Anne Inez McCaffrey






(Affectionately termed by her fans as The Dragonlady)




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          Born on 1 April, 1926 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the “Dragonlady” was the daughter of George H. McCaffrey (a city administrator and U.S. Army Colonel) and Anne-Dorothy McElroy-McCaffrey (a real-estate agent).  In 1950 she married H. Wright Johnson in 1950, and has had two sons Alec Anthony and Todd, and a daughter, Georgeanne.  They divorced in 1970.  She is Presbyterian, and currently lives in Dragonhold-Underhill, Timmore Lane, Newcastle, County Wicklow, Ireland.


          Her education consisted of Stuart Hall Secondary School, Radcliffe College, Harvard University (BA cum laude 1947).  She did a graduate study in meteorology in the University of the City of Dublin, and also studied voice for nine years, directing operas and operettas.  From 1948-1950, McCaffrey worked as an advertising copywriter and layout artist in Liberty Music Shops, NYC, and then from 1950-52 was a copywriter then Secretary to Sales Manager, Helena Rubinstein.


          McCaffrey is a member of the Science Fiction Writers of America (and was secretary-treasurer, 1968-70), Mystery Writers of America, Authors Guild, Novelists’ Ink, and PEN (Ireland).


          She has earned many awards, including: Hugo Award for best novella, World Science Fiction Society, 1968, for “Weyr Search”; Nebula Award for best novella, Science Fiction Writers of America, 1968, for “Dragonrider”; E. E. Smith Award for fantasy, 1975; American Library Association notable book citations, 1976, for Dragonsong, and 1997, for Dragonsinger; Horn Book Fanfare Citation, 1977, for Dragonsong; Ditmar Award (Australia), Gandalf Award, and Eurocon/Streso Award, all 1979, all for The White Dragon; Balrog citation, 1980, for Dragondrums; Golden Pen Award, 1981; Science Fiction Book Club Awards, 1986, for Killashandra, 1989, for Dragonsdawn, 1990 for The Renegades of Pern (first place) and The Rowan (third place), 1991, for All the Weyrs of Pern, 1993, for Damia’s Children, and 1994, for The Dolphins of Pern; John W. Campbell Memorial Award nomination, 1989, for Dragonsdawn; Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Literature for Young Adults, American Library Association’s Young Adult Library Services School Library Journal, 1999; British Science Fiction Association, Cthulu Award, 2000.


          Her works—listed down below—are mostly series in the Sci-Fi and Fantasy genre, but she has written Romances as well.  Her most notable contribution to the field of Sci-Fi and Fantasy writing has been to make emotion and love respectable subjects in the genre.  Her most well-known series, Dragonriders of Pern, almost create a new genre of “Science Fantasy” in that telepathic beasts resembling Earth’s mythical dragons are genetically created from indigenous alien life to aid humans in the fight against hostile alien spores from a passing rogue planet.  She has also written about a unicorn-like alien named Acorna, telepaths in the Rowan and Pegasus series, alien and human co-habitation in the Doona series, cyborg and human space travel in the Ship Who Sang series, musical crystal miners in the Crystal singer series, and more.  Her writings have been published and translated into numerous foreign languages and Braille.


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This was written for Professor Tina Hanlon‘s spring ’04 Professional Writing course.


This article’s author, Kate Bolfing, is a senior Art Major and English Minor at Ferrum College in Virginia.   She has been a fan of the Dragonlady since the middle school discovery of the Harper Hall trilogy, a member of various fan groups, PBEM’s, and more.  She would be happy to try and answer any questions or respond to any comments you might care to E-MAIL her.



Sources (All accessed from Stanley Library, Ferrum, VA)


Who's Who 152 Annual Ed. 2000 A&C Black (Publishers) LTD  St. Martin's Press, New York, NY.  2000


McCaffrey, Anne.  Welcome to the Worlds of Anne McCaffrey. 1999, 2000, 2001.  <> February 2004.


Clouse, James “Anne McCaffrey Biography” Anne McCaffrey’s Pern.  1997.  <> February 2004.


DCI, Inc. “Dragon*Con Biography: [Anne McCaffrey]”  Dragon*Con:  America’s SF and Popular Arts Convention [Welcome]. 2003.  <> February 2004.


Johnson, Alec, ed.  “Anne (Inez) McCaffrey” Gale Literary Database.  2003.  <>February 2004.


Images thanks to Gallery of Anne McCaffrey’s Book Covers, The New England Science Fiction Association, Inc., and the Official Home Page for Janis Ian, respectively.




Anne McCaffrey’s (many!) writings.

For further info, you can look on most book-buying or fan websites for a short synopsis and/or purchasing information.



