Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Farewell, Anne McCaffrey

I just heard that author Anne McCaffrey has moved on to her next great adventure. This woman is one of my favorite authors of all times, having created worlds and characters that will forever be a part of my life. Her use of language has always amazed me, and as a writer I would love to have a fraction of her talent.

I discovered her when I purchased an anthology of Hugo winning short stories. That's when I was first introduced to the world of Pern and met the amazing Lessa and F'lar, Ramoth and Mnementh, their friends (and enemies), and the wonderful Masterharper Robinton (see picture at the end).

The short story captivated me, and I wanted more. After a few years and having read the story several times I decided to see if Anne had written anything else. Low and behold, she had expanded the story into a full novel, and there were even three books so far in the series!

I felt liked I'd died and gone to heaven. There are many more books now than three, and I read (or listen) to the series every couple of years.

But Anne didn't stick with just Pern and the people's battle to save their world from thread (and each other). She created the wonderful world where people whose bodies cannot support them but whose minds are fully functional (shell people) can still have a full life by taking on the body of a ship as in The Ship Who Sang or cities in The City Who Fought (the brain) and pairing them with an ambulatory partner (the brawn).

She tapped into the power of the mind with the Talents in the Rowan series where people who can do telekinesis, telepathy, empathy, etc. were employed in all parts of society. Imagine space travel, not in a space ship with fuel, but in a pod that is thrown mentally by one Talent (or teams of less powerful Talents) and caught on a different planet by another Talent.

Her worlds included one where Earth is taken over by others and our people sent out in the universe as slaves. On one world where a variety of species, including humans, are planted to colonize it, the groups work together in what becomes the beginning of a plot to take Earth back in the Freedom's Landing series. The first book is this series is one of a handful of books that, when I finished it, I flipped it over and read it again.

Her creations included the world of crystal communications and crystal miners in The Crystal Singer series. One of my favorite stories is the second book in that series.

She created the Petaybee universe with a sentient planet, the dinosaur series, the unicorn girl (Acorna) series, and the list goes on. She has scores of titles she wrote alone but a long list of collaborative efforts as well.

Someone bought the rights to make a movie of Dragonflight, the first of the Pern books. I'm sorry that Anne didn't live to see it made. I hope whoever holds the rights will do more than sit on it and--more importantly--will do it right.

Thank you, Anne, for not sitting on your talents. Thank you for putting yourself out there and taking a risk, so the rest of us could enjoy the fruits of your wonderful imagination, awesome imagery, and the characters who became our friends.

Masterharper Robinton by artist Robin Wood
You'll be sorely missed.


  1. That's really sad to hear. She contributed so much to the world of science fiction.

  2. Hi Donna! This is such a lovely tribute to an author you admired ~ :) This is terrible, but I haven't had a chance to read Anne McCaffrey before. I'll definitely need to add her to my TBR.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!!

  3. This is a nice tribute to a great writer. I read many of her books, but the first one in the Dragonriders series will always be my favorite.

  4. I've never read any of McCaffrey's books, but from the sound of your tribute, she was very well loved. How sad to lose such a talent.

  5. Awww! I didn't know! How sad! I love Ann McCaffrey! Her dragons have been my friends for decades... even though I haven't read them in years and years.

    Nice tribute!

  6. What a wonderful tribute! So many great books. I'm glad you shared this. I hadn't heard the news, but I love thinking of them "off on their next great adventure!" :)

  7. beautiful memories live on
    loved her books. will have to re read in her honor!

    happy T day!

  8. Wonderful tribute Donna. I also appreciate risk-takers--folks who are genuine and believe in a dream despite what others think.

    I hope you have a nice Thanksgiving.

  9. Ditto...good tribute.

    But how could you not single out WHITE DRAGON.

    Just me, but Ruth was her best character EVER.

    She will be missed.

    -- Mac

  10. THE SHIP WHO SANG is still one of my favorite books EVER. Thank God she left us with so much great work to read.


Comments brighten my day.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...