Well-written Books from Baen

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Lois Tilton

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Feb 23, 2003, 10:44:07 PM2/23/03
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It has been suggested by some that the works published by Baen Books
may be deficient in the literary virtues. One method of countering
this claim, aside from ad hominem assaults upon the critics, might be
to list works from Baen which may be considered to be well-written.


My candidate is a book by Chico Kidd: =The Printer's Devil=.

It is well-studded with Latin quotations, what more can one ask?

--
LT

Fae Bard

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Feb 23, 2003, 11:05:26 PM2/23/03
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"Lois Tilton" <lti...@rcn.com> wrote in message
news:rh4j5vkihre05h1kj...@4ax.com...

> It has been suggested by some that the works published by Baen Books
> may be deficient in the literary virtues. One method of countering
> this claim, aside from ad hominem assaults upon the critics, might be
> to list works from Baen which may be considered to be well-written.
>

Although I have run into more Baen books I didn't like than ones I did...
Mercedes Lackey's _Free Bards_ had me up waaay past my bedtime several
nights running.


Meghan

--
***
author of _From the Ashes_
an urban fantasy novel set at Pendragon Renaissance Faire.

For more info, visit http://www.faire-folk.com

To receive _From the Ashes_ FREE daily in your inbox, send an email to
Faire-Folk_Ashes-...@yahoogroups.com


Lois Tilton

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Feb 23, 2003, 11:18:16 PM2/23/03
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On Mon, 24 Feb 2003 04:05:26 GMT, "Fae Bard" <ry...@acmemail.net>
wrote:

>Although I have run into more Baen books I didn't like than ones I did...
>Mercedes Lackey's _Free Bards_ had me up waaay past my bedtime several
>nights running.


But how is the prose?


--
LT

Fae Bard

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Feb 23, 2003, 11:58:19 PM2/23/03
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"Lois Tilton" <lti...@rcn.com> wrote in message
news:u67j5v8c6i6banmj2...@4ax.com...


It's been ~4 years, but... maybe a 6 to 7 on a 10-point scale?

I wouldn't say it's the best thing I've ever read, but that it kept me up at
all says something. Poorly written books tend to wind up decorating the
shelves of the local used book store, not my nightstand. No matter how
incredible the plot, if the prose is bad it gets put down.

Bobby D. Bryant

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Feb 24, 2003, 12:17:13 AM2/24/03
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On Sun, 23 Feb 2003 21:44:07 -0600, Lois Tilton wrote:

> It has been suggested by some that the works published by Baen Books may
> be deficient in the literary virtues. One method of countering this
> claim, aside from ad hominem assaults upon the critics, might be to list
> works from Baen which may be considered to be well-written.

I would give high marks to David Drake's _Birds of Prey_ and _Vettius and
his Friends_ ... though certainly not to the majority of his books.

--
Bobby Bryant
Austin, Texas

Pete McCutchen

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Feb 24, 2003, 8:22:25 AM2/24/03
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On Sun, 23 Feb 2003 21:44:07 -0600, Lois Tilton <lti...@rcn.com>
wrote:

>It has been suggested by some that the works published by Baen Books
>may be deficient in the literary virtues. One method of countering
>this claim, aside from ad hominem assaults upon the critics, might be
>to list works from Baen which may be considered to be well-written.

Nice use of the passive voice, there, Lois.
--

Pete McCutchen

Lois Tilton

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Feb 24, 2003, 10:15:43 AM2/24/03
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On Mon, 24 Feb 2003 13:22:25 GMT, Pete McCutchen
<p.mcc...@worldnet.att.net> wrote:

>Nice use of the passive voice, there, Lois.


I've got a great subjunctive, too.

--
LT

Richard Shewmaker

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Feb 24, 2003, 12:34:54 PM2/24/03
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Well, this might be a little convoluted, but the books listed below
are published by Baen and I enjoyed them. If the writing in them was
noticeably deficient, it's unlikely I would have liked them. They
represent a range of authors, some on the schlocky end and some on the
respectable end.

Aldiss: Hothouse
Drake: Lt. Leary Commanding; Men Hunting Things; With the Lightnings
Laumer: eight Retief books
Morrow: The Continent of Lies
Scott: The Empress of Earth; Silence in Solitude
Shea: The A'Rak; The Mines of Behemoth
Vance: Cugel's Saga; Rhialto the Marvellous
Vinge: Marooned in Realtime

--
My mother used to laugh and say that the only thing my father wouldn't
do for Axel Kern was promise him his only child. Of course, she was
wrong about that.
-- Elizabeth Hand, "Black Light"

David Bilek

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Feb 24, 2003, 1:22:55 PM2/24/03
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I'll bet... (wolf whistle).

Ok, sorry.

-David

Lois Tilton

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Feb 24, 2003, 1:44:14 PM2/24/03
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On Mon, 24 Feb 2003 17:34:54 GMT, Richard Shewmaker
<notint...@nospamforme.moc> wrote:

>Aldiss: Hothouse
>Drake: Lt. Leary Commanding; Men Hunting Things; With the Lightnings
>Laumer: eight Retief books
>Morrow: The Continent of Lies
>Scott: The Empress of Earth; Silence in Solitude
>Shea: The A'Rak; The Mines of Behemoth
>Vance: Cugel's Saga; Rhialto the Marvellous
>Vinge: Marooned in Realtime


I would have a hard time supposing Morrow, Shea (if it is Michael) and
Vance would have produced a badly-written book, certainly.

--
LT

Randy Money

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Feb 24, 2003, 2:43:29 PM2/24/03
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It is. Those are Nifft stories, I believe.

Randy M.

Vlatko Juric-Kokic

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Feb 24, 2003, 3:21:13 PM2/24/03
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On Mon, 24 Feb 2003 04:05:26 GMT, "Fae Bard" <ry...@acmemail.net>
wrote:

>"Lois Tilton" <lti...@rcn.com> wrote in message


>news:rh4j5vkihre05h1kj...@4ax.com...
>> It has been suggested by some that the works published by Baen Books
>> may be deficient in the literary virtues. One method of countering
>> this claim, aside from ad hominem assaults upon the critics, might be
>> to list works from Baen which may be considered to be well-written.
>>
>
>Although I have run into more Baen books I didn't like than ones I did...
>Mercedes Lackey's _Free Bards_ had me up waaay past my bedtime several
>nights running.

I've read _Lark & Wren_ and thought it was competently written book
about growing up. Even interesting. Until the heroine gets in with the
Free Bards.

vlatko
--
_Neither Fish Nor Fowl_
http://www.webart.hr/nrnm/eng/
http://www.michaelswanwick.com/
vlatko.ju...@zg.hinet.hr

Simon van Dongen

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Feb 24, 2003, 9:05:36 PM2/24/03
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One might ask for English sentences worth quoting...

