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Author's Official Website:

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

Fantasy/Science Fiction series:

Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series

Isaac Asimov's Foundation and Robots series

Mary Janice Davidson's Undead series

Anne McCaffrey's Dragonrider series
Anne McCaffrey's Crystal Singer series
Anne McCaffrey's Brain Ships series
Anne McCaffrey's Talents (psychic, rowan, tower) series
Anne McCaffrey's Petaybee series
Anne McCaffrey's Freedom series
Anne McCaffrey's Acorna series
George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones and more
Tanya Huff's Vicki Nelson (Blood Lines)
Tanya Huff's Confederation
Terry Pratchett's Discworld series
Spider Robinson's Callahan and Stardance series

Roger Zelazny's Amber Series


The Dragonrider books by Anne McCaffrey series reading order and synopsis

Anne McCaffrey

Crystal Singer Series

Singer's Fortune

Anne McCaffrey is a trained singer. Isaac Asimov writes of trying to outlast her in singing show-downs. He never won.

He writes in The Hugo Winners 1968-1970: "In August 1970 Annie and I were co-guests of honor at a science fiction conference in Toronto. That meant that one certain thing. We had another of our perennial songfest competitions. We sing at each other very loudly, and finally we work ourselves up to a climax, which is always, "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling". ...While everyone in the audience gets far out to non-winding distance we get louder and higher... At the final note, she takes a deep breath and holds. I do, too, but before the minute is up, I fade, chock, and halt, while that final note of Annie's keeps right on going."

Australian author Dave Luckett tells a story about trying to keep up with her at 2 a.m. in the streets of London.

So it isn't very surprising that her work includes this influence.

The Crystal Singer series takes the 'voice that can shatter glass' idea and uses singers with perfect pitch and technical facilitation to cut special crystals from the Milkey mountains. The singers are well paid, but the cost to them is even higher.

The influence of McCaffrey's love of music is also seen in her Pern series, especially in the Dragonsinger trilogy (Dragonsong, Dragonsinger, Dragondrums), and in the character Master Robinton the Masterharper of Pern, who was inspired by a friend of hers. Helva, the ship sings, also, and Anne McCaffrey participated in a collection entitled, Space Opera, a pun, a subject also beloved of McCaffrey (in true science fiction tradition).

The first singer we meet in the Crystal Singer series is Killashandra, a typical McCaffrey heroine, small, fast and quick-tempered.

The original series consists of four short stories each published in an issue of Continuum, edited by Roger Elwood.


The Crystal Singer


The Crystal Line

book cover, Crystal Singer, by Anne McCaffrey; 82x139
The Crystal Singer, Anne McCaffrey

The Crystal Singer

In The Crystal Singer, McCaffrey revisits the series. The original series spanned Killa's dramatic exit from operatic training until her death. This book provides more detail. Killashandra Ree will never be a top flight singer, so she decides to leave the profession. She encounters a member of the Heptite Guild, whose membership, like herself, have perfect pitch. They are rare, and well-paid. Killa is determined to join them, whatever the cost.

McCaffrey re-invents this universe over the course of her subsequent novelizations.

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Cover, Killashandra by Anne McCaffrey
Killashandra, Anne McCaffrey


When Killashandra arrives on Optheria to replace and tune the crystals of a famous organ she is kidnapped and left to fend for herself on a deserted island. She refuses to stay where she is left and in her efforts to return to civilisation, she become involved in an underground movement.

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book cover, Crystal Line, Anne McCaffrey
The Crystal Line, Anne McCaffrey

The Crystal Line

Killashandra's partner Lars Dahl becomes head of the Heptite Guild and seeks to find better ways to organise the guild. Meanwhile Killashandra is trying to find her own way in the precarious life of danger and memory loss that is the singer's.

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