Anne McCaffrey died on Monday after suffering a massive stroke. She was the grand old lady of science fiction and the first woman to win the Hugo and Nebula awards (she won both in 1968 for Dragonflight), and her novel The White Dragon was one of the first SF novels to make it onto the New York Times Best Seller List.
To be honest, I don’t think her novels really stand the test of time – ripping yarns, but the language doesn’t sparkle and at times her characterization verges on the stereotypical. But she was one of the first SF writers I ever read and enjoyed. She was also a nice person (I had the privilege of meeting her twice: once at a kaffeeklatsch at the Glasgow Worldcon in 1995 and later at a science fiction evening at Heffer’s in Cambridge).