The woman who made riding dragons possible

Many of us have dreamed about riding on the backs of dragons, exploring exotic lands and vanquishing foes. But author Anne McCaffrey brought those mere dreams to vivid life when she created the fictional world of Pern back in 1967.

Anne McCaffrey died Monday from a stroke at her house in Ireland. She was 85.

McCaffrey wrote over 100 books in her illustrious career, many with her son, Todd. The 23rd installment of the Pern series is set to arrive next year.

Her fanbase spanned all ages and nationalities, and up until earlier this month, she remained active on her blog, responding to fans’ questions and letters.

But now, it is the blogosphere’s turn to pay homage to the woman who influenced science-fiction and fantasy and the way we view our bodies, our minds, and our world. Here’s what some have had to say:

Charlie Jane Anders, Editor for, posted:
One of my fondest convention memories is of going to Dragon*Con one year and attending a panel about "Emergency Medicine on Pern." There, a group of extremely earnest — but good-humored — people were hashing out exactly what you would do if someone happened to be on Pern and fell of his/her dragon. How would you make a stretcher out of items that were readily available on Pern? How would you keep the fallen rider's dragon from freaking out? And so on. The world of Pern was as real to these people as Atlanta — maybe more so. (Full post here)

LOCUS Online posted:
She was the first woman to win both the Hugo and the Nebula Awards, with “Weyr Search” (1968) and “Dragonrider” (1969) respectively. Pern novel “The White Dragon” (1978) was the first hardcover SF novel to make the New York Times bestseller list. (Full post here) posted:
Her influence on other writers, both male and female, and of both fantasy and science fiction, can scarcely be measured. (Full post here)

Author Neil Gaiman Tweeted:
She was a wonderful goodhearted funny lady. Goodbye Annie. I'm glad I knew you.

Sci-fi/fantasy and horror author Laura Anne Gilman posted:
She wrote huge books, filled with incredible things, and short stories that could make you cry and think (at the same time), and if I didn't always agree with her on everything, I admired the hell out of her. (Read full post here)

Shawn Speakman, Suvudu blogger, posted:
I first became aware of her work due to Michael Whelan, whose wonderful cover on Dragonflight sucked me in and ensured I read Pern. I’m happy it did. At the early age of thirteen, it broadened my notions of what science fiction and fantasy could be, from women and their place in science fiction to how cultures repress others. (Full post here)

Back in April of this year, Suvudu, a branch of Random House Publishing, announced that “Dragonflight,” the first book in the epic “Dragonriders of Pern” series would be made into movie, penned by “X2” and “Watchmen” screenwriter David Hayter and produced by Don Murphy (“Transformers”).

Production was slated to begin next year.