A Letter From Anne

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Dec 172009

Dear All,

I think we can all say that 2009 was a tough year all around. Many notable and much-loved people have left us forever, including Charles N. Brown, the marvelous founder of Locus Magazine, David Eddings, Barbara Bova, and many more. In October my ex-husband, Horace Wright Johnson, succumbed to cancer. Although we’ve been divorced for nearly forty years, the news still came as a sad shock. Fortunately, both my boys, Alec and Todd, were able to be with him shortly before he passed away, as was my granddaughter, Ceara, who met him for the first and last time.

It was also tough year economically for all. Writers are not immune but, through good fortune (and the loyalty of my fans!), we’ve pulled through.

It’s been a tough year for me, too. I particularly disliked having to cancel my plan to travel to the Writers of the Future Awards in August but my hips and knees were causing me too much discomfort. Things, as they often do, got worse and in November I went into hospital because my hip had locked up twice in the space of a week.

The doctors had me, at first, in a huge brace to keep the hip from dislocating but it was unbearable and they decided, with some concern about my age, to operate and rebuild the hip. That operation went well but there were complications (at my tender age of eighty-three, there often are) which they dealt with quickly and then, with my blessing, they replaced my old bum knee, too! And so now I’m not only bionic Annie but re-bionic Annie! I’m still in physiotherapy and it will be a while before I get all the parts moving in the right direction again but there’s a chance, when the dust all settles, that I’ll be fully ambulatory — although I might need a walker for a bit. So.. knock on wood, I’m still a going concern!

As for writing this year, sadly, that takes energy and I just don’t have as much of it as I’d like. However, I’d been reading Todd’s latest — Dragongirl — and I really liked what he was doing with it. So I suggested that perhaps we collaborate on the sequel, Dragonrider. I didn’t have to push too hard nor did he find me a great imposition as my role was mainly one of making suggestions or being a sounding board but even that much was a lot of fun and, I might humbly say, I think the result was well worth the effort. So much so that we moved on to the sequel to *that* — Dragon’s Time — as well and Todd tells me he’ll have the second draft of that to me shortly. And, of course, Annie Scarborough and I have been continuing work together — “Catalyst: A Tale of Barque Cats” will come out from Del Rey in hardcover just at the beginning of the new year. So, while I would dearly love to have the energy to tell a tale all on my own, I really cannot say that I am not ably represented with my collaborations. I grew up in the Great Depression, and I know that for some the hardships of these times seem far worse but I assure you that it will all pass. Hang on, there’s lots worth waiting for!

Ciao, Annie

 Posted by at 1:52 pm

Free Changelings eBook at Suvudu

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Sep 232009

If you’ve been looking for digital versions of Anne’s books, you’ll be pleased to know that Random House / Del Rey have added The Changelings: Book One of the Twins of Petaybee to their Suvudu Free Library program. It’s currently available as a free download for PDF, Sony Reader, Amazon Kindle, or BN eBook editions. It’s also available on Scribd, right here. These may only be free for a limited time, so stop by and get your copy while you can!

 Posted by at 7:13 pm

Exciting News from March

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Mar 102009

I have some marvelous news that I’m just busting to tell folks! My son Todd’s daughter, Ceara (ERGO one of my granddaughters), won a Scholastic Golden Key for the story she submitted to a Christmas competition. She used my computer to do the final draft. I did read it, but as I have no idea of the criteria by which it was judged I couldn’t say more than that it was well done!

That’s three generations of my family that have made it as writers. I’m sure Ceara Rose will go on with writing. Certainly she reads almost as much as I do. But I couldn’t be prouder of her at 14. I think I tried to win one of those Scholastic contests but she has had a firmer foundation, and has a splendid verbal base. It has certainly been marvelous that Todd does so well in S-f but for his daughter to start challenging us is even more marvelous!

Ciao, Annie

 Posted by at 9:11 pm

Many Happy Returns

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Jan 022009

I’ve had a marvelous Christmas, with both Alec and Todd here at the celebratory weekend. They each brought a daughter a-piece… So it’s been quite a reunion, since Gigi and my grandson, Owen, already live here in Ireland, not far from me. Many Happy Returns for me.

I’ve had many Christmas cards from fans so let me take this opportunity to thank all of you for your good wishes and to wish the same to you. This is the Chinese year of the Ox… I don’t think they get on all that well with sleepy Fire Tigers like me but I’ll respect them if they charge by me.

I would also like to take this occasion to recommend Robin McKinley’s latest book, titled Chalice… It is an amazing story as well as a beautiful one. All of her books are certainly fine but this one is unusually so.

All the best for 2009… Which we all of us need.

Ciao, Anne McCaffrey, Grand Master 2005!

 Posted by at 12:56 pm

Sunset’s Gold from Opland & Freeman

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Dec 242008

Anne McCaffrey, Tania Opland and Mike Freeman are delighted to announce the CD release of their second collaboration! The long awaited “Sunset’s Gold” features music from the writings of Menolly and is a fitting partner to the hugely popular “The Masterharper of Pern” CD and songbook.

The CD will be available for delivery around January 9 2009 and advance orders are already stacking up. For more information or to pre order your copy, please visit Tania and Mike’s online ordering page.

 Posted by at 11:35 am

Cards from Albacon

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Nov 062008

I have received two of the largest GET WELL cards I’ve ever seen, signed by what seems like all the attendees of Albacon… which was very thoughtful of both the guests and the convention.

