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Monday, April 3, 2023

'Making you want to go there'


"That's what writing is all about, after all, making others see what you have put down on the page and believing that it does, or could, exist and you want to go there." – Anne McCaffrey

Born on April Fool's Day in 1926, McCaffrey was an actress and singer for 15 years before she started writing.  Her first short story was published in the late 1950s and her first novel in 1967 after her three children were off to school each day and she made more time for her writing.    
That first novel, Restoree, was written as a protest against what she termed “absurd and unrealistic portrayals of women in science fiction novels in the 1950s and early 1960s.”  That opened the gates to a spectacular writing career, particularly with her series' The Ship Who Sang and the Dragonriders of Pern.   Her 1978 novel The White Dragon became one of the first Sci-Fi books to be listed on the New York Times Bestseller list.


The first woman to win Hugo and Nebula awards for fiction and science fiction, she also was honored by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America as a “Grand Master” and was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.
 McCaffrey used emotion as a writing tool, something she developed during her years on the stage.  Known for her vivid scenes and settings, she also never hesitated to put problematic elements into her work.  “(My worlds) contain scary things; problems, but also a sense of rightness that makes them alive and makes us want to live there,” she said.

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