"Because we build the worlds we wouldn't mind living in. They contain scary things, problems, but also a sense of rightness that makes them alive and makes us want to live there." -- Anne McCaffrey
Anne Inez McCaffrey (born 1 April 1926) is an author of science fiction and fantasy novels, best known for her Dragonriders of Pern series. Born in the United States, she is long-term resident of Ireland.
"A good story is a good story no matter who wrote it.""At age 77, I need the help of someone with more energy than I can now summon to finish a book.""But I will say that living in Ireland has changed the cadence and fullness of speech, since the Irish love words and use as many of them in a sentence as possible.""But Ship Who Sang remains my favorite story. I really rocked folks with that and still cannot read it aloud myself without weeping at the end.""I also don't have organized religion on Pern. I figured - since there were four holy wars going on at the time of writing - that religion was one problem Pern didn't need.""I did not have a chance to write novels until my youngest child started school fulltime.""I didn't raise Todd to be a writer, but he happened to be one anyway.""I do outlines when I'm writing with someone, but they also need to have a certain amount of freedom.""I don't often reread my own books, unless I am going into another in the series and need to refresh my mood when originating the concept.""I have a shelf of comfort books, which I read when the world closes in on me or something untoward happens.""I have always used emotion as a writing tool. That goes back to me being on the stage.""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.""I have written my own screen version of Pern, but had no buyers yet.""I think the Internet, particularly the availability of information, is great. I do a lot of correspondence on-line and have a chat line to talk to my fans as well.""I think writers need windows on a view to remind them that a whole world is out there, not the minutiae with which they might be dealing on a close scale.""I would recommend the short story form, which is a lot harder to write since you have to be so careful with words, until there is plenty of time to doodle through a novel.""I wouldn't encourage new writers to start off publishing through electronic media... it still isn't wide enough for the readership they would need to get a good start.""I'm 78, I'm on my pension in Ireland, and all that good stuff.""I'm very fond of the Talent series, and also the Crystal Singer trio.""Make no judgements where you have no compassion.""Mostly I'm telling people that they don't have to be victims.""People have freaked out when I tell them that my dragons are scientifically based... what else can you call a genetically engineered life form?""That's such a thrill - a story I wrote at the beginning of my career, and it's still packin' the house.""That's what writing is all about, after all, making others see what you have put down on the page and believing that it does, or could, exist and you want to go there.""The thing is, emotion - if it's visibly felt by the writer - will go through all the processes it takes to publish a story and still hit the reader right in the gut. But you have to really mean it.""What I used to do between writing fits was feed my kids, ride my horse and go shopping for cat and dog food.""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."
Anne McCaffrey was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts to George Herbert McCaffrey and Anne Dorothy McElroy. She had two brothers: Hugh (deceased 1988), a Major in the US Army, and Kevin Richard McCaffrey, still living.
Anne was educated at Stuart Hall, an all-girl boarding school in Staunton, Virginia. She then went to Montclair High School, Montclair, New Jersey, and graduated cum laude from Radcliffe College majoring in Slavonic Languages and Literature in 1947.
She studied voice for nine years, performed in the first music circus in 1949, once directed a play, and worked for a record label, Liberty Music Shop.
She married H. Wright Johnson in 1950 and has three children: Alec Anthony, born in 1952, Todd, born in 1956, and Georgeanne (Gigi), born in 1959. She was divorced in 1970, after which she emigrated to Ireland with her two younger children. McCaffrey lives in a house of her own design in County Wicklow, Ireland and calls her home Dragonhold-Underhill.
McCaffrey's most famous works are the Dragonriders of Pern series. These are set on a planet known as Pern, settled by colonists from Earth. The advanced technology of their ancestors has been lost, so the inhabitants of Pern have reverted to a society similar to Earth's medieval times. However, before the loss of this advanced technology, the original colonists produced genetically engineered dragons. These dragons are now flown by elite "dragonriders", who communicate telepathically with their dragons. Together they defend Pern against pernicious "threads" which cross space periodically from a nearby red star and threaten to destroy all vegetation on Pern. The short story "Weyr Search" (published in 1967 in Analog Science Fiction and Fact), the initial story in the Dragonriders of Pern series, won a Hugo Award for Best Novella in 1968. McCaffrey thus became the first woman to win a Hugo for fiction. The following year, she won the Nebula Award for Best Novella for Dragonrider.
