Sunday, July 02, 2006

Jim Baen, 1943 - 2006

I was saddened to hear today of the death of Jim Baen, who passed away on June 28th as a result of a massive stroke. Jim Baen was a founding partner of Baen Books, one of the largest independent publishers of popular fiction, and was almost single handily responsible for resurrected the genre of military science fiction from it's low ebb in the early 90's.

Additionally, and against the prevailing opinion of most other publishers, he was a vocal advocate of unencrypted electronic books, and while electronic publishing has been a costly failure for other publishers, Baen Books consistently turned a substantial profit from its unencrypted books.

Toni Weisskopf and David Drake suggest that people who wish to make a memorial donation purchase copies of "The World Turned Upside Down" and donate them to libraries or teenagers of their acquaintance.

Jim Baen is survived by two daughters, Jessica Baen, 29, and Katherine Baen, 14 and will be sorely missed.