In 1992, I got tired of seeing many messages on the Fidonet SF echo from people saying that they LOVED the books that Anne "McCaffery" wrote, they had all of them on their shelves, they had the latest one right here at the keyboard... Tom Lehrer had the line about how "If people really can't communicate, the least they can do is to SHUT UP." I felt that if people have their FAVOURITE AUTHOR'S latest book RIGHT THERE, the least they could do would be to spell her name correctly.

I will further note that shortly after I posted the thing, I got a very nice letter from Anne McCaffrey saying how much she liked the song; the misspelling of her name is a regular irritation to her. Long story; ask me about it privately.

(Lyrics copyright 1992 by Joel Polowin; to: "Macavity", in Cats by Andrew Lloyd Weber

McCaffrey writes of Dragonkind, and of a ship who sings
She writes of those with Talents, and of many other things
For all her books, and all her fans, it's still a bloody shame
That those who talk about her work can't seem to spell her name!

"McCaffery"? "McCaffery"?! Her name is NOT "McCaffery"!
Her name has just three syllables, the `r' it comes before the `e'
You can check her books, and books-on-tape, or look most anywhere
Or take a peek in Books In Print -- "McCaffery"'s not there!
McCaffrey's at conventions, or at Dragonhold in Eire
But I tell you once and once again -- "McCaffery"'s not there!

McCaffrey's hair is silver; she has freckles, eyes of green;
Her date of birth is April first, her voice is clear and clean
Her writing is romantic, of the slightly-slushy kind
It tightrope-walks the fantasy/SF dividing line
McCaffrey's unmistakeable, there's never any doubt
But WHY, when people write of her, can they not work it out?

"McCaffery"? "McCaffery"?! Her name is NOT "McCaffery"!!
The spelling's not unusual; she's not at all like Lafferty.
McCaffrey's written lots of books, in bookstores everywhere
But NEVER `e' before the `r' -- "McCaffery"'s not there!!


Words copyright (C) 1992 by Joel Polowin. Permission is hereby granted to reproduce this material in any non-profit medium provided that its content is not altered and that this notice is appended. I would appreciate receiving a copy of any publication in which it appears: Joel Polowin / 18 Norice St. / Nepean, Ont. / CANADA / K2G 2X5 but remove the XYZZY -- itís a little magic to baffle the spambots.

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