Learned: McCaffrey’s worldbuilding sets the standard. She crafts the details seamlessly into her plot so that we don’t get bogged down in backstory, but we know exactly how Pern is different from our world. Her technique of sprinkling in terms, traditions and history is one I try to emulate in my own writing. I think the long-term success of the entire Pern series is a testament to the depth of worldbuilding she started in this very first book.
Have I mentioned I love the dragons?