|This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (July 2015)|
February 6, 1947 |
Burbank, California, U.S.
|Occupation||Novelist, short story author, editor, e-publisher|
|Genre||Science fiction, Fantasy, Alternate History|
Eric Flint (born February 6, 1947) is an American author, editor, and e-publisher. The majority of his main works are alternate history science fiction, but he also writes humorous fantasy adventures. His works have been listed on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Locus Magazine best seller lists.
Early life and education
He was 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.
After winning the 1993 Writers of the Future contest, 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. 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 by fan-fiction authors seeking comment on the four years old 1632 Tech Manual web forum focused on his 1632 series, he suggested to Jim Baen the experimental serialized fan-fiction e-zine The Grantville Gazette which also found commercial success. 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bought by Jim Baen and brought out in either hardcover or paperback or both formats, though the last purchased remains unpublished.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" 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 lives with his wife Lucille (also an ex-labor organizer) in East Chicago, Indiana.
He is also participating 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.
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Eric Flint is noted as the 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 (or eARCs) which are not a part of the foregoing monthly bundle, but are individually available for purchase. These followed a successful experiment with an online eMagazine, called the Grantville Gazette (More below—see 1632 series). The eARCs is an unproofed manuscript and is guaranteed to be full of typos and errors. It is pretty much raw from the author's word processor; however, they are fully available even before the first part of the monthly bundles. eARCs do not include the final proofed version. For the final version, you would have to buy 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 (JBU), an e-zine published from 2006 until 2010.
Reception of his published works
To date, six of his books have been included on the New York Times Best Seller list. These books are 1634: The Galileo Affair (2004), 1634: The Baltic War (2007), 1634: The Bavarian Crisis (2007), 1636: The Kremlin Games (2013), Torch of Freedom (2009), and Cauldron of Ghosts (2014).
Awards and honors
Notes and references
- Flint, Eric (2002-04-26). "Prime Palaver #7". Baen Free Library. Baen Books. Archived from the original on 2013-06-15. Retrieved 2013-03-21.
2. The second category are young people. Teenagers, basically, whose income is so low than even $4 or $5 is an obstacle for them. My attitude here is that giving such kids free copies will only benefit me in the long run, in the same way that libraries have traditionally been the way that authors develop a following among young readers. (That's how I became a fan of such writers as Heinlein, for instance.) And, again, they wouldn't have bought a copy ANYWAY – so where's the harm?
- Flint, Eric (2002-04-26). "Prime Palaver #7". Baen Free Library. Baen Books. Archived from the original on 2013-06-15. Retrieved 2007-10-19.
You want what is perhaps the ultimate example of how this can pay off in the long run?
Consider one of those authors: James H. Schmitz. Beginning in the early 60s, a teenager named Eric Flint became acquainted with his writings – entirely through library and used copies. Thus began what proved to be a lifelong devotion on my part to that particular author.
- Flint, Eric. "Eric Flint’s place on the web: biography". Archived from the original on October 7, 2011. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
- "Introducing the Baen Free Library (and other columns in the collection)".
- "The Editor's Page October 2006". Archived from the original on October 12, 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-18.
- Flint, Eric, ed. (2004-11-01). "Preface". The Grantville Gazette. 1632 series aka Ring of Fire series. Thomas Kidd (cover art) (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 2007-10-17. Retrieved 2007-10-17.
But, in the meantime, the fan-fic kept getting written, and people kept nudging me—okay, pestering me, but I try to be polite about such things—to give them my feedback on their stories. ... Once I realized how many stories were being written—a number of them of publishable quality—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 would be sold through Baen Books' Webscriptions service. Jim was willing to try it... (more)
- Flint, Eric and various others. "Preface". Grantville Gazette III. Thomas Kidd (cover art). Baen Books. pp. 1–2. ISBN 978-1-4165-0941-7. ISBN 1-4165-0941-0.
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.
- "grantville-gazette-on-line-going-pro-going-bi-monthly/#more-317". Retrieved 2007-10-17.
The Grantville Gazette, which Jim Baen and I began as an experiment, has proven to be a very successful venture in electronic publishing. Successful enough, in fact, that beginning with Volume 11 we will doing the following: 1. We’re raising the pay rates for the authors. Up until now, the pay rates for the Gazette have only been semi-pro rates. Beginning with Volume 11, we’ll be paying rates that meet—exceed, in fact—the minimum rates set by Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. SFWA is and has been for decades the recognized professional association for science and fantasy authors. 2. We’re moving to a regular bi-monthly publication schedule. Up until now, the Gazette has been published on an “occasional” basis—meaning whenever we had enough good stories in stock to put out another issue. In practice, for the past year and half, we’ve been maintaining a quarterly schedule, and we’re now at the point where we have more good stories and articles than we can handle without shifting to a bi-monthly publishing schedule. Beginning May 1,  therefore, the Gazette will now be published regularly on the first day of the following months: May, July, September, November, January and March.
- Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) Collection Archived June 3, 2012, at the Wayback Machine., Northern Illinois University
- Silver, Steven (August 11, 2009). "Worldcon 2009, NASFiC 2010, Worldcon 2011". SF Site News. SF Site.com. Retrieved June 26, 2010.
- "Hardcover Fiction". New York Times. April 18, 2004.
- "Hardcover Fiction". New York Times. April 25, 2004.
- "Hardcover Fiction". New York Times. May 13, 2007.
- "Hardcover Fiction". New York Times. May 20, 2007.
- "Hardcover Fiction". New York Times. October 21, 2007.
- "Hardcover Fiction". New York Times. June 24, 2012.
- "Hardcover Fiction". New York Times. December 6, 2009.
- "Hardcover Fiction". New York Times. April 27, 2014.
- "Best-Selling Books, Week Ended Oct. 28; With data from Nielsen BookScan". Wall Street Journal. November 3, 2012.
- "Best-Selling Books, Week Ended Feb. 28; With data from Nielsen BookScan". Wall Street Journal. March 5, 2010.
- "Best-Selling Books, Week Ended June 20; With data from Nielsen BookScan". Wall Street Journal. June 25, 2010.
- "Michael Lewis's 'Flash Boys' remains at No. 1, Lee Child's 'Never Go Back' also at No. 1". Washington Post. April 21, 2014.
- "Locus Bestsellers, July 2004". Locus. July 2004.
- "Locus Bestsellers, November 2005". Locus. November 2005.
- "Locus Bestsellers, December 2005". Locus. December 2005.
- "Coger Memorial Hall of Fame". Darrell Awards.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Eric Flint.|
- Official website
- Baen catalog of Flint's work
- Flint's catalog of work at Simon & Schuster (also contains publication quality images of book covers)
- Prime Palaver essays, most discussing copy protection and Baen's e-policies, a topic taken up again in the dedicated column in Jim Baen's Universe e-zine:
- Salvos Against Big Brother, Flint's essays against DRM and copyrights in Jim Baen's Universe magazine.
- Editor's column (bimonthly) at Jim Baen's Universe.
- Eric Flint at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- SciFan bibliography