RIP Anne McCaffrey

Anne McCaffrey is dead and though it is not as such an untimely death, coming as it does at an age greater than many of our ancestors could have aspired to, I am prejudiced.  Every good writers’ death is untimely because within them die worlds never translated to stories, never let out to live in others’ minds.  Worlds that could have lived forever.

So I will mourn Anne and the worlds that died with her.  And I will paraphrase Shakespeare and give her the sort of epitaph all of us (I think) aspire too: She was a writer, take it all in all.  We shall not see her like again.

Further Update: Welcome Instapundit readers!  Thank you to Glenn Reynolds for the link, though I regret the occasion of it.

29 thoughts on “RIP Anne McCaffrey

  1. I s’pose it would be wrong to damn her for the excessive number of dragons populating F/SF literature; she made it look so easy and attractive it is no wonder so many followed down the path she blazed.

    1. There is no such thing as “too many dragons,” just as there is no such thing as “too many books.” There is only insufficient space and time to indulge in both. 😦

      1. I agree.
        I have almost every one of her books. I loved the worlds she took me to, and I will miss her wonderful talent for taking me there.

  2. When my father died I was speaking to my step-brother about what a great guy my dad was–how he set such an example. I looked him in the eye and said that we’d have to step into that gap.

    So, Ms Writer Lady, Anne McCaffrey is not going to write those books you’re thinking about. You’re going to have to.

  3. I still remember the opening of the first Dragon Rider’s book. I haven’t read it in over a decade. That’s writing and pulling the reader into a story. Unfortunately, I’ve read several books over the past two weeks and don’t remember a thing about them.

    R. I. P. Ms McCaffrey.

  4. I never had the privilege of meeting her, but some of her books remain among my all time favourites. Not so much the Pern novels, but Restoree which I first read some 40 years ago, the Ship Who Sang, and the Crystal Singer stories. She brought a lot of joy and comfort to a great many people.



  5. Can’t say we didn’t see that coming. Still and all… Damn! I wondered what that was I was hearing from the drum heights. Godspeed, Anne!


  6. Classy lady. Not many busy, famous authors would carry on an email conversation with some nameless internet denizen on an obscure point of science related to her works. I still have those missives…

    1. She was in a an email group with me for years, and she treated all of us, newbies, famous, whatever, as just colleagues. In my opinion that IS greatness. You don’t have to puff yourself up because you can’t be diminished.

  7. One of my absolute favourite authors when I was a teenager and the first author I ever communicated with – sent a letter she sent a very nice reply.

    It’s almost like losing an aunt

  8. My feeling is lik when James Mac Donald Fraser (Flashman) died. Thought the authors-like the characters would be ageless. I do remember one of Asimov’s intros in his “Hugo” collections.
    “Anne McCaffrey is a woman. Yes,she is. You notice it immediately.”

  9. I’m not quite sure what to say – I first found her books on the high school library shelf, and when I did the only reason I paused was to figure out which order they went in. As Beth said above, there are never to many dragons, and her dragons were especially good. Taking a traditional villain and giving it a new side, can, if done poorly, backfire in a spectacular way, but she did it perfectly. The number of ‘but the dragons are GOOD this time’ cheap knockoffs (disclaimer: I am in no way claiming that every author since to add nuance to their dragons is a cheap knockoff) since then is only a measure of how well she wrote. Never got around to exploring her other series, since the library didn’t have them, but I might have to dig them up now.

  10. Anne McCaffrey and Robert Heinlein were my favorite authors. Any new story published by either of them was cause for joyful excitement and heart-felt celebration! Once one of their books was in my hand my family knew to leave me entirely alone for however long it took me to explore the wonder and magic of a new universe crafted by either of them. Their characters became almost ‘real’ to me… certainly more ‘real’ than the neighbor down the street. I knew those characters because the authors made them real to me in the smallest ways and I cared about them as I would have cared for a friend. Lessa, F’lar, Killashandra, Lars, Robinton, and so many others including Ramoth, Ruth, and Mnementh will live and love as long as my bookshelf exists,

    I will miss all the future wonder and glory that died with them. No one has really managed to fill Heinlein’s shoes, but author Todd McCaffrey is a true son of his Mother’s vision. In the march of the generations, her legacy will endure in his careful hands and be augmented by his own vision. I will be grateful for that even as I grieve for the loss of Anne McCaffrey.

  11. I me Ms McCaffrey once and heard her speak at an award ceremony. She was a very kind lady. I will miss her stories. I have spent many a happy hour in her worlds. Wish she had been able to complete her last Pern story. Hopefullly Todd will be able to finish touching it up and we will be ble to read what happens after the fall.

  12. “at an age greater than many of our ancestors could have aspired too”

    “To” – not “too”.

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