At the start of the week the writer Anne McCaffrey died. If you don't know who she was then check this article to give you a quick overview of the impact she had, or better still go and read some of her books.
For me it is a bit of a strange feeling really. She was one of the 'greats' of the earlier days of science-fiction writing and certainly one of the most influential authors on my life. However, unlike other favourites of mine from the period she begun writing in (such as Asimov or Heinlein) she was actually still alive and producing fresh and interesting stories as I was in the process of discovering them. I could not only play catch up as I had with the other writers but could also get excited about the next new novel coming out in an already familiar series of books or even an entirely new set.
There are still some of her books I have still to read but knowing there will be no more feels... odd. Her most famous series of novels (the Dragonriders of Pern series) will be ably continued by her son (who has already proven his worth in recent years), but it will undoubtedly be different now.
Her novels are always exciting to come back to and read again. They are full of engaging ideas, characters and situations. And they are so full of both life and real emotion that they will always surprise, always captivate.
I regret that I never met her in person, to thank her for the good influence she has had on me, to chat with her about her ideas and to encounter her clever sense of humour in person, but it will always be there in her books. I will inevitably read them again many times in my life and that is perhaps the best way to thank her for them.
I am a physicist currently working in biomedical research.
Firstly though and (hopefully) before all else I am a follower of Christ (commonly called a Christian).
I like fudge, roasts, good company, spiders and something else.
Warring, transforming robots are quite good fun too.