the most compelling characters, and assign the dragon colors according to McCaffrey’s hierarchy: the best female character would be matched with the gold and the male with the bronze, and so on down the line. (Imagine my delight when my character won the first gold dragon..!)
Unfortunately, Anne McCaffrey herself got wind of these role-playing games, and decided that they were in violation of her copyright.[*] She and her lawyers began sending cease and desist letters and reporting the groups to their various hosting sites (Yahoo!/Geocities and Angelfire were the big ones). Nearly every single group got shut down, and there were more than a few terrified kids left wondering if they were about to get slapped with lawsuits.
I am not a lawyer, but I know that we were not reproducing any of McCaffrey’s writing; no money was being exchanged; and, as far as I can remember, nobody was using her characters. If what we were doing was illegal—and the law is unclear—I fail to see how it could have hurt Anne McCaffrey in any way.All of us were hurt and disappointed. Perhaps she didn’t realize this, but in a sense, we looked up to her. She was doing what we wanted to be doing—writing powerful, intriguing stories. But instead of giving us encouragement, or even leaving us alone to play our harmless games, she threatened legal action against some of her biggest fans and turned us off her writing forever. I will probably always remember her as someone who expended a lot of time and effort bullying kids who found her work inspiring.
2015 Fan Comments
I’m not sure if people today realize how deeply weird some of the older fandoms were in the pre- and early-internet days.
Take, for example, the Pern fandom. There were rules for writing fanfic in this fandom, very strict rules, laid down by The Great Anne Herself, and woe be unto you if you dared break any of them. I’m not sure I remember all of them, but these are the ones I do remember:
- Thou Shalt Not Use Anne’s Characters, Ever. OCs only. Which…fanfic, I know. Like I said, the weird was strong in this one.
- Thou Shalt Not Use Certain Specific Locations on the planet. Ever. Those were Anne’s Exclusive Playgrounds.
- Stories taking place during the same time periods as any of the books? Right Out. A hundred years before or after is totally fine.
- Pern dragons come in different colors. There were strict rules about what gender/sexuality combos could be pair with which colors of dragon. The dragons knew what people’s sexualities were, because gay pheromones.
- Seriously gay pheromones I will never be over this
- Thou Shalt Not Get Creative with The Colors of One’s Dragons. Book colors ONLY. Except that one book color, that’s right out too.
- Do Not With The Porn, despite rapey mating flights being canon
There were more, relating to how characters could be named and other such things. And this was SERIOUS BUSINESS, I knew dozens of people who were hit with C&Ds from her lawyers because they made fanart or broke the Sacred Fanfic (??) Rules. I have no idea how many lawyers she had, but they were extremely busy people.(And THANK ALL THE DEITIES that my terrible Pern fanfic was restricted to paper ‘zines and unlikely to ever again see the light of day…) 
2016 Fan Comments
When I was a small person who read nearly everything, my cousin gave me a handful of hand-me-down fantasy paperbacks. Three of these were the start to David Eddings’ The Belgariad, a fantasy epic that in retrospect sparked my ongoing love for secondary characters.
And one was Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonsong.
I came into Pern by way of Half-Circle Seahold and Menolly the Harper-to-be. My first dragons were her nine singing fire lizards. Menolly left the harsh constraints of home when her father beat her for composing music. She immediately imprinted on a clutch of tiny dragon eggs, foraged and hunted for herself and her beasts until the Ninth Fall caught her outside. Her story ran parallel to the main Pern trilogy, filling in the gaps to a greater epic. (Secondary characters. They’re my favorites.)
Menolly named her gold fire lizard Beauty, an apt enough name but not one I wanted for my draconic gold binder. I went with Faranth, leader of the first clutch to defend Pern’s human colonies from the Fall. (Distant sci-fi backstories being another weakness of mine.)
I wish, I wish Pern fandom had been allowed to flourish. Like Menolly, fandom ached to create, created brilliant things in spite of all the restrictions set around it, and was beaten down in turn. McCaffrey was desperate for a film deal, and she and her publishers were convinced that derivative works would set a fatal precedent for the story to be taken from her. She had an active legal team which sent C&D letters to fanartists and fanfic authors for decades, had fan websites shut down, and enforced a series of draconian (ha) content rules on the few that were allowed to survive.
Like her fictional society, McCaffrey was also heavily and violently invested in strict gender roles. Straight women to gold and green dragons. Straight men to bronze and brown. Gay men to blue. Lesbians do not exist. Bisexuality is not real. These were not only canon standards; she explicitly forbade fanworks that transgressed any of these rules. Her lawyers enforced these on the fans - literal children, in many cases - who most needed an outlet for gender nonconforming fiction.
(If any trans character made it into fanwork, that fan creator hid it well. There was never even an explicit prohibition.)
Queer fandom will never forgive McCaffrey for this. We’re all older now, and we remember.
The Faranth binder [I've created]  is a gold dragon for transmasculine people. It is at once a salute to an old fandom full of dragonlore where many talented creators began, and a middle finger to the canon where we did not exist.If the McCaffrey estate comes after me for this, I’m renaming it Mokhachane 
2017 Fan Comments
one does not simply walk into fandom. it’s black gates are guarded by more than just lawyers. there is evil there that does not sleep, and the great mccaffrey is ever watchful.#it is a barren wasteland 
Yeah… I remember this too. Any fan authors who started their foray into the world of fanfiction during the 90s know this [about disclaimers]. Those are some wacky early days, before even the creation of fanfiction.net and the gradual acceptance of fanfiction as a celebration of our love for fictional worlds and characters. I never got quite into the whole Anne Rice’s melt down thing, but I do remember Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern and its torrents of cease and desists emails sent to young teenage girls and boys who wrote and celebrated their adoration for McCaffrey’s fictional universe out of pure love.Now it has gotten much better because the marketing people are wising up to the facts that fan arts and fanfictions lengthen the longevity (and thus profitability) of any given series. But… you never know when some lawyer people are gonna get greedy dumb over chump changes.
The “Anne McCaffrey doesn’t want Pern porn” thing seems a bit odd to me, because unless I’m remembering the books wrong, there’s at least two times where dragon and rider fuck another dragon and rider (respectively) at the same time. It wasn’t graphic, of course, but “only I am allowed to think about my characters having sex” is a strange and weird thought process to me.#text #fandom #tumblr #tag 
Anne McCaffrey had Official Storytelling Weyrs, each of which had to be approved by her and had to abide by her rules. There was a HUGE kerfuffle when a member dared to argue with her. That member’s entire Weyr was shut down and forbidden from reforming. Meanwhile, she made her rules even stricter. Some Weyrs adjusted while members axed or rewrote noncompliant characters. Some Weyrs died because too many writers said ‘Fuck that’ and left. But it was her sandbox, and in order to be allowed in, we had to abide by the rules.
Dude the Anne McCaffrey thing was so weird to me when I got into the online fandom in the mid-90′s. At first it was “no fanfic,” so if you wrote it you had to hide the shit out of it or keep it to yourself (a lot of this had to do with the fact that in the 90’s no one was really sure what to do with the Internet because compared to today it was so small. There were actually legitimate concerns of someone confusing a fanwork with something AM herself had written, because 1. No one knew how to deal with the Internet, as stated before, and 2. Anne McCaffrey’s website was garish until her dying day so someone confusing a Geocities site with it was not out of the realm of possibility).
Then it was “No fanfiction except on my specific archive, on my website, which has to be approved.” Which was so fucking weird because that was when FNN was really popular, before the Purge and AFF, well before AO3. FFN had to take down all of the Anne McCaffrey-based fic. Simultaneously the shit was going on with Anne Rice so FFN had to pull her shit too.
Then the criteria for her archive was released and basically you could only use her characters in specific situations; if you wanted Teh Gay, you had to create your own characters within her world and use them (that, apparently, you were allowed to do to your heart’s content, but it still might not get published). I found this really bizarre because Anne McCaffrey was one of the few well-known sci-fi/fantasy authors that regularly included queer people in her novels. They were usually side-characters and more often than not male, but they were there. There were even instances where their sexual escapades were described; not the long, lustful scenes you got with the het protags but like…actual gay sex happened in her novels. So the Ban On Gay Shit was really baffling to me. And the fact that the Pern fandom, specifically, was one of the only places where you were encouraged to create an OC. It was SO WEIRD.
