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Anne McCaffrey, 'Dragonriders' author, dies: 'The dragons mourn'

November 23, 2011 | 11:17 am

Anne McCaffrey, who gained legendary status in the sci-fi realm with her "Dragonriders of Pern" novels, has died at age 85.

Her publisher, Random House, announced that McCaffrey died Monday at home in Ireland after suffering a stroke. As fans mourned on Twitter on Wednesday, her family released this statement:

"Anne McCaffrey ended a long and enormously successful life early Monday evening, November 21, at her home in County Wicklow, Ireland. Surrounded by the reassuring presence of family and close friends, her passing was swift and without suffering. We, her children, are hugely comforted by the outpouring of sympathy flowing now from all over the world.

"Our Mother’s talent was known to countless fans. Yet her greatest gift to us all has to have been her enormous heart. That she was able to touch so many with her tender and loving heart is the greatest source of pride we will forever enjoy. Words cannot express how grateful we are to the universe of her admirers, whose heartfelt condolences beguile us in our grief, which pales beside the joy we know Anne McCaffrey brought to so many people."

Tweets on Wednesday quoted the author ("Your voice is sad and your hands are slow. And your eye meeting mine turns away," from "Dragonsong") and offered thanks for the years of enjoyment her books brought.

"Fairwell Anne, and thanks for Pern and all its wonders" (SocialDave).

"Do you hear? The dragons mourn. The First Queen has passed Between. #AnneMcCaffrey" (@Lynoth).

Meg Cabot, author of "The Princess Diaries" series, talked with the Los Angeles Times in July about her experience with McCaffrey's books, woven into her youth:

"Those books were amazing to me because the two main characters, Lessa and Menolly, were both social outcasts, just like I was at the time. And yet both women persevered in spite of tremendous hardships .... Those books really inspired me to stop feeling so sorry for myself. And when I did move back home and started high school, I used to pretend I was Menolly, and had fire dragons protecting me. God help me. Sometimes I still do it."

ALSO:

Meg Cabot on "Dragonriders"

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