Anne McCaffrey

Anne Inez McCaffrey was an American born Irish writer. She was born on the 1st April 1926 and passed on on 21st November 2011. She is best known for her science fiction series known as the Dragonriders of Pern. She was an author who depicted alien creatures and new worlds. She is a complex figure who creates and recreates her fiction by drawing from life experiences.

She was a student at Stuart Hall Girls’ Boarding school I Virginia from 1942 to 1943. In 1944, she joined Radcliffe College where she studied cartography, Celtic Folldore, Chinese philosophers, English literature, Russian and Slavonic languages. She graduated with a BA in 1947 from Radcliffe College.

She married Wright Johnson in 1950 whom she had met in 1949. She also began her writing career in that same year. Her first story, “Freedom of the Race” in science fiction plus was published in 1953. It is a story about women being impregnated by aliens.

“The Greatest Love,” her second story was written in 1955 but was never published until after twenty two years.

Her second story, “Lady in a Tower” in fantasy and science fiction was published in 1959. It was published in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction by Robert P. Mills. It was published again by Judith Merril for the year’s Greatest Science Fiction. Anne McCaffrey herself said that she thought of the story when wishing herself alone.

Her third story, “The Ship who Sang” was published in 1963. This was the beginning of the ship series. This is one of her most famous series which culminates with the 1969 “The Ship who sang.”

In 1966, she became the secretary/treasurer of the Science Fiction Writers of America.

“The Ship who Mourned,” her fourth story was published in 1966.

“The Ship who Killed” which was her fifth story was published in the late 1966.

Her first novel, the Restoree was published in 1967. That same year, her sixth story; Weyr Search and her seventh story; Dragonrider were published. In 1968, she was awarded the 1968 Best Novella Hugo thus becoming the first woman in history to be awarded the Hugo. In 1969, seven short stories and two novels were published.

Her first novel, the Restoree is a story about a twenty four year old librarian from New York. The young woman is named Sara. She is abducted by the Mil, alien creatures that eat human flesh. She is however kept alive but with her skin removed. She stays in that condition until the alien ship she is in is captured by humans from the planet Lothar. Due to her lack of skin, the Lotharians mistake her for one of their own and they perform controversial restoration procedures on her.

When she finally comes back to her senses, she is in a mental hospital in Lothar but she doesn’t have memory of what happened. She also has very little knowledge of the local language. She is treated as though she was retarded in the institution and is given menial tasks to do just like the other restorees who were salvaged from Mil ships. She is tasked to care for Harlan, the deposed planetary regent. Harlan is being drugged into a moronic state. On realizing what is being done, she helps him recover his senses and they both escape the institution. The two later gain advantage over Harlan’s political enemies. They are able to defeat Mil and later solve some of the domestic problems of the Lotharians. The story ends with the two falling in love.

She filed for divorce in 1970 from her first husband and remarried that same year. In 1971, one short story and three novels were published. These are Dragonquest, The Mark of Merlin, and Ring of Fear. “To Ride to Pegasus” together with one short story were published in 1973. In 1976, she was awarded the 1976 E.E “Doc” Smith Award for Imaginative Fiction. In 1978, “the white dragon“ was published and became the first hardcover science fiction to make The New York Times bestseller list. In 1979, she was awarded the 1979 Ditmar Award and the 1979 Galdalf Award for the Whitedragon.

Her second husband joined the U.S Army in 1978 and spent most of the time away.

In addition to writing, Anne McCffrey was also involved in stage acting and directing.

In the year 1980, she had no works published. However, she was awarded the1989 Best Novel Balrog Award for Dradondrums and the Professional Achievement Balrog Award. In 1981, only one short was published. The Crystal Singer was published in 1982.

In 1984, she was the Guest of Honour at IstaCon, the first Pem based science and fiction conference. That same year, two novels “Dinosaur Planet Surivors” and “Stitch in Snow” were published. From 1985 to 1987, she published three short stories and four novels.

In 1988, she began writing with up and coming writers so that she could help them in their career. In 1991, she wrote four short stories and one novel. She also published two co-authored novels in the same year. She appears to have ceased writing short stories from 1994 when she wrote two novels and two co-authored novels.

In the year 1999, she was awarded the Margaret A. Edwards Achievement Award for achievements in writing for young writers. The same in July she was awarded the 1999 July Award For a Lifetime of Distinguished Service.

In the years 2001, the novel, “the Skies of Pern” was published together with one co-authored novel. In 2002, an Anthology was published. Two novels were co- authored in 2003.In the year 2004 she was awarded the 2004 L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 2005, she was named the twenty second Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer of America. This is an annual award to living writers of fantasy and science fiction. She was later inducted by the Science Fiction Hall of Fame on 17th June 2006.

