Acrylic on Masonite - 20" X 30"
The primary menace to the planet Pern is "Thread," a corrosive and devastating alien life form which falls from the Red Star and burrows its way into the soil, destroying all life and making the soil unusable. Only the dragons who are able to burn the Thread out of the sky can save the inhabitants. This seemed like a great scene for Michael to illustrate and it made an exciting cover, but he found out later that he goofed. Anne McCaffrey visualized Thread falling as straight strands of spaghetti, whereas Michael painted it as squirming ribbonlike things descending in clumps and tangles.