RIP, Anne McCaffrey

One of science fiction and fantasy’s grand masters, without doubt. Early details are here and here, and I’m sure there are more to come. The thread here is now open for your thoughts and reminiscences of the author and her work.

256 Comments on “RIP, Anne McCaffrey”

  1. First: Artwork by Michael Whelan (of course).

    Second: As this is meant to be a memorial thread, snark and snide should be kept to a minimum, please. The Mallet of Loving Correction awaits those who may choose not to keep that in mind.

  2. I always wanted a silver dragon. Even if it wasn’t canon.

    A huge influence on me, along with a handful who have already passed in my lifetime (Alexander, L’engle) and a few I hope we’ll have along for a number of years yet. Her dragons influenced my idea of dragons, as Whelan’s covers really shaped my art.

    And she was probably the first author I read that pulled off genre-bending, by turning a fantasy into science fiction.

  3. Pern books were among the very first SF/F books I ever read, and later on became a huge influence on my own writing. Pern has been one of the biggest fandoms I roleplayed in all throughout much of my adulthood; I have lifelong friends I have won because of Pern fandom, through PernMUSH and through the offline group Telgar Weyr.

    RIP Ms. McCaffrey. The world of SF/F is poorer without you.

  4. I met McCaffrey at a book signing in Oxford – after having been a huge fan of hers as a teenager. She was warm and intelligent, and rather than talk about her books, she used her speaking time to tell anecdotes about her life, her horses, and her desire to have a fire lizard that used Furrby technology. I only wish I could have met her more than that once.

  5. Anne McCaffrey was the person who made me become a writer. I owe her everything. I’m devastated.

  6. My aunt gave me DragonFlight when I was in the 4th grade. I absolutely adored the books and spent years waiting for the dragonriders to show up at my door in order to whisk me off for Impression. She helped spur my love of dragons and of fantasy. I wouldn’t be who I am today if it weren’t for her books.

    RIP Anne. May flights of dragons wing you to your rest.

  7. Ms. McCaffrey changed my expectations of fantasy. I’ve read fantasy since I was very young, but her books are far more challenging than the stuff I’d usually read. The way she wrote about women, her societies, her characters and much more really showed me what was possible with speculative fiction.

    People who say that spec fiction is not literary can suck manatees. Anne McCaffrey was as literary as you can get.

  8. She rocked my world. I so wanted to find a way to Pern and be chosen to ride a dragon. I even wrote poetry about it. Can remember one stanza: “Canth, the Brown, ridden by F’nor, Weaves a path to Benden Weyr door.” Hey. I was young. I hope I’ve gotten better at the poetry. And I still want a dragon.

  9. I have no idea when it was, but it was around 1981 or so, and a neighbour introduced me to Anne McCaffrey and Andre Norton, it was the start of a lifelong relationship with SF and I met Anne at Octocon at least once (she was GOH in 2001). She is such an icon. I must revisit her stories.

  10. I discovered the Dragonriders books in college (70s) and never looked back. My roommate and I devoured each new book as it came out and had a blast finding her other works. In the 80s, I was lucky to get to meet her and have a very brief chat (she was doing a book signing & staying w/friends of mine).

    Full circle: I did a panel with her son, Todd, a few years ago. How the world turns.

    Anne was a class act all the way & one of our greats.

  11. My mom gave me an Anne mccaffrey when I was 10 as my first SF/F. Not sure where my literary bents would be without AM. My heart goes out to her family.

  12. Damn it.

    Anne was my introduction to fantasy, starting with Dragonflight in my pre-teen years. Her books gave me some of the best memories, from then until now. If I ever get the current WIP done, it will be due to her influence all that time ago.

    But for this afternoon, I think I’ll go curl up with F’lar and Lessa and cry a little.

    (Thanks, Scalzi, for the heads up, even if the news was awful.)

  13. I never got very far, but I understand she was well loved, and doing the dragon thing before it was cool. And talk about work ethic!

  14. It is testament to the depth and art of her world-building that I would’ve been happy to be just a small Holder in Pern, if I could have found my way there.

  15. I run a small fanclub with a rather slow to print fanzine dedicated to Anne’s Pern. There are dozens of friends I wouldn’t have ever met if it weren’t for her work.

    RIP, Anne, thanks for the dragons.

  16. My brother gave me the first of the Dragon books when I was in junior high, I think it was. She was my gateway drug. I had no idea that sci fi and fantasy was that good. I was hooked. I read all of the Dragon books, the Crystal Singer, the Rowan books. It was a whole new world or worlds, I suppose. I branched out to other books in the genre, getting the most amazing suggestions from people whenever I brought up Ms. McCaffrey’s name. Thanks to her (and my brothers) I have read any number of wonderful stories with lovely, strong, smart women taking on the universe and winning.

  17. My mom got me Moreta from the library when I was sick once. I loved that book. I devoured it. The ending absolutely stunned me. I hadn’t ever read a book that ended like that. I hadn’t read a lot of spec fic until that point, but I went from Moreta through everything Anne McCaffrey wrote, and branched out from there. I love fantasy and sci fi, and it started with Anne. It was almost inevitable that I’d end up writing it, trying to recreate in some part the feeling I got in 1983 when I read Moreta. Even though there were themes I didn’t like, those shaped me too and my notions of what I wanted to write about and how I wanted to write it. Even 30+ years on, I still love stories about telepathic animals bonded to humans!

  18. McCaffrey was the first writer I read who combined sci-fi and fantasy: my two great genre loves. Dear Ms. McCaffrey, thank you for showing me that girls can be scientists and dragonriders…and amazingly talented writers. Rest in peace.

  19. The Dragonharpers of Pern collection was my security book from too early to remember well through my college days. Every time anything bad happened, I’d throw myself into Menolly’s adventures. When my father died, I cried myself to sleep snuggling that book. Anne McCaffrey’s have always been solace, comfort, and joy for me, and she will be missed.

  20. Because I was such a huge fan of her Pern books, I went to my first (and last for the next dozen years) SF convention in ’84 or ’85 just to see her in person. She was so amazing and wonderful. Since then I saw her at library conferences and other SF cons. A lovely human being. I was asked by a publisher to write a bio about her and she graciously gave me an afternoon of her time where I learned that Todd was writing Dragonholder and there were others in the works. So, I declined the project but greatly enjoyed the afternoon with one of the greats of SF&F lit. The stories, and through them the strength, she gave to teen readers is immeasurable. So glad she was named a Margaret A. Edwards Award winner. She will be greatly missed.

  21. She kept me sane, kept me strong, throughout adolescence, and is the reason I am a writer. Her kindness in responding personally to a fanstruck little girl will always be a cherished memory in my heart. I hope the grief of her family is in some way lightened by knowing how much she meant to thousands of people around the world.

  22. This is what I posted on FB: “Oh, no. Part of my childhood is gone forever. Wow. Menolly, Lessa, Piemur… these were my true friends and constant mentors, the ones who moved with me from base to base, school to school, state to state. They were always there and, because they are characters, they always will be. Thanks, Ms McCaffrey, you done good. Sleep and be at peace.”

  23. “Gone away, gone ahead
    Echos roll unanswered
    Empty. Open. Dusty. Dead.
    Why have all the weyrfolk fled?

    Where have dragons gone together?
    Leaving Weyrs to wind and weather.
    Setting herdbeasts free of tether.
    Gone, our safeguards. Gone. But wither?

    Have they gone to some new Weyr?
    Where cruel Threads some others fear?
    Are they worlds away from here?
    Why, oh why the empty Weyr?”

    RIP Anne McCaffrey

  24. Her Pern series ruled my middle and early high school years. I read all of them at least twice. Those books showed me fantasy, and they showed me humanity, accessibility with dragons. They, and she, have a special place in my nerdy, bibliophilic heart, and always will. And DRAGONHARPER OF PERN is one of the best fantasy books ever written, and I will Jell-O wrestle anyone who disagrees. Fifteen years later, it’s still one of my favorite comfort-food books.

  25. I was one of the early adopters of PernMush back when there was v. little graphics in the internetttubes. I’ve read most of her books. She will be missed.

  26. She was the first writer I heard give a talk, back when I was in my first year at uni, about the realities, the trials, the delights and the rewards (not financial, necessarily) of being a writer. Things she said that evening made a crucial contribution to me making the step from aspiring to published author. Things she said then and later about this writing life stay with me still. When I met her the next time clutching my own first book, she was delighted and eager to hear all about it – just as generous with her time as she was whenever she encountered any newly-hatched author. When we met a few times thereafter, we talked about all and sundry with Anne full of enthusiasm and good humour. An inspiration to so many, for so many reasons. We are richer for having known her and the world is poorer for her departure.

  27. Picking up my first McCaffrey book tonight. Sad to see writers leave this world but glad they leave their worlds behind.

    L. Lambert Lawson
    Publisher, Editor: Kazka Press

  28. Stumbling across the first part of her first Pern novel in Analog is a memory I have cherished for decades.

    She brought joy to many and harm to none; may we all do half as well!

  29. I’ve been introducing my daughter to her via the Menolly books; a firm friendship has ensued.

    I will miss her. Her books tided through through many hard times.

  30. Dragonsdawn was the first I read from the local library as a young teenager. Have not seen such a coherent blend of sci-fi and fantasy since. It got me into the rest of her books, and I still go back to them from time to time.Can remember doing loads of housework for my mum before leaving school and getting paid a few quid, which went straight on Pern novels. RIP Anne McCaffery, and thanks for the joy you gave me as a young person.

