Anne McCaffrey (1926-2011)

Anne McCaffrey, 1994 Worldcon GoH, died at home in Ireland on November 21 shortly after suffering a stroke. She was 85.

And as Locus Online reminds us

McCaffrey was the first woman to win both the Hugo and the Nebula Awards, with “Weyr Search” (1968) and “Dragonrider” (1969) respectively. Another Pern novel, The White Dragon (1978), was the first hardcover SF novel to make the New York Times bestseller list.

She is survived by her two sons and daughter. My condolences to them all, especially Todd McCaffrey, a regular participant in Loscons for a long time who was very helpful last year when I organized the program.

5 thoughts on “Anne McCaffrey (1926-2011)

  1. Sorry to hear about this; she was one of my favorite author friends.

    I remember her playing the Wicked Witch Reporter in the “To Oz” skit at Tynecon (Jim Blish was the Wizard). What a hoot!

    My condolences to her family.

  2. I’m surprised there haven’t been more comments from readers in FILE 770 about Anne’s death. She was, after all, one of the Greats of the SF and fantasy genres in the last 50 years

    I’m also surprised that there has apparently been no obituary of Anne so far in the NEW YORK TIMES [website], or the CHICAGO TRIBUNE website for that matter (though a search of the Trib’s website found two Associated Press articles about her passing). But I did find an obit on, of all places, the WALL STREET JOURNAL website, with (as of early evening Wednesday 23 November) some 70 comments, every one of them praising her and mourning her passing. Here’s the relevant WSJ website’s link:

    There was not a single snarky comment among them blaming Obama or the Republicans or the liberals or the conservatives! (And that’s unusual for the WSJ.)

  3. NYT:

    Huffington Post:


    There are more if one searches for her name in Google News.

    It is interesting to see how many reports say she was the first woman to win a Hugo – which is incorrect. Elinor Busby in 1960 holds that honor. Now, if one qualifies it with “first fiction Hugo” …

  4. Ah, the New York Times hadn’t published the obit when I wrote my second comment; but I’m glad they have now, and it was a good one.

  5. A few more trivial details. As already mentioned, McCaffrey was the first writer to record the historic double of winning a Hugo and a Nebula.

    McCaffrey shared the distinction of being the first female Nebula winner with Kate Wilhelm — they both won the award in 1969.

    Ursula K. Le Guin was the first woman writer to win both a Hugo and Nebula for the same work — The Left Hand of Darkness, in 1970.

    The next two women after McCaffrey and Wilhelm to win a Nebula were Katherine MacLean, for the novella “The Missing Man” (1972) and Joanna Russ, for the short story “When It Changed” (1973) – but neither of those works received a Hugo nomination.

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