Anne McCaffrey was a popular science-fiction writer. She was the author of many, many books, including the Dragonriders of Pern series, the Talent series, the Freedom series, the Acorna series, the Powers That Be series, and the Crystal Singer trilogy. She died of a stroke on November 21, 2011, at the age of 85.
McCaffrey was notorious for her restrictions on fanfiction, role-play, and other fandom activities, but she has officially lifted said restrictions. This is widely viewed as a good thing by fans, but it has also resulted in a surge of badfic, particularly noticeable in the Pern universe. This is definitely a bad thing.
Her son, Todd McCaffrey, has also written books in the Pern universe. Opinions of their worth and status as canon vary.