Month: March 2014

Letter from Autumn Koukal

Letter from Autumn Koukal

Dear Mr. McCaffrey,

I have been a fan of you and your mother’s Dragonriders of Pern series for over 30 years, and have read them over and over and, well, you get the picture.

I am so sorry about your loss, and regret never contacting your Mother. I figured she’d heard all the accolades before and I didn’t feel the need to add to her work load by reading mine.

I realize that it may seem like a huge conceit to say that I could ‘write Pern’ as you do and your Mother did, but I would like the opportunity to send you a chapter and see what you think.

It takes place from 28 AL to 58 AL and centers mostly on Torene and Mihall and the dynasty they began. The challenges they face as more and more technology fails them. Plus, I noticed that although Pern has plenty of blizzards and snowstorms, not much is said about lightning. It will play a part in the angst of one of my chapters.

It would most definitely be “Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern” titled over the top, with “Benden: The First Thirty Years” and my byline, if that is acceptable to you. If you enjoy it as much as I think you will, I’d love a foreword from you.

Thank you for your time and consideration and please let me know when you would like to receive the chapter.


Autumn Koukal

Dear Ms. Koukal,

My mother’s Will was very specific in this regard, she singled out only two people whom she wanted to write on Pern after her death: myself and my sister, Georgeanne. 

I am sorry that you did not read my FAQ or search through my other posts or you would have known earlier that neither myself, my sister, nor the Estate are at all interested in reading derivate works on Pern –  among other things, there’s too much chance of a collateral lawsuit. 

Todd McCaffrey

modo + MeshFusion

modo + MeshFusion

This is the coollest!

For years, I’ve been talking about how modo will replace Maya as the premiere 3D modelling solution.

I learned about modo when it was recommended by the folks at DAZ who create many of the best Poser models way back when modo was only version 103.

Now it’s up to version 701, can do full-on animation, brilliant rendering and will only get better.

Recently, Luxology, the makers of modo, merged with The Foundry, the makers of practically everything used in making CGI films.

And they’ve gotten even better.

But just recently, they announced the MeshFusion plug-in — which they’d demo’d to us at the Los Angeles Modo User’s Group (LAMUG) some months before — and MeshFusion has totally changed the game.

MeshFusion allows you to create whole new shapes by simply combining (or subtracting) simple generic shapes.

Just today in my inbox I discovered a really cool free trial offer which allows people to get modo AND MeshFusion for 15 days FREE. Not only that but if you decide to buy, you’ll get 25% off the list price off the modo 701 Individual License if you buy it and MeshFusion together.

So, if you’re into 3D modelling, or just interested in trying something new, you should follow this link.

And enjoy!

P.S.: Another cool thing about modo is that they not only support PC, Max, and Linux but they also allow you to install it only any number of computers — you can only run it actively on one machine at a time — which is a whole lot better than most other software (where, at best, you can install it on two machines). You can also use the other machines for network rendering. If you’re an artist interested in 3D, you owe it to yourself to give it a try!

P.P.S.: Who’s using modo now? Check out Wes Ball’s to get an idea. He did this on a credit card budget and now he’s directing The Maze Runner because his video was watched by Steven Spielberg.

P.P.S.S.: My own little Evil Genius Pills – Take 2 was the inspiration for my short story, Robin Redbreast (published in When the Villain Comes Home).

Letter from Robbie

Letter from Robbie


I read my first Pern novel at the age of ten. Dragonsong inspired a love of literature (especially science fiction) which has completely changed my life. I never got the chance to thank your mother for the wonderful books that she wrote, but I do have the opportunity to thank you. Your books are just as good as you’re mother’s and I’ve read them all. I am now writing as much as I can and have even one a couple of regional competitions.



I’m glad you loved Mum’s books and thrilled that you like my books, too!

If you’re still in high school or earlier, you might want to check out the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. If you’re older, then don’t forget L. Ron Hubbard presents Writers & Illustrators of the Future. Even if you don’t submit there, just challenging yourself to finish a story once a quarter will help your writing immensely!



A Funny Thing Happened at Mysticon

A Funny Thing Happened at Mysticon

Well, many funny things happened at Mysticon but the best, for me personally, was when I discovered that I had a story published when I didn’t know about it!

Davey Beauchamp had asked me to write a story for a Writers for Relief volume to help the survivors of the Japanese earthquake.  I promptly wrote him The One Tree of Luna but the anthology never appeared (this because of forces out of his control).  Finally, I told him that I was taking the story back as I wanted to get it into print somewhere which became the collection now known as The One Tree of Luna (And Other Stories).

Later he contacted me about a Writers for Relief for the Oklahoma disaster and I allowed as how I had no new story but he could use Luna if he wished.  Hearing nothing more, I got the impression that this idea, too, had died for reasons beyond his control.

So it was quite a shock to learn that Writers for Relief Vol. 3 had been released with my story in it.  I gave Davey no small amount of (good-natured) grief but, in case you don’t know Davey, no one can stay mad at this guy for long. Davey Beauchamp is one of the many hidden treasures of the sf&f community.  He’s a regular at Dragon*con and various parts of Virginia and a librarian, too!