William Ledbetter, who administers the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award contest for Baen Books and the National Space Society, announced the ten finalists of this year’s contest on March 7.
- D.A. D’Amico, “The Boy Who Cried Fish”
- Austin Eberle, “Stars of Their Own”
- Meghan Feldman, “Dancing on Spun Sugar”
- C. Stuart Hardwick, “Sample Return”
- William Paul Jones, “Wander On”
- K. D. Julicher, “Primum Non Nocere”
- Kate MacEachern, “Spinners”
- Wendy Nikel, “Bounty #1486”
- M. T. Reiten, “Bagala Devi Objective”
- Tiffany Smith, “The Caretaker”
Four of these writers have made it to the finals before. C. Stuart Hardwick has been a finalist every year since 2015 (placing second in 2018). Wendy Nikel was a finalist in 2018 (placing third) and 2019. M.T. Reiten made the finals in 2017 (placing third) and 2019 (placing third), and Tiffany Smith made the finals in 2019.
And several have been doing a quality of work that’s placed them in contention for other sff awards. C. Stuart Hardwick was voted a 2017 AnLab Readers’ Award for Best Novelette. K.D. Julicher was the inaugural Baen Fantasy Adventure Award winner in 2014, and was also a Published Finalist in the 2016 L. Ron Hubbard Achievement Awards for Writers of the Future Contest. Wendy Nikel was a 2017 Baen Fantasy Adventure Award finalist, and a 2018 WSFA Small Press Award Finalist.
The three winners will be announced by March 22, 2020. The winners will be honored at the 2020 International Space Development Conference in Dallas, TX, May 28-31 2020.
“The National Space Society and Baen Books applaud the role that science fiction plays in advancing real science and have teamed up to sponsor this short fiction contest in memory of Jim Baen, the founder of Baen Books,” said William Ledbetter, contest administrator. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for the winner to meets scientists and space advocates from around the world.”
The contest judges are Baen Books editors Hank Davis, Jim Minz, Tony Daniel, David Afsharirad, and Baen author David Drake.
The Grand Prize winner will be published as the featured story on the Baen Books main website and paid at the normal paying rates for professional story submittals, currently .08/word. The author will also receive an engraved award, free entry into the 2020 International Space Development Conference, a year’s membership in the National Space Society and a prize package containing various Baen Books and National Space Society merchandise.
Second and Third place winners will receive free entry into the 2020 International Space Development Conference, a year’s membership in the National Space Society and a prize package containing various Baen Books and National Space Society merchandise.