SF & Fantasy

A message from Anne McCaffrey’s family


Del Rey has received the following message from Anne McCaffrey’s family. We extend our greatest condolences to them in their time of loss, as well as many, many thank-yous for all that Anne McCaffrey has meant to Ballantine Books since we published Restoree, her first novel, in 1967, followed by Dragonflight in 1968.

Anne McCaffrey ended a long and enormously successful life early Monday evening, November 21st, at her home in County Wicklow, Ireland. Surrounded by the reassuring presence of family and close friends, her passing was swift and without suffering. We, her children, are hugely comforted by the outpouring of sympathy flowing now from all over the world. Our mother’s talent was known to countless fans. Yet her greatest gift to us all has to have been her enormous heart. That she was able to touch so many with her tender and loving heart is the greatest source of pride we will forever enjoy. Words cannot express how grateful we are to the universe of her admirers, whose heartfelt condolences beguile us in our grief, which pales beside the joy we know Anne McCaffrey brought to so many people.

Anne’s son Todd adds this: “Mum always said, ‘Don’t just pay back a favor—pass it on!’ In light of that spirit, we ask that, instead of condolences or flowers, that commemorators make a donation to their favorite charity. We know that we haven’t lost Mum—that she has truly passed on her legacy of love and honor to all those who were touched by her—and that we have only to open one of her books to find her again.” A celebration of Anne’s life will be held next year.


46 Responses to “A message from Anne McCaffrey’s family”

  1. Terry Allen says:

    Although I hadn’t read much in recent years I loved the early Pern stories ,
    along with others such as The Ship That Sang , Decision at Doona , Restoree.

    Time for a re-read

  2. Barbara Matthews says:

    My heart goes out to the family of the woman who became a member of the family to so many of us who have loved each and every one of the books she wrote. No other writer has every held my heart with her words the way Anne McCaffery has in the last 30 years. I will sorely miss the trips to the book stores when ever I know a new book is coming out. I will always be thankfull to Mr McBee, my Jr High and Sr High school Teacher for giving me my first McCaffery book.. it was a gift to treasure for sure. I still have that very book.

    Thank you for sharing your mother, grandmother with the rest of us through the years. Anne will live on in our hearts each and everytime we open one of her books.

  3. Myrna & Lou Donato says:

    We will surely miss Annie, our sympathy and blessing are with you Todd and the rest of the family. We so enjoyed knowing your Mom and staying with her and having her introduce us to Ireland. She has been so intstrumental in getting young people to read. She is a legend and will be missed. We have so many fond memories of her.

  4. Raymond Chuang says:

    One of the giants in the science fiction/fantasy field of writers has passed from us. :-( And I do mean _giant_–during the 1970’s and 1980’s, her novels were enormously popular, to say the least.

  5. MJ Zimmerman says:

    Through the wonderful talents and incredible heart of Anne McCaffrey, my life has been enhanced through the many books in the The Dragonriders of Pern, especially through the tales of Menolly and Robinton and the harpers. Since college days, I make room in my reading annually for new books alongside my favorites, all of the Pern books (sometimes I alter the order!), The Lord of the Rings, and the Chronicles of Narnia. While new favorites are being added to my list, I rely on my old favorites to confirm that life is good. I will be praying for the family and friends of Anne!

  6. Jeannie Shelnutt says:

    Anne McCaffrey has been a favorite read most of my life, always a turn too when I needed to get away from real life. She will be much missed but forever remembered.

  7. Sherri Spray says:

    I have read nearly all of the books that Anne McCaffrey wrote, including those written by her son Todd. I bright light in my life has been extinguished. I will always treasure the email she sent to me, when I wrote to tell her how much I respected her and loved her books.

  8. We had the great joy of meeting Todd at this years Dragon-Con in Atlanta, and was very sorry that we did not get to see Anne, but Todd made us feel as if she was there. I know that she has gone between, but anyone who has read her books will always feel her presence. She gave me safe havens growing up with Helva, Lessa , Sarah, The Rowan, Killashandra and all the other wonderful women and the men too.

    Our Hearts and Love goes out to the McCaffrey Clan and all of her dear friends, know she is loved world-wide, this world is less brighter now, but the universes are.

