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The Masterharper

Anne McCaffrey died on Monday. I learned about her passing this morning right before I went to work.

I discovered Anne’s writing during a lunch break in the late 1970’s. I worked at a grocery chain and was perusing the paperbacks for something to read that wasn’t a romance or a mystery. Dragonsong nearly jumped off the rack at me. I bought it and started it during my short lunch. Then I picked it up again as soon as I got home from work and read it through the night.

Since that day, I have become intimately acquainted with Menolly, the Masterharper of Pern, Moretta, Ruth the White Dragon, and the Girl Who Heard Dragons. I have lived on Pern and battled thread, the insidious black stuff that falls from the Red Star onto the pioneer world of Pern. I’ve listened to the message drums and smelled the hot pasties of a Gather. I know where the fire lizards play.

Oh, heck. I even own a fire lizard.

Her name is Heth and she is a gold queen.

I felt like I knew something of Anne McCaffrey, the fiery individual who created Pern and other worlds. The woman who could sing. Who trained horses. Who lived in a cottage in Ireland.

I never met her, of course, but she was my friend. I could pick up one of her books and reread it time and again.Not just the Pern series (but they will always be my favorite), but Crystal Singer and how many other wonderful science fiction books Anne McCaffrey wrote, either by herself or with someone else. She was never to proud to mentor and collaborate.

Farewell to one of my favorite authors. Anne McCaffrey. If you have not read any of her books, at least read the Harper Hall Trilogy. It is Young Adult fiction. Maybe you won’t be as hooked as I was, but maybe… just maybe another fan will be born.

Ride High, Anne. I hope dragons carry you far.

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