The World of The Gunny

The Wasted World of Gunnery Sergeant DeShane
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 Post subject: Passing on of Jim Baen
PostPosted: 02 Jul 2006 09:50 
Sergeant Major of the USMC
Sergeant Major of the USMC
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Joined: 23 May 2005 16:49
Posts: 5244
Location: Wandering the Wastes
We regret to inform you that publisher Jim Baen passed away on June 28th. He suffered a massive stroke on June 12, 2006 and never woke from it. Jim Baen was a founding partner of Baen Books, one of the largest independent publishers of popular fiction. Since its inception in 1984, Baen evolved to be one of the leading publishers of science fiction and fantasy, and in recent years a leader in electronic publishing and the fight against encrypted books.

Jim Baen started his career in publishing in the complaints department of Ace Books. He moved on to Galaxy magazine in 1973, where his editorial acumen turned the magazine into one of the leading short story venues of the day. He returned to Ace under publisher Tom Doherty to run the science fiction line. When Doherty left to found Tor Books, Jim went with him and established its science fiction line, purchasing its first 170 titles. In 1984 a deal with Simon and Schuster/Pocket Books gave Jim a chance to found his own independent company. S&S has distributed Baen Books ever since. Recently, Baen Books has enjoyed a string of New York Times bestsellers by such authors as David Weber, John Ringo and Eric Flint. Jim also personally worked with Jerry Pournelle, David Drake, Larry Niven, Charles Sheffield, Lois McMaster Bujold and many other authors who shaped the field of modern science fiction. In recent years Jim continued to develop a whole new generation of science fiction writers.

Jim Baen was a personal and vocal champion of unencrypted ebooks. The Baen Books Webscriptions program is a model in the field, and the discussion board at

“Baen’s Bar,” is an active forum and thriving online community. Jim’s piquant wit and incisive commentary will be sorely missed.

Jim is survived by two daughters, Jessica Baen, 29, and Katherine Baen, 14.

The surviving partners of Baen and his heirs intend to continue Jim’s legacy of innovative, independent publishing. Longtime Baen Books executive editor Toni Weisskopf will be acting publisher and direct day-to-day operation of the company. Remembrances of Jim’s life will be held at Tri-noc-Con in Raleigh, NC Saturday, July 22 and Lacon IV, the Worldcon, in Los Angeles, CA in August.

For a complete obituary please go to author David Drake’s website:

Below is my post on Baen's Bar, the webboard where the Baen Authors hang their hats.

I know I am a little late in posting about this terrible news (that is what a fishing trip will do to you) and all I can say was that I am deeply saddened to see a man whom I have never met pass beyond the veil and make this world just a bit worse by his passing.

Yet his great achievements in nurturing authors who had visions of other worlds dancing around in their minds will far outweigh any sadness or lessening of this world by his passing.

As for me, I discovered Baen books while I was on active duty in the Marine Corps. Many a night a Baen Book would grace my desk while duty NCO between patrols. They would even become part of my required Deuce Gear. For I gladly exchanged a C-Rat for two Baen Books. I have always believed that the mind and soul needs to be fed just as much as the body does. I never once regretted leaving that C-Rat behind in exchange for the Baen Books that replaced them.

In my mind this is how I see Jim being sent to his new home next to the lord above.

There is a Marine Honor Guard escorting the casket to the burial site and after the eulogy is read, a twenty one gun salute is rendered. Then a marine in Dress Blues crisply steps forward and raises a bugle and begins to play taps.

Jim the man who nurtured writers that made us as American Warriors feel good about ourselves once again, thank you and to this Marine, you and your vision made a difference.

Gunnery Sergeant (Ret.) Kenneth Dickinson

All I can say is that I regret never having the opportunity to have met the man. :cry

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