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Anne McCaffrey Passes Away At 85 181

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!
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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.

    • I read her Dragonrider books when I was a kid. She was a really good author. RIP.
  • by Erbo ( 384 ) <> 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.

    • by Bill Currie ( 487 ) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @02:47AM (#38145724) Homepage

      Yes, the Crystal Singer series was good. I also rather liked the Freedom series, as well as the Doona series. Then there's Restoree: a great little stand-alone(?) story.

    • by EnempE ( 709151 )
      I second that. the Crystal Singer Series was great.
      Thank you for reminding me of the many hours of pleasure that those book brought me.
      The dragons were great too, I cant help but think she had a big impact of our modern conception of dragons. I think that even Avatar owes her a debt in that respect.
      • by jd ( 1658 )

        The first two books were good, I found the third one to be a big let-down and suspect that she was pressured into writing excessive sequels to series she wanted closed.

        • While I quite enjoyed the first two books in the Singer series I can re-read the third any time.

          I always expected a fourth.. or a prequel.. to explain where Ballybran crystal originally came from.

          I'm glad she made Crystal Singer into a trilogy.

          I'm sad that there will be no more

    • by jazzmans ( 622827 ) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @03:16AM (#38145880) Journal

      I'm sure someone has already said this, but

      Crystal Singer was inspired by Pat Benatar, who was trained in opera, but was told by a teacher that the burr in her voice would keep her from being a world class opera singer.......

      Man, I loved Crystal Singer.

      the Pern stuff was fun, but Crystal Singer was always my favorite.


      • Heh, news to me. And I like Pat Benatar. Cool. It's nice to know the connection, thank you.

      • by mariox19 ( 632969 ) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @12:42PM (#38149628)

        I hate to be that guy, but the Wikipedia page on Crystal Singer [] suggests that it was McCaffrey's own experience as an amateur singer that inspired the series. Now, Wikipedia isn't necessarily the last word in anything; so, do you at the very least remember where you heard this thing about Pat Benatar, or -- ideally -- can you provide a cite?

        I didn't look this all up to be a dick -- I grew up in the early '80s and love Pat Benatar. I also studied to be an opera singer at one point, so you had me intrigued.

    • by MattW ( 97290 )

      Crystal Singer was definitely my favorite of her works. The 2nd one in particular I think was incredible.

    • 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.
      • I found the gratuitous Dune references really grating.

        You must totally love Star Wars.

      • by Daetrin ( 576516 )
        I really liked the Talent series, at least the early ones. "The Rowan" was interesting, though more so as a short story before it got fleshed out to a novel to try and merge it with the Pegasus books, but after that the series started seeming a bit formulaic and repetitive to me, particularly in regards to the romance aspect. In general it suffered from the same flaw as the Pern series and which many an author has grappled with in the past. Starting a new series out strong but not knowing how to continue it
  • I've no idea whether she had a preference for the disposal of her remains, but I think there's a certain attraction in "burial" in a decaying orbit. It's been about 20 years since I read much McCaffrey, but ISTR that was a major aspect of threadfall from a planetoid in a weird harmonic orbit with Pern.
  • 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.
  • Shards (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bill Currie ( 487 ) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @02:45AM (#38145714) Homepage

    Thanks to her, my reading ability at 11 was that of a 16 year old (with plenty of credit to my grade one teacher too, of course). Her Pern books still have a special place in my heart (hear hear! to the dragon tribute).

    Well, may she forever fly with Moreta.

  • 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.

  • Well remembered.... (Score:5, Informative)

    by mseeger ( 40923 ) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @02:49AM (#38145732)

    Her Dragonriders of Pern were one of my first Fantasy Novels )i dicovered them in the 80's) and had a huge impact on my reading behavior since then..

    I will dearly miss her.


  • by Cito ( 1725214 ) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @02:49AM (#38145736)
    Anne was really great, and enjoyed her fans a lot. I remember back in 1998 I had old crappy computer on dialup and had read all but 2 of the Pern series, as well as read the Rowan trilogy and Powers that be books. I really didn't expect to get a reply but I saw her email address on her website which was that good ol' html 1.0 look :) would make a geocities page proud haha. Anyhow I emailed her with praise and a couple questions I had on the book "The white dragon' about Jaxom & Ruth and was shocked after about a week she replied with 4 paragraphs, thanking me, and answering my questions and a couple with a "keep reading..." response.

