As most of her fans surely know by now, Anne MacCaffrey passed away on the Monday of last week the 21st of November. As she is one of my favourite science fiction novelists of all time, as well as a literary heroine of mine I wanted to write something to mark her passing. The first book of hers I ever read was The White Dragon, the 3rd in a series. Within three chapters I was hooked, by the end of the book I had been in tears three separate times. That was Anne MacCaffrey’s strength as a writer. She had a way of reaching into your heart, and wrenching it to one side.
She was the summoner of fantastical dragons, and of powerful female characters you would aspire to be even the smallest bit like. Whether that character was the driven, fearless Sassinak of the Planetary Pirates series, or the sensitive, Menolly of the Harper from the Pern saga, or any of the myriad of other incredible female characters, if you were a young girl you wanted to be one of them. That want sometimes even following into adulthood.
She was the mistress of intimate small-scale battles, which still managed to tell a much broader story.
And as anyone who has read either Dragonflight or DragonQuest can attest, she was the voice of romantic science fiction.
Her books where the reason I saved my lunch money to buy books. The reason I would skip school to go to my nearest city to scour the bookshops for new copies of her books at sale prices. The raw emotion of her books were the reason why while I shared a bedroom with my brother, I read in a different room. There is a good the reason I still keep tissue near me whenever I read anything she ever wrote.
Going into a bookshop will never be the same again, and while her son Todd appears to be an able heir to the story of Pern, it will never be the same for me. A Pern story without Anne’s heart and soul poured through out it is a hollow thing. But I am glad for the wonderful legacy she has left the world, and glad that I can still revisit her creations in the future.