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
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.