I must have been about fifteen when I first became aware of Anne McCaffrey and the marvelous world she created -- Pern -- home to a magnificent and marvelous breed of dragons. Over the years I have read every book she has set there -- and those written by her son Todd, who she anointed as her successor.
Tonight come the sad word that we who have loved her works have suffered a great loss -- Anne McCaffrey has passed away at the age of 85, according to the folks at GalleyCat.
If McCaffrey's contribution to the world of science fiction had been limited to the Pern novels. her place among the greats of the genre would be secure. When one adds her many other works -- such series as the Crystal Singer novels, and the connected novels that make up the Talent and Tower & Hive series -- it is clear what a loss her death is to the millions who have read her books.
My personal connection to McCaffrey runs a little deeper. Some years ago, in the early days of the World Wide Web, I had an exchange of emails with McCaffrey over questions a student had on her books. I found her to be kind, patient, and engaging -- and quite funny as well. That she took the time to write back to me came as a surprise -- and that she was willing to make it an extended conversation was even more of a delight.
Rest in peace, Anne McCaffrey -- and know that on Pern the dragons keen for you.