Going on with my theme of sharing some of my favorite authors, let me introduce you to another author who inspired me: Anne McCaffrey.
Anne McCaffrey was a very prolific writer. Her career spanned 46 years and more books than I can safely count. Her most well known books are her books about the planet Pern. She wrote 17 of the existing 22 books. Her son Todd has taken over writing the Pern books, at first with her and later after her death alone. Another set of books that I love are her FT&T books, the most prolific being her The Tower and the Hive series.
Anne McCaffrey was born in 1926 in Massachusetts and died in 2011 in Ireland, where she'd become a naturalized Irish citizen. The first Pern story was published in 1967. In 1968 McCaffrey won a Hugo Award for best novella based on her world of Pern. In 1969 she won a Nebula Award for another one of her Pern novellas. Both of these novellas were eventually combined into her first book Dragonflight.
Anne McCaffrey wrote several different series and created many different worlds. She populated these worlds with strong men and women, drawing the readers into the story with memorable characters such as F'lar and Lessa of Benden Weyr and the Rowan and Jeff Raven from FT&T. She created characters that spoke to the readers and gave a glimpse of a future world that we could only dream of.
Anne McCaffrey showed me that a woman could write science fiction as well as a man could, and in some ways better because she tended not to marginalize women like so many science fiction books did in the 60's and 70's. She inspired me to look beyond my world and imagine many others.