Acclaimed science fiction and fantasy author Anne McCaffrey has died at age 85. Best known for her Dragonriders of Pern series, Ms. McCaffrey published nearly one hundred books.
Born in the United States in 1926, she emigrated to Ireland in 1970 where she lived in a home of her own design dubbed, Dragonhold-Underhill.
In 1968, McCaffrey became the first woman to win a Hugo Award for a work of fiction, and in 1969 became the first woman to win a Nebula Award. In 2005 the Science Fiction Writers of America named her the 22nd Grand Master, a now-annual award to living writers of fantasy and science fiction. The Science Fiction Hall of Fame inducted her in 2006. (from Dragon*con website)
For anyone interested this is what was posted on Todd MCcaffery's (her son) personal Facebook page:
At about 5 p.m. Monday November 21st, 2011, Anne McCaffrey passed away.
Mum was getting ready to go back to the hospital because she was feeling "puny" and collapsed while she was moving into her wheelchair. Her daughter, Georgeanne Kennedy, and son-in-law, Geoffrey Kennedy were with her. She was in no pain and it was over in an instant.
She first had a heart attack in late 2000 and a stroke in 2001, so we were well-prepared and knew that we were on "golden time" with Mum these past ten years and more.
She leaves behind an incredible legacy of marvelous books and a huge legion of fans. She won practically every major award in available to authors of science fiction and fantasy, including both Hugo and Nebula Awards, the American Library Association's Margaret A. Edwards award for Lifetime Literary achievement in Young Adult fiction, was an inductee into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, and was a SFWA Nebula Grandmaster.
She was also a great cook, magnificent mother, doting grandmother, ardent quilter, knitter, bridge player, horsewoman, fencer, actress, singer, and all-around nice person.
We are blessed to have known her, just as we are blessed with the knowledge that she has touched so many lives and made such huge changes in them.
Mum always said, "Don't just pay back a favor -- pass it on!" In light of that spirit, we ask that, instead of condolences or flowers, that commemorators make a donation to their favorite charity.
We know that we haven't lost Mum -- that she has truly passed on her legacy of love and honor to all those who were touched by her -- and that we have only to open one of her books to find her again.
Rest well, Mum, you've earned it!
I never had a chance to meet Ms. McCaffrey in real life but she was still a very large influence on my life. When I was a child I had a small reading disorder (not able to finish a book or keep up). Dragonsong was one of the first books that I made myself read all the way thru. The book was given to me by our school librarian, after reading Dragonsong I made it a point to finish the entire Harper Hall Trilogy. After finishing that trilogy I was hooked on her works and read the entire Pern series. I remember I actually cried at the end of All the Weyrs of Pern when Masterhaper Robinton died, and to this day The White Dragon is still one of my favorite books, and to this day I live my life by one of her quotes: