Todd McCaffrey

Last updated

Todd McCaffrey
Todd McCaffrey by Gage Skidmore.jpg
McCaffrey at the 2023 WonderCon
BornTodd Johnson
(1956-04-27) April 27, 1956 (age 67)
Montclair, New Jersey, U.S.
Pen nameTodd Johnson
OccupationWriter
NationalityAmerican
Alma mater Lehigh University
Dublin Institute of Technology
Trinity College Dublin
Genre Science fiction
Parents Anne McCaffrey
Horace Wright Johnson

Todd J. McCaffrey (born 27 April 1956 as Todd Johnson) is an American science fiction writer known for continuing the Dragonriders of Pern series in collaboration with his mother Anne McCaffrey.

Contents

Life

Todd Johnson was born 27 April 1956 in Montclair, New Jersey [1] as the second son and middle child of Horace Wright Johnson (died 2009 [2] ), who worked for DuPont, and Anne McCaffrey (deceased 2011 [3] ), who had her second short story published that year. [4] He has two siblings: Alec Anthony, born 1952, and Georgeanne ("Gigi", Georgeanne Kennedy), born 1959. [5]

Except for a six-month DuPont transfer to Düsseldorf, Germany, the family lived most of a decade in Wilmington, Delaware, until a 1965 transfer to New York City when they moved to Sea Cliff, Long Island. All three children were then in school and Anne McCaffrey became a full-time author, primarily writing science fiction. [6] About that time, Todd became the first of the children to read science fiction, the Space Cat series by Ruthven Todd. He attended his first science fiction convention in 1968, Lunacon in New York City. [7]

Soon after the move, Todd was directed to lower his voice as an actor in the fourth-grade school play, with his mother in the auditorium. That was the inspiration for Decision at Doona (1969) which she dedicated "To Todd Johnson—of course!" The story is set on "an overcrowded planet where just talking too loud made you a social outcast". [8]

Anne McCaffrey divorced in 1970 and emigrated to Ireland with her two younger children, soon joined by her mother. [9] During Todd's school years the family moved several times in the vicinity of Dublin and struggled to make ends meet, supported largely by child care payments and meager royalties. [10]

Todd finished secondary education in Ireland and returned to the United States in 1974 for a summer job before matriculation at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. [11] He studied engineering physics and discovered computers but remained only one year. Back in Dublin he earned a Mechanical Engineering degree at the College of Technology (Bolton Street). Later he earned a degree at Trinity College, Dublin. [12]

Before Trinity College, Todd Johnson served in the United States Army from 1978 to 1982, stationed in Stuttgart, Germany, and determining to pursue civilian life. After Trinity he returned to the US hoping to work in the aerospace industry but found employment in computer programming beginning 1986. He earned a pilot's license in 1988 and spent a lot of time flying, including solo trips across North America in 1989 and 1990. Meanwhile, he sold his first writings and contributed "Training and Fighting Dragons" to the 1989 Dragonlover's Guide to Pern , [13] using his military and flight experience. Next year he quit his job to write full-time and in 1992 he attended the Clarion Workshop for new science fiction and fantasy writers. [12]

Writing under the name Todd Johnson until 1997/98 he specialized in military science fiction, contributing one story each to several collective works. [1] [14]

Dragons

As a boy, Todd accompanied his mother to her meetings with writers, editors, publishers, and agents; and had attended conventions from age 12. [15] He was exposed to Pern before its beginning: soon after the move to Long Island when he was nine, his mother asked him what he thought of dragons; she was brainstorming about their "bad press all these years". The result was a "technologically regressed survival planet" whose people were united against a threat from space, in contrast to America divided by the Vietnam War. "The dragons became the biologically renewable air force." [16]

About thirty years later, Todd McCaffrey recalls, [17] [18]

the editor at Del Rey asked me to write a "sort of scrapbook" about Mum partly to prevent Mum from writing her autobiography instead of more Pern books. That was Dragonholder [1999]. The editor had also pitched it to me that someone ought to continue Mum's legacy when she was no longer able. At the time I had misgivings and no story ideas.

