Good-bye Anne McCaffrey

Then, as the simple words of interment were spoken, as the atmosphere planes dipped in tribute over the open grave, Helva found voice for her lonely farewell.

Softly, barely audible at first, the strains of the ancient song of evening and requiem swelled to the final poignant measure until the black space itself echoed back the sound of the song the ship sang.

The Ship Who Sang
Anne McCaff

She passed away yesterday, after 85 good years of firing our hearts, minds and imaginations. Sometimes I wonder if anyone realizes how many of us writing fantasy and science fiction with chunks of sex and romance trace our inspiration back to Anne McCaffrey. In some ways I think we’re all still trying to write F’lar and Lessa’s story. Or Helva and Niall’s. Or Sara and Harlan’s.

I’ve blogged about McCaffrey and how much her books meant to me before, so I won’t wax on here.

Yesterday evening, when the news hit and Twitter and Tor posted an In Memoriam shortly thereafter, the entire Tor website crashed from the load. (You can see it now.) As Kev, pointed out, it’s the modern equivalent of turning crowds away from the memorial service. I just love that one of the venerable ladies of SFF and, yes, romance, created such a technological ripple.

All the dragons are lifting their heads to sky and singing the song of mourning today.

6 Replies to “Good-bye Anne McCaffrey”

  1. That is just what our copies of the Dragon books look like. So loved and oft-read (and, o.k., sure, so very old). That’s a pretty good tribute in itself.

    1. And the cover price is $1.95. I remember buying that book in the Buckingham Square bookstore. I got $5/week allowance, which let me buy a book or two a week. I should have it bronzed.

  2. MZB and McCaffery, the queens of Fantasy, who both had a droll sense of humor. Maybe that’s why I’m drawn to the genre.

    The outpouring of thanks and the stories of impact one writer had on so many lives really is delightfully staggering. Too bad mainstream media isn’t giving her a proper send off.

  3. I was firmly launched onto reading science fiction before I read my first Anne McCaffrey but she was the one that made me realize *women* could write SF (not hide under male pseudonyms). Fell in love with everything about Pern. Glad you mentioned Harlan & Sara though because they are right at the top of my favorites list from Ms. McCaffrey! THAT book is dog eared too!

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