At the 2005 Nebula Award ceremonies, McCaffrey was named the 22nd Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America organization. In 2006 she was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.
While many of McCaffrey's most famous works are set in a universe which is governed by The Federated Sentient Planets or "FSP", these are not set in the same universe. The FSP is a story telling background that the author has found to be a useful tool for this series.
Dragonriders of Pern series
"Weyr Search" (novella, first published in Analog, October 1967)
"Dragonrider" (novella first published in two issues of Analog, December 1967-January 1968)
Dragonflight (1968) (a fix-up of "Weyr Search" and "Dragonrider") ISBN 0-345-45633-5, ISBN 0-552-08453-0
Dragonquest (1971) ISBN 0-345-33508-2
"The Smallest Dragonboy" (appeared in Science Fiction Tales ed. by Roger Elwood, 1973), republished in A Gift of Dragons and also Get Off the Unicorn collections.
A Time When (1975) (NESFA Press) ISBN 0-915368-07-2
(became the first part of The White Dragon)
Dragonsong (1976) ISBN 0-689-86008-0
Dragonsinger (1977) ISBN 0-689-86007-2
The White Dragon (1978) ISBN 0-345-34167-8
Dragondrums (1979) ISBN 0-689-86006-4
Dragonlady of Pern (1983) ISBN 0-345-29873-X
Nerilka's Story (1986) ISBN 0-345-33949-5
The Girl Who Heard Dragons (novella, 1986, also included in the non-Pern collection of the same name)
Dragonsdawn (1988) ISBN 0-345-36286-1
The Renegades of Pern (1989) (Included "The Girl Who Heard Dragons") ISBN 0-345-36933-5
All the Weyrs of Pern (1991) ISBN 0-345-36893-2
"Rescue Run" (1991) (a short story; appeared in Analog, v111 #10, August 1991)
First Fall (1993) ISBN 0-345-36899-1 (Pern short story collection)
* "P.E.R.N." (also appeared in Amazing, September 1993)
* "The Dolphins' Bell"
* "The Ford of Red Hanrahan"
* "The Second Weyr"
* "Rescue Run" (1991)
The Dolphins of Pern (1994) ISBN 0-345-36895-9
Red Star Rising (Hardback) and Second Chronicles of Pern (Paperback) (1996) ISBN 0-552-14272-7
(called Dragonseye for U.S. release, ISBN 0-345-41879-4)
The Masterharper of Pern (1998) ISBN 0-345-42460-3
"The Runner of Pern" (1998) (a short story; included in the Legends anthology edited by Robert Silverberg ISBN 0-312-86787-5.)
The Skies of Pern (2001) ISBN 0-345-43469-2
A Gift of Dragons (2002) ISBN 0-345-45635-1 (Pern short story collection)
* "The Smallest Dragonboy" (1973)
* "The Girl Who Heard Dragons" (1986)
* "Runner of Pern" (1998)
* "Ever the Twain" (2002)
Dragon's Kin (2003) (with her son Todd McCaffrey) ISBN 0-345-46200-9
"Beyond Between" (2003) (a short story; included in the Legends II anthology edited by Robert Silverberg ISBN 0-345-45644-0.)
Dragonsblood (2005) (Written by Todd McCaffrey) ISBN 0-345-44124-9
Dragon's Fire (July 2006) (with her son Todd McCaffrey) ISBN 0-345-48028-7
Dragon Harper (December 2007) (with her son Todd McCaffrey) ISBN 0-345-48030-9
Dragonheart (November 2008) (Written by Todd McCaffrey) ISBN 0-582-36401-9
After the Fall (on hold )
Dragongirl (Written by Todd McCaffrey - July 2010) ISBN 0-593-05587-X
Dragonrider (with her son Todd McCaffrey - estimated 2011)
Dragons Time (being written by Todd McCaffrey)
The Brain & Brawn Ship series
The stories of this series deal with the various adventures of 'shell-people' who, as infants, due to illness or birth defects (genetic or developmental), have had to be hard-wired into a life support system. With sensory input and motor nerves tied into a computer, they serve as starship pilots or colony administrators, seeing and feeling the colony or ship as an extension of their own body. They perform this job to pay off their debt for education and hardware, and then in whatever capacity they choose once the debt is paid, as free agents.
