Did Anne McCaffrey's original 1968 Dragonflight include the Lost Colony prelude? To the best of my recollection it did, but I don't have the original handy any more, and I've came across online suggestions that the SF portion (lost space colony) was added/edited in later.

2 Answers 2


Yes, the "lost colony" beginning was in the original magazine publication of "Weyr Search" and carried through in every republication. Only excerpts of the 1967 Analog with Weyr Search are online at Google Books, but the linked excerpt includes lines clearly from an introduction establishing that this is a fallen colony:

It was during the frantic struggle to combat this menace dropping through Pern’s skies like silver threads that Pern’s contact with the mother-planet weakened and broke.

Furthermore, in the comments Organic Marble provided a link to the entire October 1967 issue of Analog which positively confirms that the original publication of "Weyr Search" included the prologue identifying Pern as a lost colony world.


The novel Dragonflight was a fix-up, made up mostly of material from two earlier novellas: "Weyr Search" and "Dragonrider," both published in 1967 in Analog. ("Dragonrider" was sufficiently long that it was further split into two parts and published across two issues.) The novel version came out the next year.

As has always been common with fix-ups, the author added some additional material for the novel publication. The "prelude" (as you put it) was written as party of this process, with McCaffrey fleshing out the history of the world.

  • I am particularly interested in the part of the prelude that implies the story is about a Lost Space Colony, and not a world where the people were always there. Was that element in there from the beginning or added in later?
    – jmoreno
    Jul 28, 2018 at 12:03

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.