DUBLIN – Anne McCaffrey, whose vision of an interstellar alliance between humans and dragons spawned two dozen “Dragonriders of Pern” novels, has died in Ireland at age 85, her publisher and family announced Wednesday.
Random House said the Cambridge, Mass.-born author died of a stroke Monday at her rural residence south of Dublin, her home for four decades. She christened her self-designed house Dragonhold.
McCaffrey turned to the male-dominated world of sci-fi writing after dabbling in singing and amateur acting.
She was the first woman to win the top two prizes for science fiction writing, the Hugo and the Nebula, in 1968 and 1969 respectively, following publication of her first two novellas set on the fictional planet of Pern.
McCaffrey moved to Ireland in 1970 after filing for divorce from her husband of 20 years.
Her popularity surged with the 1978 publication of “The White Dragon,” which completed her original trilogy begun in the late 1960s.
It was her only novel to break into the New York Times best-seller list.
But she maintained a prolific writing pace, producing a further 21 novels set in Pern at various periods of its imagined history. Over the past decade as her health faded, she increasingly collaborated with her son Todd.