Walt Boyes on the Consequences of Taking Down Baen’s Bar

[Editor’s Introduction: Walt Boyes, Editor, the Grantville Gazette and Editor in Chief, Eric Flint’s Ring of Fire Press, emailed this letter of comment on February 17. I did not realize it was intended for publication until I saw his comment on Eric Flint’s Facebook page. Here it is:]   


Walt Boyes: I regret that Jason Sanford says he is being harassed. Nobody should do that, under any provocation.

However, one thing I believe that Jason Sanford did wrong is to lump all the conferences on Baen’s Bar together.

As Eric Flint noted, the conferences he oversees (oversaw) are heavily moderated (I am one of them, though not a Bar Moderator) and we do not allow the kinds of behavior that Mr. Sanford reports. I don’t go to Politics or Blazes because I know what’s there. Do not want to do that.

But since Mr. Sanford decided to throw the baby out with the bath water, Science Fiction has (at least temporarily,I hope) lost a very important resource. The1632Tech and 1632Slush conferences and the UniverseSlush conferences have provided a great resource to beginning (or otherwise) writers. We have been doing this for over 20 years. We critique and workshop beginning writers’ work, and at the end of the process, often buy the stories for the Grantville Gazette (www.Grantvillegazette.com). These stories can be in the 1632Universe, or just really good science fiction or fantasy, because we kept the Baen’s Universe crit group going, and we publish one or two stories from there every issue.

These conferences have produced millions of published words, paid at SFWA professional rates (currently $0.08/word) and at least one Nebula nominated author (Kari English). Over 150 authors have made their first professional sale through those conferences. Several have become NYT and Amazon Best Sellers.

There is no politics in these conferences. There is no violence or discussion of violence other than as it relates to the 1632 series.

So, because Mr Sanford didn’t do all the research that an investigative reporter should (I too am a member of SPJ and have done investigative reporting for decades), our writers who were working on their stories, as they have done for 20 years, are now out in the cold.  We have even, at least temporarily, lost the archives of the conferences, which are irreplaceable. Instead of editing the 94th issue of the Gazette, I am now trying to save the conferences we have used to create it.

I am not saying that Mr. Sanford did the right thing, or the wrong thing. But actions have consequences, and what he has done has challenged the careers of many beginning writers, because he didn’t ask anybody who knew anything what was going on.

Best regards,

Walt Boyes, Editor, the Grantville Gazette; Editor in Chief, Eric Flint’s Ring of Fire Press



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91 thoughts on “Walt Boyes on the Consequences of Taking Down Baen’s Bar

  1. I completely agree. I am just as upset about the attempted insurrection and the right wing yahoos that continue to threaten violence as Sanford rightly is. However, attacking Baen’s Bar and Baen in particular is also wrong.

    Point out that so and so on such and such forum said something bad. Argue that they should be removed or the rules should be changed. Don’t attack friend and foe alike as has been done.

    I thought we lefties were supposed to be the good guys.

  2. Jason Sanford didn’t take down Baen’s Bar. He reported on conversations that happened there and asked what the hosts were doing about it.

    Everything that happened there before and after his reporting is on the hosts.

  3. I fully agree that losing Baen’s Bar in its entirety is sad and a loss for fandom. I still remember talking with Eric Flint, Virginia de Marce, and yourself over on the 1632Tech and other forums.

    But what you are doing here is blaming the messenger. Large parts of Baen’s Bar was a cesspool, and while it is to your credit how you and Eric managed 1632Tech, the decision to close down the Bar wasn’t made by Sanford. It was made by Toni Weisskopf, and it was also largely her decisions that allowed the rest of the active Bar to fall into a hateful morass.

  4. Weisskopf had the option of shutting down the sections with the violent content, rather than the entire thing.

    Or, since that would require strong moderation of the rest of the site, to avoid the extremist crowd taking over other sections, shutting down the entire site temporarily, announcing a clear intention to return with strong moderation to prevent the extremists wrecking the rest of the site for everyone.

    All we have seen from Toni Weisskopf is weasel-words and blame-shifting, and a pretense that this is an attack on Baen as a publisher, rather than on the dangerous idiocy going on in parts of Baen’s Bar.