    Sincerely,
    Janett Helfen
    Dale Helfen
    Sean Helfen

  9. David says:

    Thank you Anne for helping me travel to fantastic far away worlds and inspiring creativity and compassion in so many! I’ll never forget at 8 years old seeing that wonderful illustrated image of Michael Welan’s on the cover; Dragons of Pern fighting Thread, it drew me in and Anne’s words brought the world of Pern to life making me a fan for life. Thank you, Thank you for the gift of Dragons!!!
    David

  10. Linda B. from MS says:

    I did not discover Anne McCaffery’s works until my college years when one of my roommates loaned me a copy of one of the Pern books. Several years later, freshly divorced with a toddler and flat broke, her books gave me an escape from the harshness of reality; sometimes so much so that I was actually surprised not to see weyr walls around me when I eventually looked up from the page.

    I appreciated her works for many reasons–well-drawn characters of strong women and the men who love them being one–but I always knew that picking up one of her books meant pure reading joy.

  11. It was with immense sorrow that I read yesterday of Anne’s passing. Over the years she came to be known affectionately by her innumerable fans as “The Dragonlady”. Although most readers immediately think “Pern” when Anne’s name is mentioned, my introduction to her writing was “RESTOREE”. Indeed, I have an autographed paperback in a plastic sleeve in my bookcase. I know I delighted her in Seattle in the 1980s with my lap harp and the dusty-rose brushed cotton cover copy of “RING OF FEAR”, another early book of hers that I read, lost the paperback because someone appropriated it, and reordered through a local bookstore. I won’t say I loved everything she wrote, but the books I did enjoy I have reread frequently.
    Great Lady: may your dragon take you to heights we can only imagine now you’ve passed “between”.

  12. kim Corley says:

    As the keening of the dragons from around the world slowly ends, we know she is always in our hearts.

  13. Lori Hannon-Theaker says:

    My condolences to the McCaffrey Clan and all those who loved her. Like many here, I own nearly all of her books and highly recommend them to others.
    Heaven has gained a treasure.

  14. I was introduced to Anne and the world of Pern in 1970 when I picked up Dragon Flight and was a McCaffrey Fan from then on. Restoree, Ring of Fear, Mark of Merlin or the Dragonriders of Pern I didn’t care. Her books became the mainstay of my library. Her graciously allowing us to write in her worlds through fandom let me find an outlet for my own writing
    In 1988, she came to Moscow Idaho for Moscon 10. It was the first convention that I had ever attended and I took my then 13 year old daughter with me. We did get a few chances to meet and talk with her and later in the weekend she saw my daughter, called her by name and asked how she was enjoying herself. I believe my daughter walked on air for the rest of the weekend.
    She is going to be greatly missed. My condolences and prayers to her family.

  15. Jennifer says:

    Oh God, this is so sad. I have all her books. She saved my life as a teen, gave me a place to escape to. The world is a little colder now. Rest in Peace Anne. You are missed.

  16. Hope Coleman says:

    Hey, I am so sorry to hear about Anne’s Passing…. I loved the Pern stories and The Dragon Song’s… I always loved her stories… I guess I need to start to read more of her books…. I think I was introduced to Anne McCaffrey Works in 1985 well I think.. I will be praying for her family for there loss… God Bless You…

  17. susan goodemote says:

    to todd and all the mccaffreys. i share your loss. i had the privilege of a few communications with anne over the years, although i never got to meet her in person, in fact the correspondences came about because i was in college and ill for the book signing of dragonsinger that i was to attend. i tried never to harangue her with obnoxious frequent bothersome “fanmail” and she always kindly responded personally to each and every one of my communications. i own every one of her books and read them over and over. my most recent email, i thanked her for loving her readers enough to invitie todd to pern so her fans would have pern continue unlike so many other wonderful series that have ended. i never met her in person, but i have lost a friend. my heart and love is with you all ain sympathy. love susan

  18. laurie says:

    A great writer and an inspiration has passed. We will miss you

  19. Anthony Breese says:

    Life has a way of tossing us curve balls when we least expect it…..sadly it was only because I was on the TOR website chasing up the latest information on Mr Jordan’s WOT series ending that I realised that the world has lost another majestic figure.
    While my sympathies go to her family for their loss, I have already seen that they are being bouyed by the surge of condolences from a league of Fan’s and will no doubt wether their storm in true McCaffrey style.
    Like so many of the fans have already said, I cannot express the joy that Ms McCaffrey’s wonderfull stories have given me over so many years, My dogeared and tattered copies of some two score books are the best testament I can think of, they have been re-read to the point that the ink is wearing off and never grow stale…the mark of a true genius….
    In Hopes it does not offend, to Quote AVIAS … “And a time to Every purpose under heaven”

  20. Anne, the inspiration for so much fanfiction, roleplay, artwork and stories, your light has gone out, yet it continues to shine, our dragons keen at your passing.

