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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Green Eyes and Freckles

Almost two months ago, my favorite author in all history died of a stroke. And I'd not heard a peep about it until today. What a horrible fan I am! 

"I have green eyes, silver hair and freckles--the rest changes without notice." 

--Anne McCaffrey

Anne McCaffrey is, in my mind and heart, the only person who will ever breathe life into Pern. (That could open a long conversation about the fact that Todd took over her writing and that surely more Pern novels will be forthcoming. But my vehement opinion remains the same. Anyone can write about Pern, officially or otherwise. But only one woman made Pern a living, breathing world.) 

With her, I soared with dragons long before Eragon's Paolini was a twinkle in his daddy's eye. I found Dragonsong before I ever read about Moorcock's Dragon Emperor Elric of Melnibone (perhaps, I hazard a guess, the original dragon rider), who predated the Pern series. These authors, these characters, were/are like family to the weird, lonely kid named Tamara. I laughed and cried along with them. And even when those characters moved on, or perished, or changed, they still lived. So this is what they mean by resonance. What an amazing contribution Ms. McCaffrey has made!

(Read her eldest son's touching eulogy here:

My favorite reader will tell you that my stories are "no Dragonriders of Pern." And she's right. I'd never aim for the Throne. I can only strive upward, doing my best with the inspiration of decades of reading from the best. Anne McCaffrey's legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of her loving readers. And I hope it is tribute enough that this scatterbrained reader was creating stories in her own worlds, even as Ms. McCaffrey went ahead to the next. 

I hope Heaven has Story Time, because boy, are they in for a treat!



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