Originally written in 1999, Dragonholder is the story of Anne McCaffrey's life, as written by her son Todd McCaffrey - starting with her grandparents and ending when she purchased Dragonhold in 1988. Originally published in hardcover and paperback, Open Road Media is now re-releasing this memoir of one of the most important Science Fiction authors in kindle format with a scheduled publication date of December 23, 2014.
As the years have passed, a forward was added to the book in 2011, and an introduction added in 2014, both written by Todd McCaffrey. The story still ends in 1988, however, which does make me somewhat sad. Yes, Todd fills in some of the gaps with a very brief synopsis of some of Anne's successes between 1988 and her death in 2011, but a few pages cannot tale the true story of 23 years of a brilliant woman and her impact on the Science-Fiction/Fantasy community.
Even though I would have liked to have seen an epilogue or something added to fill in some of the gaps, I will admit that this "scrapbook of memories" is well written and fun to read. Todd does a great job at telling the history of the family and also his own childhood, while still keeping everything centered on who Anne is and what she accomplished. The human element is strong throughout the entire memoir - not only are you interested in how she came to publish the books she did, and her thought processes, but you're genuinely interested in her as a person. Reading the book, I cheered when she won the Hugo Award in 1968 for best novella, and I laughed when she ran into the quandary of maybe having to award herself a Nebula Award in 1969... and the "solution" to this made me laugh even more. Reading about her move to Ireland and her struggles to support herself with her writing is a wonderful reassurance that perhaps dreams do come true.
Dragonsong was one of the first Science Fiction books that I can remember reading, and because of that Anne McCaffrey will always have a special place in my heart. Dragonholder gives us a chance to glance inside of her world, and in a lot of ways that makes my memories even more special, knowing how she came to write the books that so many people love.
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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