It is generally considered impossible for a person to make the necessary adjustments to become a shell unless it is done at a very early age (under 2—3 years old). A notable exception is in The Ship Who Searched where the Shell-person was 7 at the time she became quadriplegic.
It should be noted that the Ship books are set in the same universe as the Crystal Singer books, as Brainship-Brawn pairings were characters in the second and third volumes of that series.
The Ship Who Sang (1969) (short story collection with stories from 1961, 1966, and 1969) ISBN 0-345-33431-0
PartnerShip (1992) with Margaret Ball, ISBN 0-671-72109-7
The Ship Who Searched (1992) with Mercedes Lackey, ISBN 0-671-72129-1
The City Who Fought (1993) with S.M. Stirling, ISBN 0-671-87599-X
The Ship Who Won (1994) with Jody Lynn Nye, ISBN 0-671-87657-0
This series also includes solo entries by Stirling and Nye:
The Ship Errant (1996) by Jody Lynn Nye, ISBN 0-671-87854-9
The Ship Avenged (1997) by S.M. Stirling, ISBN 0-671-87861-1
Omnibus versions of the above novels:
Brain Ships (2003) (includes Partnership and The Ship Who Searched) ISBN 0-7434-7166-0
The Ship who Saved the Worlds (2003) (includes The Ship Who Won and The Ship Errant) ISBN 0-7434-7171-7
The City and the Ship (2004) (includes The City Who Fought and The Ship Avenged) ISBN 0-7434-7189-X
The Crystal Singer series
The Crystal Singer series revolves around the planet Ballybran. Under a permanent biohazard travel restriction, Ballybran is home to one of the FSP's wealthiest, yet most reclusive organizations...the Heptite Guild. Source of invaluable crystals vital to various industries, the Heptite Guild is known to require absolute, perfect pitch in hearing and voice for all applicants, especially those seeking to mine crystal by song...
Crystal Singer (1982) ISBN 0-345-32786-1 (first published in four parts in Continuum 1, 2, 3, & 4, edited by Roger Elwood)
Killashandra (1986) ISBN 0-345-31600-2 (includes a Brainship from the Ship series above, in a minor role. This was not a main character in any novel.)
Crystal Line (1992) ISBN 0-345-38491-1 (includes a Brainship from the Ship series above, although not a main character in any novel, and, furthermore, is not the same Brainship from 'Killashandra')
The Dinosaur Planet series
When the Exploration and Evaluation Corps team reached the planet Ireta, dinosaurs were not what they expected to find.
Dinosaur Planet (1978) ISBN 0-345-31995-8
Dinosaur Planet Survivors (1984) ISBN 0-345-27246-3
Mystery of Ireta (2003)...omnibus edition of Dinosaur Planet and Dinosaur Planet Survivors, ISBN 0-345-46721-3
The Planet Pirates trilogy
All is not well in the FSP: pirates attack the spacelanes. In this series, survivors on Ireta and survivors of space pirate attacks join forces.
Sassinak (1990-03-01) with Elizabeth Moon, ISBN 0-671-69863-X
The Death of Sleep (1990-06-01) with Jody Lynn Nye, ISBN 0-671-69884-2
Generation Warriors (1991-02-01) with Elizabeth Moon, ISBN 0-671-72041-4
The Planet Pirates (1993-10-01)...omnibus trade paperback collection of the above trilogy, ISBN 0-671-72187-9
Note: The Planet Pirates and Dinosaur Planet books share the same universe and certain characters. The events of Dinosaur Planet overlap with the final chapters of The Death of Sleep, as does Dinosaur Planet Survivors with Sassinak; Generation Warriors continues and concludes the storylines of both series.
Restoree (1967) ISBN 0-552-08344-5
The Coelura (1983) ISBN 0-312-93042-9
A Diversity of Dragons (1997) with Richard Woods, illustrated by John Howe
Nimisha's Ship (1998) ISBN 0-345-43425-0
The Coelura is a short novel in the same universe as Nimisha's Ship.
The Coelura is usually printed together with Nerilka's Story.
The Talents universe
The Talents universe involves a society built around the Talents of telepathic, telekinetic individuals who become integral to the connectivity of interstellar society.
