Meeting Jim Baen….
It was 1980 and at 15 pounds under my weight in high school I walked into the office of a brand new company called Tor Books. My hair was long, my face gaunt and the soles of my shoes were worn thin. There I met the editor at Tor, Jim Baen, for the first time. He had no idea who I was but I knew very well who he was. Still, Jim was friendly, cordial and more importantly, he bought a painting right out of my portfolio for a cover. I was thinking of “Starship Troopers” when I did the painting. Jim told me it would be on the cover of “Earth Descended” by Fred Saberhagen. Then Jim assigned me a book cover. It wasn’t my first cover but it was the first of hundreds I happily did for him at Tor and later at Baen Books. Had Tor Books not existed and had Jim Baen not been there it’s likely that I would have lost another 15 pounds and another and another till I was nothing. Jim gave me the opportunity to be something and I am indebted to him. Over the years Jim always treated me like a friend. He even took me back into the Baen Books fold after a three-year stint working exclusively on an illustrated book that was never published. I’ll miss you Jim. Thank you for everything.