This was the first cover in the Dragonriders of Pern series to feature the beloved fire lizards and Michael really enjoyed painting them. He finished the painting, but he had a vague sense of an unease and he didn't send it off to the publisher before leaving for the World Science Fiction Convention in Brighton, England. While there, the Whelan family took a side trip to the fabulous beaches in South Wales. While standing in the water, he looked back at the shore and realized a flaw in the painting still sitting on his easel at home. When he got back to his studio, he repainted the water and then sent it in. There's no substitute for studying the real thing.
The beautiful planet Pern seemed a paradise to its new colonists - until unimaginable terror turned it into hell. Suddenly deadly spores were falling like silver threads from the sky, devouring everything - and everyone - in their path. It began to look as if the colony, cut off from Earth and lacking the resources to combat the menace, was doomed. Then some of the colonists noticed that the small, dragonlike lizards that inhabited their new world were joining the fight against Thread, breathing fire on it and teleporting to safety. If only, they thought, the dragonets were big enough for a human to ride and intelligent enough to work as a team with a rider... And so they set their most talented geneticist to work to vreate the creatures Pern so desperately neede – Dragons!
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