Saturday, November 26, 2011

In memory of Anne McCaffrey

The death of science fiction writer Anne McCaffrey  (and here, Wikipedia here) marks the end of an another era in my mind.

At the time her first novel Restoree was published 1n 1967 I was an avid science fiction reader. In a way, I suppose that I just kept reading along as other books came out.

Anne McCaffrey is best known for her Pern series This is a world threatened by non-sentient threads that drift to the surface of the planet from space at certain times and which burn and consume land borne life. Sentient dragons with telepathic powers combine with their riders to defend the planetTheWhiteDragon(1stEd).jpg. Other series include the crystal singer, brainship and tower books.

I have always enjoyed her books, although some of her later books became formulaic. I am also not so keen on those she wrote with other authors.

Anne McCaffrey was remarkably good at bringing alternative worlds alive.  Her The White Dragon, one of my favourites, was apparently the first science fiction book to make the NY Times best seller list.

Her books can be read on a stand-alone basis, but most addicts read them as series because the people become friends. In the Pern series, later books filled out gaps in the story from the first settlement of Pern.

I think of her books as part of my comfort reading, books that help me escape from a world that sometimes seems just too complicated; my own concerns are still there, but they recede to the background a little.

Thank you Anne for the pleasure that you have given me.


Nathan Lindorff said...

Wow, that was a shock to hear! Anne McCaffrey was one of my favourite authors authors growing up. "The Dragonriders of Pern", "The Crystal Singer" series, the series about "The ship who sang", the list goes on. It is a sad day. RIP Anne McCaffrey. Thank you for the stories, and thank you for the memories.

Jim Belshaw said...

Hi Nathan. Good to see that you too liked her books.