Simon van Dongen

--
Simon van Dongen <sg...@xs4all.nl> Rotterdam, The Netherlands

'Bear courteous greetings to the accomplished musician outside our
gate, [...] and convince him - by means of a heavily-weighted club
if necessary - that the situation he has taken up is quite unworthy
of his incomparable efforts.' -Bramah, 'Kai Lung's Golden Hours'

Richard Shewmaker

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Feb 24, 2003, 9:41:03 PM2/24/03
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Hi, sorry, yes, Michael Shea. And the Scott is Melissa Scott.

Now I had to go see who published the one book I can think of which I
remember to this date as the most stupendously wretched thing I've
ever mistakenly purchased (probably rushing to get on a plane). It
wasn't Baen; it was Roc. No, I don't want to say whose it is. I kept
it as a reminder of past mistakes and to use as a threat for myself if
I ever can't otherwise find the motivation to do something (you don't
want to do that, that's fine: then read THAT book instead).

The only book I've read which was worse than it was a self-published
one (I no longer remember the title or author) I picked up for cheap.
It was so awful I actually read it through because I had to see if
there was any point to it or interesting idea in it at all. There
wasn't. It was like a fairytale invented by a very young child (a
non-Einsteinian one), but done as science fiction (well ...), and what
wouldn't have held up in a few pages had been spread across enough
paper to make it novel-length. I was so mortified I couldn't bring
myself to throw it out and convinced a used bookstore to buy it from
me (no, really, you *want* this -- see, it's unique, I'll bet there
aren't many of these lying around!).

In any event, it doesn't seem everything that comes out of Baen is
kindling only.

John M. Gamble

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Feb 24, 2003, 11:25:53 PM2/24/03
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In article <3E5A57F5...@nospamforme.moc>,

Richard Shewmaker <notint...@nospamforme.moc> wrote:
>Lois Tilton wrote:
>> It has been suggested by some that the works published by Baen Books
>> may be deficient in the literary virtues. One method of countering
>> this claim, aside from ad hominem assaults upon the critics, might be
>> to list works from Baen which may be considered to be well-written.
>>
>> My candidate is a book by Chico Kidd: =The Printer's Devil=.
>>
>> It is well-studded with Latin quotations, what more can one ask?
>
>Well, this might be a little convoluted, but the books listed below
>are published by Baen and I enjoyed them. If the writing in them was
>noticeably deficient, it's unlikely I would have liked them. They
>represent a range of authors, some on the schlocky end and some on the
>respectable end.
>
>Aldiss: Hothouse
>Drake: Lt. Leary Commanding; Men Hunting Things; With the Lightnings
>Laumer: eight Retief books
>Morrow: The Continent of Lies
>Scott: The Empress of Earth; Silence in Solitude
>Shea: The A'Rak; The Mines of Behemoth
>Vance: Cugel's Saga; Rhialto the Marvellous
>Vinge: Marooned in Realtime
>

Okay, i *really* don't want to pour more gasoline on the fire, but
pedantic honesty requires me to ask: How many of these actually
came from the editor via the writer, as opposed to books that have
sold well under other publishers, and were bought by Baen books to
be re-issued?

Is Hothouse a.k.a. The Long Afternood of Earth? In that case, it
predates Baen Books by almost two decades. For example.

--
-john

February 28 1997: Last day libraries could order catalogue cards
from the Library of Congress.

Steve Taylor

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Feb 24, 2003, 11:33:33 PM2/24/03
to
Lois Tilton wrote:

> It has been suggested by some that the works published by Baen Books
> may be deficient in the literary virtues. One method of countering
> this claim, aside from ad hominem assaults upon the critics, might be
> to list works from Baen which may be considered to be well-written.

Bujold is the great exception. After that, I'm not so sure.

> LT


Steve

Brandon Ray

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Feb 25, 2003, 12:55:22 AM2/25/03
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"John M. Gamble" wrote:

>
> Okay, i *really* don't want to pour more gasoline on the fire, but
> pedantic honesty requires me to ask: How many of these actually
> came from the editor via the writer, as opposed to books that have
> sold well under other publishers, and were bought by Baen books to
> be re-issued?
>
> Is Hothouse a.k.a. The Long Afternood of Earth? In that case, it
> predates Baen Books by almost two decades. For example.

I'm not sure how important a distinction that is. Some editor still picked
those particular books as being worthy of being reissued, out of all the
thousands (tens of thousands?) that were out of print and presumably
available.

--
In this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics! -- Homer Simpson


Richard Shewmaker

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Feb 25, 2003, 2:52:39 AM2/25/03
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Poop! I don't know. I can tell you what the book says.

Copyright 1962 Brian Aldiss
Abridged version published in 1962 as "The Long Afternoon of Earth"
Intro copyright 1976 by G.K. Hall & Co.
Particularly for Charles and Timmy Parr (whatever *that* means)
First Baen Printing, December 1984
ISBN: 0-671-55930-3
Cover art by Susan Collins
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

I don't think the rest is important.

Now I'm curious, what's the big deal @ Baen anyway? Why do people want
to discredit them as junk publishers, if that's the case?

Fae Bard

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Feb 25, 2003, 7:42:29 AM2/25/03
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"Richard Shewmaker" <notint...@nospamforme.moc> wrote in message
news:3E5B20FF...@nospamforme.moc...

>
> Now I'm curious, what's the big deal @ Baen anyway? Why do people want
> to discredit them as junk publishers, if that's the case?

I admit that I have not read a vast quatnity of Baen books... although
somewhere along the way (not sure exactly where) there was a book I'd gotten
a quarter of the way through and couldn't finish... and, upon seeing Baen's
imprint on the spine, thought "Oh, that figures." Now, this was before I'd
hit rec.arts.sf.written, so I can honestly say it came without outside
influence.

_The Cage_ is the immediate example of "that figures" that springs to mind.
I couldn't tell you who wrote it, but I don't think I made it even 50 pages
in. It was a huge case of the author trying to show off all the obscure
terms she'd created for her incredibly complicated world. Granted, there
was a glossary at the back of the book... but looking up one term tended to
require looking up five, and by that point I was just utterly confused.

It might've gotten better if I'd been able to stick with it, but I have
little patience for authors who can't be bothered to relate their worlds in
a way the reader can semi-easily grasp.

There have been a few Baen books I did like... mostly by Mercedes Lackey...
but in all of those I've noticed large formatting errors that you'd think
the publisher would have caught. Didn't decrease my enjoyment of the story,
though it knocked Baen down a notch or two in my mental respect roster.

Haven't read Bujold yet -- but from what I understand she tends to be on the
sci-fi end of things, and I prefer fantasy (epic or modern, not picky).

