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US publishing company founded in 1983 by Jim Baen by arrangement with Simon and Schuster, which wanted Baen to preside over a makeover of the Pocket Books sf line but agreed to his counter-proposal of an independent company providing genre publications for distribution through Simon and Schuster. Baen Books, publishing only sf and fantasy, has maintained itself as a full and genuine publisher – generally specializing in Military SF, though the range of authors it publishes is fairly wide, including Roger MacBride Allen, Poul Anderson, Catherine Asaro, Lois McMaster Bujold with her Miles Vorkosigan series, C J Cherryh, John Dalmas, David A Drake, Eric Flint, Esther M Friesner, Dave Freer, Sarah A Hoyt, Mercedes Lackey, Tom Kratman, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, Elizabeth Moon, Larry Niven, Jody Lynn Nye, Jerry Pournelle, John Ringo, Spider Robinson, Joel Rosenberg, Charles Sheffield, S M Stirling, Mark L Van Name, David Weber and Timothy Zahn. Baen also published several novels by Newt Gingrich and William R Forstchen, beginning with 1945 (1995). Short-story showcases of note include Baen's own SF Magazine/anthology Destinies (1978-1981) and its successor New Destinies (1986-1992), and the Far Frontiers anthologies (1985-1986) co-edited by Baen and Jerry Pournelle.
Baen Books made early and daring (by the standards of conventional publishing) use of the internet in book promotion, not only marketing e-books but offering entire story and novel texts online as the "Baen Free Library", with a positive effect on printed book sales [see under links below]. There is a vociferously supportive online community at "Baen's Bar" [again see under links below]. The company survived the death of its founder Jim Baen in 2006, with established Baen editor Toni Weisskopf (1965- ) replacing him as publisher and continuing with generally similar editorial policies. [JC/DRL]
Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (2011-current) edited by John Clute and David Langford.
Accessed 02:06 am on 14 August 2022.