The White Dragon
|The White Dragon|
First hardcover edition, Whelan cover[a]
|Series||Dragonriders of Pern|
|Genre||Science Fiction novel|
|Publication date||June 1978|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover & Paperback)|
|Pages||497 pp (first edition)|
|LC Classification||PZ4.M1195 Wh
The White Dragon is a science fiction novel by American-Irish author Anne McCaffrey. It completes the original Dragonriders trilogy in the Dragonriders of Pern series, seven years after the second book. It was first published by Del Rey Books in June 1978, one year before the young-adult Harper Hall trilogy.
In 1987, Locus: The magazine of the science fiction & fantasy field ranked The White Dragon number 23 among the 33 "All-Time Best Fantasy Novels", based on a poll of subscribers.
The first part of the novel was published three years earlier as A Time When, a special publication by the New England Science Fiction Association for its annual convention Boskone in 1975, where McCaffrey was Guest of Honor.
The White Dragon follows the coming of age story of Jaxom, the young Lord of Ruatha Hold, who had accidentally impressed the unusual white dragon Ruth in Dragonquest and Dragonsong. As Jaxom grows up, he has to deal with the difficulty of being both a Lord Holder and a dragonrider, the maturity of Ruth (who, besides being white, is a runt), his own teenage angst and desire to fight Thread on his own, and the rebellious Oldtimers, who attempt to steal a golden egg from Benden Weyr. Fortunately, Ruth always knows when he is and can travel through time to avert the growing political crisis. But while fighting Thread, Jaxom falls ill with a potentially deadly sickness called "Fire-Head". This leads him to recuperate in Cove Hold, and while there he discovers some of the mysteries that the Ancients, the ancestors of the Pernese, left behind, and he begins to make more sense of the past.
The White Dragon placed third for the annual Locus Award for Best Novel and it was one of five nominees for the annual Hugo Award for Best Novel. It won the Gandalf Award for Book-Length Fantasy and the Australian Ditmar Award for international fiction.
The American Library Association in 1999 cited the two early Pern trilogies (Dragonriders and Harper Hall), along with The Ship Who Sang, when McCaffrey received the annual Margaret A. Edwards Award for her "lifetime contribution in writing for teens".
- The Atlas of Pern (1984), a companion book produced by Karen Wynn Fonstad in consultation with McCaffrey.
- "The Locus Index to SF Awards: 1987 Locus All-time Poll". Locus. Retrieved 2011-10-12. Originally published in the monthly Locus, August 1987.
- "A Time When by Anne McCaffrey". NESFA Press. Retrieved 2007-02-08.
- "McCaffrey, Anne". Locus Index to SF Awards. Retrieved 2011-10-09. The Locus was voted by Locus magazine readers, the Hugo and Gandalf at the annual World Science Fiction Convention, and the Ditmar at the annual Australian convention.
- "1999 Margaret A. Edwards Award Winners". Young Adult Library Services Association. American Library Association. Retrieved 2011-11-14.
- Pern Home – "the website for Pern and The Dragonriders of Pern™".