  31. Oh, damn… she’s gone? It was inevitable, of course, that some day she would die… but damn. She’s gone. I think it’s time to go root out the Freedom series again. Maybe the Tower and Hive stuff too. It never really fails to amaze me just how much innovation and originality you can put into Sci-Fi and Fantasy and for that matter just how little of it there is in most of the works out there.

    Anne McCaffrey truly crafted worlds in every one of her works. I… think I need to read them all one last time, then try to see if I can’t get my twin nieces to read them. They’re old (and young) enough to appreciate the imagination of a master.

    Rest in Peace, Anne McCaffrey and thank you for all the hours of great reading and imagining you have given me.

  32. I was always into sci-fi, and in middle school I was very involved in writing. I have very fond memories of reading the original Dragonriders Trilogy and then the Harper Hall Trilogy. It really made an impression on me, although at that age I couldn’t fully process why. Maybe it was the marriage of sci-fi and fantasy, the poetry, or an author’s thoughtful and sensitive style.

    But right now I feel a loss. Hopefully these are stories I can share with my kids so they live on in them.

  33. Hard to believe she’s gone. A friend introduced me to the Pern series when I was 13, and her fantastic worlds were often my only escape from my difficult teen years. I still have every yellowed and beat-up paperback that I rescued from the used bookstore- some printed before I was born!- and I read them whenever I’m feeling down and need the comfort of old friends. She really knew how to tell a story, and will be missed.

  34. I went to check Twitter and saw the messages all across the authors and genres that said she was gone. My response was…NOOOOOOOOO. But also, gratitude, for all she gave us. I am 51 and have been reading her work since I was (ahem) much younger. I own almost every book she ever wrote, some of them in multiple forms. She made the world sing. Goodbye, Anne. Thanks for everything.

  35. My first encounter with McCaffrey was with the Harper Hall Trilogy, and I wanted my own Fire Lizard for more years than I can count. Thinking about it, now 25 years or more later I still want one. She was my intro into Fantasy, and her influence upon the SF/F genres can clearly be seen in many writers on the market today. I use her for inspiration in so many different ways, and the universe is just a touch dimmer without her creativity adding its light.

  36. My older sister, a SF fan ten years older than me, saw her chance and gave me the three Dragonflight books and the Harper Hall trilogy. Those copies are now waiting for my daughters. :)

  37. Loved her world-building. I really wanted to live on Pern. I was probably too old for that kind of fantasy, but I loved every book of hers I’ve ever read and I still read them over and over

  38. Anne McCaffrey was my introduction to sci-fi and fantasy fiction. From there I discovered Tolkien, CS Lewis, Pratchett… I still love her world of Pern. I remember identifying so closely with the female protagonist of Dragonsong, and daydreaming about flying off to my own fantasy land.

    McCaffrey changed me because of her books. Her works are on my bookshelf, and I will always come back to them.

  39. I will miss her prose. I rejoice that she left some, to console. And, I too, still want a dragon.

  40. The White Dragon was the first Anne McCaffery book I read, and I was hooked. I never cared much for science fiction or fantasy before then, but she made me a limited fan: her works and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough fan.

    My condolences to Anne’s family, close friends, and all her fans.

  41. I still want a fire lizard. Anne McCaffrey gave me dragons and their riders, ships who sang, Dinosaur Planet, and Doona to name just a few. She gave me untold hours of joy, and stories that sucked me in completely. Thanks, ma’am. Thanks so very much.

  42. Dragonsdawn and The White Dragon are two of my all time favourite novels (and All The Weyrs of Pern very close behind) and her Talents of Earth trilogy is one of my favourite SF reads ever. She shall be sorely missed. :(

  43. I had to undergo a rather-confusing-at-the-time hospital stay in middle school: her books helped me through it without fear, and some times after that. Rest in peace.

  44. I remember reading my parents’ old SF book club editions of her Dragonrider series, when I was a kid, and I wanted my own dragon… still do, I suppose! And the Talents and the Rowan and the Freedom series… I was a bullied high school girl trying to be strong, and all the women in those books were strong and stood up for themselves and made a difference. They gave me hope. RIP.

  45. RIP Anne, you will be well missed,I fell in love with the Dragon trilogy in 2000 In my 50s and talk about you and your books every chance I get. When I move I make sure your books are packed and transported FIRST.You and your books have made such an impact on my life and I’m sure millions of others. You will never be forgotten.

  46. Aww, man. I knew she was ailing, this makes me so sad. Anne was the reason I became interested in science fiction. She will be missed.

  47. It’s the end of an era… the Harper Hall trilogy was some of the first fantasy I read when I was in junior high. She introduced me to the beauty of world building. I will miss her but am so glad that her work lives on.

  48. Stumbled across her work by accident. Utterly enchanted after just a few pages. Only twice have I ever openly cried reading a book. Flowers for Algenon was one, the other was the passing of Master Harper Robinton.
    I feel the same way now we have lost our Master Harper. She will always have a special place in my heart.
    RIP Anne.

  49. I discovered Anne McCaffrey through a friend I met in College. For Christmas that first year she gave me the then three books in the Freedom series, Freedom’s LAnding, Freedom’s Challenge and Freedom’s Choice(Forgive me if the order is wrong, it’s been a while) On my own I discovered Acorna and her other series. And while I have yet to read her most famous series, I always intend to and now make it a goal to read them over the coming year.

    You will be Missed, Anne. Thank you. You’ve changed us all, and transported us to a world that will live forever.

  50. Reading Dragonflight is one of my first memories as a reader—it’s probably *the* book that got me hooked on SF as a kid. I even remember the revolving, black wire rack it sat on, in the library I checked it out of.

  51. When I was 10 years old, I was home sick in bed. My Mom brought me Dragonsong from the library, and thus began my lifelong affair with fantasy and science fiction. I am heartbroken at the loss of a true literary talent and pioneer. Dragonmen must fly/When Thread is in the sky. Rest in Peace Between, Dragonlady.

  52. I’ve read all of her books. There are several I read over and over again particularly when life is hard or stress. I love losing myself in the world of Pern. I never tire of the characters she created. I feel a lot of who I am today I owe to her and the wonderful books she wrote. She helped me shape my moral compass, of that I have no doubt.

  53. I read “Weyr Search” in upon its 1967 ANALOG publication, & wished I’d written. In 1994 I met her at ALA’s annual conference, & was given permission to name a Morgan filly in her honor “as long as I didn’t breed her to Robert A. Heinlein!” Actually Lessa wound up being Bob’s 1st daughter.

  54. She was such a kind woman. At a book signing I asked her, against her publicist’s wishes, if she would sign birthday cards for 2 of my friends who were die-hard fans (as was I). She was happy to do it and was very gracious about it. At the same signing, I handed her my father’s old copy of Dragonquest (the original paperback). She took it and turned it gently over in her hands and said, “Oh, I haven’t seen one of *these* in a while.” It was like she was greeting an old friend. I’ll have to dig it out of storage and take pictures. RIP, Anne. <3

  55. My favorite books of hers weren’t her most popular – I loved the Crystal Singer books (because I can identify with wanting to be the lead voice but having a flaw in the voice that keeps you from it). I read most of the Dragonrider books, but the Crystal Singer books were the ones that I connected with.

  56. I normally do not cry for people that I do not know personally but I can not stop crying. Her books helped me through a rough childhood. The worlds that she created were so vivid. I have loved every single book of hers that I have read. She inspired me to create worlds of my own. I will share those books with my own children and hope that they feel the same wonder I felt the first time I escaped into one her stories. She is going to be missed so much.

  57. An amazing writer. I can’t overemphasize how formative some of her work was for my early reading, and how much she inspired my writing.

    The world is poorer for her passing, but much, MUCH richer for what she gave us all while she was here.

  58. When I was a teenager I loved to escape to Pern. I didn’t dare think I had the gumption to become a dragonrider myself. If I lived on Pern I would have happy to end up in the Harper Hall, though I probably would have ended up something in more mundane.

    She gave me so many worlds to read about. She’ll be missed.

    Rest in peace, Anne McCaffrey.

  59. I don’t think it is at all an over-statement to say that Anne McCafferey saved my life. I don’t think I’d have had the courage to survive my adolescence without the Dragonsinger books. I really don’t.

    I did get to meet her once, at DragonCon a few years back, and when I saw her I started to tear up.
    “Don’t you cry! Don’t you cry on me, damn it!” she said to me.
    I thanked her for saving my life, and providing years of entertainment and hope to a lonley girl. Then we made a bunch of redneck jokes aboutd Idaho. It was a bonding moment. I will always cherish that I got to say thank you.

  60. Her dragons gave me wings when my heart was weighted with lead. Her songs made me believe in magic. Her stories taught me about courage, and honor, and self-discovery. I never met her, never talked to her, never even sent her a letter. But she shaped my life in subtle and profound ways, and I will never forget the worlds she let me walk in.

    I share her stories with my kids, now, and see my daughter growing into a woman with a dragon spirit.

    I wish I could have thanked her.

  61. Her Pern books were just so great to escape into. When you read them they really did take you places. Good stuff. Wonderful stuff. Very sorry to hear she won’t be around to write another couple hundred.

  62. Todd McCaffrey has asked that if people wish to offer a memorial, to please donate to an animal charity, rather than flowers.!/JodyLynnNye/status/139117291588698113

    Anne McCaffrey lived in Wicklow, Ireland for many years. If you don’t have a specific charity in mind, can I suggest either the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. They both do amazing work, and have been hit hard in the recent recession.

