Anne Inez McCaffrey (1 April 1926 – 21 November 2011) was an American-born Irish writer, best known for the Dragonriders of Pern science fiction series. Early in McCaffrey's 46-year career as a writer, she became the first woman to win a Hugo Award for fiction and the first to win a Nebula Award. Her 1978 novel The White Dragon became one of the first science-fiction books to appear on the New York Times Best Seller list.
In 2005 the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America named McCaffrey its 22nd Grand Master, an annual award to living writers of fantasy and science fiction. She was inducted by the Science Fiction Hall of Fame on 17 June 2006.
Anne McCaffrey was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the second of three children of Anne Dorothy (née McElroy) and Col. George Herbert McCaffrey. She had two brothers: Hugh ("Mac", died 1988) and Kevin Richard McCaffrey ("Kevie"). Her father had Irish and English ancestry, and her mother was of Irish descent. She attended Stuart Hall (a girls' boarding school in Staunton, Virginia),] and graduated from Montclair High School in New Jersey. In 1947 she graduated cum laude from Radcliffe College with a degree in Slavonic languages and Literature.
In 1950 she married Horace Wright Johnson (died 2009), who shared her interests in music, opera and ballet. They had three children: Alec Anthony, born 1952; Todd, born 1956; and Georgeanne ("Gigi", Georgeanne Kennedy), born 1959.
Except for a short time in Düsseldorf, the family lived for most of a decade in Wilmington, Delaware. They moved to Sea Cliff, Long Island in 1965, and McCaffrey became a full-time writer.
McCaffrey served a term as secretary-treasurer of the Science Fiction Writers of America from 1968 to 1970. In addition to handcrafting the Nebula Award trophies, her responsibilities included production of two monthly newsletters and their distribution by mail to the membership.
McCaffrey emigrated to Ireland with her two younger children in 1970, weeks after filing for divorce. Ireland had recently exempted resident artists from income taxes, an opportunity that fellow science-fiction author Harry Harrison? had promptly taken and helped to promote. McCaffrey's mother soon joined the family in Dublin. The following spring, McCaffrey was guest of honour at her first British science-fiction convention (Eastercon 22, 1971). There she met British reproductive biologist Jack Cohen,who would be a consultant on the science of Pern.
McCaffrey had had two short stories published during the 1950s. The first ("Freedom of the Race", about women impregnated by aliens) was written in 1952 when she was pregnant with her son Alec. It earned a $100 prize in Science-Fiction Plus. Her second story, "The Lady in the Tower", was published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction by editor Robert P. Mills and published again by editor Judith Merril for The Year's Greatest Science Fiction.
Judith Merril matched McCaffrey with her long-time literary agent Virginia Kidd (died 2003) and invited her to the Milford Writer's Workshop (to which she returned many times), where participants each brought a story to be critiqued. After her first Milford workshop in 1959 she worked on "The Ship Who Sang?", the story which began the Brain & Brawn Ship series. At the story's end, the spaceship Helva sings "Taps" for her human partner. Decades later, McCaffrey's son Todd called it "almost an elegy to her father". In interviews between 1994 and 2004, she considered it her best story and her favourite. "I put much of myself into it: myself and the troubles I had in accepting my father's death in 1954 and a troubled marriage."
McCaffrey then wrote two more "Ship" stories and began her first novel. Regarding her motivation for Restoree (1967), her son recalled her saying, "I was so tired of all the weak women screaming in the corner while their boyfriends were beating off the aliens. I wouldn't have been—I'd've been in there swinging with something or kicking them as hard as I could". McCaffrey explained that it did not require a sequel; it "served its purpose of an intelligent, survivor-type woman as the protagonist of an s-f story".
Regarding her 1969 Decision at Doona (which she dedicated "To Todd Johnson—of course!"), her son recalled that he was directed to lower his voice in his fourth-grade school play when his mother was in the auditorium. That inspired the Doona story, which opens on "an overcrowded planet where just talking too loud made you a social outcast". As a settler on Doona, the boy talker has a priceless talent.
McCaffrey made a fast start in Ireland, completing for 1971 publication Dragonquest and two Gothic novels for Dell, The Mark of Merlin and The Ring of Fear. With a contract for The White Dragon (which would complete the "original trilogy" with Ballantine), her writing stalled. During the next few years the family moved several times in the Dublin area and struggled to make ends meet, supported largely by child-care payments and meager royalties.
The young-adult book market provided a crucial opportunity. Editor Roger Elwood sought short contributions for anthologies, and McCaffrey started the Pern story of Menolly. She delivered "The Smallest Dragonboy" for $154, and four stories which later became The Crystal Singer. Futura Publications in London signed her to write books about dinosaurs for children. Editor Jean E. Karl at Atheneum Books sought to attract more female readers to science fiction and solicited "a story for young women in a different part of Pern". McCaffrey completed Menolly's story as Dragonsong and contracted for a sequel before its publication in 1976. The tales of Menolly are continued in Dragonsinger: Harper of Pern, and Dragondrums as the "Harper Hall Trilogy". With a contract with Atheneum she was able to buy a home (named "Dragonhold" for the dragons who bought it). Her son wrote, 20 years later, that she "first set dragons free on Pern and then was herself freed by her dragons."
