Awesome lady fantasy/sci-fi author (and all-around awesome lady) Anne McCaffrey passed away last night, according to Random House. She was eighty-five.
Ms. McCaffrey’s books (especially her Dragonrider series) were a joy to read; they were one of the first more ‘grownup’ fantasy worlds I was introduced to by my mother, also an avid reader and fan. Ms. McCaffrey’s books were also notable to me in that they seamlessly mixed aspects of hard sci-fi and hard fantasy, and that they displayed a superb grasp of both genres. They featured badass women and men and often showed less than traditional relationships as gay, lesbian, and bisexual dragons/dragonriders were a part of everyday life, and a particular story focuses entirely on an asexual dragon. (Her society was by no means perfect in terms of equality, but it was new for me as a reader to find a book where non-heterosexual characters even existed.)
Her contributions to literature will be sorely missed, as will she. As the Mary Sue said in their press release:
So long, Ms. McCaffrey, and thanks for all the dragons.