Free Eric Flint Audio Play Starts 9/19

Baen logoA four-part audio adaptation of Eric Flint’s novella “Islands” begins on the Baen Free Radio Hour podcast September 19.

Set within the world of the Belisarius alternate history series created by Flint and David Drake, the story takes place in the latter days of the Roman Empire. “A being from the future shows up bringing technological knowledge,” explains Baen editor Tony Daniel, author of the adaptation. “And so, the Romans in ‘Islands’ have the telegraph, muzzle loading rifles, and steam powered ships. In the midst of all this we have an epic love story playing out.”

Daniel adds that along with war zone action, the story has a strong and heroic female lead, a Roman noblewoman who becomes a crusader for wounded soldiers on her way to the front. “There’s something in the play for everyone.”

The script is performed by a cast of 15 professional voice actors, and the action is accompanied with original music and a full effects soundtrack.

After the series premieres with a thirty-minute episode on September 19, the other installments will be released on September 26, October 3, and October 10.

The serialized podcast will remain free for download. Once the miniseries is complete, the entire audio drama will be for sale at Baenebooks.com.

[Based on the Baen press release.]

Baen Authors at Book Expo America

Eric Flint (left) and Charles E. Gannon (right), authors of the new novel in the best-selling "1632" alternate world series. Photo by and copyright © Andrew Porter.

Eric Flint (left) and Charles E. Gannon (right), authors of the new novel in the best-selling “1632″ alternate world series. Photo by and copyright © Andrew Porter.

Andrew Porter used time travel to attend Book Expo America –

I got in using a Borders lanyard and a 1980 ABA Convention badge, apparently slipping past unobservant security people, and got a lot of comments from ex-Borders people!

Once in, Porter took photos of the writers and editors at the Baen party.

Above is his photograph of Eric Flint and Charles E. Gannon. See more on Baen’s Facebook page.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.]

Larry Correia’s Vulgar Blog Post – His Word

Adam Roberts, meet Larry Correia!

Last week Larry Correia served up a whole hot fudge sundae of self-promotion, victimhood, and smof-stomping in “Sad Puppies 2: The Illustrated Edition” at Monster Hunter Nation.

Some people rejoice in sad puppies. They say that having one tiny group of fans always vote for their favorites is “tradition.” They call popular authors’ attempts to stir up their non-WorldCon attending fanbase to vote in their little popularity contest as “vulgar.” By being vulgar and super non-traditional Larry Correia’s Sad Puppies 1 campaign only missed the Best Novel cutoff by a few votes, and those brave souls who supported him last year can do so again for FREE this year. But he needs more help… Larry Correia fans are far more likely to spend $40 on ammo, or snacks for the while they watch the new season of Justified than to join WorldCon, and if they actually attended a WorldCon they would probably be very, very bored.

But if somebody like Larry Correia would be nominated for a Hugo, then puppies everywhere would rejoice.

It really gravels him, as many fans as he has, that last year he lost what everyone admits is a popularity contest. Correia’s Monster Hunter Legion missed the 2013 Hugo ballot by 17 votes.

His strategy for avoiding the same fate in 2014 involves the rhetorical sleight-of-hand of convincing his fans that voting for their favorite (him) is a virtuous act of nonconformist rebellion, while the identical behavior directed by other fans towards their favorites (not him) is hideous elitism.

Shouldn’t that work?

Along the way, Correia called on people to nominate his editor at Baen, Toni Weisskopf. Now that’s something I can agree with – Toni Weisskopf should be competing for a Hugo. She’s a terrific developer of talent.

Beneath a photo of Toni’s dog, Daphne, Correia continued –

Daphne is sad because most of her owner’s authors are despised and ridiculed by the traditional WorldCon voting crowd and the snooty literati. She knows that her owner deserves a Hugo for Best Editor because of her impressive career editing hundreds of popular works of sci-fi and fantasy and for discovering dozens of new authors who went on to be big sellers…

For all that the Hugos are a popularity contest, fans are aware a writer can sell an enormous amount of sf — stuff they like! — without moving them to give him an award. One of my personal favorites, Mack Reynolds, sold hundreds of stories in his career, only one of which garnered a Hugo nomination.

It sounds absurd to argue that Toni Weisskopf has rendered service to the field while pretending her authors – which is to say Baen-published authors – are generally despised and ridiculed.  

Begin with Larry Correia himself. Worldcon members nominated Correia for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2011. They sure didn’t despise him that year.

Lois McMaster Bujold is a 12-time Hugo nominee, 5-time winner – and 3 of her Hugo-winning novels were published by Baen.

Other current Baen authors have history with the Hugo/Campbell awards from when they were with other publishers. Timothy Zahn won a Hugo and received two other nominations for short fiction in Analog. Wen Spencer won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer when she was with Roc.

It is a little surprising that two leading alternate history authors, Robert Conroy and S. M. Stirling, who are up for the Sidewise Award almost every year, have never made the Hugo ballot. (Stirling’s Nantucket trilogy came out when he was at NAL/Roc, so as I’m suggesting, the pattern probably has nothing to do with Baen.) And there are some more Baen authors — Michael Z. Williamson, Eric Flint, David Weber, and Mercedes Lackey – who have provided so much entertainment over the course of their careers it’d be great to see them nominated someday.