    I remember the countless times on her website and on the newsgroups (which she also posted to by the way) she was always asked about doing a movie. She had been approached countless times. But it always fell through because she didn't want the series butchered and she wanted creative control. Of course as the 2 or 3 times we heard the news of talks of a movie fall through, us on the newsgroup and on her website were sad but also happy that some 2-bit director wouldn't horribly butcher her magnum opus.

    I know her son has been continuing the pern saga the last few years with Anne's blessing. But it just don't feel like Anne when reading the newer stuff. Although good, it's hard to explain.

    I am saddened, but very glad and honored to have been able to come across and fall in love with her books so many years ago, which included a rereading of the Pern beginnings as my son got little older and I started reading him Pern as a bedtime story.

    • by jd ( 1658 ) <> on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @03:30AM (#38145948) Homepage Journal

      She was still posting on her blog and replying to fans a few weeks ago. I think it is her relationship with the fans that kept her going, to be honest. I met her at WorldCon in Glasgow back in the 90s and she wasn't all that well then. But when she talked with those of us at the coffee clatch, her energy seemed boundless.

    • by btpier ( 587890 ) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @10:49AM (#38148198)
      I know from personal experience how important her fans where to her:
      In the late 90's my wife and I, during a vacation in Ireland, actually knocked on the door of Dragonhold-Underhill. Many of the dust jackets on her books give very good clues about where she lives and several of them mention she welcomes visits from fans as long as you call ahead. Try as we might during our previous 5 days in Ireland we were unable to find a number we could reach her at, although I did manage to call her stables but she wasn't there. After a bit of driving around Wicklow we found her home and decided we'd take the chance to knock on the door, politely apologize for showing up unannounced, and ask if we could talk to Anne for a moment. Todd answered the door, said hold on and closed it again. We figured that was it and prepared to leave. A minute later he opens the door again and there is Anne! I gave her a enormous hug (I couldn't help it) which I believe made Todd nervous for a minute but Anne laughed and said you don't get a greeting like that at your door everyday. She warmly and kindly invited us into her home and chatted with us over tea and cookies for an hour. She introduced us to her mother, daughter, and Todd and gave us a tour of her home. On the way out she told us we should drive through Wicklow Pass and we'd see her vision of Pern. I'll never forget that day and often share the story with new readers of her books.

      One thing I learned during our visit was the main reason she stopped writing was due to a combination of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and arthritis. She had tried speech to text programs but they didn't work for her because of the way she wrote and how her creative process worked.

      She was a fabulous lady who will be missed dearly by many, many people. She will always be the Masterharper. May her dragons sing her between!
  • 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 ) <> 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.,

  • I'm ashamed to say, but now that I have, I'll set about reading her novels too... By the way, I have be meaning to get started on Heinlein as well.. Where should I start? When there's a series of books, I like to begin at the beginning, but if there other standalone books, I'd prefer those first. What say you about McCaffrey and Heinlein?
    • by Jaruzel ( 804522 ) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @04:41AM (#38146290) Homepage Journal

      There are two Heinleins;

      Early Heinlein (his thinner) novels are good examples of early Sci-Fi - I thoroughly recommend 'The Door into Summer' as a good starting point.

      Later Heinlein (fatter more rambling books) were all written during and after his mental breakdown - from that set I recommend working through the Lazarus Long stuff initially:

      1. Time Enough for Love
      2. The Number of the Beast
      3. The Cat Who Walks Through Walls
      4. To Sail Beyond the Sunset

      Additionally the novel 'Friday' is a good stand-alone easy to read Heinlein.


      • by LordLucless ( 582312 ) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @05:51AM (#38146554)

        I quite liked Moon is a Harsh Mistress/em of Heinlein's. Stand-alone, good read. Not as obviously pushing his sexual agenda as in some of his other books, although still quite present, obviously.

