Friday, December 02, 2011

Anne McCaffrey (1926-2011)

Anne McCaffrey, the American science fiction writer, died on Monday, 21 November, following a stroke. She was 85.

McCaffrey is probably best known for her Dragonriders of Pern series, set on a distant planet colonised by humans where deadly spores (threads) descend regularly from a neighbouring planet. The human colonies are protected by genetically manipulated fire-breathing dragons and it is the life long relationship between dragons and their riders that is central to the series.

The early stories in this series won McCaffrey both Hugo and Nebula Awards, the first of dozens of awards she would win, culminating in being named the 22nd Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America in 2005 and her induction into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2006.

Her output was prolific — over 100 novels — and many were bestsellers. I had the good fortune to meet her once, way back at Seacon '79, and somewhere I probably still have the badge she gave me: "Get on the dragon wagon". See the links below for more information.

Obituaries: The Guardian (24 November), New York Times (24 November).
Further information: SFE, Wikipedia.



  1. Thanks for the tribute, Steve. For once a sci-fi writer received a decent mention in the media - Teletext, press, etc - most concentrated on the (then) rarity of a woman writing in this genre.

  2. I love those old covers - they take me right back to being a teenager - giddy with excitement everytime a new dragon book came out.



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