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Bewildering Stories

Bewildering Stories Editorial

by Jerry Wright

Oh Really?

I have no idea what I'm going to write about, so bear with me. Hmm. For a moment I had an unusual problem. Is is "bear with me" or "bare with me"? My immediate response was phrase #1. But a tiny doubt crept in. Oh no, is my mind going? Is it Alzheimers? A bit of thought made it clear, of course. "Bear with me" as in forbearance. Otherwise, I might be asking all of us to take off our clothes together. While an intriguing (and possibly depressing) thought, it wasn't what I was trying to get across.

So sorry for the digression. Or was it? How many times have I seen words misapplied and misused. I'll bet y'all "a dollar to a donut" that Microsoft Word's Spell Checker wouldn't have caught that. And why not? Because it isn't misspelled, just misused; the wrong word in the wrong place.

And as I surf around the web, I see so many sites where enthusiasm overcomes good sense, good taste, and good grammar. And the submissions we get? Occasionally we'll get a comment on the forum about a bit of proof-reading missed. Yep, we don't get 'em all, but you should see what these submissions look like without editing. Never mind, beating a dead horse as it were. We've chewed this one over already.

Kevin Ahearn wanted to know if we were going to run an obituary of Jim Baen. My response is up there for all to see. Jim wasn't perfect; in fact he could be moody and childish. But for all that, he brought much to SF and the SF community. He discovered Lois McMaster Bujold! He also discovered John Ringo, and I'm not sure if I've forgiven him for that. (Just kidding, John...)

Kevin writes about Jim's unecrypted e-books and Webscriptions, allowing you to download e-versions of books that aren't even OUT yet. And... The Baen Free Library with (I think) over a hundred SF titles in multiple formats that are FREEEE for the downloading. And what has been the result? Not only has the freebieosity NOT damaged sales of the "dead tree" versions, but sales have actually increased and continued long beyond the time a book would normally be dead stock.

And Jim Baen's ebook site, as far as I know, is one of the very few to actually be a profit center.

Baen Books often were accused of purveying "war porn", because let's face it, the military SF by such authors as David Drake and David Weber were extreme best sellers. But Jim Baen published the kind of books he wanted to read, and that obviously, the fans also wanted to read.

He is missed already.

Copyright © 2006 by Jerry Wright for Bewildering Stories

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