In Memoriam: Anne McCaffrey (1926-2011)

SFWA Grandmaster Anne McCaffrey (1926-2011) died on November 21. McCaffrey’s first published story, “Freedom of the Race” appeared in Science Fiction + in 1953, making McCaffrey one of the last science fiction authors discovered by Hugo Gernsback. Her 1967 novella “Weyr Search” appeared in Analog despite its apparent fantasy basis and introduced readers to one of her most prolific worlds, Pern, and earned McCaffrey a Hugo Award the following year. The follow-up novella “Dragonrider” which also appeared in Analog received a Nebula Award. McCaffrey’s awards marked the first time either award was won by a woman for a work of fiction. These stories formed the basis of the first Pern novel, Dragonflight. Her novel The White Dragon marked the first time a woman made the New York Times Best Seller list for a work of science fiction. In addition to the Pern series, which spawned numerous novels written by McCaffrey and, later, her son, Todd, McCaffrey also wrote The Ship Who Sang, which led to several collaborative novels in that series. Other series that McCaffrey wrote in, often with collaborators, included the Acorna books, the Catteni Sequence, the Crystal Universe, the Ireta series, and many more. McCaffrey was the Guest of Honor at ConAdian, the 52nd Worldcon, in Winnipeg in 1994. McCaffrey was named a Damon Knight Grandmaster by SFWA in 2005 and the following year she was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.

Photo by Elaine Silver