I shall remark, in passing on such thanks, that Ireland, at least my part, is being gradually covered by some of the biggest snow-flakes I ever remember seeing – which means it won’t be a long snow but it is even beginning to stay on the grass without melting away. Some of it might just stay… which would be fun after so much rain. But you’d know what that would mean even in America, timid drivers doing all the wrong things and causing havoc and accidents on the road. I shall stay safely in my house, attend to my mail and peruse the 1st delivery of books Amazon.con sent me. And I have had Todd’s latest to bemuse me as well… Dragonheart.

The snow is now covering the rambler roses on the arcade outside my office window and falling with implacable insistence on remaining for a while. I was browsing through the LL Bean catalog and it offered snow paddles of plastic which would have been fun to try using right now. But then, it’s fun to watch without getting frozen toes and fingers, parched lips and wet clothing. I hate standing about in wet, cold clothing.

I can only hope that some of the lovely and considerate persons who signed my get well cards will have a snow they can use. Here comes my black cat, Maggie, and she is suitably showing off her snow coat while trying to lick off the flakes, which are still cold and make her shake her head with irritation. I told her she couldn’t catch snowflakes but she’s been trying.

All the best to you and thank you for passing on such inspiring notes of people who did notice the cat.



 Posted by at 7:21 pm

Signed First Editions

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Oct 262008

Wysiwyg Books has overhauled its website, and there are quite a few of Anne’s signed first editions available. You can find them here.

Bryan from Wysiwyg let us know that the signed books are in the best possible condition, and all signed or bookplated books are shipped domestically, in a sturdy box, and packed so that they get to their destination in the condition they started out in. International orders are sent in a Global Priority Flat Rate envelope with as much packaging material as will fit inside, and books can be gift-wrapped and sent Express if so desired.

The titles he listed specifically are: All the Weyrs of Pern, First Fall, Pegasus in Flight, Renegades of Pern, Dragonsdawn, Damia, Crystal Line. All are published between 1988 and 1993. He also has reading copies of those seven titles — that is, books in less than perfect condition but still just fine for reading purposes. He mentioned that their store on eBay has a lot of second hand paperbacks to make it easy for fans to do some one-stop shopping for Anne’s work. It’s getting harder to find the good old stuff!

We hope you’ll check them out and find something you like!

 Posted by at 11:29 pm

Albacon Apologies

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Oct 082008

As bad luck will have it, I am not going to be able to make it to Albacon. I had what was deemed a minor heart attack, and as my blood pressure sort of went berserk (although it’s better now) I shan’t be able to get to Albany and Jan’s convention… much as I was determined to.

I am very sorry. I talked it over with Todd, who is still attending, and he agreed with the forbearance. Todd will have made the appropriate phone calls to explain why I missed yesterday’s flight. I know a lot of people will be very disappointed… as I am… but at 82, as the doctor said with my family history of everyone conking off with heart problems, I cannot take unnecessary risks. I like to keep my word, when I give it, but common sense prevails.


 Posted by at 8:51 am

Springfarm Phenomena

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May 282008

Roland wrote:

Hello Anne,

Some years ago when I was in Ireland we had a long phone conversation about “Springfarm”, where I grew up, and the location for your book “The Lady”. A cousin of mine, who also grew up on the property, and our grandfather, apparently had a paranormal experience there in the 1920s. It involved the sighting of a coach and horses drawing up by the house. I wonder if, during the course of your researches, whether you encountered any reference to such a phenomenon?

Hope all goes well at “Dragonhold”!

Anne’s response:

To reply about Springfarm,

When I was trying to buy and got overbid past what I could financially handle, I never heard anything about phantom, or real, coaches. I did know that another house nearby had a real spook, a former owner, a clergyman who had suicided and in the bedroom could be seen and heard by his relative. The kids living in the house often heard him and would never go upstairs alone after dark.

When I settled up the Kilquade road into the 1st Dragonhold, I did have an experience, not with a ghost exactly, but on a clear night we would hear the odd tones of men speaking quietly around a fire and the stamp of their bridled horses tied up in picket. It sort of amused me, but Todd kept a baseball bat handy. Then one clear night in October, we heard a lot more movement and Todd went out the front door and my Jan (who is Lessa) went out the back, both having heard the same noises and deciding to check. They met halfway behind the house near the stables and they could still hear the noise. Todd decided that what we heard was Cromwell’s soldiers bivouacked below Altador, still in their seige. And sometime later the noises stopped entirely, so the enemies had left… again.

The current Dragonhold was built on so-far calm grounds but I never heard more from the Springfarm folk. So banshees, at any rate!

Anne McCaffrey

 Posted by at 2:31 pm

Birthday Tidings

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Apr 062008

I had a great birthday party, not a large one, only those known as my usual suspects! But it was very nice, a buffet with some new recipes. Gigi made me an angel food cake which was just as I wanted. Although I did wear down early, it was fun while I lasted and Todd, who was my April Fool’s surprise, arrived on the first plane into Dublin from sunny California. He brought sun with him and it’s still with us.

I will be attending Dragon*Con come hell, high water or hurricane (soap your mouth out, McCaffrey) and Lea Day will be my minder. It’s always nice to have a Day around.

Ciao now,

 Posted by at 4:40 pm