Tuesday, November 22, 2011

MAY SHE DANCE WITH DRAGONS: Anne McCaffrey passed away today. It's been years since I read one of her novels, but her most famous series (Dragonriders of Pern) is a fascinating fusion of fantasy (dragons! harpers! pre-industrial society!) and science fiction (the "dragons" are genetically engineered creatures that help colonists on a new planet). Her other series had similar fusions--her "Talent and Hive" novels were set in a far future of space travel, but space travel was guided by psychic/magical air traffic controllers. The fusion made her books unpredictable and interesting in genres all-too-often content to rest on the same tropes again and again, making her the first female to win Hugo and Nebula awards, and a member of the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. Her imagination will be missed.


  1. Marsha10:55 PM

    A lovely tribute, Matt. I read through every book in the Pern series, I think, and loved them way back when. She will certainly be missed.

  2. Joseph Finn9:04 AM

    THough I haven't read them in years, she was always a favorite of mine.  She had a nice loose extended universe thing going as well, with Crystal Signers and Ships Who Fled and all that loosely tied together.

    Horribly nice woman as well, the one time I met her, though part of it was that she had accidentaly run over my foot wirth her scooter when she was coming out of an elevator at Dragon*Con.  Very gracious, and boy did she have a mad Irish glint to her eye.

  3. What a great tribute -- I hadn't heard that she had died.  I LOVED those Pern novels when I was a kid/young teenager.  I think part of the reason they appealed to me was because there were so many strong female characters.

  4. Genevieve3:06 PM

    These books were very formative to me as well - my favorite science fiction/fantasy when I was young.  Loved the Menolly books especially (with the second one you got school story and lots of details about music as well as good characters).