  21. Laura Williams says:

    Thank you for the wonderful worlds, characters and creatures created. I re read the books over and over. The Dragons, The Talents, The Ships and all the other wonderful inhabitants of these fantastic creative stories. I will miss the words you might have added.

  22. Anne Kaelber says:

    Ms. McCaffrey was one of the authors who transported me from a very frustrating childhood, to places foreign and amazing. Later, her writing made me want to pick up my pen and put it to paper (it was actually an electric typewriter, but you get the idea). Many years have passed and I’m still trying to break through with my writing. I hope one day, I can return the gift Ms. McCaffrey gave me, by inspiring another reader to their own heights.

    To the family: thank you for all the sacrifices you must have made, in order for us all to share your mother with you. I wish for you all the peace which will come as the grief fades. Thank you.

    Anne.

  23. Sylvie Jansen says:

    My thoughts and prayers go to all of Anne’s family. I hope the outpouring of support will help you through this very painful time.
    I first discovered Anne in 1970 when I purchased Dragonflight and have been an avid reader and collector of her books since. Although I enjoy most of Anne’s writing, the Pern series is my favourite closely followed by The Tower books. Over the years, I would anticipate the next release and then rush to the store to buy my copy as soon as it became available. Then ebooks arrived! My very first purchased download was Anne and Todd’s Dragongirl.
    Thank you Anne, for many years of wonderful reading, for helping me through the pain of bereavement, and for being the amazing ‘Dragonlady’. You will be greatly missed.
    Sylvie

  24. Leland Eaves says:

    Condolences to her family. Her books were an escape for me in my childhood. They opened the door to the wider universe of science fiction and fantasy. She will be greatly missed. May she forever soar on dragon wings.

  25. Rebekah says:

    Anne McCaffrey literally changed my life. She was my introduction to Sci-fi/Fantasy when i can only have been about 10 and my mum first gave me Dragonsinger to read and since then i have dreamed of riding dragons, joining the Harper Hall, impressing fire lizards or even just living in a hold and living under the skies of Pern. I have spent so many hours reading her books, too many to count because it is just too easy to escape from our world into those that she created.
    Now, at 18, i still reread her books at regular intervals and Sci-fi is a huge part of my life, thanks to her wonderful mind getting me hooked to the genre, although it is hard to find any writing, in my eyes, to compare to the first time i was able to explore the southern continent or experience a Gather.
    The tears I feel today
    I’ll wait to shed tomorrow.
    Though I’ll not sleep this night
    Nor find surcease from sorrow.
    My eyes must keep their sight:
    I dare not be tear-blinded.
    I must be free to talk
    Not choked with grief, clear-minded.
    My mouth cannot betray
    The anguish that I know.
    Yes, I’ll keep my tears til later:
    But my grief will never go.”
    ? Anne McCaffrey, Dragonsinger

  26. David Brooks says:

    Ive read many of Anne’s books about Pern and thoroughly enjoyed every one….they are truly special. l Im also an avid computer RP gamer in Second life we have created our own small version of Pern. My favorite character to play is my Brown pernese dragon (Daveth) He (i) has been keening with loss since we got the news. We have lost our Greatest Weyrleader……It is my hope her Gold bears her to that special place between we all go to in the end…..RIP Anne.

  27. Ruth Vincent says:

    As this Thanksgiving day draws to a close, I am eternally thankful to have known all the dragons, and ‘The Ship Who Sang’, plus others. The dragons taught me so much of loyalty and trust. I shall be going ‘between’ soon, myself, but please know that your Mother earned the respect of ALL!

    Tomorrow I shall look for books by Todd, for he has the blood of dragons in him.

