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Context Literature / ToRidePegasus

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1A trilogy of science fiction novels by Creator/AnneMcCaffrey, consisting of ''To Ride Pegasus'', ''Pegasus in Flight'', and ''Pegasus in Space''.˛˛''To Ride Pegasus'' (1973) is a fix-up novel combining several short stories set TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture, when a method is discovered to objectively detect and measure PsychicPowers, and features the North American Center for Parapsychic Talents, an organization that locates and trains Talented people and negotiates a safe space for them in a world that tends to find them mysterious and frightening.˛˛''Pegasus in Flight'' (1990) and ''Pegasus in Space'' (2000) were written concurrently with [=McCaffrey=]'s ''Literature/TowerAndTheHive'' series, which depicts a distant future in which powerful Talents support an interstellar civilization through instantaneous telepathic communication and the ability to teleport spacecraft over vast distances, and show the roots of that future among the Center's Talents on an overcrowded Earth just beginning to look to the stars.˛----˛!!The ''Pegasus'' novels contain examples of the following tropes:˛* AlwaysIdenticalTwins: Sascha and Boris Roznine.˛* BadBoss: Ludmilla Barchenka in ''Pegasus in Flight''.˛* BrokenPedestal: A minor example, but still depressing: while they're searching for Tirla, Carmen starts to build up an idea of her as a strong, smart and talented runaway, but who is also an innocent who needs their help. When they meet, Tirla's callousness about the horrible situation the kids she rescued are in makes Carmen quite dismayed.˛* CallingYourBathroomBreaks: When told that, [[spoiler: if he completes a course of physical therapy, he can have his surgery reversed and his waste bag removed]], Peter is quite emphatic that he would "give anything to be able to pee and crap like an ordinary human being." In this case, his frankness is ''not'' a sign of immaturity; it's the farthest thing from it.˛* CanonWelding: ''Pegasus in Flight'' and ''Pegasus in Space'' were written to officially merge the older ''To Ride Pegasus'' to the ''Literature/TowerAndTheHive'' novels.˛* CassandraDidIt: A major problem for precognizants in the early years. When something goes wrong and there's nobody else to sue, the litigious go for precogs on the theory that they could have got the warning out sooner. Eventually, it becomes a big enough problem that they have to go to the legislature for shield laws.˛* DifferentlyPoweredIndividual: The Talents.˛* DiplomaticImpunity: Invoked by the BigBad of ''Pegasus in Flight''. Unfortunately for him, his boss got the whole story and pulled the rug out from under him.˛* DisabilitySuperpower: Peter Reidinger discovers he has powers after becoming a quadriplegic.˛* DreamingOfThingsToCome: Stock in trade for precognitive Talents. This can be interesting because while they actually see the event, they see no more than a person standing there would; they must work back to identifying locations, people, times, etc. Henry Darrow is the exception; he focuses his predictions through astrology rather than psychic dreams.˛* ExactWords: Through the entire Padrugoi Space Station construction arc, Ludmilla Barchenka had been harassing the Talents to get the station completed on time, though there are implications that bonuses for early completion were involved but concealed by Barchenka. Her efforts to complete the station are outright to the effect of WeHaveReserves, with evidence that grunts had been left to die in space without bothering to send rescues for them. The epilogue of ''Pegasus in Flight'' has her HoistByHerOwnPetard when they delay shipping the last batch of parts to the station until the estimated installation time would be [[BotheringByTheBook precisely to the completion deadline, no earlier, no later.]]˛* TheFederation: The United World, developed through the growth of international institutions and effectively sovereign by ''Pegasus in Flight''. It tries to be benevolent, but is somewhat totalitarian in its enforcement of PopulationControl and conscription of the unemployed into highly dangerous space work. The Parapsychic Center is an independent entity, but the Center has legal authority over all Talents, and in practice Talents are employed at all levels of government and industry (which are highly linked).˛* GreaterScopeVillain: In ''Pegasus in Space'', there's an unusual example of the prior BigBad being promoted to this. [[spoiler: Prince Shimaz is locked up on the Moon and isn't doing ''anything'', not even controlling his people. However, before his imprisonment, he issued a fatwa against Peter and Tirla. Peter's assailants have no central organization to speak of; Shimaz' family relations are simply attempting to carry out that fatwa on autopilot. Ponsit Prosit is part of one such plot because of his own grudge against Peter.]]˛* HandicappedBadass: Peter Reidinger, who overcomes spinal damage and moves around by TK. [[spoiler:Later repaired by Amariyah.]]