Federated Sentient Planets
Several of McCaffrey's series (and more than half her books) are set in a universe governed by the "Federated Sentient Planets" ("Federation" or "FSP"). Although Pern's history is connected to the Federation, McCaffrey only used it as a backdrop for storytelling and did not consider her different "worlds" to be part of the same universe.
Only a few of McCaffreys books are to be considered as space opera and that is all the books in the The Brain & Brawn ship series?. Only one of the books in this series is written by Anne McCaffrey alone. The Crystal Singer series? is directly connected to the Brain & Brawn Ship series. Other book series in the same universe is Dragonriders of Pern series?, Ireta series? and The Coelura?.
Books by Anne McCaffrey
The Brain & Brawn Ship series (Ship Who Sang series)
Short stories by Anne McCaffrey
"The Ship Who Sang", The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Apr 1961
"The Ship Who Mourned", Analog, Mar 1966
"The Ship Who Killed", Galaxy Magazine, Oct 1966
"Dramatic Mission", Analog, Jun 1969
"The Ship Who Disappeared", If, Mar 1969
"Honeymoon", original to her collection Get Off the Unicorn (1977)
"The Ship That Returned", original to Far Horizons: All New Tales from the Greatest Worlds of Science Fiction?, ed. Robert Silverberg (1999)
The Ship Who Sang? (1969, Anne McCaffrey, fixup of the first five short stories short stories together with a new closing chapter or short story, "The Partnered Ship")
PartnerShip? (1992, Anne McCaffrey and Margaret Ball)
The Ship Who Searched? (1992, Anne McCaffrey and Mercedes Lackey)
The City Who Fought? (1993, Anne McCaffrey and S.M. Stirling)
The Ship Who Won? (1994, Anne McCaffrey and Jody Lynn Nye)
Partnership/the Ship Who Searched/the City Who Fought (1994, Anne McCaffrey, Margaret Ball, Mercedes Lackey and S.M. Stirling, omnibus)
Brain Ships (2003, Anne McCaffrey, Mercedes Lackey & Margaret Ball, omnibus)
The Ship Who Saved the Worlds (2003, Anne McCaffrey & Jody Lynn Nye, omnibus)
The City and The Ship (2004, Anne McCaffrey & S.M. Stirling, omnibus)
The Crystal series?
Crystal Singer? (1982, Anne McCaffrey)(based on four stories published 1974/1975)
Killashandra? (1986, Anne McCaffrey)
Crystal Line? (1992, Anne McCaffrey)
The Crystal Singer Trilogy (1996, Anne McCaffrey, omnibus), also as The Crystal Singer Omnibus.
Dragonriders of Pern series?
Short stories by Anne McCaffrey
"Weyr Search" (Analog Magazine, 1967) (later incorporated into Dragonflight)
"Dragonrider" (Analog Magazine – two parts, 1967 / 1968) (later incorporated into Dragonflight)
"The Smallest Dragonboy", (Science Fiction Tales, Rand McNally, 1973 and also in A Gift of Dragons?, and "Get Off the Unicorn".
"A Time When" N.E.S.F.A. Press, hardcover limited edition printed for guest of honor appearance at Boscon convention in 1975) (later incorporated into The White Dragon)
The Girl Who Heard Dragons (1986), published in collection The Girl Who Heard Dragons (1994)
"Rescue Run", (Analog Magazine, 1991) (later incorporated into The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall)
"The P.E.R.N. Survey" (Amazing Magazine, 1993) (later incorporated into The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall)
"The Dolphin's Bell", (published as a limited edition, leatherbound book by The Wildside Press, 1993 (later incorporated into The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall)
The Ford of Red Hanrahan (1993)
The Second Weyr (1993)
"The Girl Who Heard Dragons" (originally published as a Tor Book by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC, in 1994 and in A Gift of Dragons, also Cheap Street Press, 1986)
"Runner of Pern" (1998, Legends, an anthology edited by Robert Silverberg)
"Ever the Twain" (2002)
"A Gift of Dragons" (2002)
"Beyond Between" (2003, Legends II: New Short Novels by the Masters of Modern Fantasy, edited by Robert Silverberg
Dragonflight? (1968, Anne McCaffrey)
Dragonquest? (1971, Anne McCaffrey)
Dragonsong? (1976, Anne McCaffrey))
Dragonsinger? (1977, Anne McCaffrey))
Dragondrums? (1979, Anne McCaffrey))
The White Dragon? (1978, Anne McCaffrey)