    Have we seen an outright, clear condemnation from her, of the seemingly coordinated death threats and harassment against Jason Sanford? And by “clear” and “outright,” no, I don’t mean weasel-words like “I regret that Jason Sanford “says”…” Remember, some of it is happening in public, where we can see it, and it’s not necessary to rely on his word about that.

    And I bet you and Mr. Flint could manage, without too much difficulty, to move your well-moderated forums elsewhere.

  5. The question I’d ask is why is Jon Sanford being blamed for Toni Weisskopf’s actions?

    (And I see that others proffered the same point while I was typing.)

  6. The key mistake in logic here is that Jason did not compel the behavior or consequences that Walt decries. Jason is not the actor responsible for the content that drove the decision to close the Bar. Jason is not the actor responsible for closing the entirety of the Bar. Neither is Jason the actor capable of restoring the content Walt wants access to.

    (I see that I’m the fifth person to note this)

  7. “I don’t go to Politics or Blazes because I know what’s there. Do not want to do that.”

    So, you freely admit that there is a part of your message board where people can run riot, post threatening or bigoted content, and you don’t enforce any guidelines or rules because you “do not want to do that?”

    Abdicating responsibility is not the same thing as intellectual freedom.

  8. I believe I already read, on the same facebook post, that those writing-related forums were now moving to Discord and that discussions were being had with Baen to archive and transfer everything over . . . so I’m not quite clear on the outrage. Crisis averted and resolved, surely?

  9. As Eric Flint noted, the conferences he oversees (oversaw) are heavily moderated (I am one of them, though not a Bar Moderator) and we do not allow the kinds of behavior that Mr. Sanford reports. I don’t go to Politics or Blazes because I know what’s there. Do not want to do that.

    But evidently, you saw no problem with what went on in Politics or Blazes, and were perfectly happy to allow it to continue, and it’s all Jason Sanford’s fault for bringing it to public notice.

  10. I am sure that every word that was written is true, or true enough. But it’s also true of an Internet institution as old as The Bar, also a home to fringe fandoms even back when there were less places for them: 4Chan. Most of the forums are moderated, and dedicated to their niche. But everybody knows you don’t go to /pol/, the dedicated political forum, or /b/, the unmoderated forums. They’re dumpster fires, but it’s just trolls so ignore them. Maybe, all of the calls for violence on the bar is venting. Maybe, all of the people saying racist and homophobic things on the bar is just trolling, to own the pearl clutchers. But after watching so many people hurt, so much violence, murders and the attempted violent overthrow of the US government by Fascists all of which started as trolling in 4Chan and other online forums the only sound tactical decision is to take calls for violence seriously. To deny that, to defend that, because everyone knows you don’t go to Politics or Blazes is dangerously naïve at best, disingenuous at worst. There are systemic problems with Baen, with the regional fandoms they are most active in, and with The Bar. That is a hard truth to hear. But it is true. At the heart of that is ignoring politics and dumpster fires, until they break containment and endanger people.

  11. When someone reports a problem, it’s not their “job” to track down every single specific thing about that problem, or as you seem to suggest, track down every case where that problem doesn’t occur!

    One could also argue that perhaps you and Eric Flint failed to do your job as caretakers and moderators of your forums! After all, you allowing them to be hosted by a provider (Baen) and in a context that you evidently weren’t keeping track of – which context now caused your forums to have been taken down by Baen, the host.

    The entire problem could have been prevented by Baen, but Baen chose to allow the problem to exist and worsen. When the problem was reported, the pest people to track down where the problem was happening and where not, was and is Baen. The decision to take down everything rather than perhaps something more targeted was made by … Baen.

    The failure here is entirely Baen’s.

  12. I’m annoyed with the “Jason Sanford didn’t do his research” claims. How do they know? It’s more likely he visited more than one forum on the Bar and then realized which ones were great, which ones were pretty much dead, and which ones were cesspools. But he is not obligated to say, “Yes, Politics and Blazes are cesspools, but the 1632 forums are great.” That is not relevant.

    If I’m writing an article on a movie that is controversial — let’s say “Music” by Sia — I’m not obligated to say, “But Vertical Entertainment also distributed lots of non-controversial films.”

