Saturday, November 26, 2011

Anne McCaffrey Has Died

She apparently passed away on November 23.

Via GalleyCat:

Fantasy novelist Anne McCaffrey has passed away. She was 85 years old. GalleyCat confirmed the sad news with Random House this afternoon.

McCaffrey’s career began with Restoree in 1967. She went on to earn a dedicated following for her beloved series, Dragonriders of Pern. At her website, McCaffrey answered letters from dedicated fans through November. This GalleyCat editor will never forget reading her books as a middle-school kid. Share your memories in the comments section…

You can read her complete biography at her site. An excerpt: "Her first novel, Restoree, was written as a protest against the absurd and unrealistic portrayals of women in s-f novels in the 50s and early 60s. It is, however, in the handling of broader themes and the worlds of her imagination, particularly the two series The Ship Who Sang and the fourteen novels about the Dragonriders of Pern that Ms. McCaffrey’s talents as a story-teller are best displayed."

On her blog, she offered this advice for aspiring writers: "First — keep reading. Writers are readers. Writers are also people who can’t not write. Second, follow Heinlein’s rules for getting published: 1. Write it. 2. Finish it. 3. Send it out. 4. Keep sending it out until someone sends you a check. There are variations on that, but that’s basically what works."

Click over for links to more information. :(

7 comments:

JamTheCat said...

I heard on Thursday. Lovely writer. Lovely books.

Tim said...

My friend Darren (who was four years younger than me) had a new stepmother who worked at a bookstore. Debbie was probably just seven years older than me, and we sort of bonded over our love of reading. Debbie was vivacious, very pretty, buxom.

And she would take books from the store, rip the covers off, and claim they came in damaged. Then she'd take the book home, and read it.

I got a lot of books that way.

I got Anne McCaffrey's The White Dragon that way. For a teenage gay kid, that novel was like being inside my head and being able to pull out emotions because whoever was in there knew where everything was. Jaxom was a cast-off, a great kid with a spiritual side whose relatives couldn't be bothered with him. He was the son of an unholy union of evil man, servant, and rape. He loved the little things in life: Broken baskets, out-of-the-way dragon stalls, the messenger dragons that crooned and were "only good as messengers and pets", the runts, those who struggled.

McCaffery made him into the hero of the novel -- made him what every gay teenager wished he could be when he grew up: Muscular, handsome, confident, adventuresome, desireable. And, in time, strongly desired by someone smart, educated, and wonderful.

In due time, Jaxom discovered his people's real heritage. And revealed to the reader the secrets of Pern.

Who didn't want to be Jaxom? I did.

And he was my first "literary crush" -- someone in a book I fell in love with.

I read the other Pern books in due time. All of time. None of them were as good as The White Dragon, and none of them touched me that way.

Much, much later in life, McCaffrey contacted my ex-BF (an astronomer by trade), and asked him for information. He supplied it, and she supplied him with a check. Classy girl. She knew knowledge must be paid for, and she did it.

Tim said...

Speaking of dragons........

Mega-cute Christopher Paolini lives about 20 miles from my brother's house.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/books/2016853968_br26paolini.html?cmpid=2628

Writer said...

Kyle, I know of the books, but I'm only familiar with the artwork. Cover artwork that is. I will have to add her to my reading list, though honestly, I'm going to skip over the last things she was writing - something about a woman who was part unicorn??

Writer said...

Tim, what you described was basically my interaction with Alan Dean Foster's For Love of Mother Not.

I was quite the bratty kid and went through a whole period of believing that my actual birth-mother was NOT my mother. I had this memory of cake served at a friend's house and I believe that the woman who served said cake was my actual mother. So when I read Foster's story of a boy sold to a woman who would become his "mother" and the pet dragon that he would inherit, I had as far as I was concerned, my life path set before me - and that I would cross the abyss of space to rescue her, yeah...even after I got over the whole "you aren't my mother" thing, I still felt that for the woman who IS my mother. Gosh: I'm so gay. LOL

Writer said...

Damn, CP IS cute. I had no clue. Though sadly, he's books speak to me about as much as Stephanie Meyer's do. :(

becca said...

sad news she will be missed