In Retrospect

How many books have you read in your life where there’s a hidden subtext featuring the LGBT community in some way? Chances are… more than you think! Take one of my favorite series from my youth: Dragonriders of Pern

Yep! Anne McCaffrey snuck that right in! I always remember reading the series and thinking that growing up in the Holds must have been stifling, and if I could–beyond the fact there were dragons–I’d skedaddle to a Weyr in a heartbeat. I never wanted one of the gold dragons. I wanted a green. Sleek, fast, not too serious, and they could flame Thread out of the sky with the best of them. And they were female, unlike the rest aside from the Queens.

But all the green dragonriders in the series were guys. Of course, so were the blues, the browns, and the bronzes too. The subtext that shows up in a lot of the series didn’t strike me until much later. Greens go into heat just like the gold dragons, even if they’re sterile from chewing phosphine rock, and the impending flight made the green riders “proddy”. LOL

Suddenly the Holders hidebound attitude toward the licentious nature of the Weyr’s inhabitants become clear. And it’s very much an echo of time the series began, back in 1967 with its free love, acceptance, and peace even in the face of impending danger. And that’s why I think I subconsciously loved the series. If you like your scifi with a fantasy-esque setting, if you’re a fan of dragons and danger, then you really should read these classics!

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