Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Resting with Dragons...

I know. I planned to do a week of book reviews.

But I don't know too many readers who aren't in some way affected by the death of Anne McCaffrey. If they weren't lovers of her vivid storytelling, her kickass lead female characters or her brilliant grasp of fantasy, they read authors who were influenced by Anne.

Generations have read and been swept away on the wings of Anne McCaffrey's dragons. I first discovered her as a kid because her books were next to Robin McKinley's... And she had such pretty covers.

The first book I read by her was Dragonflight. And I was hooked.

If you want a copy, you can find her on Amazon here. Or click on the cover art that caught my teenage eye.

The story was of Lessa. Lessa was in worse shape than Cinderella. She was ugly, scrawny, dirty and hated and no one talked to her but a scruffy beast on the roof.

Then a Dragonrider came along and cleaned her up and took her away from everything she knew.

When she bonds with a gold dragon, her whole world changes. Suddenly people care what she has to say. Suddenly she matters.

But will she manage to save her people?

See, the thing about Lessa was, unlike Cinderella, she wasn't grateful to F'lar (like Cinderella was to Prince Charming) to the point of being oblivious to the world around her. She was willing to go toe to toe with him if he was wrong.

She was willing to do what she thought was right, no matter what the cost.

But none of that meant that Lessa loved F'lar any less than Cinderella loved her Prince... It meant she loved him more.

McCaffrey reinforced the idea that McKinley had introduced: Love isn't about giving up who you are or what you believe in. It is about finding an equal, a partner, and together, even if you sometimes fought, you can do anything.

This author wrote nearly 100 books. She was the first woman to win a Hugo. The first to win a Nebula. The first to hit the NY Times Bestsellers list for a scifi title. (Tor did a lovely In Remembrance here.) To say that she was a legend isn't an exaggeration. To say that she was an inspiration is simply stating a fact.

To say that this is a sad day in literature... May be an opinion but I feel it is one that many share with me.

Rest in Peace, Anne. May you fly with the dragons that you filled my dreams with. May your words go on to touch the lives of many generations after mine.

Anne McCaffrey 1926-2011

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