One of my favorite series was Anne McCaffery’s Talent series. It was the story of The Rowan, an orphan girl who had strong telepathic and telekinetic powers which her children and grandchildren inherited from her. The first book is about The Rowan (The Rowan), The second is about her daughter (Damia). The next three books (Damia’s Children, Lyon’s Pride and The Tower & the Hive) are about her grandchildren and their friends/family.
I thought this was the end of the story (though I wanted it to continue, as it was (and is) my favorite sci-fi series), but as I was wondering through the book store a few years back, I stumbled upon ‘Pegasus in Space’. I noticed the name Peter Reidinger, a name I recognized from the Talent series as Rowan’s boss and Father-figure. So I picked it up, but I never ended up reading it till recently.
I took the first two books of the Pegasus trilogy out of the library and started to read. The first book was published in 1973, years before the Rowan et. al were published. It continued short stories that set up the universe in which the Rowan existed. Granted there were a few elements of the story that I had to pause and look up *cough*IBMcards*cough* because I had no idea what they were, but I enjoyed it. The first story was about Henry Darrow, the first man to have his ‘Talent’ measured scientifically. How he formed the Center for Parapychics which was the fore-runner of the FT&T organization that exists in Rowan’s time.
The second story told how his successor dealt with the issues facing the early Talents in both measuring their limits, and discovering what kind of Talents were there. It introduced Dorotea, who actually is seen in the second and third books. The third story was how the Talents got their protection from the law and how to deal with rouge talents when they hadn’t figured out a true way to test everyone, and the fourth was a story about an empath who had the ability to change the emotions of the crowds around her.
All interesting, but for the most part separate stories, despite the fact most of them mention the Center and Daffyd op Owen, Darrow’s successor and the grandfather of Rhyssa who becomes important in the later books.
It would have been a good book on its own, and I have a feeling that was the original plan, given the amount of time between To Ride Pegasus and The Rowan. TRP was published in 1973 as I previously stated, and The Rowan as well as Pegasus in Flight were both released in 1990. The 90s were mainly spent releasing the Rowan sequels and finished up in 2000 by the final Pegasus book, Pegasus in Space. Or maybe she choose to write them all, and then edit them and release them through that decade. Who knows
So next we are onto Book # 2, Pegasus in Flight where we finally meet Peter, the great-great grandfather of the Peter in The Rowan and Damia He’s a paraplegic 15 year old who is found when he travels outside his body to escape the confines of his injuries and meets up with Rhyssa Owen. Takes them awhile to figure out whose meeting her and how. But they find him at a Jerhattan hospital (I believe Jerhattan is what happens when Manhattan becomes too big and consumes New Jersey. Would end all those Ellis Island fights though) and learn he has this unique ability to use generators to assist him when he does telekinesis.
The rest of the book explores what he can do with his powers, including giving himself (and those around him) the impression of moving, even though he can’t feel anything below his neck. It also explores the crime in Jerhattan including a child smuggling ring which the Talents with the help of a young girl name Tirla are able to defeat.
That was my one iffy part in the book. Tirla is a twelve year old girl. The man she supposedly has a connection with is in his early thirties, maybe late twenties. I can’t remember if they stated. But nonetheless, its quite a age gap at that age. But apparently they have a connection, so when Tirla turns 16, which apparently is the age of Consent in Jerhatten for marriage) they get married. She did this before with Afra/Damia, but Damia was 19 when they even brought that up, even though Afra had been thinking along those lines since she was 16. But 16 is different from 12. Luckily that does not play a big part in the book. It was just something I wasn’t too comfortable with.
Book #3 picks up where 2 left off, with the Padrugoi Space Station complete. However they have a fight with Ludmilla Barchenka who gave them lots of problems in the previous book, but that chapter is closed, and we proceed to skip a few years till Peter is now 18, Tirla 16 and they are joined by another child, Amariyah who has an affinity for growing things that might be her ‘Talent’
We continue to see Peter test his limits, sending things further away, then heavier things, till at the end he is able to send a ship to its destination at Capella (Future home world of Afra Lyon).
I liked the series, though I think there could have been more. It seemed kinda rushed towards the end, trying to fit in everything Peter has to do to set up things for his Grandson et Al in The Rowan. I also think that the times were altered a bit in the last two Pegasus books to fit their later pubish date. The first book takes place in the 90s, and book 2-3 takes place in the 2080s, which sounds a little more reasonable given that obviously we aren’t crowded or have a large population problem like the book states (for example, New York City is still what it is and not Jerhattan where private property is no longer allowed due to the population problem (only non-profits like the Center can own property.) )
I recommend all three, and I suggest after you read them you read the second half of the series.