Author Anne McCaffrey passes away at 85

Anne McCaffrey, creator of the Dragonriders of Pern fantasy novels, passed away Monday at the age of 85. The multiple award-winning author died in her home in Ireland after suffering a stroke.

McCaffrey's first novel, Restoree, was published in 1967, and was followed by the first Dragonriders of Pern novel, Dragonflight, in 1968. Nearly 100 of her books were published in her lifetime, and she was the first woman to win a Hugo Award and a Nebula Award. Eclipse Comics published an adaptation of Dragonflight in 1991, and a film adaptation by Watchmen and X-Men screenwriter David Hayter was announced earlier this year.

"She was an incredible world-builder," comics creator Derek Kirk Kim wrote on his blog. "I also remember being blown away when she used 'fuck' repeatedly in a fantasy novel. It was the first time I'd seen that when I was a kid, and taught me the importance of keeping true to a character no matter what the genre or its conventions."

Author Neil Gaiman remembers meeting her both through her books and, later, in person. "I met her as a person in the late 80s, when I was a young writer, at a convention, where she was the Guest of Honour," he wrote on his blog. "It was a small convention, and she decided that I needed to be taken under her wing and given advice I would need in later life, which she proceeded to do. It was all good advice: how to survive American signing tours was the bit that stuck the most (she wanted me to move to Ireland, and I came close). I liked her as a writer, and by the end of that convention I adored her as a person."

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