I woke this morning to find that one of the people on my dinner party list passed away last night, Anne McCaffrey. Her son Todd posted this to FaceBook last night.
At about 5 p.m. Monday November 21st, 2011, Anne McCaffrey passed away.
Mum was getting ready to go back to the hospital because she was feeling “puny” and collapsed while she was moving into her wheelchair. Her daughter, Georgeanne Kennedy, and son-in-law, Geoffrey Kennedy were with her. She was in no pain and it was over in an instant.
She first had a heart attack in late 2000 and a stroke in 2001, so we were well-prepared and knew that we were on “golden time” with Mum these past ten years and more.
She leaves behind an incredible legacy of marvelous books and a huge legion of fans. She won practically every major award in available to authors of science fiction and fantasy, including both Hugo and Nebula Awards, the American Library Association’s Margaret A. Edwards award for Lifetime Literary achievement in Young Adult fiction, was an inductee into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, and was a SFWA Nebula Grandmaster.
She was also a great cook, magnificent mother, doting grandmother, ardent quilter, knitter, bridge player, horsewoman, fencer, actress, singer, and all-around nice person.
We are blessed to have known her, just as we are blessed with the knowledge that she has touched so many lives and made such huge changes in them.
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.
Rest well, Mum, you’ve earned it!
I never thought that I would be able to say Thank You in person really, but in some ways I had always hoped it could happen. DragonFlight was probably the first adult fantasy I ever read. I was a very awkward with few friends and even less self-esteem. An avid reader and smart kid didn’t help this at all. At a retreat I attended with my mother, a women who I helped in the kitchen was kind and suggested that I might like these stories of dragons and the woman who saved a world. I did and for the next 20+ years I was hooked. I read every book, fiction and non. I read much of her other worlds as well, but nothing could ever compare to my first love, Pern.
So, thank you Ms. McCaffrey. You set up a life long love of worlds unlike this one. You lead me to Tolkien and Lewis and Gaiman. You were fundamental in who I have become and even this blog. Today the dragons go between.