I have always been a dreamer, it’s a large part of why I write, and I am also an insomniac. Consequently, I started telling myself stories to go to sleep at night at a very young age. Sometimes this is counter productive, but more often I would dream of riding the Black Stallion, traveling to Narnia hand in hand with Lucy, or marrying Wesley Crusher (Yes, I am a geek), and slowly but surely my day dreams would lead to real dreams.
One of the my favorite authors of all time is Anna McCaffrey. I spent many hours dreaming that I was Menolly (from the Harper Hall Trilogy), running away after being permanently injured by my family, raising a nest full of fire-lizards, and eventually finding out that I’d still be able to make music. If I wasn’t dreaming I was Menolly, I was dreaming I was with her at Harper Hall, or some other Pern-based series. I devoured her books, both the Dragonriders of Pern, and her many other works that are just as fantastic.
Which is why, when I heard this afternoon that Anne McCaffrey passed away yesterday from a stroke while at home in Ireland, I literally sat at my computer and cried.
Anne McCaffrey was a pioneer among writers. It is because of her ground breaking work that there are so many women writing fantasy and science fiction today. According to Tor.com she “was the first woman to win a Hugo Award for fiction, the first woman to win a Nebula Award, and the first author to hit the New York Times bestseller list with a SF title (The White Dragon).
Over the course of her career, Anne McCaffrey wrote literally dozens of books, and from all accounts, has done a lot to encourage the writers of today. She stayed active in the field, even though at 84 she was slowing down. You can read her biography at The Worlds of Anne McCaffrey, and if you want to catch up on the books you missed check Fantastic Fiction. If you’ve never read her work I’d recommend starting with Dragon Song, but I have to admit I’m a little biased since that’s the first one I read.
To Anne McCaffrey, queen among the dragonriders, beloved author to many, you will be missed.