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Anne McCaffrey Passes Away At 85 181

Posted by Soulskill
from the rest-in-peace dept.
JSC writes "Anne McCaffrey died Monday at her home after suffering a stroke. 'In the late 1960s she became the first woman to win a Hugo Award for a work of fiction and the first woman to win a Nebula Award. She was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2006.' She will be missed by Dragons and their Riders the world over."
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Anne McCaffrey Passes Away At 85

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  • I has a sad.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kheldan (1460303) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @02:27AM (#38145604) Journal
    I'm sad that she's gone, but she did spend her entire life doing what she loved (writing), and we will always have her legacy to enjoy. Farewell, Dragonrider!
  • by Erbo (384) <obreerbo&gmail,com> on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @02:33AM (#38145654) Homepage Journal
    Though she's more famous for The Dragonriders of Pern and The Ship who Sang, I will always have a soft spot in my heart for her Crystal Singer series. Look it up sometime; it's a nice little combination of music, mining, meteorology, and not a little romance.

    She has passed for all time between; we accord her a dragon tribute. May she always sing the black, and cut well.

  • Anne (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dunbal (464142) * on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @02:38AM (#38145678)
    Out of life, and into legend. Even Arthur C Clarke had a soft spot for her.
  • by hexadecimate (761789) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @02:38AM (#38145680)
    Thanks, Anne McCaffrey, for introducing generations of slashdotters to the joys of Pern.
  • by deek (22697) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @02:46AM (#38145720) Homepage Journal

    While Anne had a tendency to romanticize her stories and characters, there's no doubt that she had a great imagination. I'll always have a soft spot for the Harper Hall trilogy (Dragonsong, Dragonsinger, Dragondrums). One of my favourite series, and I thoroughly recommend them to anyone of any age. Her music training in life really showed through her writing, and she wrote it well.

  • Re:I has a sad.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @03:01AM (#38145814)

    Yep and what she loved doing (writing) meant that as a teenager I could continue what I loved doing (writing). Sometimes her works copped a bit of scorn for bungling the sci-fi aspects, but really those where more just stage-props to the more important grand epic of her fantasy novels. Her writing will live long after she has passed.

  • tanka (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bill Currie (487) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @03:15AM (#38145872) Homepage

    Never ends your light
    But forever is the night
    Where flies your spirit.
    And in the cold of Between
    Shall our hearts forever keen.

    I always loved the poems she put at the beginning of the chapters in many of her dragon books. I hope she likes it.

  • by spokenoise (2140056) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @03:22AM (#38145914)
    Being a geeky kid at school I often sought sanctuary in the library where someone cool wanted us to have an alternative to the same dry stuff and regularly donated great boxes of sci-fi and fantasy. These helped me through that era of life far more than anything else. The Dragonriders were and still are a favourite that I look forward to sharing with my kids. Rest IN Peace Anne.
  • by jd (1658) <imipak&yahoo,com> on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @03:32AM (#38145966) Homepage Journal

    According to her blog, she had serious heart problems in mid August. It's hard to say if her stroke now is related, but it wouldn't surprise me.

  • by sjwt (161428) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @03:57AM (#38146068)

    Thats two of my top three Authors gone *sigh*

    I started on Anne McCaffery's works with a older hard cover of Dragonsdawn, and then went straight to the library a few days later and got out the rest one book at a time, and the good old internet alerted me to Red star rising coming out soon.. To fill in the time I started on The crystal singer series, when I finished that it was onto 'The tower and the hive'.

    I am not ashamed to admit that the opening Paragraph of 'The Rowan' still makes me cry, even the first time I read it, weird, and thus the 'Tower and the hive' became my favorite series, and Damia is my favorite book of the lot.,

  • rip (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @04:25AM (#38146212) Homepage Journal

    I spent a lot of time as a youngster at the public library. Fortunately my mom was a big reader and took me there often (it was too far from our house for me to ride my bike or walk.) In grade school I'd already figured out that Science Fiction and Fantasy were my favorites. I don't remember what year it was exactly but it doesn't seem like it took me too long to read through everything interesting in the kids section and I moved over to the regular Sci-Fi/Fantasy shelves.
     
