Jim Baen, 1943 – 2006
Posted on June 29, 2006 Posted by John Scalzi 12 Comments
Science fiction and fantasy readers, pause a moment in your day to to note the passing of publisher Jim Baen, who died yesterday. Author David Drake has an appreciation of him here.
He will be missed.
Thank you to David Drake for making Jim more than just a picture and a brief bio in the back of so many Baen books that I own.
I just saw on #callahans.
What’ll happen with S&S now?…
What a sad day for SF. Baen books (Drake’s Hammer’s Slammers series) were the first SF books I read and they launched my life-long enjoyment of the genre, which in turn spun out into my work in technology. To this day, whenever I’m looking for something new to read, I’ll look for a Baen mark on the spine to indicate something worthy of my time. Odd how someone I never met and knew little about can have such a huge impact on my life. Thank you Jim, for all the enjoyment you have brought to my life.
Oh, that is horrible news. He will definately be missed.
Mr. Drake did a great job of potraying a gentleman I never met and who was only a cumbersome to pronounce word on the spines of a few books I own in an appealing light.
I wonder, John, if you could properly illuminate how an individual can contribute such a storied influence on a genre. Or, less elegantly, why readers should care much who published the books we enjoy?
Well, Douglas, very briefly, as an editor and publisher, Jim Baen dictates what gets published and promoted, meaning that he helped to set the agenda for the science fiction field in a general sense. And what I understand, he was very active in promoting the sort of work he enjoyed. I don’t know if readers need to actively care about publishers, but it’s useful to know what they do and how they do it.
His family and friends, and all the people over at Baen Books, are in my thoughts and prayers.
Way back during gulf war #1, I was about to make the 16+ hour flight back to the states from the sandbox. I went into our tent city rec center to look at the boxes of books that had been donated for us servicemen. I found a copy of “The Warriors Apprentice” a Baen book and My first exposure to Miles Vorkosigan. I have been a Bujold fan ever since and like others, when looking through the racks at the book store, tend to focus in on titles with the Baen mark on them.
That book, and many more since then have helped to break up and make endurable those long crossings.
Very sad day. Very, very sad.
What a shame. Much too young, too.
Jerry Pournelle has some comments on his site. It begins “Jim Baen, one of my oldest and closest friends, died peacefully last night.”
A better sci-fi author, there has never Baen.