A bit late this may be but I haven’t had a chance to write this until now.
I can’t remember how old I was when I first read Anne McCaffery, I’m going to guess between 11 and 13, but I could be wrong, I had the same routine for a number of years. I know where I was though when I picked up her first book. It would have been a Saturday, probably around lunch time in fact, I would have just finished my swimming lesson and be in the library that is attached to the sports centre browsing for something to take with me and read.
The first book of Anne’s that I picked up? Dragonsdawn. I’m pretty sure I read the blurb, but I’m also pretty sure that the word Dragons was all it took. And then, well I guess I was hooked on the Dragon Riders of Pern series. I read a few more from the library and then began to buy the rest, so I now own almost all of them. I think my favourite of the Pern books were the harper ones, especially the first book with Menolly. Its funny, as much as I love the dragons, all my fave characters are non-dragon riders. (Hubby suggests I may in fact simply be jealous.)
I will admit that it took me a few years to actually realise that Dragonsdawn wasn’t supposed to be the first novel, and that I’d kind of spoilered myself for finding AIVAS, and realising just how much they’d forgotten.
The Pern books also led me to take out The Crystal Singer books, as well as a few Ship who Sang books. And in fact as much as I love Dragons, and who wouldn’t want a Fire Lizard?! I actually prefer these books to Pern.
Speaking with hubby he says he much prefers her work when it’s obviously sci-fi, which The Crystal Singer and Ship who Sang books are, and that in Pern she’s at her best when she’s talking about how say the Harpers actually keep the culture and language alive, it’s her attention to detail on these little things, that mean a lot, that makes them so great.
While I haven’t read any of her books in a long time, except for a re-read of The Crystal Singer, they were a big influence on me when I was younger, and she was for a long time my favourite author, and from what my hubby has said and judging from my twitter/blog feed this is true for a lot of people.
Rest in peace Anne, thanks for all the great stories, you were amazing.