Nov. 23rd, 2011

liadnan: (Default)
For various reasons, mainly living in a tiny house, most of my books live in my room in chambers (which is why I resist becoming involved in room reallocations).

If I spin round in my chair I can see, in a tall pile in the corner, the fantasy and sf books of my childhood I can't bear to part with, ancient corgi editions for the most part. Most of them will probably never be re-read. Life is, I think, possibly too short for another run through Eddings (well, maybe).

But one I have re-read occasionally over the years, most recently only last year, is probably one of the first F/SF novels I read (outside Tolkien and things of which my mother approved, DWJ, Aiken, Cooper and the like): Dragonflight, together with its sequels (up to and including the White Dragon, and there should be a copy of the first prequel somewhere), along with a copy of The Ship Who Sang that I had forgotten borrowing from the library in about 1987 acquiring. The only one that is easily accessible without bringing the stack down is Dragonsong, which appears to be a 1981 reprint: it's likely I bought it with birthday booktokens or the like that year. I have a vague idea I'd first picked up Dragonflight a year or so earlier in Winchester Public Library, on spec and caught by the Michael Whelan cover.

A few commenters on posts have made claims that she was a fantastic writer, she wasn't, at least not in the sense I would use that term. But I loved and love those books and characters, and I'm fairly confident that some day when I'm feeling glum I'll pull them out again. I don't think I'd say the same about, for instance The Colour of Magic which I must have read (including brilliant affectionate parody of the Pern novels) not long after.

And from reading her, so much else followed (more than from reading Tolkien, DWJ & co I think, though I don't think McCaffrey is, objectively, as good as any of those).

One of the first women, alongside Andre Norton and a few others (May?) to make much headway in SF&F too, and given how mysogynistic the genre can still be now (eg Harlan Ellison) I wonder how much worse it was then.

Farewell Anne McCaffrey, and thanks for 30 years of reading habits.


liadnan: (Default)

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