Vlatko Juric-Kokic

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Feb 25, 2003, 12:57:25 PM2/25/03
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On Tue, 25 Feb 2003 12:42:29 GMT, "Fae Bard" <ry...@acmemail.net>
wrote:

>Haven't read Bujold yet -- but from what I understand she tends to be on the


>sci-fi end of things, and I prefer fantasy (epic or modern, not picky).

_Spirit Ring_ and _Curse of Chalion_.

wth...@godzilla4.acpub.duke.edu

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Feb 25, 2003, 1:59:37 PM2/25/03
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jga...@ripco.com (John M. Gamble) writes:

> In article <3E5A57F5...@nospamforme.moc>,
> Richard Shewmaker <notint...@nospamforme.moc> wrote:

> >Aldiss: Hothouse
> >Drake: Lt. Leary Commanding; Men Hunting Things; With the Lightnings
> >Laumer: eight Retief books
> >Morrow: The Continent of Lies
> >Scott: The Empress of Earth; Silence in Solitude
> >Shea: The A'Rak; The Mines of Behemoth
> >Vance: Cugel's Saga; Rhialto the Marvellous
> >Vinge: Marooned in Realtime
> >
>
> Okay, i *really* don't want to pour more gasoline on the fire, but
> pedantic honesty requires me to ask: How many of these actually
> came from the editor via the writer, as opposed to books that have
> sold well under other publishers, and were bought by Baen books to
> be re-issued?


Well, I was *very* happy to see the Baen re-issue of
the Nifft books, as my own copy of "Nifft the lean"
vanished decades ago. How much longer would I have had
to wait without Baen? And I had never seen a copy
of "The Mines of Behemoth". "The A'Rak" is new.


> Is Hothouse a.k.a. The Long Afternood of Earth? In that case, it
> predates Baen Books by almost two decades. For example.

Won a Hugo in 1962.


William Hyde
EOS Department
Duke University

Richard Shewmaker

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Feb 25, 2003, 10:15:14 PM2/25/03
to
wth...@godzilla4.acpub.duke.edu wrote:
> jga...@ripco.com (John M. Gamble) writes:
>
>>In article <3E5A57F5...@nospamforme.moc>,
>>Richard Shewmaker <notint...@nospamforme.moc> wrote:
>
>>>Aldiss: Hothouse
>>>Drake: Lt. Leary Commanding; Men Hunting Things; With the Lightnings
>>>Laumer: eight Retief books
>>>Morrow: The Continent of Lies
>>>Scott: The Empress of Earth; Silence in Solitude
>>>Shea: The A'Rak; The Mines of Behemoth
>>>Vance: Cugel's Saga; Rhialto the Marvellous
>>>Vinge: Marooned in Realtime
>>>
>>Okay, i *really* don't want to pour more gasoline on the fire, but
>>pedantic honesty requires me to ask: How many of these actually
>>came from the editor via the writer, as opposed to books that have
>>sold well under other publishers, and were bought by Baen books to
>>be re-issued?
>
> Well, I was *very* happy to see the Baen re-issue of
> the Nifft books, as my own copy of "Nifft the lean"
> vanished decades ago. How much longer would I have had
> to wait without Baen? And I had never seen a copy
> of "The Mines of Behemoth". "The A'Rak" is new.

I was also. When I came across Mines I was thrilled, and somehow I
knew in advance about A'Rak, so it was less of a surprise, but no less
appreciated. To be honest, I never noticed they were published by
Baen. The only way I knew which books I have are done via them was
thanks to having the books all in a database.

The only time I pay attention to the publisher is when it's one of the
few which I've had consistently tremendous books from and I see a book
I don't know anything about which is published by one of those few.

>>Is Hothouse a.k.a. The Long Afternood of Earth? In that case, it
>>predates Baen Books by almost two decades. For example.
>
> Won a Hugo in 1962.

Sure, but it might have been the first US edition. I was surprised it
wasn't British because I thought the cover art wasn't very American.

> William Hyde
> EOS Department
> Duke University

--

David Dyer-Bennet

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Feb 25, 2003, 11:29:46 PM2/25/03
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Vlatko Juric-Kokic <vlatko.ju...@zg.hinet.hr> writes:

> On Tue, 25 Feb 2003 12:42:29 GMT, "Fae Bard" <ry...@acmemail.net>
> wrote:
>
> >Haven't read Bujold yet -- but from what I understand she tends to be on the
> >sci-fi end of things, and I prefer fantasy (epic or modern, not picky).
>
> _Spirit Ring_ and _Curse of Chalion_.

Not, however, from Baen :-).
--
David Dyer-Bennet, dd...@dd-b.net / http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/
John Dyer-Bennet 1915-2002 Memorial Site http://john.dyer-bennet.net
Dragaera mailing lists, see http://dragaera.info

Robert A. Woodward

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Feb 26, 2003, 1:04:49 AM2/26/03
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In article <m2znojd...@gw.dd-b.net>,
David Dyer-Bennet <dd...@dd-b.net> wrote:

> Vlatko Juric-Kokic <vlatko.ju...@zg.hinet.hr> writes:
>
> > On Tue, 25 Feb 2003 12:42:29 GMT, "Fae Bard" <ry...@acmemail.net>
> > wrote:
> >
> > >Haven't read Bujold yet -- but from what I understand she tends to be on
> > >the
> > >sci-fi end of things, and I prefer fantasy (epic or modern, not picky).
> >
> > _Spirit Ring_ and _Curse of Chalion_.
>
> Not, however, from Baen :-).


_Spirit Ring_ was published by Baen (it was her first hardcover as
well). And Jim Baen did bid on _Curse of Chalion_.

--
Robert Woodward <robe...@drizzle.com>
<http://www.drizzle.com/~robertaw

David Dyer-Bennet

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Feb 26, 2003, 5:22:07 PM2/26/03
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"Robert A. Woodward" <robe...@drizzle.com> writes:

> In article <m2znojd...@gw.dd-b.net>,
> David Dyer-Bennet <dd...@dd-b.net> wrote:
>
> > Vlatko Juric-Kokic <vlatko.ju...@zg.hinet.hr> writes:
> >
> > > On Tue, 25 Feb 2003 12:42:29 GMT, "Fae Bard" <ry...@acmemail.net>
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > >Haven't read Bujold yet -- but from what I understand she tends to be on
> > > >the
> > > >sci-fi end of things, and I prefer fantasy (epic or modern, not picky).
> > >
> > > _Spirit Ring_ and _Curse of Chalion_.
> >
> > Not, however, from Baen :-).
>
>
> _Spirit Ring_ was published by Baen (it was her first hardcover as
> well). And Jim Baen did bid on _Curse of Chalion_.