    Baen could have handled this differently from the start. Perhaps they didn’t want to do the extra work because they were afraid to loom like the “bad guys” to their fans if they started moderating posts more strongly in certain forums.

  13. As genially as possible.

    Pointing out that there is a problem is absolutely something Jason’s responsible for.

    However, Toni chose to shut down the bar. That is the solution chosen for dealing with the problem. Why is your ire not directed at Toni for shutting down the bar and impacting the careers of beginning writers? Jason didn’t do that. Jason pointed out that there was a problem – and Toni shut down the bar.

    So, because Mr Sanford didn’t do all the research that an investigative reporter should (I too am a member of SPJ and have done investigative reporting for decades), our writers who were working on their stories, as they have done for 20 years, are now out in the cold. We have even, at least temporarily, lost the archives of the conferences, which are irreplaceable. Instead of editing the 94th issue of the Gazette, I am now trying to save the conferences we have used to create it.

    None of that is remotely Jason’s responsibility. The responsibility lies with those who engaged in speech acts calling for violence, and those taking action to deal with it. That you would pin this on Jason rather than on people casually discussing strategies for murdering other people based on political views and/or Toni’s leadership of the forum is, to my point of view, a failure in logic on your part, Walt.

  14. I regret that Jason Sanford says he is being harassed

    It strikes quite the rhetorical note, to regret the reports rather than the actual harassment. Especially since the harassment is quite verifiable.

    Also, it ought to go without saying, but I strongly agree that “I don’t go to Politics or Blazes because I know what’s there” means Boyes essentially agrees with Sanford’s reporting. Baen could’ve resolved this whole situation by disavowing calls to violence, rehauling the Bar’s moderation policy, and possibly closing its political discussions.

  15. This is the reply I wrote to Walt Boyes’ email (when I thought it was personal correspondence) —

    I know why I shouldn’t be expecting a Christmas card from Baen like ever, however, for my part there are many things I like and admire about Baen’s line, as well as their annual contests, and their efforts to connect with fandom. I include news about them whenever possible. The whole 1632 enterprise is one of the things I admire.

    I can see how having your archives and conferences unavailable is a great blow, and that your conferences were well-moderated. I hope they will soon be restored.

    In return, I will try to shed a little light on my recent experiences. Immediately after the January 6 violence and vandalism at the Capitol — which maybe should have been expected by somebody but was a surprise to me — I was sent the link to Tom Kratman’s Baen Bar post about next steps, including recommendations that a Trump party be formed accompanied by a militia prepared to deter law enforcement action. It made me upset. I included the Kratman item in my January 9 roundup. While paging through various Baen’s Bar conferences I read other things of that ilk but expressed more indirectly — but it no longer seemed wise to automatically dismiss them as the utterings of blowhards because the January 6 insurrectionists in costume and taking selfies while they rioted could not be dismissed as absurd after what they did.

    I’m not motivated to lump all Baen’s Bar participants together — I’m concerned about why is Baen letting anyone at all use its forum to coach the overthrow of the government.

    And since it wasn’t that many people doing it, did the entire Baen’s Bar have to be taken down to keep that from happening? One would think not. Baen management would have to decide that was something they wanted to stop, and were willing to pay the price to their brand to stop. Despite people talking about Kratman’s post, it is obviously a question they had no intention of confronting before Sanford’s report.

    Anyway, I would say that shorter if I could, for you already know much of it, I just needed to try and get it down clearly.

    It has certainly been my experience over the past seven years that writing these kinds of articles invite consequences. I don’t know if Sanford has previously encountered them to the degree he is now. Some examples of the harassment he’s getting exceed what I’ve received.

    I hope your Baen’s Bar conferences are restored online soon, since the 1632 project is a really remarkable melding of pro and fan authors.

  16. Also, too: Isn’t the closure temporary? It’s been 4 days. While a really long delay of a month or more might be a real problem, would a delay of about a week or so really break people’s careers?

    That’s setting aside the point about a migration to another server being in the works, posted above (which is the first I’ve heard of it).

    I sincerely hope that Baen’s Bar can reopen after implementing a fix for the problematic issues, but suggesting that Sanford is responsible for its closure ignores the simple fact of who is responsible for the site being open in the first place.

