Off Topic on McCaffrey (Was RE: titles...)

McMullin, Elise mcmullea at
Mon Aug 2 11:00:24 EDT 1999

>Tanaqui wrote:
>"I think it's the Anne McCaffrey/Margaret Ball header that might put off 
>people. "Acorna" should mean "Without a Horn", though, shouldn't it?

I guess it should.  Hopefully they actually used it in this sense but I
suspect pure cutesiness.  It's too cute for words. As a friend of mine
says, "Too cute to live."

>"Anne McCaffrey is soft on horsies and kids and fuzzy warm societies where
>the temperamental genius is advanced and the dregs of society deserve to
be at the bottom, the unambitious talentless scum."

Bullseye!  I liked that first Menolly book (was the first one
Dragonsong?) greatly when I was a kid - because all hands were set
against her and it was a story of survival.  Something about baseline
survival ingenuity makes me hang on every word.  Had the same experience
with Clan of the Cave Bear - riveted by the sections where Ayla teaches
herself sling hunting and lives alone, comes up with various innovations
etc., skipped sections relating to the love story.

Re McCaffrey;  I was seriously distressed, as I read on, that I liked
Menolly less the more she came into her own.  Partly the author starts
to remove herself from Menolly too, so the reader is less intimate with
Menolly's thoughts and perspective.  In the second book I still liked
her and was happy for her, but I began to have doubts about why those
other little girls were *so* bad and why Menolly would have sympathy for
Brekke and not for others - and, I don't know, general questioning of
this nature. I started not liking Menolly in Dragondrums which was
really about her young friend, whose name I've now forgotten.

What Tanaqui says about McCaffrey reminds me particularly of Ayn Rand.
I hate to even mention that name. Oh dreadful.  The only library book I
ever physically abused was a Rand book.  Compelled to repeatedly throw
it across the room.  Would have exiled it to the outer darkness but I
wanted my arguments straight when the friend who recommended it to me
asked me what I thought of it.

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