Anne McCaffrey passes away at 85

Celebrated sci-fi and fantasy writer Anne McCaffrey has passed away in her Ireland home after suffering a stroke.

“It is with great sadness that Del Rey Books and Random House report the passing of beloved author Anne McCaffrey,” DelRey confirmed in an official press release.

“Anne McCaffrey was best known for her award-winning and immensely popular Dragonriders of Pern novels. McCaffrey died at her home in Ireland on November 21st shortly after suffering a stroke. She was 85 years old. She is survived by her two sons and daughter.”

As the statement notes, McCaffrey was most famous for her Pern novels, in which she depicted a world with dragons and riders, along with a plethora of political intrigue and romantic drama.

The franchise currently stands at an impressive 22 novels and two short story collections, with two more novels in progress at the time of her death.

McCaffrey’s career began in the 50’s when her first short stories were published. Throughout her career, McCaffrey was regarded for her strong female protagonists. She was one of the first science fiction authors to depict female protagonists as characters capable of fighting and thinking for themselves – without losing their femininity.

Her work has had a tremendous influence on writers, especially when constructing strong female lead characters. Indeed, elements of the characters created by McCaffrey can be found all across modern fantasy and sci-fi from Piers Anthony to Ursula LeGuin.

There is no word yet as to who might finish her in-progress novels, or when they might be picked up.