Saturday, July 01, 2006

In Memory of Jim Baen

Since I have no idea if any science fiction fans ever read this, I don’t know if you’ll recognize the name Jim Baen. As a publisher, he was one of the more influential people in modern science fiction and fantasy. He died June 28, after having suffered a massive stroke on the 16th.

I didn't know him, although I once met his executive editor, Toni Weisskopf, at a writer’s conference. I am a great fan of Lois McMaster Bujold, whose debut manuscript was picked out of the slush pile by Baen. Through the sort of nurturing along that is rare today, but a trademark of Baen Books, she became a literary star. The Baen imprint is also home to David Weber, John Ringo and many other writers whose work I have enjoyed. Unlike most other publishers, he regularly took on new, unagented authors.

Baen's friend, David Drake, wrote an obituary, which is available online here:

Certainly, I hope that his friends and family will be comforted by the knowledge that he made a real difference in the lives of many people who never met him.

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