It's a satisfying thing, to realize that all my years of education and various jobs are resolving into this position. It's almost incomprehensible to me to imagine not being in school--I can barely remember a time before kindergarten, when I didn't live my life by nine-month periods--but it's also blissfully exciting. I feel the kind of heart-stopping excitement you feel at the top of that particularly tall first peak on a roller-coaster--you know you're going to start plunging down in a moment, and you know you're not going to be hurt, but you also don't exactly know what to expect, so you can feel a tight sharpness in the back of your throat.
It may be an odd thing, but symbolically, I feel that I've accepted my coming to the End-of-Preparation-and-Beginning-of-Real-Life stage by finally reading an Anne McCaffrey novel.
Being an avid fantasy/sci-fi fan, of course I've known about her Pern novels for ages--since middle school--but I'd only ever read a volume of her short stories until this past week. By the time I wanted to read her, I was a senior in high school and going through both Robert Jordan and David Eddings, very prolific writers who left me little time to dally with others. Then there was college, and I'd kept myself from reading almost any non-limited (longer than trilogy) series, save RJ who's of course bound me until the Wheel stops turning (speaking of which, I didn't know about his health). So I always told myself, as soon as school was done for good, I'd take up McCaffrey.
It's been eleven years in college, and this past week I both finished Dragonsdawn (chronologically the first Pern novel), and read most of another Pern short story book, A Gift of Dragons. It was good timing--I happened to find Dragonsdawn for 25 cents at the Feral Cat Rescue Group book sale a few weeks ago. (And appropriate--this was the first book cover of the series that I remember seeing, being enchanted by the tiny dragonets on the cover.)
I suppose it's fitting for a reader and a librarian to mark the end of her illustrious education by starting a new series. Anyway, any other readers who have already discovered Pern, I'm honored to finally join your ranks.
...Now, who can lend me a copy of Dragonflight? UNT doesn't appear to have it.