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The lady from Dragonhold, interview with Anne McCaffrey
Dragonlady used to be a derogatory term, but Anne McCaffrey has redefined it. The Dragonlady of Pern is a white-haired storyteller with a love of romance.

Author Anne McCaffrey talks about her 'critters' and other things…

Anne McCaffrey, Photograph by Richard Hrychiewicz
Other McCaffrey book pages:
Pg 1: Pern (Dragonriders)
Pg 2: Crystal Singer
Pg 3: Brain Ships
Pg 4: Talents (psychic, rowan, tower)
Pg 5: Petaybee
Pg 6: Freedom
Pg 7: Acorna
Pg 8: Collections and other works

See also:
Anne McCaffrey interviewed
AM answers the usual questions

book cover, To Ride Pegasus, by Anne McCaffrey Anne McCaffrey has caught the imagination and hearts of fans everywhere with her magnificent dragons. She writes a particular brand of fiction - Science Fiction/Fantasy romances - a definition she is proud to acknowledge. Her work spans the galaxy and time. Ms McCaffrey's short stories are fantasies, they feature romances, they even cross the boundary to become SF porn, but at their best they have more substance than mere entertainment.

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Anne McCaffrey's psychic 'Talents' tread the dangerous ground between luxuries, necessary privileges, and socialism in the overcrowded world of near-future Earth. Her characters deal with child abuse, rape, itineracy, prejudice and political intrigue. Hardly the stuff of Fantasy?

Like the best of comedy-satires that leave you thinking, McCaffrey's 'little romances' can be deeply disturbing. She stands back from the angry tones of Harlan Ellison et al and illustrates with pragmatic accuracy the reality of problems, leaving the readers to express their own outrage.

Wherever or whenever her stories take her, she is never divorced from the influences of contemporary life. Ms McCaffrey points out, "I do write in what's happening around us."

book cover, Killashandra, by Anne McCaffrey

But why write about dragons? Stories, especially SF stories start with an idea (or a character). Anne McCaffrey needed a 'critter' and dragons, she says, "had had a bad press."

The result is an extraordinarily popular series, one of a number that Ms McCaffrey has developed, and such popularity has brought its own rewards, and its hazards. "You know the planet and the people - but critics hate series and you rarely get good reviews." but as for the characters, "They're old friends now."

A lot of books such as those about 'shell people' are now co-written, but Anne McCaffrey is careful who visits her universes. "I choose who writes in my worlds. So I control the subject of the books." (when collaborating) "we plot first, write later. I never work to an outline." book cover, The Ship Who Sang, by Anne McCaffrey

go to McCaffrey answering our usual questions Indeed, when the subject turned to the portrayal of women in McCaffrey stories, she was adamant that even the recent downplaying of adventures in her female characters' past is the "the way the story wrote" She denies that this is a conscious pattern. "Not every woman wants to rule outright, or even 'rule' men.! Both (Lessa of Pern and the Talent Rowan) work in co-operation with their men." Wherever her stories may take her, there will be many glad to follow this teller of stories.

This article reprinted from the Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Fan Resource Book.
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