Eric Flint

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Eric Flint
Eric Flint.jpg
Born(1947-02-06)February 6, 1947
Burbank, California, U.S.
DiedJuly 17, 2022(2022-07-17) (aged 75)
East Chicago, Indiana, U.S.
Occupation
  • Novelist
  • short story author
  • editor
  • e-publisher
GenreScience fiction, fantasy, alternate history
Notable works1632
Website
ericflint.net

Eric Flint (February 6, 1947 – July 17, 2022) was an American author, editor, and e-publisher. The majority of his main works are alternate history science fiction, but he also wrote humorous fantasy adventures. His works have been listed on The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Locus magazine best seller lists. He was a co-founder and editor of the Baen Free Library.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in 1947 in Burbank, California, Flint worked on a Ph.D. in history specializing in southern African history. He left his doctoral program in order to become a political activist in the labor movement and supported himself from that time until age 50 in a variety of jobs, including longshoreman, truck driver, and machinist, and as a labor union organizer. A long-time leftist political activist, Flint worked as a member of the Socialist Workers Party.[1]

Career[edit]

After winning the fourth quarter of 1993 Writers of the Future contest,[2] he published his first novel in 1997 and moved to full-time writing in 1999.

Shortly afterwards, he became the first librarian of the Baen Free Library and a prominent anti–copy protection activist.[3][4] He has edited the works of several classic SF authors, repackaging their short stories into collections and fix-up novels. This project has met commercial success, and has returned several out-of-print authors to print.

In 2004, faced with a persistent drain on his time[5] by fan-fiction authors seeking comment on the four years old 1632 Tech Manual web forum focused on his 1632 series, he suggested[5] to Jim Baen the experimental serialized fan-fiction e-zine The Grantville Gazette which also found commercial success.[5] Four of the Gazette magazine editions were collated into anthology formats, bought by Jim Baen and brought out in either hardcover or paperback or both formats, though the last purchased[6] remains unpublished. Subsequently, Flint became editor of the new Jim Baen's Universe science-fiction e-zine while concurrently remaining a creative writer bringing out three to five titles per year. After the death of Jim Baen due to a stroke and after completing the contract for the tenth Grantville Gazette, Flint founded a new website, "grantvillegazette.com",[7] which is not only continuing to bring out The Grantville Gazettes, but increasing the publishing rate from four per year to bimonthly while paying better than standard magazine pay rates and is modeled on the JBU e-zine.

As of October 2007, he lived with his wife Lucille (also an ex-labor organizer) in East Chicago, Indiana.[citation needed]

In 2008, he donated his archive to the department of Rare Books and Special Collections at Northern Illinois University.[8]

Flint was the author guest of honor for the 2010 NASFiC, ReConStruction.[9]

He also participated in The Stellar Guild series published by Phoenix Pick. The series pairs bestselling authors such as Flint with lesser known authors in science fiction and fantasy to help provide additional visibility to them.[citation needed]

Electronic publishing[edit]

Eric Flint is noted as a co-founder and editor of the Baen Free Library which is an ongoing experiment in electronic publishing (e-books in multiple unencrypted formats) where Flint and the late Jim Baen convinced authors to post entirely unprotected free copies of various works for download over the internet. One early goal was to see if the release of free electronic content would increase the sales of their traditional print or (for-pay) electronic editions. As part of the initial phase, Flint has published a series of essays that in form have been part blog and part letters to the editor tracking the experiment and championing the practice.

Financially, it seems to be working out for publisher Baen Books, as they have embraced unencrypted e-book publication for all their works available in a variety of common formats. Usually eighty to a hundred titles are available in the Baen Free Library at any given time. In most cases, the works involved are the early volumes in continuing series, appetite whetters, where readers might be likely to purchase later works in the same series.

All new Baen Books can also be purchased as e-books in the same unencrypted formats as the free library through Baen WebScriptions. As an added wrinkle one can purchase a monthly collection of five bundled works in the release stage of publication at Baen's. Once the bundle reaches four months from its scheduled release date in print, about half of the work is serialized and available to readers purchasing the advanced peek. A month later, the next quarter, followed by the last quarter, available about a month on average ahead of any printed work. The last delivery contains the copyedited e-book version of the book.

One can also purchase electronic Advanced Reader Copies, which are not a part of the monthly bundle, but are available for purchase. These followed a successful experiment with an online eMagazine, called the Grantville Gazette (more below—see 1632 series). They are unproofed manuscripts and are full of typos and errors. They are unedited from the author's word processor; however, they are available even before the first part of the monthly bundles. These copies do not include the final proofed version, which is available only in the single or monthly bundle for that book. In March 2007, Flint began acting as publisher of a for-fee web-access version of the gazette.

Flint also helmed Jim Baen's Universe, an e-zine published from 2006 until 2010.

Death[edit]

Flint died on July 17, 2022, at the age of 75 in East Chicago, Indiana.[10][11][12][13][14][15]

Bibliography[edit]

Reception[edit]

To date, six of his books have been included on The New York Times Best Seller list. They are 1634: The Galileo Affair (2004),[16][17] 1634: The Baltic War (2007),[18][19] 1634: The Bavarian Crisis (2007),[20] 1636: The Kremlin Games (2013),[21] Torch of Freedom (2009),[22] and Cauldron of Ghosts (2014).[23]

1635: The Papal Stakes (2012),[24] The Crucible of Empire (2010),[25] and Threshold (2010)[26] were listed on The Wall Street Journal Best-Selling Books list for Hardcover Science Fiction.

Cauldron of Ghosts (2014)[27] was listed on The Washington Post Best-Selling Books list for Hardcover Fiction.