Oops, you're right about _Spirit Ring_, of course.

Lois Tilton

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Feb 26, 2003, 6:14:18 PM2/26/03
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On Tue, 25 Feb 2003 02:05:36 GMT, sg...@xs4all.nl (Simon van Dongen)
wrote:

>>My candidate is a book by Chico Kidd: =The Printer's Devil=.
>>
>>It is well-studded with Latin quotations, what more can one ask?
>>
>One might ask for English sentences worth quoting...


I may have to back off and downgrade this one. While I still find it
an interesting read, I admit I could not find a paragraph in the text
that I would want to quote as an example of really exemplary writing.

--
LT

tweell

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Feb 27, 2003, 10:42:16 AM2/27/03
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Lois Tilton <lti...@rcn.com> wrote in message news:<rh4j5vkihre05h1kj...@4ax.com>...
> It has been suggested by some that the works published by Baen Books
> may be deficient in the literary virtues. One method of countering
> this claim, aside from ad hominem assaults upon the critics, might be
> to list works from Baen which may be considered to be well-written.
>
>
> My candidate is a book by Chico Kidd: =The Printer's Devil=.
>
> It is well-studded with Latin quotations, what more can one ask?

I remember reading an essay by Heinlein where he stated that he was
competing for beer money, and considered it an honor that people
bought his books, since he personally would have gone for the beer
most of the time. (Yes, I know that I'm paraphrasing from memory.) I
looked at my bookshelf, and a surprising amount of my books purchased
in the last few years were published by Baen. I would note that Baen
seems to have cornered the market on military science-fiction, with
more authors that primarily write in that sub-category than much
larger publishing houses, and that I tend to buy more of those books.
As far as literary virtues go, I buy books that interest and entertain
me. I am not looking for a future =Atlas Shrugged=. If you are trying
to malign authors that are published by Baen Books, I suspect that
they are laughing all the way to the bank (and that RAH would be
laughing as well, if possible).
tweell

Dan Grass

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Feb 27, 2003, 12:51:48 PM2/27/03
to
Lois Tilton <lti...@rcn.com> wrote in message news:<rh4j5vkihre05h1kj...@4ax.com>...
> It has been suggested by some that the works published by Baen Books
> may be deficient in the literary virtues. One method of countering
> this claim, aside from ad hominem assaults upon the critics, might be
> to list works from Baen which may be considered to be well-written.
>
>
> My candidate is a book by Chico Kidd: =The Printer's Devil=.
>
> It is well-studded with Latin quotations, what more can one ask?

I have yet to find a BAEN book that I do not like.
When I am looking for new books I tend to look for BAEN books first
because Jim Baen seems to be able to find authors that I like.

I have especially liked the following.
David Weber Honor Harrington Novels.
John Ringo March series
Eric Flint 1632
All of David Drakes books.

Rick Boatright

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Feb 27, 2003, 3:50:08 PM2/27/03
to
Lois Tilton wrote:
> It has been suggested by some that the works published by Baen Books
> may be deficient in the literary virtues. One method of countering
> this claim, aside from ad hominem assaults upon the critics, might be
> to list works from Baen which may be considered to be well-written.
>
>
> My candidate is a book by Chico Kidd: =The Printer's Devil=.
>
> It is well-studded with Latin quotations, what more can one ask?

Gee Lois, it would depend on what you mean by well written wouldn't it?

Do you consider Christepher Morley's novels "well written?" I can think
of nothing in any of them I would particlarly want to _quote_ as an
example of fine writing, but certainly Kathleen, "Where the Blue
Begins", "Parnassus on Wheels" and "The Haunted Bookshop" appear to have
stood the test. As long time editor of the Saterday Evening Post, he
certainly KNEW what "fine writing" was, and yet, served as I recall, for
many years as the president of the Baker Street Irregulars.

Similarly I can think of very little in RAH's writing that I would quote
(except perhaps The Green Hills of Earth, but that's a short story, not
a novel -- nothing in his novel length works.) as an example of fine
writing.

I would argue by analogy that MANY of Baen's books, certainly the HH
series of Weber's, parts of Flint, much of Lackey, and much of Bujold is
"well written" in the same sense that much of Morley's work, or much of
Heinlein's was. They're good stories that grab your attention and will
stand up to a re-read after an appropirate interval.

That's not to say that every "ripping yarn" is fully supplied with
literary virtues. But then, MUCH that is studded with literary virtues
is IMPOSSIBLE to read for enjoyment. (CF much of Hemmingway, all of
Joyce.) Well written to me is a book that I want to read baddly enough
that I could not wait to buy it in hardcover. Baen succeeds at that
admirably.

Rick Boatright

Vlatko Juric-Kokic

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Feb 27, 2003, 6:48:20 PM2/27/03
to
On Thu, 27 Feb 2003 14:50:08 -0600, Rick Boatright
<Boat...@cjnetworks.com> wrote:

>MUCH that is studded with literary virtues
>is IMPOSSIBLE to read for enjoyment. (CF much of Hemmingway, all of
>Joyce.)

Define "enjoyment".

I remember reading both _Portrait_ and _Ulysses_ as well as quite a
lot of Hemingway for enjoyment of reading. Although, since I haven't
re-read them for a long time, it's not really an argument.

vlatko
--
http://www.niribanimeso.org/eng/
http://www.michaelswanwick.com/
vlatko.ju...@zg.hinet.hr

Rachel Brown

unread,
Feb 27, 2003, 8:58:33 PM2/27/03
to
> Lois Tilton <lti...@rcn.com> wrote in message
> > It has been suggested by some that the works published by Baen Books
> > may be deficient in the literary virtues. One method of countering
> > this claim, aside from ad hominem assaults upon the critics, might be
> > to list works from Baen which may be considered to be well-written.

Like Lois Bujold's novels, C. J. Cherryh's are read for reasons other
than prose. But she's certainly not a bad prose writer, just one with
a peculiar style, and Baen published her fab martial arts novel _The
Paladin_.

Katharine Blake (aka Dorothy Heydt) wrote _The Interior Life_ for
Baen, which graced it with a bizarrely ill-concieved cover guaranteed
to turn off anyone who might like it, and attract those who probably
would not. But like the authors I list above, it's a book with many
virtues of which the prose style is the most minor.

Jack Vance, on the other hand, is a genuine stylist.

By the by, in all the kerfluffle over the unreadable prose style of
the Honor Harrington books (and I mean that literally-- I thought I'd
enjoy them, and tried hard to get through a single chapter of the
first one, and failed.) has anyone posted a paragraph or two from a
public excerpt here for critique and defense? One cannot discuss prose
without reference to examples of it.