  17. It is not Jason Sanford who “decided to throw the baby out with the bath water”. The decision to close the whole Baen’s Bar was Toni Weisskopf’s. If Boyes doesn’t agree with it, he should take it with her.

    But I do find this passage in his letter very telling:

    “I don’t go to Politics or Blazes because I know what’s there. Do not want to do that.”

  18. That first sentence sounds very familiar. Where did I hear it….? Oh, yeah. Last summer, from Trump, about Gov. Whitmer:

    “She says she was harassed.”

    You can take that pathetic fig leaf of a sentence and shove it up your ass. You’ve failed as an adult.

  19. I don’t doubt that the forums related to Eric Flint’s series were okay. Nobody that I am aware of said somethink differently. But they were in a neighborhood that was heavy toxic.
    Yes they are colleteral damage, but to give the fault to someone reporting the problem in the neighborhood is really somethink else.
    The problem was other topic and sub-forums on Bean’s Bar. It was the neighborhood. A lot of the citizen didn’t care about the problem.
    I don’t really blame them, It wasn’t there job, but to have a sub-forum, where a lot of users don’t go, because it is to ugly is a problem in itself. (Note it is different, if you don’t go there for other reasons)
    And then it was Bean’s decision to close all of Bean’s Bar, for what I as far as I know is at the moment, temporary.
    So what everyone else said, not the fault of Jason.

  20. All Sanford did was point out that there was uranium in the bathwater with the baby, provide some Geiger counter readings, and point out that that was a bad idea. The decisions to stick the uranium in the bathwater with the baby, to leave it in there for several decades while it irradiated the baby, and then toss both baby & bathwater out when criticised, was entirely Baen’s, and it seems to me that Boyes’ criticisms would be better directed there.

  21. Fundamentally, the issue with this ‘defence’ — and Flint’s and Weber’s as well — is that the parts of the forum not populated by assholes have silo’d themselves away, because nobody wants to deal with the assholes. It’s exhausting and fruitless work.

    So you stick to the areas where you don’t meet them, and because you’ve abandoned a space to the assholes, it gets quickly overrun, and so the feedback effect becomes worse. It is the inevitable fate of a moderation-light space on the internet, and it closely mirrors the story of how you keep a punk bar from becoming a Nazi one.

    Baen didn’t kick out the Nazis (metaphorical or, in the case of Mr. Kratman, possibly otherwise), and the inevitable inevitated.

    Because of the way the Bar is structured, which is (outside of a handful of general forums) as a series of authorial fiefs, it’s quite possible to stick to your preferred area and not hit the problem ones, but those problem areas are still there and still tarnish everything, and the people saying “I don’t visit Politics, I know what it’s like” are effectively conceding everything about what’s going on there and indulging in broken-stair thinking to boot.

    It sucks that something like the 1632 forums went down with it, but that’s a choice you make when you run your writing project on the same forums that Mr. Kratman is fantasizing about using black rioters to stage an insurrection because “they can do anything and the left won’t object”.

    There’s lots of other SF-centric forums with rules against that sort of nonsense that would be more than happy to see a project like 1632 relocate to them. They could’ve moved any time in the last decade. And they didn’t.

    There’s an old, old phrase about lying down with dogs that applies here. It’s time to buy flea powder.

  22. The only way it would have been possible to close part of the bar would have been if you are 100% confident that the part left open had no problematic statements. Otherwise, the problem is not solved, and you are open to charges of “You must be okay with (whatever problematic material remains).”

    In other words, every part that is left online must be parsed, post by post. That takes longer than the few days that the report has been posted. Closing it all right now, and possibly bringing some of it back online later was the only realistic choice.

  23. Let me echo other commenters to say HOW exactly did Sanford throw the baby out with the bathwater? He had no power to throw anything out. Baen made that choice. Sanford’s not the moderator, the owner, or anyone else. He just pointed out what was there. Nobody’s denied those were real posts. Why aren’t you mad at Baen for not fixing it sooner?

    Furthermore, why aren’t you grateful to Sanford?

    If there was actually content so egregious that Baen did not want to be associated with it, why aren’t you thrilled to bits that it’s been pulled? Why aren’t you sending Sanford a nice note thanking him for drawing attention to the problem? The teenagers have gone off to college, but if I had found out that one was running a board advocating for violent insurrection out of their bedroom, on the internet I was using, I’d be incredibly grateful to the person who told me so that I could shut that shit down before it got even more out of hand. I’d owe them a debt I wouldn’t know how to repay.