    I do remember clearly pulling the White Dragon off the shelf one day and there on the cover [iofferphoto.com] was a guy, sitting on a dragon, with little dragons around them both. Well, that was it. I grabbed it and I tore through it.
     
    I still chuckle because my parents were rather conservative and some of the content in that book would have made them flip out. I just loved every bit of it, and then went back to the library to actually read through the series in order. The Pern books became lifelong friends, from that introduction as an adolescent, to bringing Masterharper of Pern with me on my honeymoon (read it on the flight) and today I still am reading the books. Not too many authors have that kind of long term impact.

  • by LordLucless (582312) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @04:45AM (#38146312)

    Honestly, McCaffrey's probably generally for younger readers. Her books are imaginative, but her character development and such are probably a bit shallow for more mature tastes. She's definitely on the softer side of sci-fi than Heinlein - which I don't mind, but some people only like the hard stuff.

    Dragonsdawn is the first of the books chronologically, and Dragonflight the first in order of writing - choose whichever you wish, it works both ways. There are (semi) standalone books (Dolphins of Pern, the Harper Hall trilogy), but they generally all presuppose the readers have a general knowledge of the series.

  • Good bye Anne (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Stripe7 (571267) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @05:22AM (#38146454)
    She has had a full life doing what she loved. I loved her work, it is a legacy that will live on. The world is a sadder place without her. Thank you for the stories.
  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @05:59AM (#38146572) Homepage
    I wouldn't really bother with Heinlein's later work, it's basically propaganda about why hot young chicks should screw older men while calling them daddy. Of course, if cross generational incest appeals to you, knock yourself out.
  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @07:00AM (#38146824) Journal
    Don't forget the Talents of Earth series. Very silly in places, but fun. I didn't really like the Freedom series - they started as a short story to try to cash in on the softporn SiFi bubble (which failed), and didn't get much better - I found the gratuitous Dune references really grating. The Pern series probably had universal appeal - what child didn't want to ride teleporting time-travelling dragons and fight an alien threat? But I think I agree, the Crystal Singers had a slightly more adult feel than the rest of her books (although I've not read them since I was a teenager, so that may just be nostalgia speaking) and were the ones I wanted to reread almost immediately after finishing them.
  • Re:with regret... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @07:33AM (#38146952)
    Not to add fuel to the flame, but the number of people pouring gushing praise on the series as some kind of master works outnumber the naysayers by about 99:1. I personally thought they were okay but not great, I can see her infleunce in works I prefer and for that I'm grateful but if someone can inflate the originals so much upon a person's death I don't see any issue with a genuine opinion. It's not going to hurt her where she is, and if it somehow offends you to hear a differing opinion, that's a problem with you, not with the person stating their opinion. Posting anonymous because I know I'll probably get flamed into oblivion for the same, even though I have in no way criticised the woman or her works.
  • by tdelaney (458893) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @08:09AM (#38147064)

    I've been reading Anne McCaffrey since I first found "Dragonsong" and "To Ride Pegasus" in my school library in year 8 (~13 years old) - some 25 years ago. To this day Dragonsong is still my favourite of the Pern books. I spent the next few years hunting down and buying (with my very limited money at the time) every Anne McCaffrey book I could get my hands on. I still have all of them - I love seeing "RRP: $3.75" ... I don't have every one of her books - I've missed some of each of the Ship books, Tower and Hive series, Peetaybee and Acorna. One of these days I need to fill in my collection, but with the price of books these days ...

    "Restoree" is possibly my favourite of her books. It's her first, and it has a rawness to it that I find very appealing. You can see the genesis of many of of the ideas that appeared in her later stories - for example the inhuman aliens that are so evident in several series.

    Interestingly, I've been re-reading a random selection of her books the last few days - "Red Star Rising"; "Dragonsdawn"; "Dolphins of Pern" and "Pegasus in Space". It's one of the things I love about her writing - if you know the worlds she's built, you can pick up nearly any of her books and enjoy it in isolation. Less so for a tight series like "The Crystal Singer" though.

    The Dragonlady has gone between.

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