Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dragonholder: The life and times (so far) of Anne McCaffrey

Dragonholder was written by Anne McCaffrey’s son, Todd. It is an attractive illustrated book of mainly family anecdotes providing a basic though uncritical biography of a very successful science fiction writer. Any fan of McCaffrey’s work will enjoy the insight into her life and work, and this book is clearly intended for the fans. It also gives a few anecdotes involving other well known SF authors, particularly McCaffrey’s friendship with Isaac Asimov, (after whom the McCaffrey family named a cat).

I have a few Anne McCaffrey books. I’ve had them for many years, but the only one I’ve read is Dragonflight, the first of her Pern novels. My first reading of the book must have been some time in the 1980s, and then I read it again in the early 90s as part of a university course. Now, 20 years later I don’t recall much of the story, but I do remember I enjoyed it. About the only detail I recall is the unexpected twist upon which the whole book turns, so maybe any future reading wouldn’t have the same impact as previous readings.
Several years ago my wife gave me a special limited, autographed and numbered edition copy of Dragonflight, which is one of my most prized literary possessions

I wanted to read more of the Pern series, but I wanted to read them in order and I never found the second book. Clearly, these days it wouldn’t be so hard to track a copy via the internet, but to some extent, over time, my motivation has diminished. Maybe if I ever find it in a second hand book store my interest will be renewed.

Todd McCaffrey has since joined Anne as co-author of additional books in the Pern series, and more recently has taken over sole authorship of some titles.

An audio interview with Anne and Todd McCaffrey can be found here:


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