    On a personal note: I couldn’t have been more than about 8 when I read Dragondrums. My dad brought it home in a big pile of secondhand books. It was AMAZING. I named a newly hatched chicken Farli and trained her to sit on my wrist.

  63. My condolences to his family, friends and fans (myself included) – a wonderful lady who will be missed.

  64. I remember with a hell of a lot of fondness that sudden moment when my brain tripped to the fact that the Pern series was Science Fiction. I’d gone in expecting straight Fantasy, and was young enough at the time to think that the two genres were incompatibly separate in every way. Then she schooled me on my misperception.

  65. I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. McCaffrey at a con in the early nineties. My friend and I sat at her table at the midnight chocolate banquet and watched her steam roll this fool who wanted to argue dragon physiology with her and was insistent that she had it all wrong. Fun times, fond memory.

    In Pace Requiescat Anne.

  66. I actually just started re-reading the Crystal Singer Trilogy a couple days ago. What a wonderful writer she was, like many have said, with an ability to transport you easily to another world. She will definitely be missed.

  67. My Uncle Eric was probably the one who left “Dragonsinger” in my childhood home, and it was the first of her books I picked up, as I was just starting to explore outside the children’s section and realizing that all the good stuff was shelved in SF. I loved it, found “Dragonsong” and loved that too.

    When I was in high school, I worked at my school library, and one of the privileges of employment was that I was able to be the first to check out the new hardcover McCaffrey novel that came out in the late 1980s.

    When I got to college, the way I connected with the SF community was discovering that one of the sophomores on my floor was also an Anne McCaffrey fan.

  68. I’m not sure if I can put all these emotions into words, but for the sake of the writer within me, I will try. First, thank you for setting up this “thread”. Now we must attack it with ageenothree before it hits the ground, right?

    Second, about Anne herself, or most importantly to her influence on me, her writing. I ate it all up. My mother handed me the Harper Hall trilogy as a pre-teen, and between the wonder of a strong, young girl and the awesomeness of tiny dragons for “pets”, I was hooked. I read everything I could get my hands on from that point on. I was no stranger to the genre — Madeline l’Engle was my gateway drug — but dragons just got to me. “Moreta’s Song” is a novel I am not sure I will ever be able to read again. It was the first time a novel caused me physical pain, and it was beautiful.

    I admit, I read as much of Anne’s work as I could find. “Crystal Singer” is one of my all-time favourites, but I read about thinking Ships and telepaths and even a romance in winter. I loved almost all of it. But I kept coming home to the dragons.

    In college, the only MUSH I ever tried was PernMUSH. It was a virtual reality of a world I wanted to inhabit. I wish it could be more fleshed out, but I don’t think anything virtual will ever live up to the pictures in my brain drawn by Anne’s own words.

    Today, I am heart broken. Age is nothing but a number, and I guess I just always thought she would live forever. I am glad Todd has continued the series, and I hope we won’t see the last of our beloved dragons.

    I know Anne was so much more than Pern. She won a Hugo and a Nebula before any other woman did. She opened doors for writers and readers alike. And she was just a Damn Fine Woman. I will always regret never taking the opportunity to meet her. But I will never regret taking the time to read her.

  69. Many, many years ago I read an article in the paper that said an elementary school class in Chillicothe, Ohio, was tasked to write to famous people and ask if they’d contribute some memento for a charity auction. Somebody wrote to Anne, and Anne donated a dragon brooch. I so wanted that brooch, but it had already been sold.

    A class act, our Ms. McCaffrey. I’ll miss her.

  70. One of my reading textbooks – I want to say it was in fifth grade? – had Anne and Jody Lynn Nye’s short story “The Impression” reprinted in it. Such a relief for once, to actually like a reading assignment! I went to the library the very next day, and walked out with a stack of every Pern book they had; I devoured those, and went back to check them out again and again for years, along with the Talent books, and then the Crystal Singer ones. Now I work in a library, and have for eight years, but when I think the words “library book,” I still picture my overdue copy of Renegades of Pern, sliding around on the backseat of my first car in high school. Thank you, Anne; you gave away so many good memories.

  71. The very first Anne McCaffrey story I ever read was a very worn school library copy of DragonSinger. I could identify with Menolly in sooooo many ways (even though I’m not a musician). I devoured ALL of her Pern and Crystal Singer books. They provided a safe escape during trying times in my life. I owe her much and am sharing her legacy with my niece.

    Thank you Anne McCaffrey!

  72. Unfortunately I will never get to meet her. She has inspired me with her writing and the world is an emptier place without her. Condolences to her family.

  73. Started reading them around 1979 — I remember Dragondrums being the first new one for me. The first six were among the very small shelf’s worth of books I took to college with me. And when I was having a truly lousy and stressful day last week and decided I needed some comfort reading, the book I picked off my now overflowing shelves was my battered old paperback of Dragonflight, with the beautiful Whelan cover art shown above.

    Thanks for the stories, Anne.

  74. I discovered “Sassinak” and the other Planet Pirate books in a rummage sale for ten cents each when I was eight. Every girl should read those. (And then read them again as a grownup). I’d been devouring military SF for a year or so already, and adventure novels in general for two or three, and these were the first books I ever read that had a girl – A GIRL! – as the protagonist. There is no way to explain how much that meant to me, and still does.

  75. Her books have always been one of those constants in my life. If I ever needed a book to read because I was feeling happy, sad, any feeling at all, I could count of something she wrote. I honestly believe if my dad hadn’t given me Dragonflight when I was 10ish and too young to understand it I wouldn’t be the reader I am now. I didn’t understand “between” or how dragons worked but I knew I wanted to, so I kept reading other sci-fi/fantasy until I was old enough to get it. I got hooked to reading fantasy in the process.

  76. I lost track of how many Science Fiction Book Club editions of the the Pern books I wore out. Now I have Kindle editions, and they won’t wear out!

    Goodbye, Anne.

  77. Her Dragonrider books inspred my first song. That was 33 years ago, and I still want to be a Harper.

  78. The Dragonsong books were some of the first SFF I shared with my kids. I was hooked, too. She painted a vivid world that we thoroughly enjoyed and for a while I had to read every word she wrote about it.
    Thank you, Anne

  79. It was she to first introduced me to Dragons As Friends instead of fire breathing enemies. My husband brought home the first book in paperback, and I was hooked. Her tales are classics that have aged well and still retain their excitement and dignity. Mostly, I wanted to have Ruth for my very own. RIP, Anne, and thank you so much.

  80. I hope her new journey will be as wondrous as this one and that they appreciate her as much in her new world as we did. (And, btw, where did that art come from?)

  81. Pern was one of those rare Sci-Fi locales that was so vivid, so fully formed, and so thoroughly delightful that I almost felt like I had been there, and I wanted to go back. Then there were the Crystal Singer novels, and The Ship Who Sang. So many of my favorite stories came from her imagination. Rest in Peace.

  82. I go back to when Dragonflight first came out in paperback. My son has read all of the Drgonrider books. Anne McCaffrey and Katherine Kurtz were my favorite living writers in the ’70s to the ’90s. I felt that the books were written only for me.
    I realized how much McCaffrey was loved was when a fellow Tae Kwon Do friend of my two kids, Eva Guther, was killed in 1997 when she was twelve. There is a McCaffrey quote on her tombstone. Bless you, Anne, for touching this child.
    I will now move the dragon from the top of the TV to my desk….

  83. I have read and re-read Anne McCaffrey’s books so many times since I discovered her writing. I first fell in love with the lands of Pern, but went on to read her science fictions works as well. She took me to a world where women fought to make men realize that they had worth. In reading her novels, I gained a sense of self-worth that I will never lose. By golly, women CAN ride dragons and fight thread. There’s no reason we can’t. We just adapt to the circumstances. This is what she taught me from a half a world away.

    Today, the dragons of Pern raise their voices as the true Masterharper of Pern goes between. My heart is heavy, my eyes are teary, but my mind is easy with the knowledge that we, her fans, will carry the load.

    My heartfelt condolences to Todd, and the rest of her family. We have lost a favorite author, but they have lost a beloved family member.

  84. Goodbye Anne,
    Your books were one of the very first fantasy novels I ever read. Basically, they defined my entire life. Thank you.

  85. I remember reading the original “Weyr Search” in a Hugo awards anthology, edited by Isaac Asimov. Loved it, loved Pern enough to stick through the first six books, then lost interest. (My loss, I know.) This is a sad day.

  86. Anne McCaffrey was my initiation in to SF/F. I had been resistant to anything Science Fiction that my father & grandfather were trying to get me to read after having read a very bad juvenile SF. So they cheated and started me off with that Dragonsflight was a story with dragons and strong woman.

    I have read most of her works (Pern, Doona, Acorna, Brain & Brawn, Talents, Crystal Singer and short stories galore). She had a breadth of work and a great capacity to write. She lead me through her collaborations to Mercedes Lackey, Jody Lynn Nye, Andre Norton, Marion Zimmer Bradley and more.

    I used Lessa as my online handle for a long time but it was very often taken, so I switch to the lesser known Zhaneel from Lackey. But Lessa is very much a character that I owe a lot to.

    May her skies be clear as she leaves us.

  87. I have read all of her books so many times that they have all fallen apart. I have had to buy 4 separate copies of Dragonflight, Dragonquest, and The White Dragon. She will be missed. I feel this need to read all of the books all over again. RIP Ann.

