One of my favorite authors, Anne McCafrey, passed away yesterday. It's perhaps not a shock because I knew she was an elderly woman, but that doesn't really lessen my sadness.
She was an extremely influential author being one of the few women writing sci-fi way back in the late sixties. She opened the genre to other women writers and she also made the genre more open to female readers.
I first started reading her books in Grade 5 when a friend introduced them to me. They were some of the first 'adult' books I read and we always got a thrill out of reading about dragons and spaceships when everyone else our age was reading The Babysitters Club. An Anne McCaffrey website was one of the first internet communities I ever joined and the worlds she created shaped my love for science fiction. I spent something like half a dozen years RPing in various communities based on her Dragonriders of Pern series and despite how it ended those were good years that vastly improved my writing skills and gave me an outlet for my emotions and creative energy when I felt like I had nothing else.
When I was about 12 or 13 my mother suggested I write to Anne McCaffrey telling her how much I loved her books, but I was too shy and never did, which is something I regret a little bit.
Rest in peace Anne; you'll be missed.