Some sad news for those of us who grew up reading the hugely popular Dragonriders of Pern series: The Cambridge-born author of those beloved books, Anne McCaffrey, passed away earlier this week at her home in Ireland after suffering a stroke. She was 85. The first woman to win both a Nebula Award and a Hugo Award for fiction, as well as a Grand Master of science fiction, McCaffrey was a pioneer of sorts, blending the sci-fi and fantasy genres and featuring both male and female protagonists in her work. Her 1978 book The White Dragon (which completed the original Dragonriders trilogy) was the first hardcover science-fiction novel penned by a woman to appear on The New York Times Best Seller list.
“Writing has been so much a part of my life that I’m really quite annoyed that I can’t do as much as I used to,” the prolific author told Locus Magazine in a 2004 interview. “But I have nine series, for godsakes, give me a break! I’m 78, I’m on my pension in Ireland, and all that good stuff. I have my good days and my bad days, but I don’t have as much energy as I used to back when I was young and foolish and didn’t count the cost — and it takes a lot — to write.” Fortunately for all of us, McCaffrey’s career showed women everywhere that there was a place for them in the world of science fiction — both as readers and writers. [via LAT]