Sunday SciFi: Jim Baen and Baen Books

December 4, 2016 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Baen Books, Science Fiction, Sunday SciFi 

JC Carlton has a really nice Jim Baen tribute article.   Well worth the read.

I’m a fan of Baen Books.  I like hard SciFi and adventure.  Andrew Liptak notes in his article on Jim Baen, that “the type of fiction that Baen was most interested in: adventurous, escapist, and fun.”   I pay my money to be entertained.  I don’t need lectures on social justice, and the evils of capitalism. I get more than enough of that just from living in New England.

Thomas Disch, author of The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of: How Science Fiction Conquered The World, doesn’t share my opinion.  I read his book, which I liked, but he didn’t like any Science Fiction with the slightest politically conservative leaning.  He also wasn’t too fond of female authors either.  He targeted Baen specifically for catering stories for conservative fans.  I think a more accurate description would be that Jim Baen didn’t discriminate against authors with a politically conservative viewpoint, as other publishing companies did. There are authors who only deal with Baen, because of the open hostility shown at some other publishing houses to any author who didn’t toe the progressive leftist line. Jim Baen didn’t care about your politics, he cared if you could write good adventure stories.  Case in point, Eric Flint.  Eric Flint is one of the top selling authors at Baen, both in number of books, and number of books sold.  He was also an editor at Baen for a while.  He as also worked for the Socialist Workers Party. Mr. Flint is a well educated historian, who paid for grad school by working as a longshoreman.  He has also co-authored books with Charles E. Gannon, David Weber, and Tom Kratman.

Baen was also an early pioneer in using the Internet as a way to reach their readers.  The Baen Bar forums were up and running before most publishing houses knew there was an Internet.  Baen also was one of the first publishing houses to sell ebooks.  They also bucked the trend, but refusing to put DRM (“copy protection”) on their ebooks.  Jim Baen went by  the novel notion that his customers were not crooks, and actually wanted the authors of the books they read to be successful, and write more books.    Jim Baen went as far to put out CDs (included with hardcover purchases, as well as available online), with a complete catalog of an given author’s work.  All without any encryption, and in multiple e-reader formats.

I did some research into the e-book market, and the Baen approach, for a graduate marketing class.  The problem, as stated by Eric Flint, wasn’t people stealing your books. The problem was that people don’t know about your books.   Baen Books found that when they put out an e-book as a free download on their site, sales rose.  Not only for that book, but for the entire author’s catalog that was still in print.

Jim Baen loved his work, and knew that if you gave the fans a good ripping yarn of high adventure, and didn’t consider them criminals, he could spend more time working on content than running the business.

Monday Book Pick: The Disinherited

February 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Baen Books, Monday Book Pick, Science Fiction 

The Disinherited by Steve White
This is Steve White’s first solo novel. My first printing of this book has a 1993 copyright. It’s a straight up space opera, and fans of the classic SciFi RPG Traveller, and the closely related 2300AD game will some familiar concepts. It is also a first contact story. A group of Terrans, a mix of Americans and Russians working in the Asteroid Belt are contacted by beings from another star, with advanced technology. Both sides are more than a bit freaked out to find out they are both human. The alien humans have a problem, namely a very aggressive species of actual alien that makes up for a slightly lower tech base with a fracking lot of resources. The space faring Earth humans go to assist the other humans. They might as well, since the Earth had been poisoned by what Mr. White had correctly identified 23 years ago as the toxic ravings of the so called “social justice” movement, which has a more dangerous level of Antisemitism than it does today. Heroic stuff happens, and there is even a surprise twist at the end. Just to top this tale of adventure in deep space off, there is a mad scientist and his beautiful daughter.

Monday Book Pick Archive

Monday Book Pick: A Call to Duty

A Call to Duty by David Weber and Timothy Zahn

This is the first book in the Manticore Ascendant series, which is a prequel series to the Honor Harrington series. It takes place in the early days of the Manticoran Star Kingdom, when the Manticoran Navy was not so powerful or well funded. It took a couple of chapters to get me hooked, but one it picked up, I didn’t want to put it down.

Monday Book Pick Archive

Monday Book Pick: Pirates of the Timestream

December 8, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Baen Books, Monday Book Pick, Science Fiction 

Pirates of the Timestream by Steve White

Jason Thanou is back (26 Aug 2013 Book Pick) for round three. This time is it in the golden age of Pirates. His team links up with Captain Henry Morgan while they battle it out with time traveling Transhumanists! Even worse, he has to deal the uncaring bureaucracy of his own government.