    So the fact that you’re not grateful makes me wonder why…and think maybe you’re just pissed that the staircase has been closed for repairs because somebody pointed out that there were a couple steps missing. And now you’re blaming the person who reported the step was gone, not the owner of the building. Doesn’t seem real logical to me.

  24. It might be my training as an academic, but I do think that Jason Sanford could have done a bit better with the initial report by making narrower claims about the forums and bringing in more evidence. Sanford rhetorically framed it as a report, a term that implies in depth engagement and neutral research, rather than in more casual language that might imply casual observation. Within the context of a substantial report, it wouldn’t have been that hard to frame it as a problem of particular areas in the forum and give a more substantial accounting of the problems. There also seem to be a couple points that got misrepresented as well.

    However, the core issue, the fact that there are toxic areas in the forum where there is both a lot of racism, sexism, and homophobia and that has a lot of loose talk about political violence, doesn’t seem to be meaningfully in dispute. It might be a more significant issue with the events of January 6th and the general rise of far right violence, but it would have been relevant even if those events had not occurred. Perhaps more significantly, I’m not sure the reaction to the report would have been much different if Sanford had done the more detailed and nuanced work that is implied in the term report.

    One last note. There is no legitimate excuse for the harassment campaign that Sanford is going through and that is a more significant issue than any of the flaws in his analysis.

  25. @joel:

    “All this talk of babies being exposed to radiation is ludicrous. Why, I sweep my bedroom with a Geiger counter every day, and nary a tick! Besides, everybody knows not to go into the bathroom. That’s where we keep the uranium!”

  26. Conceding that most of the “rooms” at Baen are both genteel and helpful: If an SF convention had a hundred panels and ninety of them were great but the other ten were known to be not only harassing those attending but actually advocating further harassment against other panels — and the con knew about this but refused to even speak out against it, let alone take action — wouldn’t it be said that the con as a whole has a problem?

  27. @Rev. Bob: “Besides, everybody knows not to go into the bathroom.”
    “Well, okay, maybe not the babies.”

  28. There’s a very good chance that Toni is the sole owner of Baen Books as Camestros found a online profile that indicates that Jim Baen was the sole owner of the company and Toni inherited his share of the company.

    That makes sense as Simon and Schuster originally wanted him to be the editor of Pocket Books but he refused and made the counter-offer to them of creating Baen Books which they financed and which they still distribute. So she is indeed responsible for everything that happens there.

  29. @bill If Baen had announced that was what they were doing that, it would still be their choice. But they haven’t suggested any such thing. What is wanted is a good-faith effort to deal with the problem and we haven’t really seen any sign of that. Even Parler were only asked for plans to deal with their problems, not an immediate purge.

    Toni Weisskopf is a bigger problem than Jason Sanford – for Baen and Baen’s Bar.

  30. While others have made the logical responses, I have to admit I read:

    I regret that Jason Sanford says he is being harassed. Nobody should do that, under any provocation.

    and

    As Eric Flint noted, the conferences he oversees (oversaw) are heavily moderated (I am one of them, though not a Bar Moderator) and we do not allow the kinds of behavior that Mr. Sanford reports.

    …and thought, “This guy’s an editor? Writing for (hopeful) publication?”

    The first paragraph says that no one should say they’re being harassed, regardless of provocation. The second says Boyes is a conference that Flint oversees.

    Ah well.

  31. Boyd’s defense of Baen’s Bar here is, like pretty much all of the other defenses (including Flint’s), both disingenuous and dishonest.

    It attempts to try to shift responsibility for the problem from Baen and its management to Sanford, who literally has no power to do anything but point out that there appears to be a problem.

    An anecdote: Back when the Washington football team was still good, but immediately after Joe Gibbs retired, his longtime assistant Richie Petitbon became head coach. The team did not have a good season, but I remember one specific incident that has stuck with me.

    The team lost a game, fairly badly, but at halftime the game had been close. Immediately before halftime, the Washington team got the ball near the fiftyish yard line with enough time to run one offensive play. They ran a draw play that gained them a fair amount of yardage, but not nearly enough to score.