        • The Heinlein books I'd recommend:

          _Space Cadet_ (just don't get the Tor ebook from the Sony store --- it has so many errors it's unreadable)
          _Have Spacesuit Will Travel_
          _The Moon is a Harsh Mistress_ (for those over 16 --- agree w/ your sexual agenda comment)

          Optional for those who agree w/ or are not put off by his politics, or want to have their own challenged:

          _Starship Troopers_


          • Have Spacesuit Will Travel is also a great introduction to Sci-Fi for any age. It's a bit more readable than Verne, but still has that old-time feel when you run across phrases along the lines of "slide rules were the greatest invention since girls." It also hits a lot of problems relevant to modern space exploration that most authors just assume technology has addressed the issue (such as thermal buildup in space) so if you give it to a young adult to read you might just encourage their science or engine
          • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @11:41AM (#38148856) Homepage Journal

            He challenges no one politics. It's a story written in a different set of politics. He gives no argument for any politics, only a setting.

            It's like Saying JK Rawling Challenges your belief in wizards.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Rogerborg ( 306625 )
        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.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by TheRaven64 ( 641858 )

        1. Time Enough for Love
        2. The Number of the Beast

        Writing one book about a character who travels back in time so that he can screw his mother might be excusable. Writing two is unimaginative as well as creepy. I'd skip the later Heinlein stuff and read some E.E. 'Doc' Smith for some classic space opera.

        • by Daetrin ( 576516 )
          I agree. Heinlein was the first SF i ever read, and he's one of my favorite authors, but only for his early books and a couple of his middle books. The rest of the middle books and all of the late books are only of interest as a curiosity and a sad example of the decline of an author. "The Door Into Summer", "Double Star", "Citizen of the Galaxy", "The Star Beast", "Tunnel in the Sky", "Starship Troopers", "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress", "Have Spacesuit, Will Travel", those are where it's at.
        • by jgrahn ( 181062 )

          1. Time Enough for Love 2. The Number of the Beast

          Writing one book about a character who travels back in time so that he can screw his mother might be excusable. Writing two is unimaginative as well as creepy.

          Especially if you've already written "All You Zombies --".

      • I second the "The Door into Summer" as a good starting point; as well as "To Sail Beyond the Sunset".

        I've now gone through 4 copies of Time Enough for Love.

        I'd second that - "Friday" for the best standalone novel.

        On the other hand, I still have my first Pern book - The White Dragon - picked up in a yard sale around 1993... my first step into Sci Fi / Fantasy.

      • "The Door Into Summer" is a great start. One of the less popular Heinlein books is one of my favorites: the short story collection published as "The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag". There are two stores in there, "They" and "All You Zombies...", that have inspired countless other time travel and "is this the real world or a simulated one?" tales.

    • 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.

      • Possibly nostalgia talking, but I think the Crystal Singers series would appeal more to older readers than her other works. I've also reread some of the Talents of Earth / Tower and the Hive series as an adult - they were fun (although you might have to turn your brain off briefly in places) but I'm not sure if I'd enjoy them as much now if I hadn't first read them as a child.
        • Turning off my brain isn't a problem. I went through the entire Buffy the Vampire Slayer series out of nostalgia for a few episodes I watched ten years ago. Even though there are moments where the show really showed its class like in the Zeppo, you have to be zoned out for most of the episode's action. Since I'll be in my last semester of college this Jan (when, I'm told, I'll have lots of spare time), a long series will be awesome. :) Say, are there examples of multiple series being combined, like when Asi
          • By His Bootstraps is classic RAH - well worth reading. The Dandelion Girl by Robert F. Young is also worth reading if you enjoy it. I don't think Anne McCaffery did any crossover stories - each of her universes were quite distinct and fitting them together would have been quite difficult and would have felt contrived. The Pern series could probably have fitted into any of the others, because it was about a planet that had been colonised and then (after genetically engineering dragons) abandoned most of
          • by geekoid ( 135745 )

            "Turning off my brain isn't a problem. I went through the entire Buffy the Vampire Slayer "

            yes, but it seems turning on your brain is.

      • The first two Harper Hall books are actually a pretty self sufficient. The third is better understood within the context of the Dragonflight trilogy. I'd also say that the Harper Hall books probably classify as YA SF while a lot of the others are probably generic SF. I do agree with you in that even her generic SF are more likely to thrill younger readers, but they're probably enjoyable by anyone who partakes of the genera. McCaffrey story emphasis seemed to be more about people and plot rather than spe
      • Don't dismiss McCaffrey if you only like hard SF. Consider that her Dragonrider series started out serialized in Analog.
        • by Erbo ( 384 )
          This is true. "Weyr Search," which is basically the first part of Dragonflight, even won the Hugo.
    • by Phrogman ( 80473 )

      Heinlein: While his earlier works differ from his later works considerably, they are all very readable with decent plots. My personal favourite has always been The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. I absolutely love that book, and reread it every few years. I suggest you consider reading that one first. There were rumours of a movie but I haven't heard anything since. It would do well as a movie I think. "Stranger in a Strange Land" is also a classic worth reading.
      McAffrey: well everyone will say the Pern books but

      • You're the first person to have brought up "Stranger in a Strange Land". I find that is odd since it's certainly his best known work. Just as he wandered off the edge...