˛* HealingHands: Amariyah Bantam, though she doesn't know it.˛* HeartIsAnAwesomePower: Tirla is a very restricted telepath… who also happens to have a Talent that makes her fluent in every language in existence, and she can translate them effortlessly. Given that she lives in a giant community full of people who speak different languages, it's basically her full-time job.˛* HeroesWantRedheads: Peter Reidinger develops a phobia of red-headed nurses after one attempts to seduce him in the hospital. [[spoiler: Later, he falls in love with another redheaded nurse.]]˛* HumansArePsychicInTheFuture: Not all, not even most, but a significant percentage. Not a case of humans ''becoming'' psychic through future or alien tech, but of science eventually figuring out how to objectively detect and measure the potential humans had all along.˛* TheJailBaitWait: Sasha (who is in his thirties) is patiently waiting for Tirla (who is approximately 12) to grow up. They marry on her sixteenth birthday (the minimum legal age to do so in their society), and it's implied that it was Tirla who was pushing to get married so quickly.˛* TheMaidenNameDebate: Possibly implied with Dorotea Horvath; both she and her grandson use her maiden name.˛* AMindIsATerribleThingToRead: This is one of the reasons that the Registered Talents tend to move into the large isolated and insulated estate established for them. Living in one of the crowded, high-rise residence blocks drives them to distraction.˛* MindOverManners: An essential part of the Talents' culture, though in ''To Ride Pegasus'', the rules haven't been fully worked out yet and the protagonists sometimes play fast and loose with "suggestions".˛* MindOverMatter: Telekinetic abilities are key to the series, especially after the technique of drawing on outside energy sources to move greater masses greater distances is discovered.˛* MundaneUtility: Peter Reidinger discovers he has powers after becoming a quadriplegic at age thirteen; as a result he uses his "Talent" for ''everything'', including hiding the fact that he's doing it by puppeting his own inert body, which leads to some UncannyValley moments (as well as him ''literally'' levitating with enthusiasm early on when he forgets where his feet are in relation to the ground...)[[invoked]]˛* MutantDraftBoard: The Center don't generally ''force'' anyone to join them, but they do apply a significant amount of pressure, bribery, and in rare cases coercion to attract and keep Talents, and have legal jurisdiction over ''all'' Talented individuals. The first time a law requiring Talents to register with a Center was suggested, the Center actually said it was a stupid idea: The Center barely had the resources to process the people who came to be tested voluntarily, they'd never be able to handle mandatory testing of entire cities in a reasonable amount of time, and without that they'd never be able to enforce a Talent Registration Act. (This takes place in the first book, when they only have one small Center. In the later books, there are more and far better funded Centers, with considerably more influence.)˛* NeverSayDie: [[spoiler:Dorotea is conspicuously absent for the epilogue of ''Pegasus in Space'', and while there's no confirmation, the wording and Peter sadly remembering her congratulating him once strongly implies that she died of old age.]]˛* NoConservationOfEnergy: Averted - the Talents explicitly tap external power sources for anything more than floating things across the room.˛* {{Omniglot}}: Tirla's psychic powers make her this.˛* OneWorldOrder: Develops through a layer of international institutions during the ''Pegasus'' trilogy. Individual nations still exist, and the United World functions as a [[TheFederation federal government]].˛* PatchworkStory: Three of the four sections of ''To Ride Pegasus'' are previously published short stories.˛* PopulationControl: Used in ''Pegasus in Flight'', and it's an issue since Tirla was illegally born.˛* ProperlyParanoid: At the beginning of ''Pegasus in Space'', there's no precog of anything going wrong, but everything seems like it's going ''too'' well, and ever-cynical Johnny Greene responds by arranging some extra security for the lighting-up ceremony on Padrugoi. [[spoiler: Sure enough, Manager Ludmilla Barchenka attempts a hostile takeover of the space station, and Greene's agents are critical for foiling the scheme.]]˛* ProphecyTwist: In ''Pegasus in Space'', there's a twist involving a ''lack'' of a prophecy. There's no precog of anything going wrong at the inauguration of the Padrugoi Space Station, but this doesn't reassure Johnny Greene, who takes some precautions anyway. [[spoiler:Manager Ludmilla Barchenka does try to take over the Station, but is foiled by Greene and Reidinger. When quizzed about her failure to pick anything up, the duty precog pointed out that because Greene prevented it by taking initiative, the takeover didn't happen, and so there was nothing ''to'' pick up.]]