2015 Baen Fantasy Adventure Award Finalists

Baen Books, in association with GenCon, has announced the finalists for the 2015 Baen Fantasy Adventure Award.

  • “Saurs” by Craig DeLancey
  • “Burning Savannah” by Alexander Monteagudo
  • “Unfound” by Rhiannon Held
  • “Shell Game” by Joseph L. Kellogg
  • “Victor the Sword” by Robin Lupton
  • “Trappists” by Katherine Monasterio
  • “Kiss from a Queen” by Jeff Provine
  • “An Old Dragon’s Treasure” by Robert Russell
  • “The Triton’s Son” by Keith Taylor
  • “Adroit” by Dave Williams

Baen Books bwFinalists will be judged by senior Baen editing staff — including Jim Minz, Tony Daniel and Toni Weisskopf — and special guest judge, best-selling author Larry Correia. The grand prize winner and two runners-up will be announced on August 1 during the award presentation at GenCon in Indianapolis.

The contest, now in its second year, recognizes the short story entries “that best exemplify the spirit of adventure, imagination, and great storytelling in a work of short fiction with a fantastic setting, whether epic fantasy, heroic fantasy, sword and sorcery, or contemporary fantasy.”

The winning story will be published on website Baen.com.

The 2016 contest will accept submissions beginning January 1. All entries must be received April 1, 2016.  Each entry is limited to a short story of no more than 8,000 words, and there is one entry per author.

Baen Holds Vote For Best MilSF of 2014

cover years best military sfBaen released The Year’s Best Military SF & Space Opera edited by David Afsharirad on June 2, at the same time throwing open voting for the work in the volume most deserving of the accolade “Year’s Best Military and Adventure Science Fiction Story.”

The award honors the best of the best in this grand storytelling tradition, and its winner will receive an inscribed plaque and a $500 prize.

Table of Contents

  • Preface by David Afsharirad
  • Excitement! Adventure! Science Fiction! by David Drake
  • “Codename: Delphi” by Linda Nagata (Lightspeed, April 2014)
  • “Persephone Descending” by Derek Künsken (Analog Science Fiction and Fact, November 2014)
  • “The End of the Silk Road” by David D. Levine (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, May/June 2014)
  • “Picket Ship” by Brad R. Torgersen (Baen.com, September 2014)
  • “Decaying Orbit” by Robert R. Chase (Asimov’s Science Fiction, October/November 2014)
  • “Morrigan in the Sunglare” by Seth Dickinson (Clarkesworld, March 2014)
  • “Light and Shadow” by Linda Nagata (War Stories: New Military Science Fiction)
  • “Icarus at Noon” by Eric Leif Davin (Galaxy’s Edge, May/June 2014)
  • “Soft Casualty” Michael Z. Williamson (Baen.com, April 2014)
  • “Palm Strike’s Last Case” by Charlie Jane Anders (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, July/August 2014)
  • “Brood” by Stephen Gaskell (Extreme Planets)
  • “Stealing Arturo” by William Ledbetter (Baen.com, February 2014)
  • “Rules of Engagement” by Matthew Johnson (Asimov’s Science Fiction, April/May 2014)
  • “Ten Rules for Being an Intergalactic Smuggler (the Successful Kind)” by Holly Black (Monstrous Affections)
  • “War Dog” by Michael Barretta (War Stories: New Military Science Fiction)

Voting continues until August 31. Voters must register with Baen Ebooks (your information will not be shared.) You may also send a postcard or letter with the name of your favorite story from this volume and its author to Baen Books Year’s Best Award, P.O. Box 1188, Wake Forest, NC 27587.

The winner will be announced at Dragon*Con in Atlanta on Labor Day Weekend.

Bujold Novel Among 11 New Baen Acquisitions

Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen, a new Vorkosigan Saga novel by Lois McMaster Bujold, is among eleven recent acquisitions by Baen Books.

There are also two new entries in the best-selling Liaden Universe® science fiction series by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller.

Three more are by Hugo finalist Michael Z. Williamson: two set in the universe of his time travel novel A Long Time Until Now  (May 2015), and one set in the world of Williamson’s long running and popular Ripple Creek series.

Larry Correia will deliver Wendell (but Baen is silent whether the novel is named after a manatee.)

Baen has also acquired two new novels in the Caine Riordan science fiction series from Nebula finalist and Compton Crook award winner Charles E. Gannon.