Richard Horton

unread,
Feb 27, 2003, 5:50:30 PM2/27/03
to
On Thu, 27 Feb 2003 14:50:08 -0600, Rick Boatright
<Boat...@cjnetworks.com> wrote:

>But then, MUCH that is studded with literary virtues
>is IMPOSSIBLE to read for enjoyment. (CF much of Hemmingway, all of
>Joyce.)

I have no idea what you consider enjoyment, but I have read boatloads
of Hemingway with immense enjoyment, and some Joyce.

Indeed, Hemingway is in no sense a "difficult" writer. He reads quite
smoothly, to my taste. Joyce is different, at least late Joyce. I
don't know how many people can claim to "enjoy" _Finnegans Wake_,
though I'll bet there are some. But earlier Joyce ("The Dead" and
indeed most of _Dubliners_, much of _Portrait_, and I'm guessing
probably _Ulysses_ (which I have not read) is often very enjoyable.

Moreover, I think there are qualitative differences in Heinlein's
prose vs. Weber's, that mostly come down to rhythm and imaginative
content. Heinlein wins, hands down. (And I'm surprised anyone would
argue.) (Though here I must confess that my experience with Weber is
very limited.)


--
Rich Horton | Stable Email: mailto://richard...@sff.net
Home Page: http://www.sff.net/people/richard.horton
Also visit SF Site (http://www.sfsite.com) and Tangent Online (http://www.tangentonline.com)

Mike Schilling

unread,
Feb 27, 2003, 9:01:18 PM2/27/03
to

"Richard Horton" <rrho...@prodigy.net> wrote in message
news:WCw7a.2636$NL4...@newssvr19.news.prodigy.com...

> On Thu, 27 Feb 2003 14:50:08 -0600, Rick Boatright
> <Boat...@cjnetworks.com> wrote:
>
> >But then, MUCH that is studded with literary virtues
> >is IMPOSSIBLE to read for enjoyment. (CF much of Hemmingway, all of
> >Joyce.)
>
> I have no idea what you consider enjoyment, but I have read boatloads
> of Hemingway with immense enjoyment, and some Joyce.
>
> Indeed, Hemingway is in no sense a "difficult" writer. He reads quite
> smoothly, to my taste. Joyce is different, at least late Joyce. I
> don't know how many people can claim to "enjoy" _Finnegans Wake_,
> though I'll bet there are some. But earlier Joyce ("The Dead" and
> indeed most of _Dubliners_, much of _Portrait_, and I'm guessing
> probably _Ulysses_ (which I have not read) is often very enjoyable.
>
More than enjoyable; much of _Ulysses_ is actively fun, far more so than
_Portait_, which is pretty grim.


Eric Flint

unread,
Feb 28, 2003, 6:47:40 AM2/28/03
to

"Mike Schilling" <mscotts...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:Opz7a.67$zn6...@newssvr19.news.prodigy.com...

That's my reaction, too. Of all Joyce's writings, ULYSSES is far and away
my favorite. The chapter depicting Leopold Bloom's argument with a drunk
in a pub, told in the form of a Biblical parody, is worth the price of
admission alone.

Eric

Louann Miller

unread,
Feb 28, 2003, 10:13:59 AM2/28/03
to
On Fri, 28 Feb 2003 11:47:40 GMT, "Eric Flint" <efl...@home.com>
wrote:

>> More than enjoyable; much of _Ulysses_ is actively fun, far more so than
>> _Portait_, which is pretty grim.
>
>That's my reaction, too. Of all Joyce's writings, ULYSSES is far and away
>my favorite. The chapter depicting Leopold Bloom's argument with a drunk
>in a pub, told in the form of a Biblical parody, is worth the price of
>admission alone.

You nearly persuade me to take a crack at the thing. It sounds weird
when you tell it, but so does the wisdom-teeth scene or the
dividing-grandma's-furniture scene in "Cryptonomicon" and I found
those freaking hilarious.

Louann

Rick Boatright

unread,
Feb 28, 2003, 10:28:53 AM2/28/03
to
Richard Horton wrote:
<<SNIPO>>> Moreover, I think there are qualitative differences in Heinlein's

> prose vs. Weber's, that mostly come down to rhythm and imaginative
> content. Heinlein wins, hands down. (And I'm surprised anyone would
> argue.) (Though here I must confess that my experience with Weber is
> very limited.)

Richard, I'm certainly not going to argue that Weber is the author that
RAH was. oh crud. Let me try again.

Why did Lois ask the question that she did? Why tar baen with this
broad brush of "publisher of works without literary quality" which she
did, even if by implication. (Her original post was so tounge-in-cheek
I'm surprized she was able to breath.)

What possible function does such a question serve. Jim has been _very_
clear about what he publishes. He makes exactly no bones about it. He
publishes pulps in a variety of guises. Military SF, Space operate, Alt
History, Romance, Fantasy, but all pulps. Ripping Yarns. Grab you
stories that run full-tilt across the page. Characters that you care
about surrounded by landscape and bit players who are thick ENOUGH to
support the story line. I'm seldom dissappointed by one. I _like_ that
stuff. I've read Hemmingway, everything I can. I've read (God forbid)
all of Joyce and written cogent papers on the subject. I can when
forced to, parse Coolridge. But when I get off work, and go home and
have the option, my hand leaps gleefully for eye candy. If that's not
true for you, if these don't FUNCTION as eye candy for you, then fine.
What I'm wondering is the POINT of the discussion. Weber and Flint
don't produce great lit'rachur that will "stand the test of time." --
well, we'll see. Certainly, previous contemporaries have been wrong
about which books, which films, which music will still be viewed, read
and listened to. It's doesn't matter. Time will tell. Ask me when I
turn 75.

I have a prediction. I suspect that Weber and Flint and Ringo are
embedded in their era. I _think_ that they are playing off the pop
culture's "ear". Some pulp rises above itself. (Holmes, Scrooge, L.
Long, Tarzan) and most fails (Pickwick, Barzoom) and contemporary
critics fail miserably to choose wisely. Let time be the test. Why
debate this.

I'm going to go crawl back in my hole now. Thanks for listening. A
pleasure chatting with you. -- darn where _did_ I set my copy of "March
to the Stars" ? -- aaaahhh there it is.

--Rick

wth...@godzilla4.acpub.duke.edu

unread,
Feb 28, 2003, 10:34:39 AM2/28/03
to
Rick Boatright <Boat...@cjnetworks.com> writes:

> Lois Tilton wrote:
> > It has been suggested by some that the works published by Baen Books
> > may be deficient in the literary virtues. One method of countering
> > this claim, aside from ad hominem assaults upon the critics, might be
> > to list works from Baen which may be considered to be well-written.
> > My candidate is a book by Chico Kidd: =The Printer's Devil=.
>
>
>

> That's not to say that every "ripping yarn" is fully supplied with
> literary virtues. But then, MUCH that is studded with literary
> virtues is IMPOSSIBLE to read for enjoyment. (CF much of Hemmingway,
> all of Joyce.)

