Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Well, Dammit, There Goes Another One.

Instapundit informs us that publisher Jim Baen has died, and links to an obituary by author David Drake.

Dammit.

Jim Baen was the proprietor of Baen Books, my favorite publisher for some time now. Baen Books publishes Drake, Lois McMaster Bujold, Elizabeth Moon, John Ringo, David Weber, Eric Flint, Jerry Pournelle, and many, many others. He gave many new authors their first shot, among them Elizabeth Moon and Lois McMaster Bujold, I believe.

A while back, Baen books had this included at the back of each volume:

TRAVIS SHELTON

LIKES BAEN BOOKS

BECAUSE THEY TASTE GOOD

Recently we received this letter from Travis Shelton of Dayton, Texas:
I have come to associate Baen Books with Del Monte. Now what is that supposed to mean? Well, if you're in a strange store with a lot of different labels, you pick Del Monte because the product will be consistent and will not disappoint.

Something I have noticed about Baen Books is that the stories are always fast-paced, exciting, action-filled and seem to be published because of content instead of who wrote the book. I now find myself glancing to see who published the book instead of reading the back or intro. If it's a Baen Book it's going to be good and exciting and will capture your spare reading moments.

Another discovery I have recently made is that I don't have any Baen Books in my unread stacks -- and I read four to seven books a week, so that in itself is a meaningful statistic.
I found myself in full agreement with Mr. Shelton. And the reason he (and I) looked at the publisher's mark first was because of Jim Baen. He published stuff that was good, not because it was written by a "name." For example, here's a list of my favorite Baen books:
The General series by S.M. Stirling and David Drake:
The Forge,
The Hammer,
The Anvil,
The Steel,
The Sword,
The Miles Vorkosigan saga by Lois McMaster Bujold,
The Belisarius series by David Drake and Eric Flint,
The Hammer's Slammers series by David Drake,
1632 and all of its sequels by Eric Flint et. al,
And that's just a taste. I'm not a big fan of fantasy, but Elizabeth Moon's The Deed of Paksennarion is excellent, as is Lois McMaster Bujold's The Spirit Ring.

The Baen website informs us, "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." I hope they are up to the task. They have great big shoes to fill.

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