Books

ANNE McCAFFREY Goes Between, 1926 – 2011

Today, about 4pm Central US time, the Internet started buzzing with word that Anne McCaffrey had passed away. Tor.com has confirmed that the award-winning author died of a stroke Monday, November 21.

McCaffrey was probably most known for her long-running series, The Dragonriders of Pern, set on a distant Earth colony where dragons are the primary defense against an alien parasite with the power to destroy anything alive. One of those entries, The White Dragon, was the first science fiction/fantasy novel to hit the New York Times Bestseller list. McCaffrey was also the first woman to win both the Hugo and Nebula awards, and her work has influenced many writers and fans.

For years, many have hoped to see the Pern novels adapted for movies or TV (and at one point, it seemed that Ronald D. Moore might make the attempt), but it never has materialized. Earlier this year, it was announced that writer David Hayter (X-Men, Watchmen) would be adapting Dragonflight as a feature film produced by Copperheart. Although IMDb lists the Dragonriders of Pern project as “in development”, no details accompany the listing.

There’s nothing official on her web site yet, but we’ll keep updating as things develop, both here and on Facebook and Twitter.

UPDATE: Random House has officially confirmed the news at Suvudu.

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UPDATE: Todd McCaffrey, Anne’s son and frequent collaborator on the more recent Pern novels, posted on Facebook:

At about 5 p.m. Monday November 21st, 2011, Anne McCaffrey passed away.
Mum was getting ready to go back to the hospital because she was feeling “puny” and collapsed while she was moving into her wheelchair. Her daughter, Georgeanne Kennedy, and son-in-law, Geoffrey Kennedy were with her. She was in no pain and it was over in an instant.
She first had a heart attack in late 2000 and a stroke in 2001, so we were well-prepared and knew that we were on “golden time” with Mum these past ten years and more.
She leaves behind an incredible legacy of marvelous books and a huge legion of fans. She won practically every major award in available to authors of science fiction and fantasy, including both Hugo and Nebula Awards, the American Library Association’s Margaret A. Edwards award for Lifetime Literary achievement in Young Adult fiction, was an inductee into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, and was a SFWA Nebula Grandmaster.
She was also a great cook, magnificent mother, doting grandmother, ardent quilter, knitter, bridge player, horsewoman, fencer, actress, singer, and all-around nice person.
We are blessed to have known her, just as we are blessed with the knowledge that she has touched so many lives and made such huge changes in them.
Mum always said, “Don’t just pay back a favor — pass it on!” In light of that spirit, we ask that, instead of condolences or flowers, that commemorators make a donation to their favorite charity.
We know that we haven’t lost Mum — that she has truly passed on her legacy of love and honor to all those who were touched by her — and that we have only to open one of her books to find her again.
Rest well, Mum, you’ve earned it!

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America have posted this memoriam.

Jason P. Hunt

Jason P. Hunt (founder/EIC) is the author of the sci-fi novella "The Hero At the End Of His Rope". His short film "Species Felis Dominarus" was a finalist in the Sci Fi Channel's 2007 Exposure competition.

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