This is factually incorrect. While I have not read
Hemingway, I enjoyed "Dubliners", "Portrait of the
Artist as a Young Man", and "Ulysses".

Therefore it is not impossible.

Louann Miller

unread,
Feb 28, 2003, 11:35:12 AM2/28/03
to
On Fri, 28 Feb 2003 09:28:53 -0600, Rick Boatright
<Boat...@cjnetworks.com> wrote:

> I _like_ that
>stuff. I've read Hemmingway, everything I can. I've read (God forbid)
>all of Joyce and written cogent papers on the subject. I can when
>forced to, parse Coolridge. But when I get off work, and go home and
>have the option, my hand leaps gleefully for eye candy. If that's not
>true for you, if these don't FUNCTION as eye candy for you, then fine.
>What I'm wondering is the POINT of the discussion. Weber and Flint
>don't produce great lit'rachur that will "stand the test of time." --
>well, we'll see. Certainly, previous contemporaries have been wrong
>about which books, which films, which music will still be viewed, read
>and listened to. It's doesn't matter. Time will tell. Ask me when I
>turn 75.
>
>I have a prediction. I suspect that Weber and Flint and Ringo are
>embedded in their era. I _think_ that they are playing off the pop
>culture's "ear". Some pulp rises above itself. (Holmes, Scrooge, L.
>Long, Tarzan) and most fails (Pickwick, Barzoom) and contemporary
>critics fail miserably to choose wisely. Let time be the test. Why
>debate this.

This would make a damn fine final post to this thread. Unfortunately I
have no faith that it's actually going to stop the debate, but purely
on its merits it deserves to.

Louann

Pete McCutchen

unread,
Feb 28, 2003, 12:53:07 PM2/28/03
to
On Tue, 25 Feb 2003 07:52:39 GMT, Richard Shewmaker
<notint...@nospamforme.moc> wrote:

>Now I'm curious, what's the big deal @ Baen anyway? Why do people want
>to discredit them as junk publishers, if that's the case?

Baen is the publisher today with the closest thing to a "house style."
Some people don't like that particular "house style." Others object
to the alleged right-wing political sensibilities reflected in Baen
books, though Mr. Flint isn't "on-message" for that one.
--

Pete McCutchen

Pete McCutchen

unread,
Feb 28, 2003, 12:53:07 PM2/28/03
to
On Thu, 27 Feb 2003 14:50:08 -0600, Rick Boatright
<Boat...@cjnetworks.com> wrote:

>That's not to say that every "ripping yarn" is fully supplied with
>literary virtues. But then, MUCH that is studded with literary virtues
>is IMPOSSIBLE to read for enjoyment. (CF much of Hemmingway, all of
>Joyce.)

It may well be IMPOSSIBLE for you to read Joyce and Hemingway for fun,
but I assure you that it's not IMPOSSIBLE for everybody. Hemingway
and Joyce sold shitloads of books, and I assure you that they weren't
all sold to schoolchildren forced to read them.

People like different things. It's as simple as that.
--

Pete McCutchen

wth...@godzilla4.acpub.duke.edu

unread,
Feb 28, 2003, 12:58:01 PM2/28/03
to
Louann Miller <loua...@yahoo.net> writes:

Despite the grimness, I strongly recommend reading
"portrait" first, if you have not already done so.
Or at least giving it a try.

Patrick James

unread,
Feb 28, 2003, 12:51:39 PM2/28/03
to
On Fri, 28 Feb 2003 10:28:53 -0500, Rick Boatright wrote
(in message <PPidncUkDOG...@giganews.com>):

> Why did Lois ask the question that she did? Why tar baen with this
> broad brush of "publisher of works without literary quality" which she
> did, even if by implication. (Her original post was so tounge-in-cheek
> I'm surprized she was able to breath.)

Because she is convinced that, with a very few exceptions mostly from Lois
Bujold, Baen Books publishes trash. She doesn't like them. She doesn't like
anything about them. She doesn't like anyone who writes them. She doesn't
like anyone who has anything non-negative (it doesn't have to be positive, it
merely has to be not an attack) to say about any of those books or their
authors.

I have elected to killfile her after reading several posts made
Monday-Wednesday. Her one-note rants were considerably more irritating than
anything Weber has ever perpetuated. And that includes (ugh) _The Apocalypse
Troll_, perhaps the single most annoying wish-fulfillment wankfest it has
ever been my displeasure to read... until I read Ms. Tilton on this thread,
that is. Perhaps the effect was multiplied because I read them all
back-to-back-to-back rather than over three days, but there it is.

--
Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes

Patrick James

unread,
Feb 28, 2003, 1:18:24 PM2/28/03
to
On Fri, 28 Feb 2003 12:53:07 -0500, Pete McCutchen wrote
(in message <gtlr5v466ca475g8f...@4ax.com>):

Ms. Tilton appears to be unable to grasp this.

Lois Tilton

unread,
Feb 28, 2003, 1:37:45 PM2/28/03
to
On Fri, 28 Feb 2003 09:28:53 -0600, Rick Boatright
<Boat...@cjnetworks.com> wrote:

>Why did Lois ask the question that she did?


Undoubtedly she did it to give the denizens of rasfw Yet Another
opportunity to denigrate her sincerity and impugn her motives.

--
LT

Kevin J. Maroney

unread,
Feb 28, 2003, 3:06:26 PM2/28/03
to
On 28 Feb 2003 10:34:39 -0500, wth...@godzilla4.acpub.duke.edu wrote:
> This is factually incorrect. While I have not read
> Hemingway, I enjoyed "Dubliners", "Portrait of the
> Artist as a Young Man", and "Ulysses".
>
> Therefore it is not impossible.

I didn't like most of the little Hemmingway I've read (though I need
to read the early short stories), I don't think I've ever enjoyed a
work of fiction more than the best parts of _Ulysses_ (especially
"Circe", "Ithaca", and "Penelope", chapters 15, 17, and 18).

--
Kevin J. Maroney | k...@panix.com
Games are my entire waking life.

David Bilek

unread,
Feb 28, 2003, 3:10:39 PM2/28/03
to


You sure had me fooled! I thought it might be because you actually
thought it might be interesting to list some well-written books that
came out of Baen. How wrong I obviously was!

