If a queen isn’t meant to fly, why does she have wings?

golden dragon

Surely, if she can fly to mate, she can fly at other times

If a queen isn’t meant to fly, why does she have wings?” asked Lessa. She was genuinely trying to maintain a tone of sweet reason.

She had had to learn that, although it was in her nature to seethe, she must seethe discreetly. Unlike the average Pernese, dragonriders were apt to perceive strong emotional auras.

R’gul’s heavy eyebrows drew together in a startled frown. He snapped his jaws together with exasperation. Lessa knew his answer before he uttered it.

“Queens don’t fly,” he said flatly.

“Except to mate,” S’lel amended. He had been dozing, a state he achieved effortlessly and frequently, although he was younger than the vigorous R’gul.

They are going to quarrel again, Lessa thought with an inward groan… […]

“A queen flies only to mate,” R’gul allowed the correction.

“Surely,” Lessa said with persistent patience, “if she can fly to mate, she can fly at other times.”

by Anne McCaffrey (born 1 April 1926)
from Dragonflight (1968) ,
Part II
image – OliBac

For “Bionic Annie”

I was Lessa, and I’ll bet a lot of you were, too.

Dragonflight is Volume 1 of The Dragonriders of Pern trilogy. Dragonflight later became the first of a whole series of Dragonrider Pern books.

I remember reading Anne McCaffrey as a kid, and I thought she’d written a lot of dragon books then. A glance at the book list on her site shows that there have been many, many more.

Earlier this month Anne McCaffrey turned 84, and she’s still in love with writing. This blog post from late 2009 gives me visions of a hard working author who is satisfied with her life’s work and will never stop enjoying her craft:

The doctors had me, at first, in a huge brace to keep the hip from dislocating but it was unbearable and they decided, with some concern about my age, to operate and rebuild the hip. That operation went well but there were complications (at my tender age of eighty-three, there often are) which they dealt with quickly and then, with my blessing, they replaced my old bum knee, too! And so now I’m not only bionic Annie but re-bionic Annie! I’m still in physiotherapy and it will be a while before I get all the parts moving in the right direction again but there’s a chance, when the dust all settles, that I’ll be fully ambulatory – although I might need a walker for a bit. So.. knock on wood, I’m still a going concern!

As for writing this year, sadly, that takes energy and I just don’t have as much of it as I’d like. However, I’d been reading Todd’s latest – Dragongirl – and I really liked what he was doing with it. So I suggested that perhaps we collaborate on the sequel, Dragonrider. I didn’t have to push too hard nor did he find me a great imposition as my role was mainly one of making suggestions or being a sounding board but even that much was a lot of fun and, I might humbly say, I think the result was well worth the effort. So much so that we moved on to the sequel to *that* – Dragon’s Time – as well and Todd tells me he’ll have the second draft of that to me shortly. And, of course, Annie Scarborough and I have been continuing work together – “Catalyst: A Tale of Barque Cats” will come out from Del Rey in hardcover just at the beginning of the new year. So, while I would dearly love to have the energy to tell a tale all on my own, I really cannot say that I am not ably represented with my collaborations. I grew up in the Great Depression, and I know that for some the hardships of these times seem far worse but I assure you that it will all pass. Hang on, there’s lots worth waiting for!by Anne McCaffrey, from her blog
December 17th, 2009


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2 Responses to “If a queen isn’t meant to fly, why does she have wings?”

  1. Abimbola Akanwo Says:

    🙂 Love your excerpt from Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonflight Part II.

    Also love your extract from her 17th December 2009 blog…

    Never heard of Anne McCaffrey before, nor have I heard of Dragonflight until your blog, thank you for introducing me to both…

    Feels as if I know Anne McCaffrey…:-)

  2. E. A. Able Says:

    My pleasure. 🙂

    I am enjoying cruising around, getting to know a little bit about these authors.