On this day in 1926, internationally-bestselling author Anne Inez McCaffrey was born, and millions of her loyal readers are thrilled about that fact. I remember to the day when I was first introduced to her writing: it was the night of my twelfth birthday, and I received a strange-looking set of books, including Dragonsong, from my uncle. Whether he knew it or not I had somewhat exhausted the children’s department at my local library, great as it was, and was re-reading my favorites from home again and again. Uncle Parky told me he had loved these books at his age. Being a kid, this made me somewhat dubious as to how good they could possibly be, but my reader self dutifully sat down to peruse. I was an instant fan.
It was the beginning of a new literary era for me and opened doors to the adult literature world in the most interesting ways. Suddenly I was shopping in the “grown-up” departments at book stores and exploring new sections of the library that had before seemed old and stodgy. I devoured everything Anne McCaffrey had written, continuing with her Dragonriders of Pern series and working my way into her Brain & Brawn Ship books and Acorna series. My dad introduced me to Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov, and then I started reading adult fiction. I had always been an avid book worm, but I vividly remember the world of Pern and how it broadened what I already thought to be a wonderful literary experience. For that reason, perhaps, McCaffrey holds a special place in my mind and on my bookshelf, and I still think of her books as a kind of comfort food for the brain, something familiar and good to curl up with on any given day.
Though she passed away in more than three years ago now, the worlds she created continue through her son’s writing and, most importantly, through us, her fans.