  88. In Summer 2010, I spent a pleasant hour with Anne at her home in Ireland.  Something of a dream come true:  Over 30 years of enjoying her work, I had missed some opportunities to meet her, but we corresponded by email during the 90’s.

    Her legacy will live on.  One manuscript had just been submitted when I visited, and her son Todd has been collaborating with Anne, and publishing his own novels, for many years.

  89. I loved her books, especially the Dragonrider series, and told my sister, a school librarian, to recommend them to older teenage readers and some of the books to younger readers.

  90. Anne McCaffrey was one of the writers who formed science fiction for me. Science fiction where women were people – important – heroes.

    One of the greatest gifts I have been given, to have read such stories.

  91. I believe that there are dragon tears being shed. Her work was incredible and it truly affected my life. I cannot imagine a world without her imagination in it.

  92. Vale Anne, free to ride those beloved dragons at last. I have many fond memories of being immersed in her books and the disappointment of surfacing to real life once in a while. Time to reacquaint myself with those lovely stories again.

  93. For over three decades of my life Anne McCaffrey made me think and made me feel. — while the news is not unexpected, it is no less devastating.

    May she rest in peace — and may the keening of the dragons in their weyrs accompany her to her reward.

  94. Pern was one of the two reasons u got hooked on fantasy and sci-fi in high school. She will be sorely missed.

  95. I read “Dragonflight” when I was…I don’t know, maybe 11? I was so amazed by it – I’d read some Delaney and some Robinson that my parents had around, but hadn’t really hooked into scifi/fantasy as anything particular (I’ll read almost anything, and did even then).

    This book, it was a revelation. I had no idea that authors could build actual worlds that were so complete that you could feel like you could actually go there – or actually want to. (Amusingly enough, it was the political system she developed that impressed me the most – ok, so I was a weird kid. Or perhaps just really interested in how people related to each other even then.)

    I saved my money and, on a special trip to a town with a book store (I grew up in a really small southern town) bought all of the Pern books that were then available (throught the White Dragon and all three Harperhall books), plus a couple of her others.

    I still have them. I still read them.

    Thank you, Anne, for opening up new worlds to me, and for providing comfort when it was sorely needed.

    “I’ll save my tears for later,
    But this grief will never go.”

  96. When I was a proto-geek at age 12 these were the first books I read after plowing through Tolkien. They had a huge effect on me. Pern was a refuge from the horrors of junior high. That was thrity years ago or so and I never looked back.

    I’m a geek and it is largely Annes fault. And that is perfectly as it should be. Being a geek led to computer science and that led to a great career.

  97. Rest in peace, Anne McCaffrey. You opened worlds up to me, and for that I will forever be grateful. To her loving family – may you find peace amid your grieving and joy in your remembering.

  98. She was the first female SF writer I was ever aware of, I think because my parents had a Pern compendium from the Science Fiction Book Club. It is probably partly thanks to that being on our shelves from the time I was born that I never asked if there was a place for girls in SF.

    Also, her Crystal Singer books came along exactly when I needed them, when I was mourning for and letting go of a dream I had outgrown. They helped me understand what I was going through, and how to find whatever was coming next.

    Hail and Farewell.

  99. Her books on my shelf have all been read and re-read.

    It started with The Ship who Sang when I was 17.

    Thank you Anne………..

  100. Goodby,Godspeed, and thank you for the wonderful stories. They gave many, many hours of pleasure.

  101. Very sad. Anne McCaffrey was the first SF/F author I discovered on my own. Until then I had only read books/authors recommended by my SF-reading friend. I spotted Dragonquest in a bookstore and was intrigued by the cover, but my friend didn’t know of this author (okay, I’ve probably dated myself now!) So, I found “Weyr Search” in a collection of Hugo winners. After I read that, I knew I wanted more, so I bought both Dragonflight and Dragonquest and never looked back. Even hooked my friend on them, too. Years later, we were talking and I remarked, “I wish Pern really existed.” To which she replied, “How do you know it doesn’t?” I’ve never forgotten that nor Anne’s power to create such a world. I, too, had the good fortune of meeting her briefly at a book signing and later at a con. As others have commented, a gracious, down-to-earth lady! Condolences to Todd and all of her family. She has left a wonderful legacy.

  102. I also am a longtime fan. I wrote fanfic and helped edit in the Telgar Weyr club, I eagerly devoured all her books as well. A long-time friend stood in line for HOURS to ask her to personalize a book to me as a “peace offering”. After patiently listening to my friend tell her story, she signed the book to me, writing “Make Amends.” We did; after all, who was I to argue with Anne McCaffrey? :)

    I’ll miss ya.

  103. My condolences to her family at the loss of their beloved matriarch. I will miss a wonderful storyteller who took me away to her wondrous worlds. Her books have an honored place in my keeper bookcase. I have put Pern books in many an adolescent’s hand. We all want to belong some where and to be understood & loved.

  104. I’ve lost count of how many time I’ve read and re-read the various novels and stories of the Dragonriders of Pern. I never really got into her other works as I did the Dragonriders; although, The Rowan and its sequels were pretty good. Science FIction and Fantasy has lost one of its greats.

  105. She was the reason my mom got me an “adult” library card at age 9 or so. I had devoured the ‘singer’ books and wanted more, and she was tired of taking me to the regional library twice a week to get more. She will always have her own shelf in my library.

  106. The author that brought be into the world of Sci/Fi in the 4th grade. I owe her more than I can say. The world is a bit sadder tonight, but better with her words.

  107. Anne McCraffey was one of the first authors I made an effort of owning every book she wrote. In fact, I just reread All the Weyrs of Pern just a couple of weeks ago. All of her books resonnated with me because her characters were fallible, none of them were perfect, but I still wanted to know (or be) each one of them. It was also through her collaboration with other authors that I was introduced to authors Jodie Lyn Nye, S.M. Stirling and Elizabeth Moon, another one of my favorite authors.

    Thank you for sharing your worlds with us.

  108. Anne was one of my favorite authors. In addition, she was a charming, witty speaker. She will be greatly missed.

  109. One summer day many years ago, I called in “sick” to work in order to attend an invitation-only panel at Dragon*Con at which Ms. McCaffrey was speaking. I’ve never regretted it. She was witty, charming, and sharp as a tack. I started reading her books in junior high school, and many are still on my bookshelves 25 years later. So many different, amazing worlds…Pern, Ballybran, the Dinosaur Planet…she had a rare and wonderful gift. The world is a more interesting place because she was here.

  110. I too have a great many of her books on my shelves. Most have been re-read many many times. Strangely over the last week I’ve re-read three of them (the two Pegasus books, finished The Rowan this morning, was planning on starting Damia tonight).

    Of course I love Pern (who doesn’t?) but her Ship series and Talent/Tower & Hive series are the ones that really grabbed me. They were one of the few places where I could find people who liked each other for their minds, for whom the physical just wasn’t all that important. Physical attraction has always confused the daylights out of me and she gave me worlds where that didn’t matter. These were people that I could understand.

    Thank you Anne

  111. I wandered across Whatever as a link from an article in the U. of C. Magazine, and was saddened to learn that Anne McCaffrey had died, and even more saddened that I hadn’t heard this on the more main-stream news sources I tend to follow. I loved her books as a kid, and I still re-read some of them to this day (along with her newer works). I stand in awe of a writer’s ability to create worlds from nothing, and she was one of the best.

  112. I remember reading Weyr Search when it first came out as a novella; and devoured the first five (?) books in the series. What I liked best about the books was how humanity had developed a technology, culture, and morality completely sui generis and not a mere echo of their long-gone Terran forebears. (So the later books, in which they did rediscover the old Earth stuff, were not among my favorites.)

    IIRC, her stories the first ones in which dragons were the good guys. That’s what really got my attention.

  113. A minor character in one of Anne’s books was named Elgion. Elgion has been my alter ego in D&D, video games and my online persona for more than 30 years. Most everyone who knows me knows that I am Elgion as well. sThank you Anne.

  114. My favorite aunt, who as circumstance would have it, also passed away this last February from cancer was a huge fan. She must have had dozens of Anne McCaffrey books. They filled at least three full shelves on her bookshelf. Summers in Stockton, CA are long, hot, and mind-numbingly boring, but not so the summer I discovered Anne McCaffrey. That summer I met Menolly, the dragonsinger and so many other really memorable Pern characters. Writers never really die because the lessons we learn from their works live on in all of us, but I am still sad that Anne McCaffrey has left us. It’s lovely to read about everyone else’s memories and ruminate on how many lives she touched.

  115. Having Pern to escape to helped me survive adolescence. I cannot even emphasize enough how much her books and her worlds meant to me, still mean to me. I still have every one on my shelf, well-loved and worn, after multiple moves and many years.

  116. Halfway I live in a world in my head… in my dreams my dragon and I fight Thread.

    Those are lines in a poem I wrote for a Pern fan club. I feel like I have lived on Pern for most of my life – it didn’t matter where we moved to or what we were doing, Pern was always there. Anne McCaffrey gave me, and so many other people in this world, a place to always feel at home. Her graciousness to her fans, and her unparalleled imagination, will be forever missed.

  117. Ms. McCaffrey was one of the first genre authors I read as a child, opening me up to worlds of possibilities that included flesh-and-blood dragons. I think of her each time I pen a new story, and I hope to be able to introduce her work to my stepdaughters someday. I can only hope that my work will be half as loved as hers. She leaves big shoes to fill.

