Anne McCaffrey passed away today. I never met her, but Pern and her dragons, and the crystal singers, and the ship who sang are all old friends. They were the much loved stories of my teen years. I can't even began to explain their influence - strong female characters, the music, and the dragons, and the owning up to your talents, and time travel, and the fire lizards, and the secrets hidden in old ballads.
There's a nice obituary here.