  28. Sue Callen says:

    Sincere condolances to Anne’s family. I first read RESTOREE in the early 80’s which lead to a love of the Dragons or Pern series. My most favorite though are the Killashandra Ree CrystalSinger books, and still my favourites even though the books are failing apart having read them over, and over and over again. Thank you Anne for your stories and your worlds.

  29. Trina Martens says:

    I discovered Anne McCaffrey’s books years ago. I don’t believe I ever read one I didn’t enjoy and many I treasured. The Pern books are probably my favorites and have been read over and over and I’ve never tired of them. Ms. McCaffrey’s exceptional ability to make the reader truly feel a part of the story is epic in and of itself. I was saddened to hear of her passing. She will be terribly missed. May God keep her and bless her, and help you through this time of loss. My most sincere condolances to her family; and, my heartfelt thanks for letting us share her through her books.

  30. Rhonda Pratt says:

    I am so saddend to hear of Anne’s passing. She was my favorite author. The first book I read was Dragons Dawn, and from there my heart was taken. I have loved all of her books and immersed myself in all of the worlds she created. She had an amazing and wonderful imagination, and an ability to make every plcae she wrote about absoultly real. I send my prayers to the family. I will continue to look for Todd’s books, and the legacy Anne has created. Thank you for all the memories Anne!

  31. Dard Niethammer says:

    Anne brought great joy to me through her writings. Everytime a new Pern novel came out was an exciting moment in my life. Everytime I finished the book I was a little sad the adventure was over. I am now sad at the passing of Anne. I only knew her through her works and the interviews I read but she seemed like a friend I had known for many years. You will be missed. Thank you, Anne, for the many of hours of pleasure you gave to me.

  32. Pauline Dixon says:

    It was with a sad heart I read the news of Anne’s passing. I was 18 when I first read one of her books and forty years later I have every one she ever published along with Todd’s I have a signed copy of The White Dragon and a few postcards from Anne in reply to some poems I wrote about her beautiful dragons. she has not gone but gone ahead and we will see her again someday. My heartfelt condolences go out to Anne’s family

  33. Yvonne Miranthis says:

    From a fan in Europe — I learned last night that Anne had passed away and this morning I am still in pain, tears flowing. I was a young woman going through tough times when the Pern series came into huge popularity. An abundance of books by our beloved Anne McCaffrey helped me to survive. They provided an escape from harsh reality whenever needed. Anne introduced me to a new place and made it 5-dimensional. For me, Pern is so real that I only need to close my eyes to be there. I will miss Anne’s living presence in the new book market, but I will support her family’s work to keep the saga going. Only days before her death I had downloaded Todd’s Kindle edition of Dragonholder, a scrapbook account of her life with pictures — I’m so grateful for that book. I look forward to more books from Todd — young adult, adult and even children’s books, hopefully. I plan to read ‘em all.

    The imagination, warmth and unique genius of the wonderful Anne McCaffrey, our master harper, will live forever.

  34. Diana Seiffert says:

    From Heinlein and Asimov as a teen, to McCaffrey and Lackey as a young adult, I was given hope, optimism, and a sense of the possible during my angst-filled teen/young adult years. Once I began teaching — English Literature and Composition, naturally — I knew I needed to share these books with my students. One of my most valued gifts is a drawing of a golden dragon done for me by the artist mother of a young man who didn’t even like to read, but when the class read a McCaffrey novel, he became a devotee, not just of her works, but of sci-fi/fantasy in general. The artwork was a thank-you, and still hangs in my home today. Thank you, Anne, for helping me reach that boy, and so many other adolescents, with your strong young characters. To Todd and the rest of Anne’s family, thank you for sharing her with her vast audience. I still go back to her when I want a story that touches my heart and makes me think beyond the obvious — her books are my equivalent of comfort food for the brain — rich, satisfying, and gone too quickly.

  35. Michelle Lampson says:

    My first intro to Anne’s amazing writing was when I was in high school in the late 80’s. An avid reader since I was very young, I was looking for something \fun\ after reading way too much classic sci fi ala Asimov. Our school librarian showed me the \young adult\ section and the colorful cover caught my eye. I devoured that book and kept bugging the poor librarian for more. I credit Anne with sparking my love for sci-fi fantasy and leading me along the path to discovering other authors like Mercedes Lackey, Robert Jordan and Piers Anthony.

