RIP, Anne McCaffrey

One of the greats of science fiction and fantasy literature, Anne McCaffrey, is reported to have died. She will be missed. Our condolences to Todd McCaffrey and the rest of her family.


  1. I’ve been looking for a list of the original “John W Campbell writers’ circle”.   I can’t find one.  If McCaffrey is gone, are any of them still left alive?

  2. Wow, she single handedly got me through my tweens.  What a wonderful writer with fantastic female characters (then a rarity). To this day, every time I see a copy of Eragon, I just roll my eyes in a deri-vative/sive way (eye roll, head shake with concurrent shoulder slump) .  Even though it is possible that my loyalty is ludicrous as I’ve not read that other wannabe dragon book.

      1. He ain’t lyin’.  I don’t know if the books got any better once Paolini got older, but the first one is almost comically derivative of A New Hope.  Prose ain’t bad for a teenager, though.

        Man, I do love the Pern books.  Ms. McCaffrey is sorely missed.

        1. Actually, the second one was basically Empire Strikes Back – but with some chapters written from the perspective of the main character’s cousin which were quite original, and were VERY good for a writer of Paolini’s age.  Almost good enough to make me pick up the third!

          But only almost.

          Bye bye, McCaffrey, you are one of the reasons I have the reading habits I do today.  And I mean that in a good way!

  3. :-( More than any other author, she is responsible for my geekish reading tendencies. My middle school librarian gave me one of her books in 8th grade and I never looked back.

  4. I learned to love reading when I discovered The White Dragon in 7th grade – I still have that poor mangled copy. I hope my boys will discover a similar influence. But let’s not be sad for Anne. In the great Irish tradition, let’s plan a virtual worldwide wake in her honor.

  5. I was just writing a condolence/help note to Todd McCaffrey when I saw that Cory had posted this.
    I credit my first 20 minutes of chatting with Annie and artist Mike Whelan, 250 conventions ago, with starting my almost-30-years-now career in fantasy & SF.  I hope you all got the chance to at least meet Annie.  She was vibrant and adventurous and adorable and everything you’d want in a pro and in a person.  Mercedes Lackey (Misty) and I loved working with her.  I guess you could say it was as fun working with her as it was reading her work or singing silly songs over beers.
    I remember how blown away I was when I found out she had my artwork on her guest room wall, but that is how this field is—we wind up connected in wondrous ways, and help each other along too.  Annie was always there for her colleagues and for upcoming creative pros, and she was outstandingly tolerant of the frequently excessive weirdness of her fans, and supportive of the fans’ creativity.
    Annie Mack made the world a better and more awesome place.  I know I’ll write a lot of remembrances of her in the weeks to come, but the main thing I’d like to say is, let’s celebrate how awesome she was by being like her.

  6. I read and liked the Dragonriders of  Pern as a teen. 
    I distinctly remember that I got the impression her later books were largely about food & beverages.  Obsessively so. 
    I remember because at that time I often didn’t have enough food to eat, which made those books a challenging read. 

  7. Anne McCaffrey was one of the most influential writers in my life.  Not just for her own work, but for all of the others I found through her: Marion Zimmer Bradley, Mercedes Lackey, Elizabeth Moon, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, and more.  She gave me safe haven through tumultuous times, and along with the aforementioned authors made me into the person I am.  As presumptuous as it may be, I feel like I lost a friend.

  8. I read “The Smallest Dragonboy” in a Lit book for English in 7th grade.  I liked it so much, I went to the local library and in a dusty corner, found all of the Pern books.  Let’s just say I went home with a big bag of happy to read.  I just devoured them.  Good memories.  To do this day I still love knowing I have a big fantasy series to read, but Pern was my first. 

  9. Damn. Bummer.

    Read the Pern books rather late, one of the fantasy cycles my ex-girlfriend introduced me to. Loved the concept of this fantasy world rooted in “science”, or at least in SF. She’ll be missed.

  10. I was in a lift with Anne at Worldcon in Brighton in 79 on the way to the Hugos. The lift stopped and the doors opened to reveal Christopher Reeve (who Anne thought was gorgeous) sitting on a sofa waiting for someone. Majestically she swanned out of the lift, shook his hand while assuring him,” I am Anne McCaffrey, the Dragonlady”, turned and was back in the lift before the doors closed again, leaving a somewhat nonplussed Reeve just standing there. Many good memories of Anne, of Dragonhold. She was a mother to us all at that time. I miss her.

Comments are closed.