-David

Vlatko Juric-Kokic

unread,
Feb 28, 2003, 3:18:32 PM2/28/03
to
On 27 Feb 2003 17:58:33 -0800, rpho...@mediaone.net (Rachel Brown)
wrote:

>By the by, in all the kerfluffle over the unreadable prose style of
>the Honor Harrington books (and I mean that literally-- I thought I'd
>enjoy them, and tried hard to get through a single chapter of the
>first one, and failed.) has anyone posted a paragraph or two from a
>public excerpt here for critique and defense? One cannot discuss prose
>without reference to examples of it.

_On Basilisk Station_ is still available at
<http://www.baen.com/library/>, so those who want can always go see
it, either directly or download it.

I've read it and thought it entertaining fluffy little book which
didn't bother me at least.

Randy Money

unread,
Feb 28, 2003, 4:14:15 PM2/28/03
to

Just to note: Baen discussions aside, even when I've disagreed with what
I've read here from Lois, I usually find her one of the more
level-headed, even-handed posters.

I suppose milage varies, but thought I should speak up.

Randy M.
(of course, you may now go look at some of my postings and decide I'm
not a judge you trust, but I still felt I should say something)

Mike Schilling

unread,
Feb 28, 2003, 8:48:56 PM2/28/03
to

"Pete McCutchen" <p.mcc...@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
news:gtlr5v466ca475g8f...@4ax.com...


It used to be possible for an author to write best-sellers that were admired
as literature: Sinclair Lewis, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Steinbeck, even Norman
Mailer. I'm not sure why this is no longer true.


Richard Horton

unread,
Feb 28, 2003, 8:54:49 PM2/28/03
to
On Sat, 01 Mar 2003 01:48:56 GMT, "Mike Schilling"
<mscotts...@hotmail.com> wrote:

>It used to be possible for an author to write best-sellers that were admired
>as literature: Sinclair Lewis, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Steinbeck, even Norman
>Mailer. I'm not sure why this is no longer true.

Part of me wants to make nasty noises about Lewis, Steinbeck, and
Mailer, but really that would be unfair.

The other part of me points out that books such as _The Corrections_
have sold quite well, and are certainly admired as literature. I am
sure that it is still possible for authors to write bestsellers that
are admired as literature -- is it less common than in the past? I
actually doubt it, but I admit I may be wrong.

Mike Schilling

unread,
Feb 28, 2003, 9:23:20 PM2/28/03
to

"Richard Horton" <rrho...@prodigy.net> wrote in message
news:JpU7a.267$8w4...@newssvr16.news.prodigy.com...

> On Sat, 01 Mar 2003 01:48:56 GMT, "Mike Schilling"
> <mscotts...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> >It used to be possible for an author to write best-sellers that were
admired
> >as literature: Sinclair Lewis, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Steinbeck, even
Norman
> >Mailer. I'm not sure why this is no longer true.
>
> Part of me wants to make nasty noises about Lewis, Steinbeck, and
> Mailer, but really that would be unfair.
The first two are Nobel prize winners (as is Pearl Buck, but we'll throw her
out as experimental error).

>
> The other part of me points out that books such as _The Corrections_
> have sold quite well, and are certainly admired as literature.

I blush while admitting I've never heard of it.

If I were going to attempt current examples, I'd try _The English Patient_,
_The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay_, or _A Suitable Boy_, but I really
don't know if they qualify as best sellers. Certainly they're not famous
the way _Babbitt_, _The Sun Also Rises_, _This Side of Paradise_, _The
Grapes of Wrath_, or _The Naked and the Dead_ were. _A Man in Full_ sold a
lot of copies and got an awful lot of press, but I don't think it got much
critical respect. I hope not; it was godawful.


Richard Horton

unread,
Feb 28, 2003, 9:32:57 PM2/28/03
to
On Sat, 01 Mar 2003 02:23:20 GMT, "Mike Schilling"
<mscotts...@hotmail.com> wrote:

>
>"Richard Horton" <rrho...@prodigy.net> wrote in message
>news:JpU7a.267$8w4...@newssvr16.news.prodigy.com...
>> On Sat, 01 Mar 2003 01:48:56 GMT, "Mike Schilling"
>> <mscotts...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> >It used to be possible for an author to write best-sellers that were
>admired
>> >as literature: Sinclair Lewis, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Steinbeck, even
>Norman
>> >Mailer. I'm not sure why this is no longer true.
>>
>> Part of me wants to make nasty noises about Lewis, Steinbeck, and
>> Mailer, but really that would be unfair.
>The first two are Nobel prize winners (as is Pearl Buck, but we'll throw her
>out as experimental error).
>

Oh, I know. For me they too count as experimental error, but I admit
not as utterly ridiculous as the award to Buck. (Worst Nobel ever?)

I freely admit that this is somewhat idiocyncratic of me. Indeed, I
haven't read Lewis since bouncing off him as a teen -- it's a decent
bet that he's at least OK. Steinbeck I stand by my dislike of, but
lots of people I respect really do like him, so you can call that a
matter of taste.

>>
>> The other part of me points out that books such as _The Corrections_
>> have sold quite well, and are certainly admired as literature.
>I blush while admitting I've never heard of it.
>
>If I were going to attempt current examples, I'd try _The English Patient_,
>_The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay_, or _A Suitable Boy_, but I really
>don't know if they qualify as best sellers. Certainly they're not famous
>the way _Babbitt_, _The Sun Also Rises_, _This Side of Paradise_, _The
>Grapes of Wrath_, or _The Naked and the Dead_ were. _A Man in Full_ sold a
>lot of copies and got an awful lot of press, but I don't think it got much
>critical respect. I hope not; it was godawful.
>

_A Man in Full_ was famously savaged by such critics as Updike. I
almost cited _Kavalier and Clay_ instead of _The Corrections_, but a)
I wasn't as certain of its bestseller status, and b) Jonathan Franzen,
author of _The Corrections_, grew up in Webster Groves, MO, where I
now live, and went to HS with a close friend of mine (though they
didn't really know each other, or so she says -- I think they were a
year or two apart).

(Franzen's first novel, _The Twenty-Seventh City_, is SF (and set in
St. Louis). But Chabon is SF-connected, too, so that couldn't be a
distinguishing factor.)

Shaad M. Ahmad

unread,
Feb 28, 2003, 10:15:10 PM2/28/03
to
In article <sQU7a.1189$bD4.71...@newssvr14.news.prodigy.com>,
Mike Schilling <mscotts...@hotmail.com> wrote:

>If I were going to attempt current examples, I'd try _The English Patient_,
>_The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay_, or _A Suitable Boy_, but I really
>don't know if they qualify as best sellers.

It depends. They sell reasonably well in say, Bangladesh and India.
Though I'd probably quibble about _A Suitable Boy_ having much in the way
of literary merit othern than exoticism.

