Just a brief note to mourn the passage of a childhood writer of mine, Anne McCaffrey. I've written a review of Dragonsdawn, and given her a Great Moment in Fantasy. The Dragonriders of Pern is a series that has been imprinted indelibally on my mind. She was a formidable writer, and I hope an excellent human being. Certainly in her writing, her stories and characters, she exemplified the hallmarks of what good fantasy is all about: kindness, self-sacrifice, love, and the courage to weather the storm.
Michael Whelan, her illustrator for years, and who painted the right side of my webpage banner speaks eloquently on her departure. And some of Whelan's best work is posted at the above link.