  118. The Smallest Dragonboy was the first SF story I read. Totally got me hooked. I was also lucky enough to have breakfast with Mrs. McCaffrey and Bob Forward at the only SF con I’ve attended (MosConX). A very sweet, very funny and cool lady.

  119. She was a gracious woman, and she wrote the absolutely most delightful heroines ever. I fell for Helva back when there were only a few women writers in sf, at least writing openly as female. I had the good fortune to meet her twice at cons. She was beautiful to the end, and I will miss her greatly.

    Blessed Be, Anne. Safe journey to the Summerland.

  120. I remember the first time I discovered Anne McAffrey’s works. It was a four cassette copy of Pegasus in Flight and To Ride Pegasus, I was young, probably seven or eight. I couldn’t understand how such a rich and detailed world could be fake. I then discovered Pern, my favorite fantasy setting and immediately fell in love with Dragons, some would say I’m still obsessed with them today, and they’d be right. Her Harper Hall Trilogy is one of my favorite set of works. The emotion and adventure gave me hope and captured my imagination. I became a writer because of authors like Anne McAffrey. I wish I had more to say, but for a writer I am starting to find the words to be insufficient to represent my feeling of loss at such a treasure that the world has ever known. Rest in peace Anne McAffrey.

  121. When I was very young (6 or 7), my dad got me volume 1 of the graphic novelization of Dragonflight. I never stopped being captivated by Pern. A few years later, Dad and his mom began reading the Harper Hall trilogy to me at bedtime. Menolly is still one of my favorite characters, and Pern is still one of my favorite worlds.

    RIP, Ms. McCaffrey. You will be missed.

  122. I read her books back when I was a pre-teen and they have stuck with me forever since. Definitely one of the series which formed my reading tastes.

  123. Ahhh, shit.

    Thank you, Annie. You taught me a ship could sing. Bye, honey. Clear skies, and hot jets.

  124. Ah, so it goes. I never got into the books myself – a friend called them “horse books for girls but with dragons” which I think is kind of unfair – but I respect she was a master. She changed people’s lives with her books which is what all of us writers hope for.

    I think I’ll have to get my copy out and give it to my daughter to see what she thinks.

  125. Her influence in my life goes far beyond the hours of entertainment spent reading all her books. I have many deep friendships formed with fellow fans, two bookshelves full of collected books, two informational websites and one discussion forum dedicated to her works, memories of several convention trips to see her plus one fantastical trip to meet her in her own home.

    Her words left a deep and positive impression on my life.

    Sincere condolences to Todd, Alec, Gigi, and all her grandchildren. Rest in peace, Anne.

  126. I was hooked on her work with Restoree back in 1967 and went on to devour anything and everything she wrote. She was a truly talented author and will be sorely missed.

  127. Anne McCaffrey was the very first scifi/fantasy author I ever read, and I was hooked. I had to read Dragonsong for the English Festival at Youngstown State University when I was in high school and couldn’t wait to read the rest of the trilogy, as well as the Dragonriders of Pern. Several years later she actually came to YSU and signed my Dragonsong book, but I lost it at college somewhere. I have read a number of her series and enjoyed every one of them. She will definitely be missed. She made a huge impression on me. I even tried to write my own fantasy series in high school modeled after hers.

  128. I met her only the once at a WorldCon. She was larger than life with that presence and focus, was even a bit scary to the young writer I was then. I was content to be a fly on the wall. Awesome woman, awesome inspiration for all of us.

  129. I first read “The Ship Who Sang” as a short story in junior high. I’m sure I’ve missed a few over the years, and thankfully they are still with us. Rest in Peace, Creator of Worlds.

  130. Oh! Sadness! Like many who’ve posted, McCaffrey was one of my very first fantasy reads. Just a couple of months ago, I gave my extremely ragged copies of Dragonsong, Dragonsinger, and Dragondrums to my 9 year old daughter, who has been eating them up. The Pern novels and The Rowan novels especially, as well as her other series and stand-alones, have been and still are wonderful escapes for me. I can’t think of a thing she wrote that I didn’t love.

  131. RIP Anne McCaffrey. As Leading female Sci Fi and Fantasy Fiction Writer who was inspiration to many and who made Ireland her home we will ensure to pay tribute to her legacy at upcoming Wexworlds Festival this weekend

  132. May she rest in peace. I have spent many a long Alaskan winter night curled up with one of her books lost in the wonderful worlds she created. Anne McCaffrey you will be missed. God Bless and Keep You.

    Anne McCaffrey, 1926-2011.

  133. I was born in the year of the Dragon seven cycles ago, I am now a keening Dragon saluting the passing of the DRAGON LADY. Thank you so much for the many hours I spent in your worlds of wonder and delight. Namaste, Anne McCaffrey

  134. So many times, reading her words about the inner thoughts and feelings of her female characters, I’d suddenly stop and thin, “So it’s not just me! Others think/feel that way!” That was her greatest gift to me – I will miss her immensely.

  135. I think the first McCaffrey book I read was Dinosaur Planet, at age 9. Not her most known work. I always loved dinosaurs, so it caught my eye. My dad saw me reading it, and said, “Hey, you should read some of her other stuff”, and gave me his copies of Dragonflight, Dragonquest, and the White Dragon. I was hooked, and began to work my way through his sci fi and fantasy collection. Like many who have already posted, her books helped me get through a difficult adolescence. I must have read all her books 3-4 times a year during my teens. Visiting her worlds helped me get away from the pain of my own world for a while. Brilliant woman. She will be missed.

  136. I fell in love with her novels in high school, from which I am only a year graduated. It saddens me to know that SciFi and Fantasy writing has lost a legend. I don’t think there were any like her, and I don’t think there ever will be.

  137. My best Anne McCaffrey memory: finishing Dragonsinger in 1989 and realizing there were dozens more books (and worlds) to be discovered! My next best (and perhaps most special) memory: being welcomed into her home at Dragonhold Underhill in County Wicklow Ireland in December 1997 for tea while sitting under a color portrait of Masterharper Robinton. I just gifted Dragonsong to a friend’s 11 year old son this past week and look forward to sharing the magic with my daughters in time. Fly well, Anne!

  138. She was not my first introduction to fantasy and sci fi — I had been given a good foundation in all the Enid Blyton worlds, so I was bound to want a more grown-up version of those long afternoons elsewhere — but she was the one who set the keystone atop the arch. I walked through into Lessa’s story, and though I occasionally wandered far afield, I never looked back.

    More than that, McCaffrey’s collaborations introduced me to other authors, and often female authors, whom I loved almost as fiercely, and they led me to others. Because of that, I went through all my adolescence without ever realising how very male the SSF world is; all along the way, there were women authors waiting to greet me, from Margaret Ball to Tanya Huff to Jane Yolen, but McCaffrey started it all with that first transition from children’s books to grown-up SFF. She wrote about this transition too, though, when Masterharper Robinton and AIVAS went out of the world together: To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. Hers was a good time, and a long season, and many and beautiful are the wonders and marvels she worked.

  139. I never read the dragon stories, but enjoyed the Ship Who Sang series and The Rowan series. RIP Anne.

  140. I met Anne, wheelchair bound, 11 years ago, and we commiserated about her daughter and I both struggling with Crohns Disease. She swore like a sailor and was great fun to talk to…when I said to her that her first book, “Restoree” had changed my life as a teenager, she said “It changed mine, too!”
    She was generous with her time that day, and she and Elizabeth Scarborough chatted about writing, cats and why men seemed to win all the SF awards at the time. I hope she’s flying in heaven with her dragons now, bless her.

  141. Damn.

    The original Dragon trilogy were among the very first books I ever owned, rather than borrowed. Thirty years ago. I kept them, too, until last summer when I passed them along to some kids in a shelter whose home had been whacked by a tornado. I figured they needed the comfort of those books much more than I did …

  142. Heartbreaking. I don’t even know how many hours I spent reading and rereading her novels and playing on the Pern MOOs and MUSHes, even the Crystal Singer MUSH, back in the late ’90s and early ’00s. Her novels were such a gift, so vivid and exciting to read. Thank you, Anne.

  143. My aunt gave me a few of the Pern books back when I was in grade school. I can remember the anguish I felt when I read “Moreta” for the first time and realized how it would end. (I don’t think I had ever been that emotional about a story before.) The more I read, the more I desperately wished I could visit Pern, and I nearly fainted with joy when I discovered PernMUSH. Those characters opened up a whole world for a very shy, awkward teenager, and it’s a place I still return to from time to time – if only for the memories. After I had devoured the Pern series, I sampled many of the other stories and enjoyed them just as thoroughly. Very few books have ever entranced me as much as Anne’s still do. I just finished re-reading the Harper Hall trilogy a few days ago and lost quite a bit of sleep because I simply couldn’t put the books down. Thank you, Anne, for creating such beautifully vivid worlds where I could spend so many happy hours.

  144. I discovered SF when in 1974 when I was thirteen, in one of those Hugo Winners anthologies. At the same time I was reading Dangerous Visions, early Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein, etc, anything I could get my hands on. Since I had no background, it was all the same to me. Which, I realize now, is the way it should be. I don’t remember exactly what I read before it but I remember the Dragonflight excerpt felt elegant, like a clear, singing voice.

  145. I love the first Dragonriders of Pern. I don’t often reread books, but that one I have, and will probably continue to. The story of Lessa as a young woman making her way, the bond between human and dragon, the time travel angel (one of my first introductions to time loops) … all of it was a revelation in terms of storytelling, worldbuilding, and the richness of fantasy. Thanks for the flights of fancy, Anne McCaffrey.