She really did loosen up a lot after the ‘net boom in ‘04, when it became very obvious that no one was going to mistake her shit for fanfic, or vice versa (most of the websites hosting illegal Pern fanfic LOOKED BETTER THAN HERS). But it was still really weird.
The last two years of her life she just stopped giving a fuck, as far as I can tell. Not sure what Todd, her son, thinks on the topic now that he holds the official rights to the universes she created. But the old site still has the rule of NO EROTICA which is just MIND-BOGGLING to me because??? she wrote???? erotica??? Like LOTS of it?????W/E; AM, I loved your work and I miss you but fuck you were weird.
Oh man, Anne McCaffrey fandom was a trip. Between the rules and the tent peg thing (warning: super homophobic, read at your own risk) I never actually finished a fic and also really read any of her stuff again. Although by then I was really getting bored of the Ayn Randian “She’s the strongest, specialest woman in the world, so she needs a stronger, specialer man to tame her!” trope that was in. Every. Single. Book.
2019 Fan Comments
In June 2019, two Pern fans discussed the rules and how they impacted them as fans:
[pomrania asked]: Pern was my first fandom too! The Anne McCaffrey site was pretty much the first thing I actually DID online to interact with people, as a kid, in the very late 90s / very early 2000s.
[eregyrn-falls answered]Yeah, Pern fandom had quite the renaissance when groups started being able to be online, although I recall it as a time of huge growing pains within the fandom as well. (Because of the ways that McC tried to keep some control over a fandom that had been created with and grown up with so many restrictions on content, imposed by her from the start; and the online world was a lot more lawless and hard to regulate, although in the early days, she certainly tried.) I got involved in an offline group - the only kind that existed at that time - with paper zines, in about ‘82. :) I had arguably been producing fannish content for both LOTR and Pern before that, by myself, but that was when I really got connected with an organized “fandom” and interacted with people through it.
[pomrania replied]: Oh yeah, I remember different RP groups on yahoo – I think they were called “weys”? – and there was a big thing about them being “official” while some weren’t, and we were only supposed to put our Pern fanfiction on her site …you know, I think THAT was the first fanfic I ever wrote (as opposed to the first thing I put on my ffnt account). It sucked and I only did one “chapter” of it, and I’m glad that I don’t use that online name any more so nobody can connect it (if it even still exists) to me.
[eregyrn-falls said]yeah, the groups tended to be organized around Weyrs, fictional or not. And, you COULD put your fic on sites besides hers, but IIRC there were also restrictions around that in the early days. (I think the fic had to be accessible only to password-holders, i.e. members, not “publicly” available.) etc. I helped run 3 groups over about 25 years in the fandom, off and on; two of which published paper zines and one of which was completely online.
Other Licensed Material
With 40 years of history and a small, but devoted fanbase, there have been various products and merchandise created for the series over the years. Often these licensed products were the creations of BNFs or other notable fandom people.
Books: Three Pern reference books have been written over the years. The most important of these is the Dragonlover's Guide to Pern, written by Jody Lyn Nye. Summarizing Pern's history, it also contains an essay on Threadfighting tactics, a short story, and much background information about the cultures and history of various Holds and Weyrs in the series. In lieu of an actual Pern RPG manual, the DLG as it is known, is frequently consulted by roleplayers. There are two editions, with the second edition containing expanded material from the later novels.
The Atlas of Pern, by Karen Wynn Fostad, is also consulted for maps and locations. People of Pern, by Robyn Wood, is a collection of biographical portraits of various Pernese characters from the book series.
Television/Film: Several different people have tried to adapt Pern for either film or television. The most notable attempt was by Ronald D. Moore of Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica. Attempting to create a series for the WB, it famously got as far as shooting before Moore walked from the project due to network meddling. The pilot script and some production art circulate in the fandom.