Soon after selling his first stories, he had contributed the chapter "Training and Fighting Dragons" to The Dragonlover's Guide to Pern (1989). [13] Mother and son had also discussed Pern and its setting for years, and she had suggested that he "write the military science fiction prequels" to the colonization, but that never progressed far. [19]

Todd McCaffrey's work on Pern started in earnest with Dragon's Kin (2003), co-authored with his mother. His first solo Pern novel Dragonsblood was published in 2005. Both books are set around the beginning of Pern's "Third Pass", about 500 years after human settlement on Pern and 2000 years before the "Ninth Pass" events chronicled in most of Anne McCaffrey's Pern books including the inaugural Dragonflight. Anne and Todd published two sequels to Dragon's Kin, Todd has published two sequels to Dragonsblood, and they co-authored two further sequels to the latter, Dragon's Time in 2011, and Sky Dragons in 2012. [20] [21]

Todd McCaffrey was a Guest of Honor along with his mother at Albacon 2008, the annual sci-fi convention in Albany, New York. [22] [23] He was Literary Guest of Honor at ConDor 2009 in San Diego [12] and at [ citation needed ] AggieCon 2009 in College Station, Texas. Todd attended DragonCon in Atlanta (September), where the 2011 Artist Guest of Honor was Michael Whelan, creator of cover art for some early Pern books including The White Dragon. [24] [25] [26]

In February 2018 Todd was the Literary Guest of Honor and Keynote Speaker at the 36th annual Life, the Universe, & Everything professional science fiction and fantasy arts symposium. [27]

Publications

McCaffrey recalls that he was first paid for writing in 1988: "an animated screenplay I got them ol’ Reptilon Blues Again Mommasaur" and the book Slammers Down! in a "choose your own adventure" series for Ace Books. [5] He published under his given name Todd Johnson until the late 1990s. [1]

Pern

Other

As Todd Johnson [1]

As Todd McCaffrey [1]

Notes

    Related Research Articles

    <i>Dragonflight</i> (novel) 1968 novel by Anne McCaffrey

    Dragonflight is a science fiction novel by the American-Irish author Anne McCaffrey. It is the first book in the Dragonriders of Pern series. First published by Ballantine Books in July 1968, it was a fix-up of two novellas which between them had made McCaffrey the first woman writer to win a Hugo and a Nebula Award.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">Anne McCaffrey</span> Irish science fiction writer (1926–2011)

    Anne Inez McCaffrey was an Irish writer known for the Dragonriders of Pern science fiction series. She was the first woman to win a Hugo Award for fiction and the first to win a Nebula Award. Her 1978 novel The White Dragon became one of the first science-fiction books to appear on the New York Times Best Seller list.

    Dragonriders of Pern is a science fantasy series written primarily by American-Irish author Anne McCaffrey, who initiated it in 1967. Beginning in 2003, her middle child Todd McCaffrey has written Pern novels, both solo and jointly with Anne. The series comprises 24 novels and two collections of short stories. The two novellas included in the first novel, Dragonflight, made McCaffrey the first woman to win a Hugo Award for writing fiction as well as the first to win a Nebula Award.

    <i>Dragonsong</i> 1976 science fantasy novel by Anne McCaffrey

    Dragonsong is a science fantasy novel by the American-Irish author Anne McCaffrey. Released by Atheneum Books in March 1976, it was the third to appear set on the world Pern of the Dragonriders of Pern. In its time, however, Dragonsong brought the fictional planet Pern to a new publisher, editor, and target audience of young adults, and soon became the first book in the Harper Hall of Pern trilogy. The original Dragonriders of Pern trilogy with Ballantine Books was not completed until after the publication of Dragonsong and its sequel.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">Jody Lynn Nye</span> American science fiction writer

    Jody Lynn Nye is an American science fiction writer. She is the author or co-author of approximately forty published novels and more than 100 short stories. She has specialized in science fiction or fantasy action novels and humor. Her humorous series range from contemporary fantasy to military science fiction. About one-third of her novels are collaborations, either as a co-author or as the author of a sequel. She has been an instructor of the Fantasy Writing Workshop at Columbia College Chicago (2007) and she teaches the annual Science Fiction Writing Workshop at DragonCon.