Monday Book Pick Archive

Monday Book Pick: The Many Deaths of Joe Buckley

November 24, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Baen Books, Monday Book Pick, Science Fiction 

The Many Deaths of Joe Buckley by Assorted Baen Authors & Barflies

This is raw meat for Baen fans. The complete collection of all the ways Baen authors have killed long time Barfly Joe Buckley.

Monday Book Pick Archive

Monday Book Pick: Spellbound

October 13, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Baen Books, Monday Book Pick, Science Fiction 

SpellBound by Larry Correia

Larry Coreia makes the book pick again. This time with the second book in his hard-boiled noir series complete with more than a bit of magic thrown in. It’s the 1930’s and magic has been around for about a hundred years. It started with just a few people, but it’s been growing pretty steady, so by the time this story takes place it’s pretty mainstream. Things pick up where the last book left off.
The good guys have managed to defeat what they thought was their greatest enemy, but they were mistaken. Not about killing the bad guy, just about him being their greatest enemy. The hard part is convincing even their allies about the oncoming evil. Before they can face that evil, they have to deal with a plot to register and round up all the magically active people in America. Hitler was put in front of a firing squad early in this reality, but there are still “good progressives” that want to put people in camps and eliminate the trouble makers. Lots of action. new bad guys, plot twists, and did I mention lots of action. Oh, and remember, don’t get on Faye’s bad side.

Monday Book Pick Archive

Monday Book Pick: Monster Hunter International

Monster Hunter International by Larry Correia

Larry Coreia makes the book pick again. This is the first book in his first series. He had self-published this book, after getting turned down by multiple publishers, and it was selling pretty well. Then Baen contacted him and Correia followed up his first hit with string of others, including three more Monster Hunter books and two other series with five books between them. In this book we meet Owen Z. Pitt, who has a soul sucking accounting job in Dallas that only gets worse, when his already bad boss gets bitten by a werewolf and attacks Pitt on the next full moon. It is close, but Pitt manages to kill his boss and get threatened by some Feds who tell him to keep his mouth shut or they will put a bullet in his head. Enter Monster Hunter International. A private company that hunts monsters and collects the federal bounty on them. Yes, Pitt finds his true calling. Hunting monsters. Zombies, werewolves, Vampires, and all that stuff. Stir in some Lovecraftian horror and an old Jewish monster hunter spirit guide and you have one fun read! It has monsters. It has romance. It has detailed and accurate firearm discriptions. Fun for the whole family!

Monday Book Pick Archive

Monday Book Pick: Hard Magic

Hard Magic by Larry Correia

Larry Coreia makes the book pick again. This time with the first book in his hard-boiled noir series complete with more than a bit of magic thrown in. It’s the 1930’s and magic has been around for about a hundred years. It started with just a few people, but it’s been growing pretty steady, so by the time this story takes place it’s pretty mainstream. Magic takes different forms in different people. Some can move objects with their mind, others can heal people, others can change the effect (more or less) the effect of gravity, others can teleport, and so on. Then there are the Cogs. They are just really, really smart in specific areas. Einstein was a Cog, as was Count Von Zeppelin, and John Moses Browning. Larry Correia is a former firearms instructor, so of course John Moses Browning in the book, and he is hero. I enjoyed this book a lot. Good characters, both good guys and bad guys, and those who are really a bit of both. An interesting setting, and lots of action. I’m glad there are two sequels to this already in print.

Monday Book Pick Archive

Monday Book Pick: Sword of Exodus

January 27, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Baen Books, Monday Book Pick 

The Sword of Exodus by Larry Correia and Mike Kupari

The sequel to Dead Six. Valentine and Lorenso are in even deeper shit than they were before. Plenty of action and raw meat for the firearm enthusists.

Monday Book Pick Archive

Monday Book Pick: Dead Six

November 4, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Baen Books, Monday Book Pick 

Dead Six by Larry Correia and Mike Kupari

This is an upfront adventure story. Two groups of very skilled killers, one a group of mercenaries, the other a group of ruthless thieves. Both end up in a small Middle Eastern country and their missions often put them into conflict. Lots of action, very accurate weapons description and handling, shadow agencies, and grand conspiracies. I really enjoyed this book, a fun read with plenty of action and twists.

Monday Book Pick Archive

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