Baen Ebooks Also Being Sold Through Sony

Ebook pioneer Baen Books is making its ebooks available through Reader Store from Sony for the first time beginning August 9, 2013.

Baen Books has sold its own ebooks for over 13 years at its retail site, Baenebooks.com. These ebooks have always been totally free of digital rights restrictions. 

The move to third-party distribution is relatively new territory for Baen, which has built a name for itself in the ebook arena with an innovative e-Advanced Reading Copy program and limited time monthly discount bundles.  These programs will continue, according to Toni Weisskopf, Baen Publisher.

“We are excited for the chance to work with Sony. Now it will be easier than ever to download your favorite Weber, Ringo, or Correia ebook to your ebook reader,” says Toni Weisskopf, Baen Publisher. “The DRM-free model will not change, and you can be sure we will always maintain our famous ebook pioneering spirit and customer-first orientation.”

Baen Bulk Backs Troops

Operation Baen Bulk and TeddRoberts.com want to raise $3,500 so they can send Kindles to Military Treatment Facilities (MTFs) at Ft. Bragg and Camp Le Jeune.

Since 2009, OBB has been sending deployed units large quantities of books, snacks, stainless-steel travel mugs, flashlights, batteries, “Smart Wool” socks, hydration supplies and other things. This year they’re focusing on what happens “After Action.”

[Each] $100 we raise will buy one basic Kindle (ad-free), shipped to the secret lair of OBB, where we will load an image containing the Baen Books Free Library and Promotional CDs. We will then ship the Kindles in lots of 10-20 to MTFs at military bases around the country.

 [Thanks to Petréa Mitchell for the story.]

Baen Podcast Available

The new Baen Free Radio Hour, a weekly podcast, offers listeners the initial chapters of David Weber’s Shadow of Freedom in audiobook form as part of a special agreement with Audible.com. It will be serialized with one new chapter each week.

Baen’s podcast will draw content from Baen authors and other top names. There will also be news features, discussions, writing and reading suggestions, plus fiction and drama based on the works of Baen authors. The podcast posts new installments weekly on Friday at noon.

“We’re absolutely convinced that serializing Shadow of Freedom will draw listeners to the complete audiobook available on Audible.com, and to David Weber’s great Honor Harrington series available in print and ebook form,” says Baen Publisher Toni Weisskopf. “The podcast itself is a showcase of all things Baen, and revolves around our authors, their books, and the interests of our wonderful reading community. And with audiobook serials and audio dramas, the podcast is packed with both information and entertainment for listeners.”

Next — Baen Ebooks Via Baker & Taylor

[From the press release] Ebook pioneer Baen Books is making its ebooks available for purchase through distributor Baker & Taylor for the first time beginning March 14, 2013. Science fiction and fantasy publisher Baen Books has sold its own ebooks for over thirteen years at Baen’s retail site, Baenebooks.com, where ebooks have always been downloadable totally free of digital rights restrictions. The move to third party distribution is relatively new territory for Baen, which has built a name for itself in the ebook arena with innovative an e-Advanced Reading Copy program and limited time monthly discount bundles. These programs will continue, according to Toni Weisskopf, Baen Publisher.

“We are excited for the chance to take advantage of Baker and Taylor’s unique market reach and have our ebooks distributed by their distinctive channels. Now it will be easier than ever to download your favorite Weber, Ringo, or Correia ebook to your ebook reader,” says Weisskopf. “The DRM-free model will not change, and you can be sure we will always maintain our famous ebook pioneering spirit and customer-first orientation.”

Baen is known for its New York Times bestselling science fiction and fantasy, including David Weber’s Honor Harrington series, Eric Flint’s Ring of Fire alternate histories, and Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter International urban fantasies. Baen’s paper titles are distributed by Simon & Schuster.

Baen Catalog Available on Apple iBookstore

Baen Books are now available for purchase from Apple’s iBookstore.

Until recently, the publisher’s ebooks could be purchased only at Baenebooks.com. Then in December, Baen began offering ebooks through the Amazon Kindle store.

Whether purchased directly from Baen, or Amazon and Apple, the ebooks come DRM-free.

Baen’s best-known sf and fantasy lines include David Weber’s Honor Harrington series, Eric Flint’s Ring of Fire alternate histories, Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter International urban fantasies, and Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga.

“Now that we’ve made our books available on the iBookstore, it will be easier than ever for fans to read their favorite Weber, Ringo, or Correia book on their iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, says Toni Weisskopf, Publisher. “We see this as a promising expansion of our famous pioneering digital spirit and customer-first orientation.”

The full press release follows the jump.

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Baen To Kindle More Sales?

Baen, a pioneer in ebook marketing, is about to relent and begin selling ebooks outside their own store – presumably through Amazon, predicts Nate Hoffelder at The Digital Reader.

Some of the early clues, says Hoffelder, were the shrinking Baen Free Library, and a request made to one webmaster to stop offering files of Baen books once given away free in CD format because of an imminent “new ebook distribution deal with an ‘unnamed third-party’.”

[Via Andrew Porter and Paul Di Filippo.]