    Sadly, I did not know of her death until today, Friday Dec 2nd… and may not have known if not for a message I received from the Tor email list. For some bewildering reason, if the major news groups in the US did indeed announce her death it never made it to Yahoo’s list of news articles.

    May the Dragon Lady of PERN soar forever!

  36. Li Starseeker says:

    My tribute to an Autheress incomparable
    Dragons Born
    Planet green
    We now mourn
    You’ve gone Between.

    RIP Anne McCaffrey Talent like yours will live on forever

  37. wenchdragon says:

    I mourn the loss of a new Anne book and hurt for the family of such a wonderful lady.

    I attended my first con because she would be there and have been hooked since. Her pink and purple hair was a hoot and she introduced me to Caesars. i cherish the photo she sent me of her, and her animals.

    Earth has lost a kind soul. May her time between continue to be filled with love.

    Pern Lives in our hearts forever.

  38. David Williams says:

    A great loss to the world of fiction.

    I have read, re-read and continue to re-read all her books.

    My sincere condolences to her family, who will miss her much more than even her fans will.

  39. Brittany Dunevant says:

    I am sad to say I just found out about one of my favorite author’s passing. I am currently in tears as i write this. Anne McCaffrey was the only author I would read in high school and most of college unless forced to for grades. I learned to love reading and writing because of her Pern series. I’ll never forget my 7th grade English teacher telling me to “just try it” and handing me Dragonsong. I own them all now, and write my own stories, very much inspired by those books. They took me away from all the awkwardness and pain of adolescence and into a world where I could be an apprentice, a holder, a dragonrider. She will be greatly missed. I can only imagine the keening of the dragons will never end for our beloved Dragonlady.

  40. Sue Thomas says:

    The day of Anne MCaffrey’s death was a sad day for me. I cried as I sat in front of my computer. Memories of meeting her at DragonCon in Atlanta several times poured into my thoughts. I thought I’d adjusted to the loss but today, started to re-read the Dragonriders of Pern series. I was at Lessa leaving Ruatha, when the watch weyr turned away from the attack on F’lar and lost it’s life. Lessa’s words at that time, the only friend I had, made me think of how her books helped me as a teenager. Gave me a place to hide in as I read of the world of Pern.

    I started crying again, but this time, looked for a place to post my thoughts. Rest well, my favourite author and may the dragons keep you in fine company. To the family, my thoughts are sent to you as you find the peace in knowing that Pern and all the other worlds that she created will go on…with Todd.

    I’ll miss you, Dragonlady.

  41. Shaphan Hardy says:

    I was a very lonely kid, small and scrawney, and frequent moves didn`t help. In highschool I was introduced to Anne McCaffery through “White Dragon”. After moving to another highschool I often went to the library and read after lunch. A policy change made this impossible as we were no longer allowed to return to the halls till the end of the lunch hour. So I stopped going to lunch and just read instead of eating. Anne McCaffery`s books as well as Louis L`Amour and others opened a different world where those who didn`t fit in grew to make their own places and way. Sometimes just knowing it is possible is enough to make it personally possible. I still read alot as I now live in a foreign country and culture far from my birthplace, and it is one of the few ways to hear/see my language spoken/written with grace.

    I only found out about the Dragonlady`s death last week and the shock was huge. Thanks Todd for continuing to keep open the window on Pern and may you be comforted in the loss of your mother and co-author. I pray the rest of your clan is also dealing with her passing well. Fair winds and following seas! S.H.

    Dragonlady, … For all and everything Thanks.

  42. Adrienne Jeannette says:

    I only just learned that one of my most favorite authors has gone “between”. I know that it’s more than a year since her crossing over but I cry because her books (so very very many of them I have read) have always been such wonderful friends to me. I feel Miss Anne’s strength in knowing that she opened the world of Dragon’s to thousands of young and “older” readers. Sweetest Blessings to her loving spirit and to her loving family as well. We have truly gained so much from her writings and lost so much in her passing. Adrienne

  43. Nicole says:

    Thie other night I decided it was time for a reread (20th? Time) of the Crystal Singer series, wihch sits on my bookshelf alongside the entire Pern Series, The Ship Who Sang, Decision at Domona etc. many years ago I culled my scifi collection for a lack of space, but it went without saying that every Anne McCaffrey book would be kept.

