Anne McCaffrey

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Name: Anne McCaffrey
Also Known As:
Occupation: Writer
Medium: Books
Works: Dragonriders of Pern
Official Website(s):
Fan Website(s):
On Fanlore: Related pages


Anne McCaffrey is the creator of the Dragonriders of Pern, Crystal Singer, Doona, and other fictional worlds.

Fan Fiction Policies

McCaffrey had adopted several positions regarding fan fiction which have softened over time. A good outline regarding her earlier policies can be found at the the Writers University . [1] Among some of these early rules were "no crossovers, no canon characters and no white dragons may appear in fan fiction based on the Dragons of Pern." In addition, fan fiction and fanzines had to be approved by Anne McCaffrey: "The 'zines cannot be published on the Internet on publicly accessible sites. Distributing a limited number of copies of the 'zine to a special group via regular -snail- mail is the norm." (ca 1992). In 2001, Anne McCaffrey's son went after Yahoo Geocities websites in an effort to eliminate fan fiction based on Anne's novels. (Ibid).

She currently has a set of fan fiction rules which state "Fan Fiction, Fan Art, and online RPGs based on any of my literary works will now be permitted so long as they occur on a non-commercial basis."[2] The final rule is "Pornographic sites, based on any of my literary works, are expressly forbidden."[2]

Previously (until 2007[3]) that final rule was phrased "Pornographic or slasher" sites"[4]

Another historical look is posted at : Fan Works Inc. - Help & Tools Index : Anne McCaffrey, Archived version

Anne McCaffrey is the infamous creator of The Tent Peg Statement, a wank so offensive that even the non-fannish know of it.


Gaming Policies

Wes Platt asks: The MUD Connector shows at least 11 online games based on the Pern universe. How does it feel to see your work brought to life by fans this way? Anne McCaffrey answers: Well, it's certainly an indication of how many people would LOVE to be on Pern. Actually, I don't go into the games - at the insistence of my publishers so that they are certain that any new novels will not inadvertently reflect something I saw or heard from another source. As long as folks enjoy the ambience, I'm happy that my books provide the Pern canon by which they play. [5]

Reactions and Reviews

And now here we are, in 2011, after two solid decades of mismanagement of the world she created. Half a dozen companies have owned the rights to make a movie, or a TV show - the most notable failure being Ron Moore, post-DS9 and pre-Battlestar Galactica. As in so many of the great SF book franchises, a son took over the writing of the novels and ran them into the ground. The active parts of Pern fandom are tiny compared to what they once were in large part through the hounding of its fandom to give up the fanfiction and fanart and RPG. Yet the memory of Pern lingers in the media conscience, on the tips of people's tongues. 'Don't Daenerys' baby dragons remind you a little of...' and 'Those soul-bonded pterodactyls in Avatar were almost like...' I've been in Pern fandom almost fifteen years, and I've seen the best and worst of it. Her legal team sent me a C&D for running a Pern RPG when I was thirteen. I'll never forget it - I came home from my Bat Mitzvah in Paris to find the email sitting in my inbox. And I was lucky, because I took down the site right away and they stopped pursuing me. People who had sold Pern art or Pern crafts at cons often weren't so lucky. I've seen fans sell out other fans to her legal team in exchange for positions of 'power' as online enforcers. I've seen people backstab each other for bits of code, or one of the all-special 'permission letters' which would allow you to run an online game. It was an era when that sort of fandom micromanagement wasn't uncommon, but she earned a deserved reputation for it... I've also seen the women who became artists because they started drawing dragons, and the ones who went on to careers in game design and software, the ones who said 'to hell with it' and made their own worlds in their own novels. Perhaps her strangest, most enduring and necessary legacy to fandom is the Organization for Transformative Works. I have no doubt that when naominovak gave the seed money to start the group, the former PernMUSH wizard thought of McCaffrey's campaigns against fandom amongst others. In the end, all of Ramoth's golden daughters flew away and founded Weyrs of their Own. Allowing people to write Pern fanfic and play on Pern RPGs and books aimed for children hasn't brought them back. They win Hugos and Nebulas, they work for Blizzard and Ubisoft and they've all left Pern far behind them.[6]

Further Reading

Her Death

She passed away November 21, 2011.

Anne Inez McCaffrey was the first woman in science fiction/fantasy to win the Hugo and the Nebula Awards in the same year, cementing her place in fannish and feminist history. The works she won them for would eventually be joined together as a novel, Dragonflight - the first book in the beloved Pern series. With the exception of Verity Lambert, McCaffrey is one of the few women who can claim to have created an enduring media fandom - even today there are young children who dream of impressing one of Pern's magnificent dragons and hop online to write their story, just as many young authors began with the magic blue box. For children of a certain age, Pern is a window into a better world, where they are loved. It's this power among others that make it one of SF's enduring series and fandoms. [7]


  1. Writers University Anne McCaffrey - Fan Fiction Rules. Accessed May 15, 2010.
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Worlds of Anne McCaffrey - Fan Fiction Rules. Accessed October 1, 2008.
  3. Internet Archive snapshot of [1] taken December 5, 2006
  4. Accessed October 1, 2008.
  5. from August 2000 OtherSpace Interview
  6. skywaterblue. The Long, Strange Legacy of Anne McCaffrey, posted to Dreamwidth November 22, 2011. (Accessed November 28, 2011)
  7. The Long, Strange Legacy of Anne McCaffrey by skywaterblue, posted November 22, 2011, accessed November 28, 2011
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