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. Mr. Disch however 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, by 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.
The Nice Guys
Los Angles. The 1970’s. Cars, the porn industry, “Big Oil”, government corruption, and two working stiffs trying to make a living. One beats people up for a living, the other is a cheap detective trying to earn a living for him and his 13 year old daughter. The daughter ends up driving him around a lot, which is safer than letting her drunk dad drive. You are going to have some L.A. Confidential flashbacks here. Mainly because of Russell Crowe (he beats people up in both movies, mostly people who deserve a good beating), and Kim Basinger. In all, a fun movie with humor mixed with violence. Worth the rental and the popcorn.
It’s almost Halloween again, so we’re going with some of the classics. This 1984 classic remade and flopped big time.
Personally, didn’t think they could capture the spirit of the film, pun intended. They completely missed the Libertarian theme to the movie, which the director admits was intentional.
“You probably thought Trump was the bigot in this contest, until Clinton called half of Trump’s supporters a “basket of deplorables.” That’s the point at which observers started to see a pattern. Trump has been consistently supportive of American citizens of all types – with the exception of the press and his political opponents. The main targets of Trump’s rhetoric are the nations that compete against us. In stark contrast, Clinton turned her hate on American citizens. That’s the real kind of hate. Trump is more about keeping America safe and competing effectively in the world. That is literally the job of president.”
Quest of the Spider by Kenneth Robenson
Setting the Wayback Machine to May 1933 for this chunk of crunchy pulp goodness. The third published Doc Savage adventure, and an important change in the series. After killing bad guys left and right in the first two books, Doc returns from his Fortress of Solitude (just where did you think Superman got the idea from?), and vowed not to take human life (directly) again. This is where he and his team start using the “mercy” bullets that just render people unconscious, the introduction of his “Crime College” in upstate New York for turning criminals into honest citizens. There is plenty of action, pulp style, and plenty of bad guys dying in horrible fashions. It’s just not Doc and his five companions dealing death directly anymore.
“…Hillary Clinton has revealed herself to be frail, medicated, and probably duplicitous about her health. We also hear reports that she’s a drinker with a bad temper. Suddenly, Clinton looks like the unstable personality in this race. Who do you want controlling the nuclear arsenal now?”
Filed under: Baen Books, Monday Book Pick, Science Fiction
Soldiers Out of Time by Steve White
Jason Thanou is once again traveling through time, and in this latest entry in the series, space as well. Keep in mind that Thanou is not from Earth, so the space travel element in this series has been baked in from the start. If fact, most of the action against the evil Transhumanists takes place on planets other than Earth. There is, of course, time travel on Earth, late 19th Century, near the Khyber Pass. Lots of action and plot twists. A good addition to the series.
Filed under: Clintons, Culture of Corruption, Free Speech, Politics
Cleaning up the browser tabs again…
To lead off, a reminder that the progressive left has never been a big fan of that whole “free speech” thing.
NYT’s Blow Explodes On CNN Guest: ‘This Guy Should Not Be Allowed’ On TV
A few reminders of whom is the candidate of graft, fraud, and corruption.
Watchdogs warn of ‘serious’ conflicts of interest for Clinton Foundation
Filed under: Baen Books, Monday Book Pick, Science Fiction
Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge by John Ringo and Larry Correia
As my gentle readers know, I’m a big fan of John Ringo and Larry Correia. So when John Ringo decided there was a few Monster Hunter books in him that just had to come out, of course I was there. This is the first in a series of books detailing the life and hard times of one Oliver Chadwick Gardenier, a hot shot monster hunter during the 1980s and early 1990s. Returned to Earth by a fisher named Peter, who said “the boss” had a job for him. That job was hunting monsters. Interesting fellow Chad, genius with a gift for languages, who studied the ASVAB tests so he could make sure that he was made a Rifleman when he joined the Marines. Then there was Chad’s relationship with his parents, especially his mother. Let’s just say they didn’t get along well. One of the cool parts of the book was the “Pro Tips” Chad scatters around his memoirs. Here are some examples: “Pro-tip: If you’re going to be cutting off a lot of heads, get a really good katana.” “I don’t care how big and muscle bound you are, things like yoga and ballet are useful. That’s the pro-tip.” Then there is what to wear when jogging in the dark in an area you know monsters live in. A fun read, like most of Ringo’s books, there is a fair amount of humor mixed with really, really good actions scenes.
The Last Legion
Yet another historical fantasy on the Arthurian legend. When I say fantasy, there is a wizard, but he is limited to slight of hand. It’s more alternate history. Start with a historical fact. The Goths invaded Rome, and the last Caesar, a teenager named Romulus, ended up in exile for the rest of his life on an island. In this movie, Romulus (Thomas Sangster, the kid from Love Actually), is rescued by a Roman general (Colin Firth), and advised by is tutor, the before mentioned wizard (Ben Kingsley). They travel to Britain, fight a major battle, defeat the bad guys, and set the stage for King Arthur to show up later. Throw in Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as an Indian warrior in the service of the Eastern Roman Empire (work with me on this), and Kevin McKidd as one nasty Goth, and you have a B-Movie worthy of the rental and popcorn. Movie nerd note, Colin Firth is in Love Actually as well. He doesn’t share any screen time with Thomas Sangster. Sangster does share a lot of screen time with Kevin McKidd in the HBO series Rome. If you are interested, the movie was based on the book by Valerio Massimo Manfredi.