  146. I would like to recommend two little-known stories of hers in the Get Off the Unicorn collection, “Daughter” and “Dull Drums.” I always liked Nora and wished Ms. McCaffrey had chosen to do more with her.

    She was a grand storyteller, and her books still have a place on my overburdened shelves.

  147. Her books were fun to read and inspired a host of imitators. I found the first Dragonrider of Pern book in the old City Lights bookstore in San Francisco in 1976 and it has moved with me to all the places I have lived ever since. I’m grateful for the rich legacy she leaves us.

  148. I first read the Bantam paperback editions of Dragonsong and Dragonsinger back when I was eight years old–I bought them with my own money at a school book fair. Dragonsinger and Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern will always hold a special place in my heart.

    Rest well, Ms. McCaffrey. I trust your journey *between* was safe and peaceful.

  149. Damn.
    I haven’t read all the comments, but from those I have, it’s obvious I’m not the only one who was drawn thoroughly into fantasy and science fiction when someone (in my case, both my mom and my maternal grandfather) handed me “Dragonsong”. It’s not the first novel I read, but it’s the first story that has stuck with me down all the years since.
    Figuratively speaking, at least – the last time I re-read the Harper Hall trilogy, they were getting pretty battered, from many, many happy visits with old friends.

  150. I can’t hardly say this was unexpected but am still devastated. I as many others started with Pern and was currently hoping for a new PTB book. I wanted Rowan for a sister so she would not be so lonely and my name would be Killashandra Ree. I have all of her books in Hard cover and almost all in paperback as well. Tonight I will put my kindle down and go old school and reread a favorite.
    My prayers to her family. For all her fans like myself a light has gone out in the universe…though I can only hope Helva is singing to her as they fly to the horsehead nebula and she is off on an adventure as great as the ones she gave to the world.

  151. I’ve read DRAGONSONG three times, during three radically different stages of my life, but I first read it during one of my preteen summers in southern California, and one of the remarkable things about it is how utterly and vividly the book evokes that summer for me. I can remember all the sights, sounds, smells, thoughts, and feelings I experienced during the day I read that book for the first time, and the Pern books have played an enormous role in my evolution as both a reader and a writer. She was, and is, among the giants, and she’ll be missed.

  152. My uncle handed me Dragonflight the summer before Dragondrums was published (Dragondrums was my first hardcover McCaffrey book!) What began that summer has stretched over decades. Her books remain among the first I hand to dragon crazy people looking for a good read. My own copies, most in hardcover, are old cherished friends. Tonight I will sit down with them and begin again. Thank you, Anne, for the beauty you gave us all!

  153. I’m struck, reading these memories of Ms. McCaffrey and her work, by the large number of people who are saying that she introduced them to science fiction, fantasy, or both; by the number who believe they survived adolescence because of her; by the number who are now sharing her work with their own children. Now *that* is a legacy.

    I didn’t discover Pern until I was well into my teens, but Menolly’s story resonated with me so strongly that Dragonsong and Dragonsinger remained reliable comfort reading for me for decades.

  154. I married a Sci-fI addict 36 years ago, and I didn’t understand his fascination until her handed me “The Ship who Sang”. It opened my mind to a whole genre, and I will always be grateful. Rest in Peace, dear lady – you will be missed by millions!

  155. Back when I was a bullied preteen, and on into being an angsty teenager, Anne Mccaffrey saved my life and my sanity. Her books gave me an escape when things got too hard to deal with. Without that escape, I’d most likely have ended up just another teenaged suicide.

    Her books even lead me to a better realtionship with my mother…She’d called all sci-fi “pure escapist drivel”, and disapproved of me reading it, until she read one of Anne’s books…She had run out of other handy reading material, and picked up one of my books because “It had a pretty cover.” The book was “The White Dragon”. I never heard a word of protest more about my sci-fi habit, and shortly after, she started buying me sci-fi books.

    I was never more honored than when I got to meet Anne at Dragoncon 2008, and thank her for saving my life and for bringing me closer to my mom, who I’d lost just the month before. When I told her how her books had provided an escape when things got too bad to bear, she said that was the reason that she’d started writing…to escape when things got to be too much. There’s an Anne Mccaffrey shaped hole in the world now, and nothing can ever take her place.

    For Todd and the rest of her children, I have no words…Just lots and lots of zen hugs.

  156. Sad day indeed. The first sf novel I ever read was hers; “The Crystal Singer”. Thank you and may you rest in peace.

  157. I first met Anne, when she still lived in the San Fernando Valley… way back, in the early 70’s… And, am “happy” to say, that she “included me”; as a “character” in the first Ship Who Sang books… Time flies, whether your “havin’ fun” or “havin’ none”… And, so NOW… she is “at Pern”; with the dragons… “Well, WHERE ELSE… might she be; then?!?!” “Rest ye well, Anne; none deserve it more, nor, better!!!”

  158. What sad news… Like so many others, Anne’s Pern books were an integral part of my childhood and development as both a reader and writer… I went on to read and be moved by all her other works… and was looking forward to sharing her amazing worlds and visions with my two daughters. Now, I think we might need to start that process sooner rather than later. Thank you Anne for all the amazing worlds, memorable characters and amazing stories. You will be missed and remembered always.

  159. Its amazing how many people read her “first” . I did too. Although my mother read the wind and willows to me as my bedtime story before I read McCaffrey, I count her as my first.
    It is a wonderful thing to she touched so many people, so positively in a lifetime. I think of her books as friends. Reading them is a place to visit, a place I know, a place that will never cease to enthrall me.

  160. I’ll never forget the “Mc” shelf in my elementary school library. I can still see it in front of me, the yellowing wood of the shelf, and smell that musty smell of varnish and old books that the library exuded.

    I plowed my way through Dragonsong, Dragonsinger, and Dragondrums (on the second shelf from the top) in less than a week, and then discovered Robin McKinley on the shelf below — The Blue Sword, and the Hero and the Crown.

    I’d read fantasy before — that is, what my father had on the shelf at home. Narnia, of course. Lord of the Rings. But this — this was different. And the contents of that “Mc” shelf really jumpstarted my love of fantasy and science fiction.

    Anne McCaffrey, Thank you. I will be pulling Dragonsong out and reading it with my daughter tonight.

  161. I was twelve, and in various ways less than happy, when I first encountered Dragonflight: the start of a long literary affection, and an eye-opener in a lot of ways. Lessa was my first bookcrush, and what a crush she was: it wasn’t until much later that I stood far enough back to notice that she just happened to be the first female protagonist I’d ever met who simply pulled me straight into her viewpoint and kept me there to the last gasp of the race. What this particular character identification says about me, who knows?

    This was only the start. Anne McCaffrey also introduced me to, among other things: science fantasy; dragons as I’d desired them to be since I was knee-high to a grasshopper and heart-hungry for dinosaurs; the concept and necessity of fanfiction; the powerful domestic (esp. Harper Hall) and romantic (everywhere) strains in a genre I’d always seen overwhelmingly in terms of the heroic, epic, scientific, and high-political… I can’t even go on. Today she has far less direct influence on my style and tastes than almost any of the other writers who captivated me in my personal Golden Age – but her characters still show strongly among my friendly ghosts, and there are images from those books that have scarcely dimmed on me in thirty years remembered.

    Oh, aye: there goes one I shall be missing. Wind to her wings.

  162. Crying at my desk at work. Which is ridiculous. I can honestly say that there is not a single Pern book that I have not loved.

    Not just angels with wings in heaven now, there be dragons there too.

    RIP Anne, I will miss you very much.

  163. I thank Anne for Acorna, Brain & Brawn Ship, Crystal singer, Doona, Freedom, Pern, Talent + Tower & Hive. Hours of joy and comfort over the years as I still reread them from time to time. Many of my friends have several of her books next to Winnie the Pooh, Narnia, etc for their children. She will be missed, but her legacy lives on, dragon-wings soaring high in glorious song in a never ending sky.

  164. Anne McCaffrey was one of those authors I would read and re-read constantly as a teenager. Especially because of the strength in many of her female characters. As a teacher, I deeply appreciated both how accessible her work was for some of my struggling readers and that she always, always wrote back to them when they wrote her to share their stories about her books. She will be greatly missed.

  165. A great imagination and she leaves behind a fantastic legacy. It has been a pleasure to read this thread, particularly comments from those who actually met the lady confirming what a wonderful warm soul she had, although this shone out in her writing.

  166. I don’t think I met her face-to-face until one of he Worldcons of the early 1970s, in the Green Room, whereafter we would always continue our conversations, in the SFWA Suite or elsewhere. So our discourse stretched over several continents and decades. She was a hero to me, her day-glo blue-streak in her hair to show how to “think young” – her being the first to his the U.S. Bestseller list with a Science Fiction novel, before Asimov, Clarke, or Heinlein did (soon after), her kindness and humanity. I am a second generation Science Fiction author, editor, and publisher, following in the footsteps of my well-known book editor father. Anne McCaffrey was one of the giants who made the field worth social involvement, and not just reading and writing. Rest in Peace, Annie!

  167. Few are those who touch so many people with their words. Fewer still are those who leave such a powerful legacy.

    Thank you, Anne, for teaching us how to fly. May the dragons you so dearly loved and graciously shared with us escort you home one last time.

