L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

30 June 2006 Blog Home : June 2006 : Permalink

Friday Olive Tree Blogging

I was thinking yesterday about some way to illustrate the void I feel from the passing of Jim Baen - a man who I never met and with whom I exchanged just a few email messages. I wouldn't normally mix that with olive tree blogging but then it came to me that my "Lazarus" olive tree might make a good metaphorical background so here it is.

The tree is the tree outside our front window which was chopped down before we bought the house but which has had a healthy sapling sprout from the stump ever since I decided to let it grow. The sapling is now some 3 m (10 foot) high and will probably produce a handful of olives this year. The books are the two Baen hardcovers I own (half of hard covers in my posession that I bought new) and the only ARC in my posession - I cannot display the 100+ eBooks I own or all the regular paperbacks and 2nd hand hardbacks. War of Honour is the first book that included a CD with many free eBooks on it - this was 100% of the reason why I bought the book as a hard cover - and it reignited my love of SF as well as introducing me to huge variety of Baen published fiction out there.

So why is this a metaphor for Jim? it could be taken in a religious sense but that isn't the real reason. The real reason is that, as I wrote yesterday, Jim Baen managed to bring dying things back to life and inspire new growth. He republished classic SF that had gone out of print, he managed to inpsire new generations of readers (and writers), he managed to make serious money from eBooks and he tried to re-establish the short story fiction market via the electronically published Baen's Universe and so on.

As always you can click on the image to see it enlarged and click here to see the past photos of the series.

Update: I see from David Drake's website that a suggested memorial to Jim Baen is to buy The World Turned Upside Down which is IMHO a truly excellent idea(link goes to my review of the book in January 2005)

I despise l'Escroc and Vile Pin