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Thursday, November 24, 2011

The passing of Anne McCaffrey

Anne McCaffrey Has Died
I was really sad to read Jason Boog's report on mediabistro.com that the great fantasy/science fiction author has passed away.

I grew up with her short stories, and was then entranced with her wonderful Dragonflight series.  I used them often when teaching English to 14-year-old girls.  One in particular, an uninterested reader and lapsadaisical scholar, was instantly hooked.  She became a reader overnight, and is now a film producer.  It is a success that I attribute directly to McCaffrey.

I was once told a heartwarming story about her by a bookseller on Cape Cod.  She invited her to a launch and Dragonflight festival, and to her amazement Anne McCaffrey consented to come.  Every school child in the district met the plane, all dressed up as dragons or human characters in the books.  When their favorite author came out of the plane, she was wearing black, totally black, and had a long walking stick.  The children were terrified!   Where they had been expecting a dragonrider, here was a witch!  But they fell in love with her, all the same.

 Anne McCaffrey was 85 years old when she died. GalleyCat confirmed the sad news with Random House this afternoon.

McCaffrey’s career began with Restoree in 1967. She went on to earn a dedicated following for her beloved series, Dragonriders of Pern. At her website, McCaffrey answered letters from dedicated fans through November. This GalleyCat editor will never forget reading her books as a middle-school kid. Share your memories in the comments section… here

2 comments:

Shayne Parkinson said...

Yes, I was sad to hear this, too. I read the very first of Anne's dragon stories in an ancient "Analog" magazine, and went on to devour many of her novels. We even named our Abyssinian cat Kimi after one of her fire lizard characters.

A great lady, greatly missed.

Joan Druett said...

A fellow soul! That's exactly how I became hooked on her writing, through those lovely SF "pulp" magazines that started off so many great writers. No dragon cats, but she certainly inspired my collection of dragons -- now up to 14.