    <i>Dinosaur Planet</i> (novel) 1978 novel by Anne McCaffrey

    Dinosaur Planet is a science fiction novel by the American-Irish author Anne McCaffrey. It was a paperback original published in 1978, by Orbit Books (UK) and then by Del Rey Books (US), the fantasy & science fiction imprints of Futura Publications and Ballantine Books respectively.

    <i>The White Dragon</i> (novel)

    The White Dragon is a science fantasy novel by Irish writer Anne McCaffrey. It completes the original Dragonriders trilogy in the Dragonriders of Pern series, seven years after the second book. It was first published by Del Rey Books in June 1978.

    <i>Dragonquest</i> 1971 novel by Anne McCaffrey

    Dragonquest is a science fantasy novel by the American-Irish author Anne McCaffrey. It is the sequel to Dragonflight, set seven years later and the second book in the Dragonriders of Pern series. Dragonquest was first published by Ballantine Books in May 1971.

    <i>Dragonsinger</i> 1977 novel by Anne McCaffrey

    Dragonsinger is a young adult science fiction novel by the American-Irish author Anne McCaffrey. Published by Atheneum Books in 1977, it was the fourth to appear in the Dragonriders of Pern series written by Anne McCaffrey and her son Todd McCaffrey.

    <i>Dragons Kin</i> 2003 novel by Anne McCaffrey

    Dragon's Kin is a science fiction novel by the American-Irish author Anne McCaffrey and her son Todd McCaffrey. Published by Del Rey Books in 2003, it is the eighteenth book in the Dragonriders of Pern series and the first with Todd as co-author.

    <i>Dragons Fire</i> 2006 novel by Anne McCaffrey

    Dragon's Fire is a science fiction novel by the American-Irish author Anne McCaffrey and her son Todd McCaffrey, Published in 2006, it was the twentieth book in the Dragonriders of Pern series that she initiated in 1967.

    <i>Dragonsblood</i> 2005 novel by Todd McCaffrey

    Dragonsblood is a science fiction novel by Todd McCaffrey in the Dragonriders of Pern series that his mother Anne McCaffrey initiated in 1967. Published in 2005, this was the first with Todd as sole author and the nineteenth in the series.

    <i>The Harper Hall Trilogy</i> Science fiction novel series by Anne McCaffrey

    The Harper Hall trilogy is a series of three science fiction novels by the American-Irish author Anne McCaffrey. They are part of the Dragonriders of Pern series as it is known today, 26 books by Anne or her son Todd McCaffrey or daughter Gigi McCaffrey as of 2018. They were published by Atheneum Books in 1976, 1977, and 1979, alongside the Dragonriders of Pern series. Omnibus editions of the two trilogies were published by the Doubleday Science Fiction Book Club in 1978 and 1984, titled The Dragonriders of Pern and The Harper Hall of Pern respectively.

    <i>Dragon Harper</i> 2007 novel by Anne McCaffrey

    Dragon Harper is a science fiction novel by the American-Irish author Anne McCaffrey and her son Todd McCaffrey, part of the Dragonriders of Pern series that she initiated in 1967. Published forty years later, it was the twenty-first in the series.

    <i>Dragonriders: Chronicles of Pern</i> 2001 video game

    Dragonriders: Chronicles of Pern is an adventure game published by Ubi Soft in 2001.

    <i>Dragonheart</i> (novel) 2008 novel by Todd McCaffrey

    Dragonheart is a mediaeval fantasy fiction novel by Todd McCaffrey in the Dragonriders of Pern series that his mother Anne McCaffrey initiated in 1967. Published by Del Rey Books in 2008, it was the second for Todd as sole author and the twenty-second in the series. Written after his first book, Dragonsblood, it is a concurrent-time book as opposed to a prequel or sequel.

    <i>Dragons Time</i> 2011 novel by Anne McCaffrey

    Dragon's Time is a science fiction novel by the American-Irish author Anne McCaffrey and her son Todd McCaffrey in the Dragonriders of Pern series that she initiated in 1967. Published by Del Rey Books and released June 2011, Dragon's Time is their fourth collaboration in the series and is the sequel to Dragongirl by Todd McCaffrey.

