Science fiction and fantasy author Anne McCaffrey died Monday at her home in Ireland shortly after suffering a stroke. She was 85. She is survived by her two sons and daughter.
McCaffrey published nearly 100 books in her lifetime and was best known for the “Dragonriders of Pern” novels. In her bio on her website, McCaffrey shared the following insights about her approach to writing and her first novel, which was published in 1967:
“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.”
McCaffrey, born in Cambridge, Mass., moved to Ireland in 1970. In the late 1960s she became the first woman to win a Hugo Award for a work of fiction and the first woman to win a Nebula Award. She was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2006.
While her health permitted, McCaffrey made frequent appearances at science fiction and fantasy conventions such as Dragon*Con, and she did much to encourage new writers in their craft.
In response to an announcement of McCaffrey’s death on a Random House website, one longtime fan posted this message:
“Anne touched my entire family and was passed from mother to daughter and now granddaughters. I am crying over a woman who touched three generations and will continue to touch more. We love you Anne and know that your legacy will live on within my family and many others. You will be missed.”