Baen, Jim 1943-2006

views updated

BAEN, Jim 1943-2006
(James P. Baen)


See index for CA sketch: Born October 22, 1943, in PA; died of complications from a stroke, June 28, 2006, in Raleigh, NC. Publisher, editor, and author. Baen was a respected editor and publisher of science fiction and fantasy books, and the founder of Baen Books. A runaway from home at age seventeen, he joined the U.S. Army and then used money from his military service to attend City College of New York. Hired at Ace Books in 1972, he became editor of the sci-fi/fantasy magazine Galaxy in 1974 and was promoted to editor in chief by the time he left in 1977. His next move was to Tor Books in 1980, where Baen was editorial director until he founded Baen Books in 1984. Working with Simon & Schuster as a distributor, Baen Books became known for publishing science fiction and fantasy books that emphasized exciting plots more than cutting-edge, intellectual fare. Baen was also important as a pioneer in Internet publishing. He was among the first to offer books through his publishing company's Web site, and for those who paid a subscription he provided electronic texts of stories and novels, including fiction that had not yet been released in print. The site also was among the first to include chat rooms for genre fans and online connections with the publisher's authors. Baen was the author of two books himself: Far Frontiers (1984) and New Destinies (1988).



Los Angeles Times, July 4, 2006, p. B13.