The Dragonriders of Pern? (1978, Anne McCaffrey, omnibus)
Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern? (1983, Anne McCaffrey)
The Harper Hall of Pern? (1984, Anne McCaffrey, omnibus)
Nerilka's Story? (1986, Anne McCaffrey) also appeared as:
Variant Title: Nerilka's Story: A Pern Adventure (1986)
Dragonsdawn? (1988, Anne McCaffrey, Anne McCaffrey, omnibus)
The Renegades of Pern? (1989, Anne McCaffrey)
All the Weyrs of Pern? (1991, Anne McCaffrey)
The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall (1993, Anne McCaffrey, collection)
De Drakerijders van Pern: Drakevlucht / Draketocht (1993, Anne McCaffrey, omnibus)
The Dolphins of Pern? (1994, Anne McCaffrey)
Red Star Rising? (1996, Anne McCaffrey) also appeared as: Dragonseye (1997)
The Masterharper of Pern? (1998, Anne McCaffrey)
The Skies of Pern? (2001, Anne McCaffrey)
A Gift of Dragons? (2002, Anne McCaffrey, coll)
Dragon's Kin? (2003, Anne McCaffrey & Todd McCaffrey)
On Dragonwings? (2003, Anne McCaffrey, omnibus)
Moreta's Ride? (2005, Anne McCaffrey, omnibus)
Dragonriders' Dawn? (2006, Anne McCaffrey, omnibus)
Dragon's Fire? (2006, Anne McCaffrey)
Dragon Harper? (2007, Anne McCaffrey & Todd McCaffrey)
Dragon's Time? (2011, Anne McCaffrey & Todd McCaffrey)
La ballade de Pern: Intégrale 4 (2011, Anne McCaffrey, omnibus)
La ballade de Pern: Intégrale 5 (2012, Anne McCaffrey, omnibus)
Sky Dragons? (2012, Anne McCaffrey & Todd McCaffrey)
La ballade de Pern: Intégrale 3 (2012, Anne McCaffrey, omnibus)
Books about Dragonriders of Pern and Anne McCaffrey
(Books about Dragonriders of Pern and Pern
People of Pern? (1988, Anne McCaffrey and Robin Wood?)
The Dragonlover's Guide to Pern? (1989, Anne McCaffrey & Jody Lynn Nye)
Dragonholder: The Life and Dreams (So Far?) of Anne McCaffrey (1999, Todd McCaffrey)
Dragonwriter: A Tribute to Anne McCaffrey and Pern? (Todd McCaffrey editor, contributions by Angelina Adams, David Brin, David Gerrold, John Goodwin, Janis Ian, Alec Johnson, Georgeanne Kennedy, Mercedes Lackey, Sharon Lee? and Steve Miller?, Lois McMaster Bujold?, Elizabeth Moon, Charlotte Moore, Robert Neilson, Jody Lynn Nye and Bill Fawcett?, Robin Roberts, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, Wen Spencer, Michael Whelan?, Richard J. Woods and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro.
Dinosaur Planet (1978, Anne McCaffrey)
Dinosaur Planet Survivors (1984, Anne McCaffrey), also as Dinosaur Planet II: Survivors, Dinosaur Planet 2: The Survivors and Survivors.
The Ireta Adventure (1985, Anne McCaffrey), also as The Dinosaur Planet Omnibus and The Mystery of Ireta.
Sassinak (1990, Anne McCaffrey & Elisabeth Moon)
The Death of Sleep (1990, Anne McCaffrey & Jody Lynn Nye)
Generation Warriors (1991, Anne McCaffrey and Elisbeth Moon)
The Planet Pirates (1993, Anne McCaffrey, Jody Lynn Nye and Elisabeth Moon, omnibus)
Decision at Doona (1969, Anne McCaffrey)
Crisis on Doona (1992, Anne McCaffrey & Jody Lynn Nye)
Treaty at Doona (1994, Anne McCaffrey & Jody Lynn Nye)
Doona (2004, , Anne McCaffrey & Jody Lynn Nye)
Games in the Federated Sentient Planets Universe?
"Lady in the Tower" (1959, Anne McCaffrey), published in Get Off the Unicorn (1977, coll)
"A Meeting of Minds" (1969, Anne McCaffrey), published in Get Off the Unicorn (1977, coll)
"Apple" (1969, Anne McCaffrey), published in Get Off the Unicorn (1977, coll)
"Finder's Keeper" (1973, Anne McCaffrey), published in Get Off the Unicorn (1977, coll)
The Talent series?
The Tower and Hive series?
The Barque Cat series?
The Thorns of Barevi (1970), also included in Anne McCafrrey collectionGet Off the Unicorn (1977)
Other Space Opera
Space Opera (1996, ed. Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, anth.) Contributions by Anne McCaffrey, Jody Lynn Nye, Charles de Lint, Robin Wayne Bailey, Josepha Sherman, Elisabeth Waters, Leslie Fish, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, Suzette Haden Elgin, Paula Lalish, Alan Dean Foster?, Margaret Ball, Steven Brust, Warren Norwood, Lyn McConchie, Cynthia McQuillin, Mary C. Pangborn, Peter S. Beagle, Marion Zimmer Bradley? and Gene Wolfe?.