Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
McCaffrey, Anne

(1926-2011) US writer, now resident in Eire, whose work, since her first story, "Freedom of the Race" for Science Fiction Plus in 1953, has been sf (> SFE). Her Pern sequence, begun with Dragonflight (1968), utilizes images of fantasy – not just the Dragons but the highly detailed feudal society which has developed on the planet Pern. Many of AM's characters in this and also the Pegasus series, starting with To Ride Pegasus (fixup 1973), and the Rowan books – which start with The Rowan (1990) but draw on "Lady in the Tower" (1959 F&SF) – are telepathic or use psionic powers (> Talents). All these stories, though, are scientifically rationalized. The Killashandra series – Crystal Singer (1974-1975 in Continuum series ed Roger Elwood (1943-2007); fixup 1982 UK), Killashandra (1985) and Crystal Line (1992), assembled as The Crystal Singer Trilogy (omni 1996) – is perhaps the closest AM's sf comes to fantasy: the heroine can use the power of Music and voice over matter. AM employs her extensive musical training in the development of this concept. Despite its title, The Mark of Merlin (1971) is a contemporary murder mystery.

AM has written fantasy for the YA market. The Girl who Heard Dragons (1985 chap) is incorporated into The Girl Who Heard Dragons (coll 1994). An Exchange of Gifts (1995 chap) is about a princess with a Talent for growing things who needs help from a young boy to help her live her own life. Alchemy & Academe (anth 1970) is an anthology of Magic and Alchemy. [MA]

Anne Inez McCaffrey

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This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.