Into The Light: Eric Flint

I’m sorry to report that Eric Flint passed away this weekend. The man was unique, with a background that gave him a profound appreciation for and understanding of the American worker. More than that, his background shaped him into not just an author — he was 50 I believe when he began to conquer that field — but someone who advanced the field by bringing in and up so many other writers.

Most will know him from his 1632 series, and it is a good way to share how unique he was with the world. How many authors do you know who would invent an entire new universe and then open it up to not just published authors, but unpublished or fan-authors around the world? Who would see someone with a good idea or take, and encourage them to write a good story and sell it?

Eric was also the person who got the Baen free library going, as I understand it talking the late (and much missed) Jim Baen into offering that first hit for free. Into including CDs with a mix of free stories into new hardcovers, betting that readers would find one or more other stories/series to go buy and read. Sheer marketing genius.

I did not know him personally, and that is my loss. Those who did shared with me a man who, though in a number of ways my political/philosophical opposite, was great to talk to and even fun to talk to. A man who had a knack of getting people to look at things from a different perspective, and was willing to do the same. He also had a wicked sense of humor.

I have to admit I enjoyed his works with other authors, particularly David Weber, as such collaborations seemed to work well and take some rough edges off both. To me, they were a bit richer than his single-author works, though that is a highly personal thing.

He was talented, generous to a fault (particularly with new writers), and a cheerful curmudgeon who enjoyed that status. We are the richer for his life and talent, and while his loss leaves a void in the field he did his best to fill that void and leave the field richer than before. That’s a hell of a legacy. Salute.


If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, feel free to hit the tip jar in the upper right or the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo. Getting hit by lightning is not fun, and it is thanks to your help and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

2 thoughts on “Into The Light: Eric Flint”

  1. Awww man 🙁

    Eric Flint was on the very short list of socialists I didnt want to toss from rotary aircraft.

    1. Yep. An interesting man who did a LOT for publishing and up-and-coming authors.

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