Anne McCaffrey’s epic story of P.E.R.N. (Parallel Earth, Resources Negligible) can be said to begin with the following:
In the somewhat-not-too-distant-future. technology (the reach for the stars) enables humans to make contact with sapient alien species. Unfortuantely, that contact does not go well, and ends in war that leaves Earth – and humans – with the short end of the stick.
Some disaffected humans start a coalition to find an uninhabited (by sapients) planet where humans can start over in a somewhat simpler, more agrarian, low-tech lifestyle. As it turns out, they need the help of native _animals_ (fire-lizards), via genetic engineering (to create large, man-rideable, fire-breathing dragons), to combat the unique threat Pern faces – all-consuming, fungal-analogue Thread falling from the sky.
This story will be made into a movie by 2013, according to IMDB. I wonder if the backstory, made known to illiterates for the first time, will cause a stir?
I mean, how racist, to find a planet all to yourselves away from alien influences, and find non-humanoid beings of more help than blacks or Pakis.
The nerve of UK descendents.