Anne McCaffrey (April 1, 1926 – November 21, 2011)
I fell in love with dragons when I was twelve. I’d been chewing through Thomas B. Costain and lost in the romance of early Britain when I saw it: the frontpiece of an early edition of The Black Rose with the perfect dragon. I copied it in art class the next year as a huge print which has hung on a wall of each place I’ve lived since.
I read a review for The White Dragon and went to buy it, but the bookstore was out, so I purchased a different book in the Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey and I’ve been hooked ever since.
I knew I’d met a kindred spirit when I read her little bio in each of the books, which in part reads, “My eyes are green, my hair is silver, and the rest is subject to change without notice.”
I tried to read other books in other series, but I’ve always adored the Dragon Riders the best. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/24/arts/anne-mccaffrey-dragonriders-author-dies-at-85.html
Her writing isn’t literary, it’s not always perfect in form, but as far as world-building, she was certainly one of the best. As far as sharing memorable characters and readable books, she will always be one of my favorites. I collected the books and even a book at Pern. I read the books over again, which is my way of judging of my enjoyment of the read. And yes, she’s influenced my writing, maybe for the best; maybe not. I thank her younger son Todd for continuing the series…it will never be the same, but that’s okay. I read the latest one over the weekend: it won’t be my favorite, as the “ew” factor got a little bolder (those of you not squeamish can ask me if you’re curious), but I’m still glad Pern will live on.
Because of these books, I have a substantial collection of dragons around my house, including gifts from around the world.
Read the eulogy: http://pernhome.com/aim/2011/12/eulogy-for-anne-mccaffrey/
A movie version will begin production in 2012: http://collider.com/david-hayter-dragonflight-dragonriders-of-pern/85654/
I've been curious about a movie version, but can't imagine it will match the stories.