It's just another multi-generational novel with a fairly large cast of
characters set in the subcontinent. Shorn of the locale, is it really
that different from similar potboilers set in say 18th or 19th Century
Britain or America?

Regards.
--
http://cmgm.stanford.edu/~ahmad/ - Shaad -
sh...@leland.stanford.edu


Mike Schilling

unread,
Mar 1, 2003, 12:27:31 AM3/1/03
to

"Richard Horton" <rrho...@prodigy.net> wrote in message
news:tZU7a.276$%P4...@newssvr16.news.prodigy.com...


>
> _A Man in Full_ was famously savaged by such critics as Updike. I
> almost cited _Kavalier and Clay_ instead of _The Corrections_, but a)
> I wasn't as certain of its bestseller status, and b) Jonathan Franzen,
> author of _The Corrections_, grew up in Webster Groves, MO, where I
> now live, and went to HS with a close friend of mine (though they
> didn't really know each other, or so she says -- I think they were a
> year or two apart).

Chabon lives in Oakland, where I work; his daughter goes to school with a
co-worker's. Oh, and Mailer went to high scholl with me father. Small
world all round:-)


Patrick James

unread,
Feb 28, 2003, 11:51:14 PM2/28/03
to
On Fri, 28 Feb 2003 16:14:15 -0500, Randy Money wrote
(in message <3E5FD127...@spamblocklibrary.syr.edu>):

The problem is _precisely_ with the Baen discussions. Her blanket
condemnation of writers ranging from Poul Anderson to Roger Zelanzy merely
'cause some of their stuff was published by (horrors!) Baen renders any of
her _other_ statements suspect.

And yes, I know, she didn't mention those two authors, or Kieth Laumer, or
Gordon Dickson, L. Sprague de Camp, or Robert Heinlein, or Frederick Pohl or
Harry Turtledove... but all of them wrote books published by Baen. Which are,
presumably, not well-written, as she ain't familiar with any well-written
books from Baen, by them or by anyone else.

Her position here is so breath-takingly idiotic that it renders her positions
on any other subject singularly without value. But, hey, that's merely my
opinion. I _do_ know that where before I didn't particularly care one way or
another about Ms. Tilton's position on anything in particular, she has now
come to my negative attention.

And, frankly, I rate the likes of _Three Hearts and Three Lions_, _Lest
Darkness Fall_ or _Beyond This Horizon_, just to name three examples of the
not-so-well-written books she so dislikes, _well_ above Star Trek and Babylon
5 cotton candy. Baen republished the first three after they'd been out of
print for some time... and I bought copies of each as soon as I saw them.

But that's just my opinion.

Lois Tilton

unread,
Mar 1, 2003, 5:48:29 AM3/1/03
to
On Fri, 28 Feb 2003 23:51:14 -0500, Patrick James
<patj...@newsguy.com> wrote:

[drivel]


Mr James should have his t-shirt confiscated until he learns to read

--
LT

Martin Wisse

unread,
Mar 1, 2003, 6:16:58 AM3/1/03
to

Well, the only difference between a standard Baen Rah! Rah! America!
book and Flint's version, is that in the latter, the unions are the good
guys... And where WEber has stupid, greedy, venal politicians, Flint has
stupid, greedy, venal CEOs.

Martin Wisse
--
In my world, the most exciting part of a first date is finding out where
each other's favorite bookstores are.
-Jeffrey C. Dege, rasfw

Martin Wisse

unread,
Mar 1, 2003, 6:17:06 AM3/1/03
to
On Tue, 25 Feb 2003 07:52:39 GMT, Richard Shewmaker
<notint...@nospamforme.moc> wrote:


>Now I'm curious, what's the big deal @ Baen anyway? Why do people want
>to discredit them as junk publishers, if that's the case?

As Pete says, Baen is the closest thing to a publisher with a real
housestyel the sf field has, producing mainly light entertainment
adventure science fiction and fantasy. One Baen reader compared Baen's
books to his favourite brand of canned beans (iirc), saying he always
knew what to expect when he bought one of their books and Baen used this
in advertisements.

Needless to say, this sort of attitude ia anathema to many people here.
Baen is seen as (rightly or wrongly) lowest common denominator sf, dreck
for the masses.

David Kennedy

unread,
Mar 1, 2003, 7:25:37 AM3/1/03
to
Martin Wisse <mwi...@ad-astra.demon.nl> wrote:
> Baen is seen as (rightly or wrongly) lowest common denominator sf, dreck
> for the masses.
McSF?
--
David Kennedy

Mike Schilling

unread,
Mar 1, 2003, 10:50:32 AM3/1/03
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"Kevin J. Maroney" <k...@panix.com> wrote in message
news:v9gv5vo2u81ngo89h...@4ax.com...

> On 28 Feb 2003 10:34:39 -0500, wth...@godzilla4.acpub.duke.edu wrote:
> > This is factually incorrect. While I have not read
> > Hemingway, I enjoyed "Dubliners", "Portrait of the
> > Artist as a Young Man", and "Ulysses".
> >
> > Therefore it is not impossible.
>
> I didn't like most of the little Hemmingway I've read (though I need
> to read the early short stories), I don't think I've ever enjoyed a
> work of fiction more than the best parts of _Ulysses_ (especially
> "Circe", "Ithaca", and "Penelope", chapters 15, 17, and 18).

(innocently) And was it "Penelope"s prose you enjoyed?


Mike Schilling

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Mar 1, 2003, 11:13:05 AM3/1/03
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"Shaad M. Ahmad" <sh...@Stanford.EDU> wrote in message
news:b3p8ju$8qf$1...@news.Stanford.EDU...

> In article <sQU7a.1189$bD4.71...@newssvr14.news.prodigy.com>,
> Mike Schilling <mscotts...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> >If I were going to attempt current examples, I'd try _The English
Patient_,
> >_The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay_, or _A Suitable Boy_, but I really
> >don't know if they qualify as best sellers.
>
> It depends. They sell reasonably well in say, Bangladesh and India.
> Though I'd probably quibble about _A Suitable Boy_ having much in the way
> of literary merit othern than exoticism.
>
> It's just another multi-generational novel with a fairly large cast of
> characters set in the subcontinent. Shorn of the locale, is it really
> that different from similar potboilers set in say 18th or 19th Century
> Britain or America?

I'd say the prose and the character development are both outstanding.


Louann Miller

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Mar 1, 2003, 11:29:43 AM3/1/03
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On Sat, 01 Mar 2003 04:48:29 -0600, Lois Tilton <lti...@rcn.com>
wrote:

Again with the deep-breaths advice. I can't, obviously, compell you
not to turn into T*rry A*st*n. But I don't think we actually need
another one.


Sea Wasp

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Mar 1, 2003, 11:32:52 AM3/1/03