Setting Out A Bowl For Jim Baen

By Holly Lisle

Just over a year ago, on October 28, 2008, I had a dream that is still changing my life.

My first publisher, Jim Baen, who died on June 28, 2006, paid me a visit.

Now, I’m not pagan, Christian, or otherwise religious in any way, shape, or form. I’m not a believer in things. I’m not a fan of faith, which to me is the denial of the provable and rational in favor of the unprovable and irrational.

I do NOT, however, think that humans are just animated meat. I think that we are creatures of energy AND flesh, and that when the flesh falls apart, the energy goes on.

In what form this energy that we were goes on, I don’t know. I have some speculations based on areas of science I follow, but they’re only that, and worthless beyond my own personal interest.

However, while I’m waiting for scientific proof in either direction, I’m willing to play with my theory, and consider it as rationally possible as the theory of oblivion at the moment of death, which does not deal in any fashion with what happens to the energy of life.

I’m willing to consider that, along with the possibility that my subconscious had a brilliant idea while I was sleeping and found a way to make it unforgettable, I also could have experienced something real on October 28th of last year.

Either way, it’s Halloween, traditionally time to acknowledge the dead, and I would like to take this moment to set out a metaphorical place at the table for Jim Baen.

I’m still writing the book that came from that dream. The idea I got that night is still something that at times leaves me trembling with the potential power of the story, if I can only find the craft within myself to realize that potential.

And whether the idea came from Jim, or whether my subconscious used him as a highly effective attention-getter, he is in my thoughts today. And whether the experience was real or metaphorical, I offer my thanks for it.

And I miss you, Jim.

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