Passing the Torch: A tale of two science fiction masters

Giants in the genre

and one has recently passed, died, gone over…and left her mark firmly in the world of science fiction.

Anne McCaffrey. She has an extensive series of novels about her world of Pern, much like my meager beginnings take place on Alysia. Only she has written for ages to resounding success and now her son Todd picks up the mantle.

Dragons. Telepathic dragons. Can it get any better?

Yes it can.

The newest book co-authored with her son is about time traveling dragons who go “in between” in hopes of saving a diminishing dragon population and a world threatened once more by thread.

Time Travel! Yeah! By one of the masters. Who we now mourn.

She has left her mark, however, in the wide world, as well as in the personal world for I know a good long time friend of hers who speaks with tears in her eyes of Anne’s passing. One of the members in my Portland Author’s Luncheon group has known Anne for years and says she was a wonderful person and will be sorely missed. Not only was she a fine writer, but a good friend. A kind heart.

A dragon heart.

The hope continues, however, for Anne’s son, Todd McCaffrey has co-authored the latest book of Pern called Dragon’s Time and it threatens to become  one of the best in the series. I am reading it now and will review it next week for you.

Lucky for us readers, Todd appears to have caught the torch and plans some more books in the Pern world.

Another son who caught the torch is Brian Herbert. I met him at a Willamette Writers Conference several years ago where he and collaborator Kevin Anderson talked about going through copious notes left by Brian’s father, Frank Herbert, the genius who wrote Dune. Dune is a classic.

One of the best.

If you haven’t read it, I strongly recommend it. An average movie was made from it and a better television serial. (worth the hunt at a local library or offered on Amazon) Frank wrote several sequels to the book, but none matched the brilliance of the first. Still, over the last several years, Brian and Kevin have done a fine job penning a vast array of prequels; the most recent being the newly published The Sisterhood of Dune.

Frank Herbert’s Dune series is: Dune, Dune Messiah, Children of Dune, God Emperor of Dune, Heretics of Dune and Chapterhouse Dune. I liked most of them, except God Emperor Dune got a little strange and turned a number of people off the series. That was a shame because Chapterhouse Dune was good.

If you’re restless and looking for a good series, you might look into this collection and the prequels by Kevin and Brian. There are a good number of them and so far, I have enjoyed every one I have read. I was surprised at how well they followed in Frank Herbet’s footsteps.

They were big shoes to fill.

Frank Herbert also wrote a number of other books too numerous to mention, but many got good reviews. Wander around Amazon to see some of his lesser known works. I wonder why one book goes on to be the largest seller worldwide of all books and others, seemingly well written, fall by the wayside.

Writing is a crazy world.

One that I’m in.

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Filed under alien life forms, award winning scifi, Classic science fiction, dragons, fantasy, Hugo winners, science fiction, science fiction series, Science fiction world building, time travel

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