First printed in Analog, it won a Hugo and was nominated for a Nebula award. Reprinted in several major anthologies by editors Roger Zelazny, John W. Campbell, Jr., Charles G. Waugh, Martin Harry Greenberg, Isaac Asimov, Stanley Schmidt, Margaret Weis, David G. Hartwell, Kathryn Cramer, Jonathan Strahan, and John Joseph Adams. Along with “Dragonrider”, “Weyr Search” makes up part of Dragonflight, a novel that has twice placed high in the Locus Awards’ All-Time Best Fantasy Novel.
Summary:Lessa wants to wrest back control of the Ruath Hold from Fax, Lord of the High Reaches. The Hold has fallen into disrepair, and Lessa works to make it worse for when the Weyr riders come. She hopes the rider will challenge and give her back the Hold.
What she doesn't know is that that is not what she wants.
F'lar, meanwhile, comes to the Hold on a Weyr search. He expects Fax to be greedy, maybe even indifferent to F'lar's mission since Fax doubted the thread, but F'lar didn't expect insult.
Discussion:The hold is in disarray, thanks to Lessa. F'lar is offended that Fax cannot feed and let F'lar stay the night somewhere warm. F'lar challenges. Fax loses. Lessa gains although F'lar takes her on as Weyr woman, sensing her talent with dragons.
Taken to the hatching of dragon eggs, she watches members get mauled by dragons, others get selected. The gold dragon selects her so that she is queen.
This has the stuff of legendary SF wonder. One of the classics. If there's a flaw in the plot, this feels less like a novella than an episode in a novel yet one that, nonetheless, feels paradoxically complete. Likely, it was designed as a novel from the beginning, and the novella was carved out.