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23 November 2011 @ 04:03 pm
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.
luvscharlie: Books Stack of Harry Potterluvscharlie on November 24th, 2011 05:04 am (UTC)
I have never read anything by her, being rather late entering into the realm of fantasy. Where do I start, lovely?
inkvoices: dragon_outofegginkvoices on November 24th, 2011 08:46 pm (UTC)
She wrote science fiction, but the Pern series seems fantasy or blurs, and it's probably the best place to start, in published order with Dragonflight. The other series were published chronologically, but the Pern books jump around at times. It works well that way (and it does mean that you can jump around yourself a bit). The come in kind of sets, so Dragonflight, Dragonquest, and The White Dragon go together. Then Dragonsong, Dragonsinger, and Dragondrums (which Riley may like as well - they readable by a younger audience, especially the first two). After that I'd feel free to jump around! I was going to tell you which are my favourites, but I can't decide, heh.

After that, she's written some cracking science-fiction series as well. Her first ever novel, Restoree, was written in protest at the portrayl of women in science-fiction, and I think you'd love the Crystal Singer trilogy.