Volume 24, Number 04, Summer, 2006


Jim Baen, October 22, 1943 - June 28, 2006

Editor and publisher Jim Baen died on June 28, following a massive stroke. He once referred to himself in an interview as “somewhat conservative and somewhat libertarian in my political leanings.” Notable libertarian works published by Baen include Vernor Vinge’s classic short story “The Ungoverned,” F. Paul Wilson’s The Tery and Dydeetown World, L. Neil Smith’s Forge of the Elders (which included Contact and Commune, Converse and Conflict, and the cancelled Concert and Cosmos as a single novel), plus short story collections and novels by James P. Hogan. Baen Books was recognized last year by the LFS when a Special Prometheus Award was presented to co-editors Mark Tier and Martin H. Greenberg for two linked anthologies, Give Me Liberty, and Visions of Liberty.

Baen forged a unique brand in the sf publishing world. The distinctive covers and focus on military sf hid the fact that he published quality sf and helped discover many new writers. He pioneered electronic publishing, virtually giving away copies of books online, and stood forth as a vocal supporter of unencrypted books. Through a Webscriptions program Baen also sold online books, which proved quite successful.

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