It's very difficult, in my opinion, to be a successful sci-fi writer. Sci-fi is a difficult genre to master, and Anne McCaffery did it--AND did it in a way that was enormously successful. What was also unique about her is that she was writing in the genre during a time when sci-fi was mostly dominated by the boy's club. One of the things that one sees a lot in sci-fi, unfortunately, is a lack of believable and realistic female characters you like to root for, or in roles in which women are typically wives, mothers, and the emphasis on their importance in the story has only to do with their reproductive qualities. Sadly, this trend still exists today. But Ms.McCaffery was one of the first, if not THE first woman sci-fi writer to break that stereotype. Yes, women can be leaders, as shocking as that can be.
And like many other readers and writers, I too discovered Anne McCaffery while in middle school. I will never forget one book in particular that helped to take me through some rough times, one I checked out from the library over and over again. So this is my small thank you for taking me to a cave by the ocean with a half dozen mini dragons, for writing this story, and many others, and for making dragons into companions.