Noted Science Fiction Author Anne McCaffrey Dead at age 85.

There’s a huge hole in the Sci/fi Universe because Anne McCaffrey died on Monday, Nov. 21 2011 of a massive stroke at her home in Ireland (Dragonhold-Underhill.)  She wrote over 100 books, including thirteen series, but was most famous for the Dragons of Pern. 

Anne Inez McCaffrey was born in 1926.  She attended Radcliffe College and studied cartography, Celtic folklore, Chinese philosophers, English literature, US foreign policy, Russian, and Slavonic languages.  She graduated cum laude with a BA in Slavonic Languages and Literature.  She married H. Wright Johnson in 1950 and produced two sons, Alec and Todd and a daughter Georgeann, called Gigi.  Her first story was published in 1953, The Freedom of the Race.  She also became active in local music and theatre and studied stage direction.   In 1959 she attended her first Science Fiction Writers' Conference in Milford, Pennsylvania.  Attendees included Robert Silverberg, Judith Merril, Harlan Ellison, Kate Wilhelm, and James Blish.  McCaffrey was also introduced to Virginia Kidd who became her long time agent and friend.  Her second story, Lady in the Tower, published the same year.   The Ship Who Sang was published in 1961 and remained Anne’s favorite work all her life.  In 1966, she devoted herself to her writing full time.  In the next two years she published 4 stories and 2 novels and in 1968 became the first woman to win the Hugo Award, for the novella Weyr Search.  She divorced her husband and moved to Ireland in 1970

Anne was well-loved for her portrayal of strong female characters and she began mentoring many young writers who subsequently became successful published authors. She was a frequent attendee at Science Fiction conventions, especially DragonCon.  She went on to win the Nebula Award and was named 22nd Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of Americain 2005.  The Science Fiction Hall of Fame inducted her on 17 June 2006.  She was one of the first Science Fiction writers to have a book on the New York Times Best Seller List.  She was also awarded the 11th Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults by the American Library Association.

She began co-writing with her son Todd Johnson (now McCaffrey) as her health failed and they wrote 5 books in the Pern world.  Since then, Todd and gone solo on three more Dragon books, so hopefully they will continue.

I read Restoree – her first novel when I was 20, and have loved all her books since.  I have bought most of them and also have them on my Kindle, so I can take them where ever I go.  They are like old friends, which is how I regarded Anne.  Fly high, dragon rider!