  168. I think I was 11 when I picked up “Dragonflight”. Until then dragons were terrible creatures fought by St. George and hobbits. She changed all that. I devoured her fantasy novels and read and re-read the Masterharper books. What a living character and model she gave me in Master Robinton.

    My nieces and nephews have also been pulled into her worlds as well. Her writing is a great legacy.

    Thank you again for those wonderful hours

  169. It’s so lovely to read all of the comments and tributes here and elsewhere. So many have expressed the same things I remember and feel from the many years I have been reading her writing. I too am still waiting for my dragon (or fire lizard) and wish I had had the chance to thank Anne for the huge impact she had on my life. And if I don’t get off this computer now I will end up crying all day.

  170. Her Dragonriders of Pern books got me through adolescence. I am not exaggerating when I say I might not be here today if it hadn’t been for her. I hope she’s flying with her dragons in heaven now.

  171. My older sister, from whom I inherited so many of the books of my youth secondhand, literally read and re-read the covers off of the Pern books before I could get ahold of them. And though they were hopelessly tattered, she read and re-read them again over the years. Those books were locked down like Fort Knox and while we shared a lot of worlds, that one was hers. For a couple of socially awkward bookish kids growing up on a farm in Indiana, it’s hard to imagine things without the worlds that authors like Anne (though nobody’s like her) created and shared with us.

  172. Crystal Singer and The White Dragon are in my top 5 favorite books of all time. I’m so sad she’s gone.

  173. I was twelve, introverted and bullied and escaping into any books I could find, when I picked up Dragonflight. I remember, twenty-some years later, reading Lessa’s Impression and being absolutely bowled over at the concept. I hid Dragonquest in my math book so I wouldn’t have to quit reading, tried to change my cat’s name to Menolly, spent an entire gift certificate on her newest hardcover when I was fourteen, and rejoiced when I discovered Pern on the Internet, because now I could live in the world I always wanted to inhabit.

    Thank you, Anne. The dragons keen, but they also sing.

  174. I read Dragonsong and Dragonsinger as a young teen, and made up tunes to all Menolly’s songs. I am utterly the reverse of musical, but I loved them that much.

  175. She will be sorely missed.

    For those not familiar with them, I highly recommend her non-genre works, The Lady and The Year of the Lucy,

  176. Damn. She will be missed. I wish that I’d been able to tell her how much I appreciated her work. I remember getting the original Dragonriders of Pern trilogy as a Christmas present many years ago, I think when I was in seventh grade. I’d been mad for everything science fiction and fantasy I could get my hands on and my parents bought the books for me just because they had dragons on the cover. Long story short, they blew my mind; Pern and Ballybarn were and are more real to me to this day than most of the SF/F worlds I’ve read.

    I think I know what I’ll be re-reading over Thanksgiving.

  177. First time I ever read Dragonflight I was in middle school. Borrowed it from the school library. That book helped cement my love for science fiction and fantasy, and I’ll never forget that. Thanks for letting me fly through your worlds, Anne McCaffrey

  178. I was in my senior year of high school when F&SF published her first Ship Who Sang story. My high school class celebrated its 50th reunion this summer, so that shows what an amazingly long (and successful) career she had. I first read Dragon Riders of Pern as serialized in Analog magazine a few years later. Over the years since then I have read and enjoyed many of her Pern novels and her ship novels.

    Thank you, Anne.

  179. As with many people, the Pern books were pretty much my gateway into fantasy fiction (I grew up reading my older brother’s science fiction books). Though Anne’s work, I discovered that girls could be heroes, too. And that art could be prized. And that talents come in many forms.

    I’m so grateful to her for her books and her talent. She’s one of the authors that helped me survive my teen years.

    Godspeed, Anne. And thank you.

  180. As so many have already posted, her Pern series was an enormous influence on my young life. I even fantasized about riding Ruth when I would escape to the park by myself. But her work is not characterized by dragons alone. Once I had read most of Pern available at the time, I began looking into some of her other works including the Damia series primarily. Now I am sorry that I never really picked up Acorna….maybe that will be next.

    Mistress of dragons, Mother of telepathic spaceflight, defender of worlds, and giver of hope and escape to generations of awkward young boys and girls, you will be missed.

  181. The Ship Who Sang – first sci-fi book I ever read. It’s impact cannot be measured. Thank you Anne for introducing me to the wonderful worlds of science fiction and fantasy literature. I feel like I can hear the dragons mourning her passing…..

  182. It has been many, many years since I visited Pern…but the memory of those teenage visits is something I will always treasure.

  183. Several years ago Anne McCaffrey was visiting in Dayton, Ohio and did a book signing just a few days before Christmas. I basically told work that I WAS going to attend come snowstorm or firing. I made it to the signing and Anne McCaffrey signed the three hardbacks that I brought. Then she turned to three places in my DragonQuest HB and made some corrections. She said those errors always drove her crazy. I am so glad I got to see her and I’ll always treasure those books. Thank You, Anne.

  184. Difficult to add anything to the eloquent comments so far, but I loved many of her books and she leaves a tremendous legacy.

  185. I never had the honor of meeting her, but Anne McCaffrey has been a part of my life since 1982. I don’t know if my old junior high library is still laid out the same, or even if it’s still in the same place, but in my mind’s eye I can still see the exact location of their copy of Dragonflight. (walk into the library, immediate left into the fiction room, go around the low center island to the left, and it’s in the middle of that wall, just at eye level.) I checked it out countless times before finally buying my own copy.

    I’ve always been a reader, but the world of Pern was just special. It spoke to me and I don’t even know how many times I’ve read the books. I still have that first paperback copy of Dragonflight I bought myself. It’s battered & looks “used” and I’ll never give it up because my sister & her husband got it signed for me when they went to WorldCon just to meet Anne McCaffrey one year.


  186. I felt an almost electric shock when I read the news. Anne was not my first introduction to SF&F, but she has been a favourite since very shortly after that – definitely fed and amplified my addiction. I’m very grateful that her works are still with me.

  187. Fun fact: I was forced to us my encyclopedia to research the Oort cloud after reading my first Pern book. FORCED! Thanks, Anne. ;)

    The best thing I think I can do to honor her memory is something I’ve been waiting to do for a while already: give her books to my children to read. They’re not there yet, but I can’t wait.


  188. Like so many others, Anne was my introduction to Science Fiction in the late 70s. I also met her for about 3 minutes while working at Books & Company in Dayton Ohio. I was fortunate to meet many authors who came for book signings the 2 years I worked there. She was my favorite. She probably took one look at me and knew right away I was a fan…She walked through the door and my eyes got huge and I stumbled through a greeting and acted like a shy little kid. She was very gracious. I am reminded of her book bio- “I have green eyes, silver hair, and freckles – the rest changes without notice”
    You rocked my world and opened my eyes to possibility
    Thank you Anne

  189. I am a teacher, and one of the greatest pleasures I have had is teaching “The Smallest Dragonboy” in an English class, and providing copies of Dragonflight to those interested in reading more. I realize that Todd continues to write in the Pern universe, but I hope the estate is willing to open up the universe similar to the way Eric flynt has opened up his 1632 universe.

  190. I was floored when I found out she was gone . I just finished re-reading the Freedom series and falling in love with the Catteni all over again. It is hard to lose people that you grew up with and spent many nights reading with a flashlight under the covers.

  191. My mom had a shelf of Anne McCaffery books and they, along with Asimov, were the first adult books I read as a kid. I think I started with Decision At Doona, probably because of the cat on the cover, or maybe because I liked the color, but I also vividly remember reading The Ship That Sang, Killshandra and then the Dragonrider/Harper Hall trilogies. I was more into rockets than dragons at the time, so the Pern books came last. But all her books ended up on my bookshelves as I reread them constantly over the years. I wore out two copies of Dragonsinger and I so badly wanted to meet Robinton.

    Her books were such a fundamental part of my understanding of the genres it never occurred to me that there was anything strange about having female writers or protagonists in scifi or fantasy. I was surprised later on when I discovered that she had helped pave the way for women and that there was such a dearth before she came along.

    RIP and thanks, Ms. McCaffery.

  192. Dragonflight was the very first book I ever bought all with my own money. I think I was about twelve and the book was the seventy-five-cent paperback edition. I remember agonizing over the purchase and counting pennies to make sure I had enough for the tax (75 cents was a lot of money to 12-year-old-me). I went on to buy more sf and fantasy novels that I can easily count, but I still have the battered paperback.

    And I still think it was a good first purchase. RIP and thank you, Ms. McCaffrey, indeed.

  193. I have made so many friends worldwide through sharing Anne’s work via the internet and participating in Weyrfest activities at Dragon*Con. The sense of community she created – both in her world-building and through the people who loved her stories – has brought joy to many. My thoughts are with her family. Clear skies, Anne.

  194. Asimov (as Paul French) introduced me to SciFi as a kid in the 50’s, followed by Heinlein and H. G. Wells. For a while I thought that all science fiction was written by men. Heinlein’s tour de force in presenting Podkayne of Mars only reinforced the misconception. I even thought that Andre Norton was a guy until I started reading author bios.

    Then in the late 60’s (while in the Marines no less) I was introduced to the world of Pern, and an intensely feminine outlook that was completely unlike any woman authored writing I had ever encountered. I was hooked, and after that could never adopt the condescending attitude toward women that so many of my green machine colleagues shared.

    So long Anne, and thanks for all the books.

  195. She gave me an escape when I needed it. Dragons in my mind helped me through a lot of ugliness in my life, and for that, I thank her.
    Those same dragons in my mind started keening at the news of her death. But her worlds live on.