˛* ScrewTheRulesIHaveConnections: The Parapsychic Center has little respect for the letter of the law when it comes to recruitment, though part of this is because a lot of psychics in the ''To Ride Pegasus'' era ended up in prisons or insane asylums because of their abilities, and they were often released into the Center's hands instead. Later, Tirla is retroactively made a legal citizen (in violation of PopulationControl - she's a third child) as part of her recruitment; Tirla [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] that they've got to have some really good law enforcement connections.˛* ScrewTheRulesIHaveSupernaturalPowers: In the early days the psychics form a group with a code of behavior in order to try to avert this trope. When a girl more powerful than any other psychic in the world learns how to use her powers (ironically because she saw a public service announcement by the group) she goes on a crime spree which eventually results in murder and her own death. In later books, every Talent of significant strength is brought into the fold early and taught to use their powers responsibly.˛* SelfDefeatingProphecy: This is usually how precognition works; precogs have visions of disasters, report them to the appropriate people, and frequently manage to avert them. In one incident, it was explained that the reason that the precogs didn't predict a barely averted crisis was because people guessed it might happen and took countermeasures to avert it without the need for precog.˛* SexAsRiteOfPassage: An unusual variant. A doctor at one point says that [[spoiler: Peter will know that he's whole again]] when "the man inside you will stand up and make himself known." [[spoiler: Peter's first sexual response to Ceara comes right after he's declared medically fit again.]]˛* SquishyWizard: Peter Reidinger is the world's most powerful psychic Talent, with a totally paralyzed body. It's only because he is paralyzed, in fact, that he was able to discover his powers by telepathically calling for aid.˛* SufficientlyAnalyzedMagic: Psychic powers were rare, weak and unreliable until Henry Darrow's accident, subsequent hospitalization, and the first recording of a parapsychic Incident. After that, the Center began sponsoring a massive amount of research to "put a bridle on Pegasus" by scientifically analyzing how it works, reconciling psychic abilities with the laws of physics, and how to make it work better. The project finally matures with Peter Reidinger and Tomas Gadriel's collaboration, which develops the telepathic gestalt circuitry that allows for Tower Primes to teleport spaceships.˛* SuperRegistrationAct: One of the first things the Psychics did was draft their own version, to preempt a more hostile version.˛* SuperpowerfulGenetics: As Talents began producing offspring together, more and more-powerful Talents came forth.˛* {{Teleportation}}: One of the psychic abilities featured in the series. The basis of the humans' interstellar civilization in the later books is high-powered psychics teleporting objects, included spacecraft, across immense distances.˛* TimeSkip: Between ''To Ride Pegasus'' and ''Pegasus in Flight''. Dorotea Horvath, who was about five years old at the end of the former, is now at least eighty years old and a grandmother, and we also meet the children of other characters, like Daffyd's granddaughter Rhyssa, Bruce and Amalda's (probably) grand-daughter, who's named after her grand-mother, and Boris and Sascha Roznine, who are the (probably) grandsons of Vsevolod Roznine (the book never says exactly what the twins' relationship to Vsevolod is, nor Amalda junior's relationship to Bruce and Amalda senior).˛* TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture: The setting of ''To Ride Pegasus.''˛* TwinTelepathy: Sascha and Boris Roznine.˛* UngratefulBastard: Early on the Talents provide a warning that saves the life of, among others, a Senator who's arguing vehemently to deny them legal protection--even though it also risks the life of their strongest defender. Undaunted, the Senator not only accuses them of perpetrating a hoax but also insists that real psychics would have known better.˛* UntoUsASonAndDaughterAreBorn: Tirla's twins, Mischa and Miriam.˛* WifeHusbandry: Tirla marries Sascha (thirty-something) on her sixteenth birthday, or pretty much the instant she was legally allowed to. Although he hadn't raised her since birth, he had taken on a protective, father-figure role in her life since she was about age twelve.˛* YouCantFightFate: The first ''Pegasus'' story has coincidence and destiny completely override Henry Darrow's brain when he tries to avoid his fated car crash, [[BecauseDestinySaysSo because everything rides on him being critically injured, sent to the one hospital in the area with an EEG sensitive enough to detect psychic powers, meeting Molly, and finding scientific proof of the existence of Talent]]. Afterwards, however, this is averted; having knowledge of a precog allows you to change the event. DoubleSubverted by Henry's later heart attack; [[spoiler:he could have chosen to have a heart transplant before his expiration date, but he figured that by that time, he'd have lived a full life and be glad to pass his legacy on to the next generation.]]˛----


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