Inventive author of science fiction wrapped in fantastic elements.
April 1, 1926 – November 21, 2011
Although her work often first appears to be fantasy, Anne McCaffrey's creations are embedded with science fiction, and she is among the most popular writers in the genre.
She began publishing with “Freedom of the Race” in 1953, but became active with her first novel, Restoree (1967). Soon she began publishing the Pern stories, which made her reputation as a writer of romantic tales of adventure.
Pern is a lost colony whose humans, paired with telepathic dragons, defend the planet from the poisonous Threads. The initial series contains Dragonflight (1968), Dragonquest (1971), and The White Dragon (1978). Though the tone is that of fantasy, the premises are science fiction; even the dragons have been bio-engineered.
Many of McCaffrey's stand-alone novels are quite inventive. The Ship Who Sang presents a deformed girl who is grafted into a spaceship and in effect becomes the ship. In 2005 the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America named McCaffrey the 22nd Grand Master. She has also received the Golden Pen, Ditmar, and Gandalf Awards.