    I can’t begin to total the number of hours I spent engrossed in her stories and her worlds. How many times they were revisited and reread. How many spin off fantasies they inspired in my mind (somewhere I still have a list of my dragons’ names).

    I want to offer my very belated and truly heartfelt Thank You to Anne for bringing so much joy to me, not only as a young girl but still now as an adult. I don’t think I fully appreciated at the time of first reading how wonderfully strong her female characters were in a field too often dominated by men.

    Thank you thank you thank you. You will live on in the hearts and imaginations of so many of us lucky to have shared your imaginings.

  44. Rona G says:

    My own father died at the same time, and I have been struggling to recover. I was looking to change my collection to digital format so I could easily reread her collection. Its not available in the USA, so I was going to ask her is she could appeal to her publishers. That’s when I found out that she is no longer with us. I am so very sorry to here this. One of my all time favorite Scifi-Fantasy authors. Ender’s Game is coming out and I was just telling my friends that it suspiciously reminds me of the Rowan Series. I was so surprised, and I felt so sorry that they had never experienced one of her wonderful books. I do see she has 3 newer books that I had not read, The Acorna’s Children books, will get right on that. I will continue to promote her books, and think of her fondly for her tremendous imagination and vivacious strong lead women characters that inspired me to be the best and strongest woman firefighter in the Navy. When Times were tough I would just hunker down and channel my inner Dragon Rider Lessa. Hers had wonderful and tasteful romances for all ages, a true pioneer to Paranormal SciFy-Fantasy Romance authors around the world. May she rest in peace.

  45. DK Clews says:

    Legacy.

    I have loved every story of hers that I have encountered. I have dove into them with heart and mind and never once been disappointed. Her creativity, her imagination and her love for her characters and their relationships has always delighted me.

    I have always appreciated her twists and revelations. I have jumped out of my chair when recognizing a hint or a link to another series revealed in her novels. And when Pegasus/Talent came out, I loved the look at the history behind “The Rowan” and her worlds.

    None other has connected with me at so many different stages in my life. I discovered the Dragonsinger series in Junior High school and recently re-read them with as much, if not more satisfaction and longing for the story to continue. That, naturally, led me to Dragonriders… the first books that I BOUGHT for myself to begin my own, personal, BOOK library (I had a wonderful library that always had several copies of her books).

    Cholera, which I encountered in high school, has always tickled my imagination and reminded me to be aware of my world… long before the idea of environment and earth-friendly behaviour entered my consciousness. The Crystal Singer series gave me strength as a woman and reminded me that I set my own boundries.

    I have just started Doona and Dinosaur planet sits on my shelves waiting their turn.

    Powers that Be was a favorite for a long time replaced by The Ship who Sang and those that I discovered after. The Death of Sleep was only discovered last year.

    I re-read most of Dragonriders through my college years while I discovered other authors in the SciFy and Fantasy genres. Ender’s Game (Orson Scoot Card) remains an all-time favorite, but unlike Anne McCaffrey’s series, the SERIES that followed never really engaged me. Never was that the case with McCaffrey’s novels. One always led to another… and even at the conclusion a stubborn and consistent desire for more was never entirely appeased.

    I make this wish for the children of today – may you discover the joys of McCaffrey’s characters, worlds and insights.

  46. Michelle says:

    I only learned of her passing today… where I was two years ago I don’t know to not have heard of this. I fell in love with the Dragonriders series in 1989 and then the Hive series two decades later and I must say… all of her novels have a place in my heart. I, at one time owned all of the Dragonriders books that were out up until 2000 (thanks to my ex-husband I have to replace all of them…), but not a day goes by that I do not think of her works. She ranks as my favorite author next to another Anne (Rice). She now flies on the back of a White Dragon along side her golds, bronzes, blues, browns and greens… flame thrower in hand and a smile on her face as she goes Between to fight the Thread over the skies of Pern along side Lessa, F’lar, F’nor and all the others… and the Masterharper serenades her from the shore with that lovely voice that is Robinton…. <3

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