30 June 2006

Jim Baen eulogy by David Drake

It’s strangely appropriate to have one Jim Baen’s top authors write a eulogy for Jim, for example:

The theme of both short novels is that a youth from a decaying culture escapes the trap of accepted wisdom and saves his people despite themselves. This is a fair description of Jim's life in SF: he was always his own man, always a maverick, and very often brilliantly successful because he didn't listen to what other people thought.
For example, the traditional model of electronic publishing required that the works be encrypted. Jim thought that just made it hard for people to read books, the worst mistake a publisher could make. His e-texts were clear and in a variety of common formats.
While e-publishing has been a costly waste of effort for others, Baen Books quickly began earning more from electronic sales than it did from Canada . By the time of Jim's death, the figure had risen to ten times that.

...there’s also...

Jim used the same formulas with his new line [Baen Books] as he had at Ace and Tor, and again he succeeded. If that were easy, then past decades wouldn't be littered with the detritus of so many other people's attempts to do the same thing.

It’s suggested there that an appropriate follow-through would be to buy and donate copies of The World Turned Upside Down to local libraries; see the text (as Baen so often does) here.

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