Jim Baen, RIP

His Obituary.
Sad day for me. All soapboxy stuff aside, it hurts to lose a man whose cause I support so strongly. Thanks solely to his genius and guts, I am only one of many many people to encounter a huge number of stories and authors that otherwise would never have grabbed my attention.

Thanks for the stories Jim. Sleep well.

The world is a poorer place without him.

This is very sad news. Jim Baen was a client of mine, and he was a great guy. Jim certainly left his impression in the SF publishing world. He’ll be missed by many.

I always knew if I saw the words Baen Books on the spine it would be a good one.
Damn this sucks.
Rest well Jim, you have earned it.

He will be missed. His impact on SF cannot be understated.

Don’t you mean “overstated”?

Ummm…yeah. :smack:

That is, indeed, sad news. Few people have done as much for science fiction as Jim Baen.

For those of you who didn’t know or realize, Jim Baen, the founder and publisher for Baen Books, suffered a massive stroke on June 12.

Since then he had been in the hospital, and never regained consciouness. He passed away at June 28.

For those of you who don’t know his work, he has been an influential editor for decades. He revitalized Galaxy in the 1970’s, then did much the same with Ace Books. Finally in the mid-80’s he had the opportunity to bring his own imprint to market under the umbrella of Simon & Schuster. Since then he’s been directing Baen Books, and incidentally putting his money where his mouth was on the issue of electronic freedom, and consumer rights with electronic publishing and media.

I actually wrote to him a few years back when I realized just how his diabolical scheme of including CD-ROMs of other books with hardcovers of books in popular series had gotten me addicted to other authors. I’d sent the note as a simple thank-you, and to let him know that one of the “little people” appreciated it. I was more than a little surprised to get back a very nice, personal note from him. And seeing that he’d passed my own note on to other people in his company. He was a class act.

He is also the editor who brought many excellent authors to print. Without any attempt to be exhaustive, he ‘discovered’ Spider Robinson, Lois McMaster Bujold, David Weber, Eric Flint and many others. Without his vision and input SF would have been poorer for me these several decades.

Baen Books is still around, and will be continuing to publish into the future. Jim Baen’s Universe, an electronic SF magazine that just started will also be continuing for the forseeable future. There are a number of excellent editors at these ventures who will continue the work. So I don’t think I’ll be losing out on the fiction I’ve come to enjoy so much.

But he will be missed.

God bless and keep him, and his family.

Spider Robinson, for one, has acknowledged his indebtedness to, and affection for, Mr. Baen.

In one of his introductions he said (paraphrased from my leaky memory) “There is asimple four-letter word that, when rearranged, means just the opposite,” and said the word was “bane” and its opposite was Baen.

Spider phrased it considerably more eloquenly, of course.

Never had the opportunity to meet the man, but I’ve been voting for his taste with my pocketbook for years. There are tons of Baen Books on my shelves, including his Destinies series, which I loved.

Thanks, sir, from a grateful fan.

His Wikipedia article

Even I (who reads three or four Sci Fi books a year) know of this man and his work. As someone else said, if it had Jim Baen’s name on it, it was the one I bought.

May angels speed him to his rest.

I don’t, to my shame. I’m lifelong hardcore SF geek – but until this thread was posted I never heard of Jim Baen. I knew “Baen” quite well – but only as an imprint.

David Drake was asked to write his obituary. It lies here.

There is a suggestion at the bottom of the eulogy.
I intend to follow it… but I’ve been doing it for years.