Addition to McCaffrey's already vast saga about planet Pern (The Masterharper of Pern, 1998, etc.), where intelligent, telepathic, fire-breathing dragons and their riders labor to destroy deadly corrosive Thread as it falls from the skies when the malevolent Red Star swings near. The artificial intelligence Aivas—a remnant of the advanced technology Pern's original settlers brought with them, and subsequently neglected or forgotten—has used some of that surviving ancient technology to divert the course of the Red Star; Thread, then, save for a few residual falls, no longer threatens Pern. Nevertheless, the dragons and their riders, led by F'lar, Lessa, their son F'lessan, and his new beloved Tai, still have plenty to occupy their time. Aivas has since fallen silent, but the new technologies and ideas it reintroduced are changing the face of Pern and its society—changes violently resisted by the ultraconservative Abominators. Farmers in the new lands opened up on the southern continent find their livestock threatened by huge, vicious, mutated felines. A comet smashes into Pern's oceans, causing tidal waves, eruptions, and earthquakes. Tai discovers that the dragons can not only teleport themselves and their riders through space and time, but they can also move other objects. And Pern may well be menaced by further comet fragments.
The saga trundles on, a mild diversion for the legions of dragonfans.