      • I also drag out Moon is a Harsh Mistress every several years. I have a similar soft spot for Glory Road; not because I like Oscar, but I've always wanted to grow up to be Rufo.
      • by ErikZ ( 55491 ) *

        I listened to the Audiobook of "A moon is a harsh mistress" and I thought it was laughably bad.

        Do you know if they changed it for the Audiobook?

    • Be very careful with Heinlein. I read a book of his (no idea what the name was) where a group of obnoxious intellectuals visited the land of Oz in a flying car, or some such nonsense. I swore off Heinlein after that. I've later since heard his early works were better, but... meh.

      I only started reading the Dragonflight books recently, after I got a Kindle as a gift. They were certainly an enjoyable read. Sort of a light sci-fi / fantasy combo.

      Many thanks, Anne. I think you made the world a little richer

  • 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 [] 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.

    • That cover of the White Dragon paperback brings back memories. It's the only one of Anne McCaffrey's novels that I've read cover to cover, but I thoroughly enjoyed it - and I say that as someone who absolutely despises almost all fantasy and science fiction stuff.
  • by djl4570 ( 801529 ) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @04:48AM (#38146324) Journal
    I grew up before video games and even though I wasted far too much time in front of the TV I still found time to lose myself in the works of authors like McCaffery, Zelazny, Tolkein, Maxwell and others. In college I could read for half an hour between classes. Sometimes it was classwork but towards the end of the day I needed entertainment. I still remember the day I found the first two Pern books on the shelf of a used bookstore. The cover art sold them. I wore them out reading them and wanted more but had to wait until the first book of the Harper Hall series was released.
    • The comment about the cover art for the Pern books reminds me of how great they were. I'd imagine that alot of us here have Michael Whelan to thank for in getting us started on many great books. Thanks Anne and Micheal for the great memories.

    • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @06:40AM (#38146724)
      And PernMUSH [] was one of the first of them, starting just a couple years after TinyMUD. All text of course. The "book and imagination" analogue to the 3D MMOs we have today.
    • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

      Indeed, Michael Whelan's cover art was fantastic, introducing a whole group of people to late 70s, early 80s fantasy.

      Dragonflight []
      Dragonquest []
      The White Dragon []

  • 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.
  • ...after you get your dragon.
  • SF with romance (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bzipitidoo ( 647217 ) <> on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @06:45AM (#38146764) Journal

    McCaffrey's love scenes, wooing, and relationships were very different from typical SF fare. Typical for a romance novel, perhaps? (I wouldn't know, don't read that genre.) Some people don't care for that in their SF, but I enjoyed the novelty.

    Most SF leans towards casual, kinky sex, like Niven's interspecies sex on the Ringworld. Treats it all technically and distantly, or as a tool for manipulation or sealing deals. In Star Trek, seems the crew is often getting drugged with strange fluids, hit with plant spores, tempted with sexy robots, shapeshifting aliens, holodeck creations, or otherwise being enticed or forced into some sort of quickie, cheapie when they are busy with other matters. Sex as a mere plot device, and love as an impediment that could interfere with your duties, an inconvenient holdover from primitive times that has little place in modern life. Worst of all, you always knew almost all the changes in relationships would be rebooted for the next episode. True, the dragons of Pern imposed upon human sex life. However, McCaffrey cared enough about it not to do stuff like reboots.

    • McCaffrey's love scenes, wooing, and relationships were very different from typical SF fare. Typical for a romance novel, perhaps?

      They seemed slightly anachronistic. Her romantic story lines would have fitted into an Austen or Bronte novel with little modification, just a very different backdrop. I think that's part of the appeal of her stories. The only slightly grating aspect was the fact that her homosexual (male) characters always seemed to end up in stable sexual relationships with women...

