Years ago I discovered a series of books by author Anne McCaffrey. After reading the Dragonflight, I systematically hunted down every other book in the series until I read them all and still wished for more. A wikipedia quote describes the basic premise for the series “”technologically regressed survival planet” whose people were united against a threat from space” but does not begin to cover the incredible world that Ms. McCaffrey built in these books. The characters were some of the first to become so real to me that I cried when a dragon died because the relationship with dragon and rider was a telepathic bond and the death of either cause for pain so unbearable for the other that the remaining partner often killed themselves. The characters were so well developed (even some of the dragon personalities) that I would disappear into the world of Pern for hours and come back feeling as though I had spent time with friends that I would miss.
The Dragonriders of Pern series was the first Fantasy Fiction I read that was so strongly done, disbelief was suspended so that when I put the book down, I would be surprised to look around me and realize I was back on earth and that dragons sadly did not in fact, exist.
Anne McCaffery was born in Massachusetts but moved to Ireland where she lived in a house she named Dragonhold. Her son is quoted in the same wikipedia article as saying she “first set dragons free on Pern and then was herself freed by her dragons”
Wired’s Matt Blum writes that “McCaffrey helped pave the way for women writers in fantasy and science fiction, and was both the first woman awarded a Hugo Award and the first awarded a Nebula Award. Even in her 80s she continued to write, and over her lifetime produced a prodigious number of books and short stories. She was still answering readers’ mail on her website as of a few weeks ago.”
(From the CBS news website)
Anne McCaffrey was a prolific writer who wrote more than just the Dragonriders of Pern series and her voice will be missed. A stroke took her on November 21 at the age of 85, Thank you Anne for hours of enjoyment and creating a love of Fantasy Fiction in this reader.