The Talent series
To Ride Pegasus (1973) (short stories) ISBN 0-345-33603-8
Pegasus in Flight (1990) ISBN 0-345-36897-5
Pegasus in Space (2000) ISBN 0-345-43467-6
The Tower and Hive series
The Rowan (1990) (partly based on the short "Lady in the Tower" 1959) ISBN 0-441-73576-2
Damia (1991) (partly based on the short "A Meeting of Minds" 1969) ISBN 0-441-13556-0
Damia's Children (1993) ISBN 0-441-00007-X
Lyon's Pride (1994) ISBN 0-441-00141-6
The Tower and the Hive (1999) ISBN 0-441-00720-1
The Doona series
Two civilizations in near-identical circumstances - an overlarge, lethargic population and a tragic history with sentient aliens - end up attempting to colonize the same planet by accident. What the humans don't know is that the people they've misidentified as nomadic natives are actually more technically advanced than themselves - and under no such illusions regarding 'them'.
Decision at Doona (1969) ISBN 0-345-35377-3
Crisis on Doona (1992) with Jody Lynn Nye, ISBN 0-441-23194-2
Treaty at Doona (1994) with Jody Lynn Nye, ISBN 0-441-00089-4 (Originally Treaty Planet)
Doona (2004) an omnibus edition of the latter two books of the trilogy, ISBN 0-441-01131-4
The Petaybee Series
Powers That Be (1993) with Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, ISBN 0-345-38173-4
Power Lines (1994) with Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, ISBN 0-345-38780-5
Power Play (1995) with Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, ISBN 0-345-38781-3
The Twins of Petaybee series
Changelings (2005) with Elizabeth Ann Scarborough ISBN 0-345-47002-8
Maelstrom (2006) with Elizabeth Ann Scarborough ISBN 0-345-47004-4
Deluge (2008) with Elizabeth Ann Scarborough ISBN 0-345-47006-0
The Freedom series
Freedom's Landing (1995) (based on the 1970 short story "The Thorns of Barevi")
Freedom's Choice (1996) ISBN 0-441-00531-4
Freedom's Challenge (1998) ISBN 0-441-00625-6
Freedom's Ransom (2002) ISBN 0-441-01020-2
The Barque Cat Series
Catalyst (2010) with Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
The Acorna series
Acorna the Unicorn Girl (1997) with Margaret Ball, ISBN 0-06-105789-4
Acorna's Quest (1998) with Margaret Ball, ISBN 0-06-105790-8
Acorna's People (1999) with Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, ISBN 0-06-105983-8
Acorna's World (2000) with Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, ISBN 0-06-105984-6
Acorna's Search (2001) with Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, ISBN 0-380-81846-9
Acorna's Rebels (2003) with Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, ISBN 0-380-81847-7
Acorna's Triumph (2004) with Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, ISBN 0-380-81848-5
Acorna's Children series
First Warning (2005) with Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, ISBN 0-06-052539-8
Second Wave (2006) with Elizabeth Ann Scarborough ISBN 0-06-052540-1
Third Watch (2007) with Elizabeth Ann Scarborough ISBN 0-06-052541-X
Short Story Collections
Get Off the Unicorn (1977) ISBN 0-441-00338-9
The Girl Who Heard Dragons (1994) (contains one Pern story by the same name) ISBN 0-8125-1099-2
The Mark of Merlin (1971) ISBN 1-58715-493-5
Ring of Fear (1971) ISBN 1-58715-016-6
The Kilternan Legacy (1975) ISBN 1-58715-793-4
Stitch in Snow (1985) ISBN 0-8125-8562-3
The Year of the Lucy (1986) ISBN 0-8125-8565-8
The Lady (1987) ISBN 0-345-35674-8
Three Women contains the first three listed in an omnibus edition.
Young Adult Fantasy
An Exchange of Gifts (1995) ISBN 1-880448-48-3
No One Noticed the Cat (1996) ISBN 0-843959-03-7
If Wishes Were Horses (1998) ISBN 0-843959-12-6
Black Horses for the King (1998) ISBN 0-152063-78-1
Serve it Forth: Cooking with Anne McCaffrey ISBN 0-809500-94-9
Cooking out of this World; Edited by Anne McCaffrey, a collection of cookable SF-Recipes ISBN 1-880448-13-0