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Aang (Sad)

[Obit] Jim Baen, 1943-2006

It's been a while since I've posted an obit, but most people in the community have seen this one coming; Jim Baen never did regain consciousness after his recent stroke, and finally passed away earlier today.

I never had the experience of meeting Jim directly, but he was a polarizing figure, to say the least; he was opinionated, often abrasive, temperamental, and prone to tantrums. On the other hand, he was inarguably one of the pioneers of modern SF publishing. He rebuilt Ace, built the SF line at Tor Books when it was founded, and eventually set up his own Baen Books line for Simon & Schuster. At Baen Books, he often dealt directly with every single author on the list, and had a reputation for -- even if he and the author did not get along at all -- giving them a fair deal and being willing to bail them out if they were in need. He also made a point of finding aspiring authors and helping them along: Lois McMaster Bujold, David Weber and Eric Flint were among the authors Jim Baen helped.

He also pioneered e-publishing of SF, and refused to release Baen eBooks encrypted; whether or not this was a wise decision in preventing piracy, it certainly was a wise decision in opening up that market, as Baen is one of the only publishers EVER to show a significant profit on eBook sales.

Jim Baen was definitely a presence who shaped modern SF publishing... and whether or not you liked him, or even got along with him, the field is inarguably the poorer for his loss.
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Okay, I know I'm completely missing the point, but: He also made a point of finding aspiring authors and helping them along: Lois McMaster Bujold, Eric Flint, David Weber and Eric Flint were among the authors Jim Baen helped.
Ya listed Eric Flint twice. :)

Anyway, I didn't know much about Jim Baen, but I read a few things in Author's Notes written by a few authors; he sounded like a pretty decent fellow. I admire folks who give others their first shot at something, whether it's being published or breaking into an industry or whatever. So, I didn't know the guy really at all, but his death is clearly a shame. And two of the authors you listed--Bujold and Weber--are among my faves, so...yeah.
When I'm trying to write a concise but good obituary post in 3 minutes during a brief spell during the workday? You can cope with a doubled name. ;P

And yeah, he was a very personally abrasive and temperamental individual, but he also really looked out for those who he committed to. He definitely had a strong sense of honor and morals when it came to looking after his authors.
I just thought you might be interested in the error is all. :)

Was he a Sagittarius? I don't really believe in that stuff, but other horse's ass--like, say, yours truly--tend to have abrasive personalities but fierce loyalty...
Yeah, I know. You'll notice I did fix it when I had more time! I was just being psuedo-grumpy 'cause I'm sickeningly busy lately. :/ (Though, tomorrow is Vanguard! Time for some relaxing and SF-geekery!)

I don't know; I admit I've not really followed horoscopes, and I don't know offhand what Jim Baen's birthday was. I could probably find out, if you're really curious.
This weekend I'm doing a Buffy marathon with some friends and playing with their baby. Should be a good time. :)

I'm not really that curious. Like I said, I don't really follow horoscopes, but I have a double-wide buttload of friends who do, and I get an earful. Maybe it's all just coincidence, but if you look at that stuff long enough you do start to see some patterns...but who knows, maybe it's all just environmental conditions surrounding conception and birth, and the stars thing is just a coincidence, or maybe it's all just coincidence.
I think I've just been hanging out at Edge of the Circle too often; I live on the same block and I have two friends who work there, one as a tarot reader. Heh. :)