·         Restoree

·         (Editor) Alchemy and Academe

·         Get off the Unicorn

·         The Worlds of Anne McCaffrey

·         The Coelura

·         Stitch in Snow

·         Three Women

·         (With Elizabeth A. Scarborough) Powers That Be

·         (With Elizabeth A. Scarborough) Power Lines

·         (With Elizabeth A. Scarborough) Power Play

·         An Exchange of Gifts, illustrated by Pat Morrissey

·         No One Noticed the Cat

·         (Editor with Elizabeth A. Scarborough) Space Opera

·         If Wishes Were Horses

·         Nimisha's Ship

·         (With Joe Haldeman & Arthur C. Clarke) The Best Military Science Fiction of the 20th Century

·         A Gift of Dragons, illustrated by Tom Kidd


·         (With Todd McCaffrey) Dragon's Kin

·         Dragonflight

·         Dragonquest: Being the Further Adventures of the Dragonriders of Pern

·         A Time When, Being a Tale of Young Lord Jaxom, His White Dragon, Ruth, and Various Fire-Lizards

·         The White Dragon

·         The Dragonriders of Pern (contains Dragonflight, Dragonquest, and The White Dragon),

·         Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern

·         The Girl Who Heard Dragons, illustrated by Michael Whelan

·         Nerilka's Story

·         Dragonsdawn, illustrated by Michael Whelan

·         The Renegades of Pern

·         All the Weyrs of Pern

·         The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall

·         The Dolphins' Bell: A Tale of Pern

·         The Dolphins of Pern

·         Dragonseye

·         The Masterharper of Pern

·         The Skies of Pern

·         On Dragonwings (omnibus containing Dragonsdawn, Dragonseye, and Moreta)


·         Dragonsong

·         Dragonsinger

·         Dragondrums

·         The Harper Hall of Pern (contains Dragonsong, Dragonsinger, and Dragondrums)


·         Decision at Doona

·         (With Jody Lynn Nye) Crisis on Doona

·         (With Jody Lynn Nye) Treaty at Doona


·         (With Mercedes Lackey & Margaret Ball) Brain Ships, edited by James Baen

·         (With Jody Lynn Nye) The Ship Who Saved the Worlds

·         The Ship Who Sang

·         (With Mercedes Lackey) The Ship Who Searched

·         (With Margaret Ball) PartnerShip

·         (With S. M. Stirling) The City Who Fought

·         (With Jody Lynn Nye) The Ship Who Won

·         (With S. M. Stirling) The Ship Avenged


·         Dinosaur Planet

·         The Dinosaur Planet Survivors

·         The Ireta Adventure (contains Dinosaur Planet and The Dinosaur Planet Survivors)

·         The Mystery of Ireta: Dinosaur Planet & Dinosaur Planet Survivors


·         Crystal Singer

·         Killashandra

·         Crystal Line

·         Crystal Singer Trilogy (contains Crystal Singer, Killashandra, and Crystal Line)


·         (With Elizabeth Moon) Sassinak

·         (With Jody Lynn Nye) The Death of Sleep

·         Generation Warriors

·         (With Elizabeth Moon & Jody Lynn Nye) The Planet Pirates


·         The Rowan

·         Damia

·         Damia's Children

·         Lyon's Pride

·         The Tower and The Hive


·         Freedom's Landing

·         Freedom's Choice

·         Freedom's Challenge

·         Freedom's Ransom


·         To Ride Pegasus

·         Pegasus in Flight

·         Pegasus in Space


·         (With Margaret Ball) Acorna: The Unicorn Girl

·         (With Margaret Ball) Acorna's Quest

·         (With Elizabeth A. Scarborough) Acorna's People

·         (With Elizabeth A. Scarborough) Acorna's World

·         (With Elizabeth A. Scarborough) Acorna's Search

·         (With Elizabeth A. Scarborough) Acorna's Rebels

·         (With Elizabeth A. Scarborough) Acorna's Triumph


·         The Mark of Merlin

·         The Ring of Fear

·         (Editor) Cooking out of This World

·         The Kilternan Legacy

·         Habit Is an Old Horse

·         The Year of the Lucy

·         The Lady (published as The Carradyne Touch in London

·         (Author of text and introduction) Robin Wood, The People of Pern

·         (With Jody Lynn Nye) The Dragonlover's Guide to Pern, illustrated by Todd Cameron Hamilton

·         Three Gothic Novels: The Ring of Fear, The Mark of Merlin, The Kilternan Legacy

·         Dragonflight Graphic Novel

·         Black Horses for the King

·         (Editor with John Betancourt) Serve It Forth: Cooking with Anne McCaffrey

·         Dragon

·         (With Richard Woods) A Diversity of Dragons, illustrated by John Howe


          Contributor to anthologies, including Infinity One, 1970, Future Love, 1977, and Camelot: A Collection of Original Arthurian Tales, 1995. Contributor to magazines, including Analog Science Fiction-Science Fact, Galaxy, and Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

          Collections of McCaffrey's manuscripts are housed at Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, and in the Kerlan Collection, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

Works in Progress: An autobiography.

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