November 23rd, 2011

girl writing b&w

the marvels we have seen (Dragonsinger)

I just found out this afternoon that Anne McCaffrey has passed away on the 21st following a stroke at the age of 85.

I was searching through the badly stocked boxes at a rare primary school bookfayre when I came across Dragonsinger, my first McCaffrey story. Dragons and music featured in a book? I think I hugged it, I was that excited. It was perfect, a right book at the right time. Later I had a surprise when I realised that this dragon series I was reading turned out to actually be science-fiction and not fantasy even though it had dragons in it, but it was written by Anne McCaffrey and so I kept reading regardless. I probably would have ventured beyond fantasy at some point, but not that early and not so seamlessly. She taught me that it didn't matter what the genre was, the important thing was the story, and over the years I worked my way through everything else she wrote that I could get my hands on.

Anne McCaffrey was prolific. She wrote an impressive number of books and stories, she was the first woman to be awarded the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award, she was the first woman with a science-fiction title on the New York Times bestseller list, she was named a Grand Master of science-fiction in 2005 and inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2006, she was still writing in her 80s and still replying to her reader's mail up until a few weeks ago.

She was a remarkable and influential woman.

"To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven." ~ All The Weyrs Of Pern

Sources: here at ontd_political, here by Matt Blum, and from memory. There's a nice guardian piece here.