    After the game, a reporter asked Petitbon if he thought the team should have tried a long strike for the end zone on that play and would doing that have turned the momentum around, and Petitbon had what I call “the Petitbon moment”.

    His response was, basically, “calling offensive plays is the offensive coordinator’s job, and I don’t get into that”. And at that moment I knew Petitbon was never going to be a successful head coach.

    Because when you are the head coach, that is your decision and your responsibility, even if you had no actual input into it. It is part of your job to stand at the front of the line and say “this is on me, I made a decision that didn’t work out and we will do better next time”.

    Why does this matter? Because Weisskopf had her “Richie Petitbon moment” this past week, and she failed, badly. This happened on her watch, on forums run by the company that she owns and manages. This is her circus, and her monkeys. She is responsible in the same way that a head coach is responsible.

    Her response should have been “this is an issue, and I will take steps to make sure this doesn’t happen again”. Instead, she’s trying to weasel her way out of doing anything. She could have said something like “Baen will remove the moderators who have posted violent rhetoric, and will take steps to moderate violent comments in the future, just like we moderate a collection of other issues at Baen’s Bar” and she’d still be GoH. She didn’t, so she isn’t.

    And the thing is, guys like Boyd and Flint are basically letting her off the hook on this, looking for someone else to blame. That, more than anything else about the fracas at Baen’s Bar, tells me that Baen Books is in trouble. If their culture sees someone fail the Petitbon moment and then makes excuses for them, they are adrift.

  32. In no particular order,

    1) Jason Sanford didn’t brush off the calls for real-world violence, depopulating large parts of the country, as people disagreeing with what other people say, and just the normal intellectual ferment of sci-fi – that was was Toni Weiskopf.

    2) Jason Sanford does not control Baen’s Bar. The person who controlled it could have just shut down the cesspits and kept the rest. So maybe talk to her about this?

    3) Maybe it says something about the community there that they’ll react to someone shutting down their forums by rallying to the defense who choose to take this maximal option, and preciously blaming the messenger?

  33. @Cat Eldridge That sounds about right. I do know that Tom Doherty is (or was) still a silent partner, and that he doesn’t have any say in their direction or management.

  34. Sean Wallace says That sounds about right. I do know that Tom Doherty is (or was) still a silent partner, and that he doesn’t have any say in their direction or management.

    Apparently though a non-voting partner if Baen was the sole owner, call him window dressing.

  35. Regarding the ownership of Baen, the registrant of the Baen trademark, renewed in 2020, is “Baen Publishing Enterprises The Estate of James P. Baen, a North Carolina estate, the executors comprising Antonia Weisskopf and Jessica Baen, both United States citizens; and Little Red, Inc., a corporation of New York.”

    Little Red Inc. is probably Little Red Corp. in the New York corporation database, since the current business address of Little Red Corp. is one that was used by Baen in its books in the 1980s. But I couldn’t find anything about who owns that entity.

    The founder of Tor being a silent partner of Baen would be wild.

  36. your statement that politics never happens in your special place is a telling statement that suggests you either don’t understand the situation, or you do and you’re lying.

    politics happens everywhere, man, especially in conversations between the privileged and the less privileged. it’s just the privileged don’t call it politics. they call it “normal,” like being white or male.

  37. @rcade It’s been public knowledge for as long as I’ve been around and it’s even in his official bio: “In 1982, with Jim Baen and Richard Gallen, [Tom Doherty] co-founded Baen Books.” Little Red, Inc. could be related to either investor, though Gallen died eight years ago, so my money would be someone else.

  38. “It is a shame that the apartment next to mine was set on fire by its residents, and it is also a shame that the building manager chose to have the entire building demolished rather than put out the fire, but I think we can all agree that the real villain here is the guy on the sidewalk who called the fire department. By alerting the fire department to the fire, he destroyed several floors worth of office space that was used to build teddy bears for children. What a monster.”

  39. @foamy said

    Baen didn’t kick out the Nazis (metaphorical or, in the case of Mr. Kratman, possibly otherwise), and the inevitable inevitated.

