Book Review : The Pegasus cycle

Author : Anne McCaffrey
Titles : To ride Pegasus / Pegasus in flight / Pegasus in space

Pitch : Some people have the Talent. They can catch a glimpse of the future, move things with a thought, or converse over huge distances. They will have to organize themselves in order to get accepted, and to face the need they will generate. They have to master Pegasus, the flying horse, which can fly very high and very fast, but from which you can’t dismount…

For a lot of people, heroes with special powers are just something you find in comics, or novels. In their literary worlds, they can be more or less considered heroes, but no one doubts them. Ann McCaffrey takes Talent for granted and tries to imagine how well we humans would react to such things.

The first step is about acceptance. During the first chapters, the Talented people try to convince the human race that they are neither fakers or con-artists, nor non-human. They try to establish themselves as specialists in a very different area of expertise, that’s all. They decide to use seers for insurance work, telepathic people for riot-control, telekinetic people for heavy lifting…

Once their use is renowned to their satisfaction, they establish themselves as trained professionals, educating Talented people to perform to everyone’s satisfaction. But this can’t come without legal protection, just like with every other job. That takes some time, but they manage to thwart any attempt to circumvent their loyalty to their kind and their objectivity.

Finally, when mankind puts all its effort into space colonization, they participate with their skills, even though they feel like slaves, up until a young Talented man manages to achieve every Talented’s dream : channeling electric energy to expand their power, instead of drawing only on the body’s resources, thus opening the way to space travel.

Even though these people, with their altruistic ways and their “so-seventies” way to think, still can’t be considered as a tangible reality, Ann McCaffrey manages to divert our attention from the so-called superhuman capabilities, to focus it on something much more close to home : acceptance. Her books can be a metaphoric description for almost any ethnic, or professional, integration of the Other. This Other that scares most of the people on this planet because of its difference could very well be the key to Progress.


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