In Memoriam – Eric Flint

Eric Flint (February 6, 1947–July 17, 2022) was an author, editor, publisher, and a member of SFWA. He won the fourth quarter Writers of the Future contest in 1993 and published his first novel, Mother of Demons, in 1997. In 2000, his bestselling alternate history novel 1632 was released by Baen Books.

Over the years, Flint would publish more than 70 novels, many of which were co-written with other greats in the field. He also worked with newer authors, encouraging their careers sometimes through his collaborations, sometimes through The Grantville Gazette. The latter began as a space for fan discussions of the 1632 series but grew to foster workshopping their own stories and nonfiction articles. Eventually, Flint began to publish some of these works in The Grantville Gazette, which just celebrated its 100th issue.

Flint also edited Jim Baen’s Universe from 2006 to 2010 with Mike Resnick. The pair co-edited the anthologies The Dragon Done It and When Diplomacy Fails. Along with Walt Boyes and Joy Ward, Flint established Eric Flint’s Ring of Fire Press in 2013. He was an early proponent of DRM-free e-books and was the first curator of the Baen Free Library. Flint’s philosophy was that “The real enemy of authors—especially midlist writers—is not piracy, it’s obscurity.” He felt that people who downloaded a free book by an author were more likely to purchase additional books that people who had to buy a book by an unknown quantity.

In 2018, Flint received a Special Sidewise Award for or his ongoing encouragement of the genre of alternate history through his support of the community and writers. His novel 1637: No Peace Beyond the Line, co-written with Charles E. Gannon, won the 2021 Dragon Award for Alternate History.

Flint is survived by his wife, Lucille, and the family has set up a GoFundMe campaign to help Lucille cover costs and lost earnings. He lived 75 years.

Cat Rambo, former SFWA president and a friend of Flint, remembers him as “not just writer, but worker, someone who’d fought fiercely for the same rights he wrote about. His generosity of spirit in allowing newer writers to work in the 1632 world meant that he shaped a family of writers and gave them a lasting legacy of kindness to live up to. He will be so sorely missed.”