  196. Damn.

    Dragonsdawn was the very first adult book I ever read. I foolishly insisted on reading them in chronological order not appreciating some of the nuances I’d missed until I re-read. I then consumed Pern and it was an obsession. As I got older I began to think it was a bit simplistic and beneath me as I progressed to other things. Then I went back and read it and fell in love again. I connected with the Harpers more for some reason and if anything, I wanted to BE Robinton. That was a character that exemplified so many wonderful qualities in humanity. Part of my childhood has died.

  197. One of the best SF authors I have ever had the privilege to read the works of. I am sure she is going to be greatly, and sorely, missed. :( RIP hun.

  198. I first met Anne when our family was living in Ireland in the 1970s. My mother had been thrown from a horse (due to her own incompetence) and Anne drove her home. She visited a few times, but I really didn’t connect her with The Person Who Wrote Books until after we all drifted apart. Because authors were Important People™ and Anne was down to earth. And, well, I was a teenage jerk who knew everything and nothing at once.

    One thing I remembered her saying was that some of the characters in the Pern novels were based on horses at Brennanstown Riding Stables.

  199. I pointed my kids at Weyr Search when they were about 8, and of course, created a monster. Books everywhere! Sheesh :-)

  200. I cannot help but think of Dragonsong and Dolphins of Pern. Remember how everyone reacted when Robinton passed away? I am in shock and numb and tears are leaking down my face and I have an interview in a few minutes so I have to keep my throat clear but I just want to bawl.

    I never met her but she had a hand in making me who I am, which is a professional writer. She opened the door to an amazing world that taught me to love the written word. If not for her influence, and the influence of authors like her, I would have never chosen writing as a life choice.

    When I saw Anne’s name pop up in the sidebar with the word ‘dies’ I froze and then felt like keening like dragon.

  201. I bought Dragonflight out of a box at an outdoor second hand book shop when I was 11 years old. Ever since then I’ve read and then re-read her books again and again. She had an amazing imagination and I absolutely loved her world and the characters within it.

    Rest in peace, Anne. The hours of enjoyment I’ve spent reading your books were a real gift.

  202. Anne McCaffrey was also my gateway to fantasy and SF. I wrote to her as a pre-teen and she wrote back – more than once. She was a lovely, gracious person with a tremendous imagination. “Rest in peace” seems wrong to me: I want to say “fly in grace” instead.

  203. I read all the Pern books as soon as they came out (racing against my father to grab them) and always felt transported. It is one of my joys to remember and how much joy she brought to both of us.

  204. She (and a few others of the grand masters) got me through early adolescence and I still go back to her for “comfort food” from time to time. I even got to read some of her stuff in original magazine publication through my Dad’s Astounding/Analog collection from before I learned to read.

    Trying to get my daughter to read the Harper Hall series now that she’s the right age, but her mind is on other things.

  205. Our beloved Dragon Lady has gone between never to return and the world is a much poorer place because of it. Her books will forever keep all of us tied to her and each other. Rest in Peace great lady. You are and always will be greatly loved and respected.

  206. She inspired some of us to make our own versions of her worlds – as fanfic writers, or as role players (that would be me, over there in Second Life), or as musicians, or artists. (And she understood that, and provided us with nice, simple rules to follow so that we wouldn’t step on her toes or abuse her creation, protecting her rights while still letting us play in our versions of her world.)

    Jill, you have it right. Fly in grace, dragonlady.

  207. My name is Sara and I was thrilled to find the name of her first character (Restoree) was Sara. I love cats and to find an author who obviously shared my passion was no less thrilling. Everything from barque cats, to dragons, from Catteni to Brain Ships…so much diversity and so much skill.

    Anne was kind enough to reply to a letter I sent her in the early 1980s and I still have the card she sent. It marks pages for me in The White Dragon.

    Rest in peace Anne. Dream of dragons. We will miss you.

    To her family – my deepest condolences. I am crying for you all.


  208. The Holds are quiet;
    the Halls have dimmed.
    The Weyrs are grieving;
    their banners trimmed.
    Drums are covered,
    pipes laid down;
    a dark day passes
    without renoun.

    Holders raise a glass
    and take a moment or two,
    give thanks, rejoice, remember
    the words that made you true.
    You shall live on, and over again,
    your stories oft retold,
    your sickness and defeats,
    and conquests bright and bold.

    Harpers sing a soulful tune,
    Weavers thread her story,
    Miners and smiths take up your crafts
    in homage to her glory.
    By thread or hide or smelted steel,
    your grit, your blood, your sweat;
    Give praise to she who wrote you,
    for Pern must not forget.

    Weyrfolk lament,
    your dragons too.
    A moment of reverence
    is required of you.
    Gold and bronze,
    brown, blue, and green,
    take flight, give voice:
    Anne McCaffrey has gone between.

    – Amy Bear (24th of November, 2011)

  209. I have loved this author since I was 11 years old and my Mother read Dragonflight and Dragon Quest out loud to me one summer at the Cabin. I say that Pern was the first place I wanted to stay. That summer I built a whole Dragonrider persona and dreamed a life for myself with my gold dragon. I would lay in bed, long after the rest of the Cabin had gone quiet and watch out my window at the stars, my imagined story playing out as I chose it.

    A lot of fond memories are tied not only to Anne’s dragons, but to my Mother, which makes these memories doubly (trebly?..quadruply?) precious. I remember wishing time would pass quickly, so I could get to that magic part of the day, after dishes were done, and Mom and I would start at the table, with her reading under the gas lamp light. My sister lost interest fairly quickly and would go do something else. My father, who had already read the books, would listen and play solitair.

    After an hour or two of this, we’d take a quick break to get ready for bed…I’d rush upstairs and hurry into my PJs so I could get back to the story. We’d end up in my parent’s bed room. Dad laying down, Mom sitting up with a book light, and me sitting at the end of the bed with a pillow on my lap or behind my back as I rested against the foot board.

    I laughed, I cried, I cheered there at the end of that bed, hugging my pillow while my Mother read those precious books. I dream of someday reading to them to children, mine or somone else’s, bringing the magic as it was brought to me.

    May you fly high in ever clear skies Anne. You are loved, you are missed.

    Be well,

  210. Like many other people here she was one of my earliest introductions to SFF at age 13 or 14, I picked up the book because it had dolphins in it and ended up loving the dragons! I love her work so much she is the number one author in my collection that is over 3 thousand books, and hers were some of the first ones I bought. I would not have this abiding love for SFF without her and I will miss her absolutely.

  211. She changed lives by doing what she loved best. May we all be so lucky. Wherever you are,Thank you for the tales you left behind for us to enjoy. Here’s hoping you are flying with your Dragons. RIP Anne McCaffrey

  212. While I was studying in Dublin, and just getting toward the end of my final school year there, I finally sent the letter I’d written asking if I might have the privilege to come and visit her. I still remember leaving school with a voicemail to a number I didn’t know. The voice on the other end was boisterous and strong and so matter of fact. She said she’d gotten my letter and to call her back. I quickly did. And she just asked “So, You’d like to meet me?” and that weekend a friend and I drove to her lovely home in Wicklow. We were greeted by her dogs, and we spent the afternoon, chatting over tea and she told us a Pern story that I suppose might never be published. It was just an afternoon, and I never even took photo with her or anything. But, I’ll always cherish the memory of it. As well as the hours and days I’ve spent immersed in her work. She also once complimented a sonnet I emailed her when in highschool. She was really generous with her attention.

  213. Restoree & The Ship Who Sang were my first and my most favorite stories back when I was a teenager. What an amazing and inspiring woman. She will be most sorely missed!

  214. There are only 4 authors that I re-read consistantly and always get more from the story each time.
    Asimov, Hienlein, Stirling and McCaffrey.
    Anne, your talent will be missed!

  215. I was having a stressful week when I heard of her passing, and I just couldn’t cope — so I put it aside, and didn’t read anything more on the subject until now. And now, reading through all your responses, I’m crying. I know those books so well — I can probably quote most of the dialogue in _Dragonsinger_ verbatim, I’ve read it so often. My copy is in tatters.

    Up above, Elizabeth (@melebeth) said exactly what I would have: “The Dragonharpers of Pern collection was my security book from too early to remember well through my college days. Every time anything bad happened, I’d throw myself into Menolly’s adventures….Anne McCaffrey’s [books] have always been solace, comfort, and joy for me, and she will be missed.”

    Exactly. And still.

  216. I love this woman. After reading her Dragonsong book in high school, I was able to be the odd person out in my family. Thank you so much Anne. I will miss you so much.

  217. I was lucky enough to have a ready supply of Anne’s books brought into me while I was hospitalised after a knee operation, in 1981. My thanks go out to the nurse who had them and so graciously lent them to me in my enforced stay in hospital in Balham. I’ve latterly read more as her (Anne, not the nurse !) output continued and will miss her unique perspective and gentle humour.

  218. Still my favorite. Every time I revisit the Dragonsinger series, I am drawn in anew. I am currently reading her Doona series and have Dinosaur planet on my shelves. Her Pern series was one of my first loves and the first series of books that I began purchasing for my own personal BOOK library. I remember being bowled over by The Ship Who Sang and all the others that followed it and the Crystal Singer Trilogy were bastions of feminine wisdom and strength for me as a teenager. Don’t forget her short story “Cholera” which still tickles my imagination and makes me long to set ink to sheet.

    None can compete. None ever shall.

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