CDs: With several important characters in the series being musicians and several songs written in the books, Pern has a long history of filk. Two licensed CDs of music, called 'The Masterharper of Pern' and 'Sunset's Gold', both by Tania Opland and Mike Freeman are available.
Games: A board game was made in 1983 by Mayfair Games. It's notable for having portrait cards by Robyn Wood, and can fetch a high price on eBay or at con booths. The first Pern video game was made for the C64 - called Dragonriders of Pern, it was primarily a strategy game in which the player takes on the role of Benden Weyrleader and must maintain alliances with the rest of Pern. Brief sequences of fighting Thread are interspersed between rounds.
A second Pern video game, called Dragon Riders: Chronicles of Pern was released in 2001 for the Dreamcast.
- Icon maybe appropriate: fanfic and creator's wishes, Archived version, archive page 2, archive page 3, archive page 4, survey and four pages of comments regarding opinion about pro-canon creators' and fanworks opinions about: Robin Hobb, Anne Rice, J. Michael Straczynski , Marion Zimmer Bradley, Anne McCaffrey, J.K. Rowling, and others (2007)
- Anne McCaffrey, Fanfiction, and Copyright, and its follow-up Anne McCaffrey and Fanfiction, cont’d (November 25, 2011)
- Anne McCaffrey, Fanfiction, and Copyright (November 25, 2011)
- Pern Dragons - Adults set, see comments (2013)
- "There are film options against DRAGONFLIGHT, SHIP WHO SANG, and DECISION AT DOONA. Of course, there’s a long way between the option and the making. Lots of very good s-f stories have been optioned for years, and no movies forthcoming. DECISION AT DOONA, though, looks to be an exceedingly good proposition. It would be filmed here in Ireland as I have been able to keep my paws on the script writing and consultancy for that film. You’re perfectly right that modern screen technology makes the possibility of dragons, good Pernese dragons, feasible, but for Dragons, one has to think the neighborhood of $15-$20 MILLIONS. Not easy to raise, whereas DECISION could be brought in at about $2-3 millions… much easier to film with the right sort of make-up for the Hrrubans and Jim Danforth is one of the men the producer is trying to interest in the movie. (Ray Harryhausen has been approached several times about doing the dragons of Pern but has not snapped at the bait. Too bad: his creatures in The 7th Voyage of Sinbad were impressive.) There is one disadvantage about filming the Dragons of Pern: too many people have imagined them privately and I don’t see any way (since I’ve already received a startling number of ‘dragon’ sketches and sculptures) that the variety of notions as to what Pern dragons really look like can meet in a compromise. The man who bought the film rights, for instance, insists that Pern dragons have ears! I have argued that they don’t need ears, don’t have ears, and forget the illustrations he’s seen! His wife, who is as interested in the project as he is, feels that they should have fangs and the longer, reptilian neck. One can’t please even two people, much less the new s-f audiences." -- Remembering Anne McCaffrey
- The Pern Encyclopedia - I, Archived version
- In the first Pern books, F'lor was called F'lon. There is no reason given for the change.
- Wikipedia - Dragonriders of Pern - Fandom
- The Worlds of Anne McCaffrey - Fan Fiction Rules. Accessed October 1, 2008.
- alt.fan.pern newsgroup FAQs (early 1990s)
- from August 2000 OtherSpace Interview
- "Your website is promoting an online role playing game that explicitly draws from the copyrighted intellectual property of Anne McCaffrey. This is an illegal infringement of her copyright, moreover it is an illegal use of rights currently licensed to Ubisoft. Make no mistake, this is very serious indeed. I strongly urge you to reply to me at your earliest convenience. If I do not hear from you shortly, I will have no choice but to turn this information over to Ubisoft's legal department. They are a huge multi-national corporation with a vast legal department. Unless you have similar resources at your disposal, I recommend you get in touch with us straightaway. I am Anne McCaffrey's official representative in this matter. If you wish to verify my credentials, please go to the front page of her official website where you will find a link (lower right hand corner) which I think will satisfy you regarding my legitimacy. All the best, Alec Johnson, Webmaster, The Worlds of Anne McCaffrey"
- comment by Zz at rec.games.roguelike.angband: copyright violation threats, February 24, 2002
- darthrose: rhpotter: themagdalenwriting:... - Randomness, Archived version
- [smartass-telepath] replied to [jathis]: So I’m on AO3 ...(the forgotten history of disclaimers)
- [seespotbitejane] replied to [general-leiaorgana]: So I’m on AO3 ...(the forgotten history of disclaimers)
- [catpella] replied to [trianamars]: So I’m on AO3 ...(the forgotten history of disclaimers)
- [foxy-voxy] replied to [merindab]:
- [hatpirestuff] replied to [octoberspirit]: So I’m on AO3 ...(the forgotten history of disclaimers)
- Putting it mildly.