    I have no bone to pick with most of this sentence, or indeed the excellent post in which I found it residing, but shouldn’t “the inevitable” have been “inevitated” (or possibly inevitted?) Based on how other words ending in “able” behave (edible, enviable, visible, etc?)

  40. Sean Wallace says It’s been public knowledge for as long as I’ve been around and it’s even in his official bio: “In 1982, with Jim Baen and Richard Gallen, [Tom Doherty] co-founded Baen Books.” Little Red, Inc. could be related to either investor, though Gallen died eight years ago, so my money would be someone else.

    Could I have a link please? It’s assumed that Toni inherited the share of the company that Jim had but that’s just an assumption. And do you have a link to who is now the owner?

  41. I believe that the estate was held in trust for his younger daughter, who I gather has some difficulties that preclude a fully independent life, though I don’t know the details. Or at least that was the state of things not long after Jim Baen’s death.

  42. tavella says I believe that the estate was held in trust for his younger daughter, who I gather has some difficulties that preclude a fully independent life, though I don’t know the details. Or at least that was the state of things not long after Jim Baen’s death.

    If true, interesting as he was married to Toni at the time of his death, so she would have inherited his estate normally. I’m still betting that she got his voting part of the company which was likely a controlling interest.

  43. Were they married? They always seem to have been described as long term partners rather than spouses. But I’m pretty sure there are people here who are much more knowledgeable about the whole thing and can correct anything I got wrong.

  44. tavella says Were they married? They always seem to have been described as long term partners rather than spouses. But I’m pretty sure there are people here who are much more knowledgeable about the whole thing and can correct anything I got wrong.

    Hard to say as some say they, some say they weren’t. They had a daughter, Katherine who was born in ‘92. I’ll differ to those who knew their marital status. Regardless of that status, I’d be surprised if he didn’t leave her his interest in Baen Books.

  45. @Cat Eldridge I’m all tuckered out from teaching six k-5 classes today, but I basically use the following terms into google: “Tom Doherty” “Baen Books” and usually something like “investor” or “interview” and found multiple matches, mostly from interviews or profiles:

    “In 1983, Baen Books became a separate company, with Doherty and Gallen as Jim Baen’s partners.” (https://locusmag.com/2016/02/tom-doherty-story-first/)

    “Baen was offered the chance by Pocket Books to start his own science fiction line to replace the canceled Timescape line. So, with the help of investors including Doherty, Baen left Tor and created Baen Books.” (http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/tom-doherty-associates-inc-history/)

    “To this day, even after Jim’s death, Tor maintains a friendly rivalry with Baen, and Doherty retains a silent partner stake in Baen Books.” (https://www.worldswithoutend.com/author.asp?ID=3743)

    “Doherty made Baen a counteroffer: he knew that he didn’t want to join a big corporation, and that he wanted his own company. Doherty proposed that he and Bush help him found his own company. Bush would distribute the books, and Doherty would be a partner. All three parties agreed, and in 1984, Baen left and formed Baen Books.” (https://www.kirkusreviews.com/news-and-features/articles/building-brand-tom-dohertys-tor-books/)

    “It’s still working, and that’s how we started Baen Books. I actually gave Jim the inventory to start Baen. I allowed him to take any authors who wanted to go to the startup with Simon & Schuster, any authors that he had brought in that he had worked on. And that was the initial inventory, the first year of Baen. So they would have been Tor books. . . . I think it worked out just great. Baen is still a healthy company doing nicely under Toni [Weisskopf], and, hey, I’m still a partner over there.” (https://www.tor.com/2012/12/11/talking-with-tom-a-conversation-between-tom-doherty-and-le-modesitt-jr/)

    I doubt Tor Books itself has a stake in Baen Books, as that would have been an asset sold to St. Martin’s Press in 1987. It’s far more likely Tom Doherty himself still does, though. I hope that all makes sense?

  46. Sean Wallace says I doubt Tor Books itself has a stake in Baen Books, as that would have been an asset sold to St. Martin’s Press in 1987. It’s far more likely Tom Doherty himself still does, though. I hope that all makes sense?

    Yeah though it still beggars the question of who exactly has the controlling interest in the company now. And just what the relationship of Toni to Baen Books is ibeyond that of being just the Publisher.

    I don’t think Simon and Schuster would allow Tor Books to have a stake in Baen Books.

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