My Yuletide assignment, for Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern novels, was The Ballad of Mirrim and Menolly's Ride
, for calenlily
. Rated PG for non-graphic violence; gen.
Menolly, Mirrim, and Mirrim's dragon Path travel through times that were, will be, and might have been to warn Pern of a deadly new threat.
If you're not familiar with Anne McCaffrey's Pern books but want to read this anyway (I'm flattered if that's the case), click on the link below for background information. If you are familiar with the books but haven't re-read them in ages, I incorporated reminders of the necessary background into the story, so you should be good to go. (The story ignores all canon written after Dragondrums
This is the first time I've ever written my own request for Yuletide. I don't mean that I ignored my recipient's notes, but that I incorporated them into a story which also fulfills one of my requests. Duels, female friendship, female heroism, dragon companions, alternate universes, the bittersweet knowledge of paths not taken, and having the world recognize your awesomeness exactly as you are, flaws and all: this epic gen adventure is the creature from Rachel's id. ( Background info on Pern )
I only offered Mirrim and Menolly, but was matched on "any" with a recipient who had requested Pern twice, once for "any" and once for her OTP, Lessa and F'lar. Luckily, poking through my recipient's LJ revealed that she did like both Mirrim and Menolly, though sadly she requested no non-canonical relationships so there could be no femmeslash. On the other hand, I'm not sure when they would have had time to have sex in my story anyway.Here's her Yuletide letter
. Note how I did manage a variant on her suggestion of "Weyrleaders through the ages."
This story was enormously assisted by yhlee
, by brainstorming, beta, and the invaluable loan of The Atlas of Pern
. She also terrorized me by informing me, quite correctly, that my story (then clocking in at 13,000 words) was rushed and too short. After agonizing, I made it longer. At 18,000 words, this is the longest short piece I've ever written in my life.
By the way, Pern has the most inconsistent canon of anything I've ever written. Characters' names
are spelled differently in different books. Object names are spelled differently. Dueling between dragonriders is a) absolutely forbidden, b) something dragonriders are specifically trained to do, c) met with general approval, d) causes a summit meeting. The apparent ages of characters are inconsistent with the timeline, which itself is confusing due to time travel.
Incidentally, I ended up writing a Treat story, "The Marvels We Have Seen," for a different recipient which could conceivably work as a prequel. Don't read the Treat unless you're OK with the idea that Mirrim and Menolly's friendship occasionally involves sex.( Here be enormous spoilers for my story, and also dragons. Read the story first. )