Almost all of Flint's books sold well enough to get listed on the various Locus Bestsellers Lists with some titles listed multiple times and a few even reached the top spot for the month.[28][29][30]

Awards and honors[edit]

Flint was awarded the 2008 Dal Coger Memorial Hall of Fame Award primarily for his River of War series.[31]

In 2018, he received a Special Sidewise Award for Alternate History for his ongoing encouragement of the genre of alternate history through his support of the community and writers developed around his 1632 series.[32]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Flint, Eric. "Eric Flint's place on the web: biography". Archived from the original on October 7, 2011. Retrieved October 16, 2011.
  2. ^ "Volume 09 – 1993 – Winners – Writers & Illustrators of the Future".
  3. ^ "Introducing the Baen Free Library (and other columns in the collection)". Archived from the original on May 3, 2006.
  4. ^ "The Editor's Page October 2006". Archived from the original on October 12, 2007. Retrieved October 18, 2007.
  5. ^ a b c Flint, Eric, ed. (November 1, 2004). "Preface". The Grantville Gazette. 1632 series aka Ring of Fire series (1st, (pb) (e-book reprint plus additional content) ed.). Riverdale, NY: Baen Books. p. 2. ISBN 0-7434-8860-1. Archived from the original on October 17, 2007. Retrieved October 17, 2007. Once I realized how many stories...of publishable quality [were being written,] I raised with Jim Baen the idea of producing an online magazine which would pay for fiction and factual articles set in the 1632 universe and...Jim was willing to try it...
  6. ^ Flint, Eric and various others (December 26, 2006). "Preface". Grantville Gazette III. Thomas Kidd (cover art). Baen Books. pp. 1–2. ISBN 978-1-4165-0941-7. Jim Baen died a month ago. I suppose... All things considered, I'm glad the last book I ever sold my friend and publisher Jim Baen was one of these.
  7. ^ Flint, Eric (April 29, 2007). "Grantville Gazette on line / going Pro / going bi-monthly". Archived from the original on July 17, 2022. Retrieved October 17, 2007.
  8. ^ Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) Collection Archived June 3, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Northern Illinois University
  9. ^ Silver, Steven (August 11, 2009). "Worldcon 2009, NASFiC 2010, Worldcon 2011". SF Site News. SF Site.com. Archived from the original on September 27, 2017. Retrieved June 26, 2010.
  10. ^ "SFE: Flint, Eric". The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. Archived from the original on March 2, 2022. Retrieved July 18, 2022.
  11. ^ "Eric Flint (1947–2022)". Locus. July 17, 2022. Archived from the original on July 17, 2022.
  12. ^ Boyes, Walt (July 21, 2022). "Eric Flint: An Appreciation of a Well-Lived Life". Ring of Fire Press. Archived from the original on July 22, 2022.
  13. ^ "To our friends". The Grantville Gazette. July 17, 2022. Archived from the original on July 18, 2022.
  14. ^ "SF Author / Editor Eric Flint Passes Away". SCIFI.radio. July 17, 2022. Archived from the original on July 18, 2022.
  15. ^ "In Memoriam – Eric Flint". Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. July 21, 2022.
  16. ^ "Hardcover Fiction". The New York Times. April 18, 2004. Archived from the original on April 10, 2014. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
  17. ^ "Hardcover Fiction". The New York Times. April 25, 2004. Archived from the original on April 10, 2014. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
  18. ^ "Hardcover Fiction". The New York Times. May 13, 2007. Archived from the original on April 10, 2014. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
  19. ^ "Hardcover Fiction". The New York Times. May 20, 2007. Archived from the original on April 10, 2014. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
  20. ^ "Hardcover Fiction". The New York Times. October 21, 2007. Archived from the original on April 2, 2014. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
  21. ^ "Hardcover Fiction". The New York Times. June 24, 2012. Archived from the original on April 5, 2014. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
  22. ^ "Hardcover Fiction". The New York Times. December 6, 2009. Archived from the original on March 6, 2016. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
  23. ^ "Hardcover Fiction". The New York Times. April 27, 2014. Archived from the original on April 19, 2014. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
  24. ^ "Best-Selling Books, Week Ended Oct. 28; With data from Nielsen BookScan". The Wall Street Journal. November 3, 2012. Archived from the original on April 22, 2016. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  25. ^ "Best-Selling Books, Week Ended Feb. 28; With data from Nielsen BookScan". The Wall Street Journal. March 5, 2010. Archived from the original on March 13, 2016. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  26. ^ "Best-Selling Books, Week Ended June 20; With data from Nielsen BookScan". The Wall Street Journal. June 25, 2010. Archived from the original on August 21, 2017. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  27. ^ "Michael Lewis's 'Flash Boys' remains at No. 1, Lee Child's 'Never Go Back' also at No. 1". The Washington Post. April 21, 2014. Archived from the original on July 21, 2022. Retrieved August 27, 2017.
  28. ^ "Locus Bestsellers, July 2004". Locus. July 2004. Archived from the original on February 2, 2013. Retrieved May 31, 2014.
  29. ^ "Locus Bestsellers, November 2005". Locus. November 2005. Archived from the original on February 2, 2013. Retrieved May 31, 2014.
  30. ^ "Locus Bestsellers, December 2005". Locus. December 2005. Archived from the original on February 2, 2013. Retrieved May 31, 2014.
  31. ^ "Coger Memorial Hall of Fame". Darrell Awards. February 27, 2022. Archived from the original on October 1, 2015. Retrieved August 9, 2015.
  32. ^ "Past Winners and Finalists". Sidewise Awards. Archived from the original on November 13, 2020. Retrieved July 17, 2022.

External links[edit]