Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Anne McCaffrey - An Inspiration in Fantasy

I knew it would happen eventually, but I still can't believe it. Anne McCaffrey is gone. Well, she won't be writing any more anyway. Her legacy is considerable. I don't think she'll ever truly be gone. She certainly occupies a good place in my thoughts.

I remember the first fantasy novel I read. I was on vacation at the Jersey shore (okay, yes...but it was a great non-douchey place, I swear!) and we stopped at a used book shop. I got a hardcover copy of Moreta. As a late elementary school kid the ending ripped me apart, but, the seed was planted. A strong woman who saves other people? This can happen in books?

When I was a little girl playing with dolls, the main female would shun dresses, put on a catsuit,  and save the man, who would be in awe of her. Few books showed me that a woman could be that way. Except, McCaffrey did.

When I got a hold of the two initial Pern books and read about Lessa, it was like coming home. I was Lessa. I understood her to the deepest depths of my being.

To this day I still reread my Pern books. It was because of Anne McCaffrey and her strong female characters that I got hooked on fantasy. Now, I too write about strong women who save men, though so far, none are wearing teal catsuits. Without Anne, I might not have gotten into the genre, and I certainly would have been less interested in it if I had (I can't read books without good female leads - period). For this, I thank her, wherever she is. She will be missed.

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