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RIP, Anne McCaffrey, 1926-2011

Various reports from around the internet and Twitter are confirming that Anne McCaffrey died yesterday at the age of 85; her son is requesting that those who wish to offer a memorial donate to an animal charity, specifically those focused on cats and horses.

The first Anne McCaffrey book I encountered was Dragonsinger, when I was back in the U.S., feeling that I would never fit into school or indeed anywhere. I found some of its references to the other books in the series bewildering, but I was enthralled enough to hunt down all of the other dragon books then in print, adoring all of them except for The White Dragon. Moreta came out a few years later, and I snatched up that one too. I stopped reading the series shortly after that (I think after Dragonsdawn) but I kept the books: I wanted to dream of riding dragons. And maybe owning one of those little fire lizards.

Oddly enough, though, these dragon books, however much they resonated with me, and however popular they became, were not McCaffrey's best books: that distinction more probably belongs to Crystal Singer, with its harsh depiction of a universe focused on privacy and exploitation, or one of the other books in which she tried to leave the dragons behind.

But, as she told us, once you impress a dragon, that is a lifetime bond.

Ms. McCaffrey, thank you for bringing us dragons.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 23rd, 2011 12:27 am (UTC)
*moment of silence*
One of my favorite writers ever.
Nov. 23rd, 2011 04:51 am (UTC)
I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought so well of the Crystal Singer series. I liked everything she did but that was always my favorite series.
Nov. 23rd, 2011 01:40 pm (UTC)
Crystal Singer contained her best worldbuilding and has aged considerably better than her other books. My guess is long term, that will be the book that survives.

I was less impressed with the sequels (which I think is true for her work in general; she was definitely trapped by the Pern books and by statements she originally made in the 1960s that she found herself disagreeing with 30 years later), but Crystal Singer is a pretty solid work of science fiction, one that I think gets overlooked and underrated now.
Nov. 23rd, 2011 02:16 pm (UTC)
I loved the Crystal Singer and didn't mind the two that came after it (mostly because I thought what's his name was gorgeous - in my mind). I also loved Restoree, even if it was just a space-age romance.
Nov. 23rd, 2011 04:08 pm (UTC)
Restoree! I always half thought I was the only one who read that, because no one else ever seemed to even know that it existed. There was something deeply fascinating to me about the protagonist's waking up out of a programmed stupor in the beginning, and then about the pell-mell tension of trying to pretend to be something she wasn't at all, surrounded by strangers.
Nov. 23rd, 2011 07:29 pm (UTC)
I actually re-read it fairly recently and still enjoyed it. I particularly like Joran, and the ... cousin, was it? ... who hadn't been 'well' but was recovering slowly.
Nov. 26th, 2011 09:54 am (UTC)
I was never any good at the Dragonriders of Pern video game.
Nov. 26th, 2011 02:31 pm (UTC)
Heh. I never even tried it. I keep the dragons in my head.

....and now I have an image of dragons swirling around and partying in there. It EXPLAINS SO MUCH.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


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