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The Shadow of the Olive Tree

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06 July 2006 Blog Home : July 2006 : Permalink

The Ringo Gauntlet - the "Jim Baen Memorial Bookshelf"

In memory of Jim Baen, John Ringo posted at his part of Baen's bar an announcement that he will now write some more "Mike O'Neal" novels i.e. ones that follow on from the original 4 volume Posleen trilogy. He also throws down the gauntlet to a bunch of other authors that are/were published by Baen books.

He's dead, folks. He was one of my best friends, my replacement dad and my mentor. I'm grieving, sure. But his spirit fucking lives ON. Right now, all those authors that owe him owe him THIS.

Other authors are going to see me as being presumptuous for saying this, but here goes:

Lois OWES him a Miles book with the Dendari. I can think of four possible plots. She's a professional, so can she. Take a year, take two, but get that plot generator going. Miles. Dendari. World saving. Exploding spaceships. Something you can wrap your head around and love, because that's when you do your finest work. And there is none finer.

DW OWES him an Honor book that is long on exploding spaceships and heroics and short on verbiage and politics. Black, white, white wins.

Stirling OWES him an anihilistic Draka novel. Good guys win. Draka get their teeth kicked in good and hard. All the rapists get impaled.

EM OWES him a return of Paks. And she'd better save the fucking world.

Dave OWES him the ultimate Slammer story.

I OWE him a Mike O'Neal book where the Darhel get their teeth kicked in and

Mike does what he does best, kick ass and not even bother to take names.

(Although that will take several books. Bear with me.)

Fuck nice words about what a great guy he is. Do what you do best, please the readers he nurtured and brought you to.

THAT'S a tribute. The only tribute he'd ever care about.


I would add that Eric Flint owes him a few more core 1632 books - but Eric seems to be doing that anyway (gradually) so this is not precisely germane - and possibly Mercedes Lackey owes him a book too, but I'm not really a great Lackey fan (a couple of books yes, the whole oeuvre no) so I'm not going to say whether that would be worthwhile. However as a result of comments on that thread I have decided I really need to read those Draka books. I also learned a lot about the tempestuous Moon/Baen relationship, although Elizabeth Moon is unfortunately less than clear about what exactly it was that set them at loggerheads (it occurs to me that one major feature of Baen's publishing career was the number of high quality best-selling authors he managed to piss off, many of them ones he discovered in the first place).

But more importantly, and the reason why I'm reprinting this without any permission what so ever, not only do I think it would be an excellent tribute I think it would make the authors concerned an absolute mint. I believe that a "memorial bookshelf" consisting of the above mentioned half dozen books, plus some or all of the original books that they follow on from, would be bought by an enormous number of fans. Even if (especially if?) said memorial bookshelf were a series of high quality leather bound hardbacks.

Oh and while possibly not quite as good as "The World Turned Upside Down"; as a snapshot of a genre at a particular time it would be truly excellent and make a great CD to spread around the place to suck in new readers. New readers of SF, new readers of the authors themselves, heck new readers of anything other than text books and "non-fiction" political tracts. The world needs more children and young adults to be inspired by SF one way or another and I reckon the "Jim Baen Memorial Bookshelf" would sucker them in hand over fist.

I despise l'Escroc and Vile Pin