She died on the 21st November 2011, at the age of eighty five years after suffering from stroke. She had two sons and a daughter. At the time of her death, she had published over fifty novels and innumerable short stories. She had an award in almost everything there was to win in her field. She will be remembered for her great achievements over a period of over forty years dedicated to writing and helping young writers. She might not be the best in Fantasy and science her fiction, but she doubtless made a mark in writing.

Books in order of publication by series:

Dragonriders Of Pern Books

The White Dragon(1978) 
Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern(1983) 
Nerilka’s Story(1986) 
The Renegades of Pern(1989) 
All the Weyrs of Pern(1991) 
The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall(1993) 
The Dolphins of Pern(1994) 
Red Star Rising / Dragonseye(1996) 
The Masterharper of Pern(1998) 
The Skies of Pern(2001) 
A Gift of Dragons(2002) 
Dragon’s Kin(2003) 
Dragon’s Fire(2006) 
Dragon Harper(2007) 
Dragon’s Time(2011) 
Sky Dragons(2012) 

The Brain & Brawn Ship Books

The Ship Who Sang(1969) 
The Ship Who Searched(1992) 
The City Who Fought(1993) 
The Ship Who Won(1994) 
The Ship Errant(1996) 
The Ship Avenged(1997) 

Crystal Universe Books

The Coelura(1983) 
Nimisha’s Ship(1998) 

Crystal Singer Trilogy Books

Crystal Singer(1982) 
Crystal Line(1992)

Dinosaur Planet Books

Dinosaur Planet(1978) 
Dinosaur Planet Survivors(1984) 

Planet Pirates Trilogy Books

The Death of Sleep(1990) 
Generation Warriors(1991) 

Talent Books

To Ride Pegasus(1973) 
Pegasus in Flight(1990) 
Pegasus in Space(2000) 

Tower and Hive Books

The Rowan(1990) 
Damia’s Children(1993) 
Lyon’s Pride(1994) 
The Tower and the Hive(1999) 

Barque Cat Books


Doona Books

Decision at Doona(1969) 
Crisis on Doona(1992) 
Treaty at Doona(1994) 

Powers Trilogy Books

Powers That Be(1993) 
Power Lines(1994) 
Power Play(1995) 

Twins Of Petaybee Books


Freedom Books

Freedom’s Landing(1995) 
Freedom’s Choice(1996) 
Freedom’s Challenge(1998) 
Freedom’s Ransom(2002) 

Acorna Books

Acorna: The Unicorn Girl(1997) 
Acorna’s Quest(1998) 
Acorna’s People(1999) 
Acorna’s World(2000) 
Acorna’s Search(2001) 
Acorna’s Rebels(2003) 
Acorna’s Triumph(2004) 

Acorna’s Children Books

First Warning(2005) 
Second Wave(2006) 
Third Watch(2007) 

Standalone Novels

The Mark of Merlin(1971) 
Ring of Fear(1971) 
The Kilterman Legacy(1975) 
Stitch in the Snow(1985) 
The Year of the Lucy(1986) 
The Lady(1987) 
An Exchange of Gifts(1995) 
No One Noticed the Cat(1996) 
If Wishes Were Horses(1998) 
Black Horses for the King(1998) 

Dragonriders Of Pern Books

The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall(1993) 
Dragon’s Kin(2003) 
Dragon’s Fire(2006) 
Dragon Harper(2007) 
Dragon’s Blood(2005) 
Dragon’s Time(2011) 
Sky Dragons(2012) 
Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern(1983) 
Nerilka’s Story(1986) 
The Masterharper of Pern(1998) 
The Renegades of Pern(1989) 
The White Dragon(1978) 
A Gift of Dragons(2002) 
All the Weyrs of Pern(1991) 
The Dolphins of Pern(1994) 
The Skies of Pern(2001) 

Short Stories/Novellas

A Time When(1975) 
Duty Calls(1988) 
Rescue Run(1991) 

Short Story Collections

Get Off the Unicorn(1973) 
Future Love(1977) 
Habit is an Old Horse(1984) 
The Girl Who Heard Dragons(1985) 
A Gift of Dragons(2002) 


Alchemy and Academe(1970) 
Space Opera(1996) 

Non-Fiction Books

Cooking Out of This World(1973) 
The Atlas of Pern(1984) 
A Diversity of Dragons(1995) 
Serve it Forth(1996)
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