Somewhere around 1990 or 1991, my friend blackgryphon
began lending me some books. Each week he would give me one of Robert Asprin's MYTH series and Anne McCaffrey's Pern series. The relationship between the dragons and their riders instantly captured my imagination, and I read every one I could get my hands on. It's probably good I only saw him on a weekly basis or I might have devoured the whole series in some unholy orgy of reading over a day or three.
Fast forward to late August or early September (the DB crashed and rolled back two weeks, erasing my first incarnation), 1992. I created a character on a MUSH, which is sort of like an exercise in interactive playwriting. The theme of the game, or the world in which we played, was Pern. In November of 1993, on an unknown date, a friend I met on the game and I began dating, never having met in person. In 1998, callicrates
and I were married.
It is quite possible to say that we never would have met had it not been for PernMUSH, and PernMUSH could not have existed without McCaffrey's stories about dragons. Through the years since then I've met some wonderful people, some of whom have become friends or even partners in crime in real life. Not all of them were from PernMUSH, or even from games themed after Pern; some are friends of those whom I met on those other places. One of those friends whom I met through PernMUSH friends helped me get my last job. Needless to say, Pern and, through Pern, McCaffrey, have had an astounding influence on my adult life.
As with most relationships, it hasn't been without some problems. The term "Anne science" refers to anything which really needs people to suspend disbelief in a major way. Some of her later books outright contradicted earlier ones. Heck, some of her books were internally self-contradictory. She made some comments, especially as she got older, which infuriated many people (tent poles, anyone?). Her handling of Pern-themed MUDs were inconsistent and often heavy-handed. I admit to having been annoyed at her any number of times.
Still, overall, she wrote good stories. The relationships between dragons and their riders have been capturing imaginations since the 1960s. She was pleasant the time I wrote her a starry-eyed email, which she answered personally. And, of course, I have her to thank, even if indirectly, for being married to the most wonderful guy ever. It is with great sadness, then, that I heard today of her passing. I hope she's somewhere hanging out with friendly dragons and enjoying even more adventures. Maybe I'll start considering November 22nd as the anniversary of Andy's and my becoming boyfriend and girlfriend.