The Girl Who Heard DragonsAnne McCaffrey
science fiction, mainstream, short stories
Spanning a variety of eras, settings and genres (SF to mainstream), this new collection of 15 tales by the prolific McCaffrey is a satisfying exhibition of her storytelling ability. In the haunting "Velvet Fields," colonists on a new world must make a terrible decision when the planet turns out not to be as uninhabited as it appears. The title story, the only tale set on Pern, recounts some of the circumstances leading up to Renegades of Pern, focusing on the plight of the masterless and homeless in times of peril.
In "Zulei, Grace, Nimshi, and the Damnyankees," an Arab woman sold into slavery protects a plantation and its horses during the Civil War and its aftermath. A random group of people from different eras caught in a time storm are dominated by an old woman who can predict the time changes in "A Flock of Geese." The contemporary "Euterpe on a Fling" explores the relationship between a singer and an audience in producing a performance.
Few horsemen have been left on the Earth depicted in "The Quiet One," where large animals have had to make way for an expanding human population. McCaffrey (Lyon's Pride) niceley demonstrates her range and world-building skills in this eminently readable assembly.
Anne Inez McCaffrey (1926-2011) was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. She was married and had three children. She lived in Dragonhold-Underhill in Wicklow County, Ireland.
McCaffrey studied Slavonic Languages and Literature in Radcliffe College and made career in music theatre before starting to write.
She is best known for her Pern-series. Her son Todd is also writing for the series, so more adventures are coming.
The Worlds of Anne McCaffrey.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons. Photographer: Anna Creech.