    <i>Dragongirl</i> 2010 novel by Todd McCaffrey

    Dragongirl is a science fiction novel by Todd McCaffrey in the Dragonriders of Pern series that his mother Anne McCaffrey initiated in 1967. Published in 2010, it is the sequel to Dragonheart and third with Todd as sole author.

    This is a list of works by American science fiction and fantasy author Anne McCaffrey, including some cowritten with others or written by close collaborators.

    References

    1. 1 2 3 4 5 Todd McCaffrey– – Summary Bibliography. Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved 2011-07-13.
    2. A Letter From Anne Archived 2 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine (17 December 2009). pernhome.com (c) Todd McCaffrey. Confirmed 2011-07-12.
    3. (2012-11-21. pernhome.com (c) Todd McCaffrey. Confirmed 2011-11-24.
    4. Dragonholder 9, 14, 36.
    5. 1 2 "Anne's Biography" Archived 21 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine . Anne McCaffrey. pernhome.com (c) Todd McCaffrey. Confirmed 2011-07-07.
    6. Dragonholder 10–11, 14, 36–37, 45–46.
    7. Dragonholder 1–2, 58.
    8. Dragonholder 2, 50.
    9. Dragonholder 68–69, 74.
    10. Dragonholder 71–101.
    11. Dragonholder 98.
    12. 1 2 3 2009 Literary Guest of Honor: Todd McCaffrey Archived 1 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine . CONDOR (San Diego convention). Updated 2011-07-13. Reprinted with "20 Questions" and answers by Todd McCaffrey as "Biography: A super short history (by Angel Adams)". Pern Home (official site (c) Todd McCaffrey). Retrieved 2011-07-13. See especially questions 4 and 12–13.
    13. 1 2 3 Jody Lynn Nye with Anne McCaffrey, The Dragonlover's Guide to Pern, Ballantine, 1989, pp54-65.
    14. "Publications" (no date). Todd McCaffrey blog. – McCaffrey's own list posted sometime 2010 or 2011.
    15. Dragonholder 2, 58.
    16. Dragonholder 3, 6.
    17. "Which do you find to be the better route to selling your first novel, approaching publishers yourself or finding an agent?" (24 January 2001). Todd McCaffrey blog. Retrieved 2011-07-13.
    18. In Dragonholder, Todd acknowledges "Shelly Shapiro of Random House/Del Rey" for suggesting that project. Of the motivation, Anne says "for those that can't come here, and to free myself up for the serious task of writing". Dragonholder vii, ix.
    19. "Letter from Nathan" (26 December 2009). Todd McCaffrey blog. Retrieved 2011-07-13.
    20. Anne McCaffrey (17 December 2009). "A Letter From Anne". Archived from the original on 2 May 2010.Todd McCaffrey (8 July 2010). "Dragongirl, Dragon's Time, and Dragonrider".Todd McCaffrey (7 July 2011). "Newsletter". (responses 18 and 20). The title may be Dragon's School, a forthcoming audiobook title listed at Amazon.com) and at BN.com. Retrieved 2011-07-14.
    21. Probably Dragon's Time was once to be the lone sequel to Dragonsblood. Before the release of his second solo Pern book Dragonheart, which is set primarily during Dragonsblood, the Pern Museum learned from the author that "To tell the full story that Todd wants to tell in all its glory he has realized he will need to write not just one very big book but four rather large books." Yet another Les Edwards Pern cover ... (April 2008). The Pern Museum & Archives: News Archive. Retrieved 2011-07-25.
    22. Albacon. Accessed 4 February 2008. – obsolete for 2008 news (13 July 2011).
    23. Anne McCaffrey has to cancel attending AlbaCon! (October 2008). The Pern Museum & Archives: News Archive. Retrieved 2011-07-25.
    24. "Dragoncon 2011" (7 November 2010) and "Dragon*con" (by gorky with Todd McCaffrey reply 2011-07-07). Todd McCaffrey blog. Retrieved 2011-07-13.
    25. McCaffrey, Todd (18 August 2011). Dragon*con Deferred. Anne McCaffrey blog. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
    26. Dragonholder 107.
    27. "Life, the Universe, & Everything 36: The Marion K. "Doc" Smith Symposium on Science Fiction and Fantasy" (PDF). LTUE Press. 1 February 2018.