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SFF Author: Anne McCaffrey

book review Anne McCaffrey Dragonriders of Pern (1926-2011)
Besides her most famous epic, Dragonriders of Pern, Anne McCaffrey has also written other sci/fi fantasy series (several with other authors), anthologies, romances, and stand-alone novels. Todd McCaffrey now writes the Pern books. Here’s Anne McCaffrey’s website. And here’s Todd McCaffrey’s website.



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THE DRAGONRIDERS OF PERN: Read the first six books

THE DRAGONRIDERS OF PERN by Anne McCaffrey

It’s been my longstanding theory on multi-book series (by multi-book I mean ones that go well beyond the standard trilogy) that the books tend to fall into four categories: great ones (usually early on), good ones that don’t match the passion or excitement of the top ones but still sweep you along, adequate ones that serviceably move the grand story along but aren’t particularly original or well-written, and the bad ones that were just spit out because the series’ fans would buy them even if the covers were made of poison ivy leaves.


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Dragon Harper: Can’t recommend it

Dragon Harper by Anne McCaffrey

To be honest, I don’t expect much when I pick up a Pern book anymore. These last few have ranged from middling at best (Dragonsblood) to nearly unreadable (Dragon’s Fire). While the eternal optimist in me keeps me reading the series, the realist in me can’t help but note just how long it’s been since there’s been a good book (I’m not asking for the glory of the great ones).

Sadly,


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Dragongirl: It’s well past time to put Pern to rest

Dragongirl by Todd McCaffrey

The steep fall in the quality of the PERN series can’t be laid solely at the feet of Anne McCaffrey’s son Todd McCaffrey, as Anne’s later books in the series themselves widely varied in quality, ranging from downright bad (a few) to mediocre/adequate (most) to not-great-but-pretty-good (a few). But at least one could kind of justify the existence of most of them, as they wrapped up characters we’d grown to love, or gave us the backstory of how the whole setup began, or kept us in the familiar and beloved setting but gave us new situations.


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Wings of Fire: I thought I didn’t like dragons

Wings of Fire edited by Jonathan Strahan & Marianne S. Jablon

I don’t like dragons.

This is probably not the first sentence you’d expect to find in a review of Wings of Fire, an anthology devoted exclusively to dragon stories, but I thought it best to get it out of the way right from the start.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with dragons. They’re just terribly overused, one of those tired genre mainstays that people who typically don’t read a lot of fantasy will expect in a fantasy novel because they were practically unavoidable for a long time.


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Next SFF Author: Todd McCaffrey
Previous SFF Author: Sean McCabe

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