  • by ChaoticCoyote ( 195677 ) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @07:31AM (#38146944) Homepage

    I was never a huge fan of her works, just a matter of taste -- yet I appreciated her creation of female protagonists, and her depiction of dragons as allies of man.

    • I was asked the other day whether I knew any movie that did Dragons justice.

      The only movies I could think of were Dragonheart, Eragon and Reign of fire, none of them really worked. Reign of fire did well to depict them as an "out of context problem" as Iain M Banks would put it, but it could just have easily been aliens.

      I always wondered what it would be like to see a movie or TV series of Pern.

      Now, I haven't read George R.R. Martin's books, so I don't know whether the Game of Thrones sequels will feature t

  • 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.

  • I loved the Pern stories as well as Crystal Singer. Actually, I didn't dislike anything of hers I read.

    I suppose Todd will continue writing but I will miss Anne's distinct style a great deal.

  • Farewell, Anne! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Frightened_Turtle ( 592418 ) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @09:19AM (#38147422) Homepage

    One of my favorite storytellers! I still enjoy reading her stories over and over again.

    I "first" discovered her stories when The White Dragon came out. But, a number of years later, I remembered that I had read one of her short stories--The Smallest Dragonboy--back when it was first published. At my age then, the story strongly resonated with me. It's probably why I enjoyed The White Dragon so much. After reading The White Dragon, I bought the other books in the series that were then available. I loved how in the HarperHall Trilogy, she took the commoners point of view in the daily life of Pern.

    I loved how she brought many of her series of stories to create a single cohesive universe. The Brainship series and the Crystal Singer series came together nicely. I also enjoyed how Dragonriders went from a fantasy setting to hard science fiction as the history of Pern was slowly revealed. I always wondered if ever McCaffrey was going to have Pern rediscovered by a Brainship and re-enter galactic society? I guess that one is for our collective imaginations or for Todd to pursue, if within Anne's canon.

  • I even would have taken one of the little ones from "Dragonsong" (actually, they would be more practical--easier to feed). Growing up, it was a revelation to read a story with dragons that wasn't based around some epic fantasy war fighting an evil wizard. The Pern series brought me to one of a handful of worlds that made adolescence bearable, and it was a truly unique, imaginative place. She has earned her place in the pantheon of great science fiction writers.
  • As a Female Geek (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kria ( 126207 ) <roleplayer.carri ... m minus math_god> on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @09:55AM (#38147694) Journal
    Anne was one of the first female authors that I managed to find in the SF&F field. She was one of the first authors I read that had really great, strong female characters. She helped teach me that you don't have to be a man to be smart, strong, successful, that you don't have to be a man to be a hero. Her fiction helped shape my perspective, along with authors like Andre Norton and eventually (scoff if you will) Mercedes Lackey. Thank you, Anne McCaffrey.
  • I remember the first book of her's I read. It was an anthology of short Pern stories. I must have been around 12. They opened me up to the world of fantasy/scifi literature and started me down the path to being an avid reader. Anne McCaffrey changed my life for the better and I wish I had been able to thank her before her passing.

  • Years ago, a cow-orker was raving about her Pern series. At the time, I didn't want to get into yet another long series, so I didn't buy any of them. A couple years ago, I was looking for something new and remembered the cow-orker's recommendation, bought one of the books, and loved it. Now I have most of the series.

  • Guess what series I was reading when I came up with my current handle.

    McCaffrey's books helped me get a jumpstart on literacy way back when. G'bye, Anne. Thanks for all the books.

  • Wheel and turn
    Or bleed and burn.
    Fly between,
    Blue and green.
    Soar, dive down,
    Bronze and brown
    Dragonmen must fly
    When Threads are in the sky.

  • I gave a hard-back copy of one of Anne's books to the very bright ten year old girl across the street. Her mom was having trouble finding books that she would read that weren't full of the wrong messages. I looked in my library shelf and Anne McCaffrey's book caught my eye. I don't know if she has read it... but Anne's books always had the right messages. Thanks, Anne. RIP.

    • by ediron2 ( 246908 )

      Be sure to mention her passing to your neighbor and her daughter when you get a chance.

      Earlier today I was surprised to learn that another famous writer lived a LOT longer and later than I had ever thought (their heyday was decades before I was born), and that I was young enough to not notice their passing.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"