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.