- 3b. Rider behavior during Mating Flights.
- All dragons can go "between times", but Ruth always knows exactly where and "when" he is without help from his rider.
- comment by Zei at The New Kitchen Table: Old Fashion Pern Fandom= DragonsDream - The New Kitchen Table, Archived version
- [truxi-twice] replied to [lior-lichai]: So I’m on AO3 ...(the forgotten history of disclaimers)
- Writers University Anne McCaffrey - Fan Fiction Rules. Accessed May 15, 2010.
- Internet Archive snapshot of http://annemccaffrey.net/fan-fiction-rules.html  taken December 5, 2006
- http://lostweyrs.proboards76.com/index.cgi?board=therules&action=display&thread=856 Accessed October 1, 2008.
- Southern Enclave, #30 (Autumn 1991); WebCite
- Fan Fiction
- also stated at Fan Fiction
- Welcome to the Worlds of Anne McCaffrey!, Archived version
- A nearly identical version is here: Fan Fiction Rules – The Worlds of Anne McCaffrey, Archived version -- the difference being that there is an additional link to registered, acceptable fan sites: see The Worlds of Anne McCaffrey: Fan Links
- The Worlds of Anne McCaffrey » Fan Fiction Rules, Archived version
- Letter from Dee, Archived version, February 9, 2005
- The Worlds of Anne McCaffrey » Fan Links, Archived version
- That's Not Punk (Ancient Fandoms), Archived version
- Feedback: Anne McCaffrey's reaction to the 2009 birthday portrait - A Meeting of Minds - An Anne McCaffrey Discussion Forum, Archived version
- Writers University Anne McCaffrey - Fan Fiction Rules. Accessed May 15, 2010.
- Sariel's Guide to Pern: A short introduction toalt.fan.pern
- Icon maybe appropriate: fanfic and creator's wishes, Archived version, archive page 2, archive page 3, archive page 4, survey and four pages of comments regarding opinion about pro-canon creators' and fanworks opinions about: Robin Hobb, Anne Rice, J. Michael Straczynski , Marion Zimmer Bradley, Anne McCaffrey, J.K. Rowling, and others (2007)
- There are no Weyr zines "archived" or "partially digitized" on Fanlore. Some small resolution scans of zine covers and sample interior pages are used for description purposes only.
- skywaterblue. The Long, Strange Legacy of Anne McCaffrey, Archived version, posted to Dreamwidth November 22, 2011. (Accessed November 28, 2011)
- Anne McCaffrey, Fanfiction, and Copyright, November 25, 2011
- a chest binder or compression bra
- A character in Naomi Novik's Tereraure series. See Mokhachane
- [urbandev] replied to [garshil]:
- [asksythe] replied to [aphonicdreams]: So I’m on AO3 ...(the forgotten history of disclaimers)
- [dzamieponders] replied to [thewyndur]: So I’m on AO3 ...(the forgotten history of disclaimers)
- [bones-and-struts] replied to [geekygothgirl]: So I’m on AO3 ...(the forgotten history of disclaimers)
- [disease-danger-darkness-silenc] replied to [e kyraneko]: So I’m on AO3 ...(the forgotten history of disclaimers)
- [j-j-j-jenny-and-the-cats raisedbyhyenas]: So I’m on AO3 ...(the forgotten history of disclaimers)
- Pern was my first fandom too!, Archived version