Also on the way is a new hard science fiction novel by AnLab award winner and multiple Hugo finalist Brad Torgersen, plus a new Skolian universe science fiction mystery novel from two-time Nebula award winner Catherine Asaro.

“We are extremely pleased with this wonderful selection of new novels we will soon offer eager fans,” said Baen Books publisher Toni Weisskopf. “And we’re very happy to work with a group of such fine writers whose work engages and entertains hundreds of thousands of readers.”

The full press release follows the jump.  Continue reading

2015 Locus Recommended Reading List Appears

The highly influential Locus Recommended Reading List has been posted by Locus Online.

The 2014 list is a consensus by Locus editors and reviewers with some input by others —

Liza Groen Trombi, Gary K. Wolfe, Jonathan Strahan, Faren Miller, Russell Letson, Graham Sleight, Adrienne Martini, Carolyn Cushman, Tim Pratt, Karen Burnham, Gardner Dozois, Rich Horton, Paul Kincaid, and others — with inputs from outside reviewers, other professional critics, other lists, etc. Short fiction selections are based on material from Jonathan Strahan, Gardner Dozois, Rich Horton, Lois Tilton, Ellen Datlow, Alisa Krasnostein, and Paula Guran with some assistance from Karen Burnham, Nisi Shawl, and Mark Kelly.

On the list are —

  • 28 SF novels, 22 fantasy novels, 18 YA books, 11 first novels;
  • 14 collections, 12 original anthologies, 11 reprint anthologies;
  • 12 nonfiction books, 13 art books;
  • 16 novellas
  • 53 novelettes
  • 58 short stories

The list is always a focal point of discussion during awards season. This year it may also provide ammunition for the Sad Puppies 3 campaign because despite its breadth it contains a grand total of zero works written by —

  • Larry Correia
  • Brad Torgersen
  • John C. Wright
  • Vox Day
  • Sarah Hoyt
  • Dan Wells

— five writers who were on last year’s Sad Puppies slate, and a sixth, John C. Wright, who has been constantly mentioned as a writer they will endorse in 2015. Four members of last year’s slate, Correia, Torgersen, Day and Wells, made the 2014 Hugo ballot (though none was on last year’s Locus list, either).

Oh, and the current Locus list also contains absolutely zero works published by Baen Books.

Fans Will Crown Year’s Best Military SF Story

cover years best military sfAfter Baen releases The Year’s Best Military SF and Space Opera on June 2, the publisher will invite readers to vote online for the work in the volume most deserving of the accolade “Year’s Best Military and Adventure Science Fiction Story.”

Edited by David Afsharirad, and with an introduction by David Drake, the inaugural book in this year’s best series will collect stories from the top magazine and online venues with a military and adventure science fiction theme.

Baen publisher Toni Weisskopf adds —

We’ll be keeping track of the voting at baen.com. The winner will be announced at the Baen Travelling Road Show at Dragoncon in Atlanta. (I should make it clear that Dragoncon is only hosting us, not sponsoring the contest, much as the Locus poll winners have been announced at various conventions over the years, or the Prometheus Award at Worldcon.) The Reader’s Choice story will earn its author an additional $500 and a nice plaque.

The book can be pre-ordered now from a wide array of sellers.

Joe Buckley Dies for Charity

Joe BuckleyOn Veterans Day, Baen Books is launching a charity ebook — The Many Deaths of Joe Buckley. Joe Buckley is a character that has appeared in many books by Baen authors, a tongue-in-cheek tradition.

Baen logo“The reason for this string of murders and near-murders in print for Joe Buckley is now legendary,” says publisher Toni Weisskopf. “You may not want to stand too close to him if you happen to be another character in a story by a Baen author.”

The Many Deaths of Joe Buckley is a compilation of Buckley references with introductions by the authors.

Half of the proceeds from this ebook will go to Operation Baen Bulk, an organization that provides reading material and other items that deployed troops need and want. The other half will go to ReadAssist, a nonprofit that helps disabled readers get access to books, and also provides free access to Baen ebooks.

In many works by Baen authors such as David Weber, John Ringo, and Sarah A. Hoyt, a character named Joe Buckley meets a very bad end. In others, such as works by Baen authors Eric Flint and Travis S. Taylor, Joe winds up only mostly dead, or living a fate worse than death.

“We’ve brought together the myriad Joe Buckley death and near-death scenes from the works by Baen authors and compiled them into a stunning collection of murder and mayhem,” Weisskopf adds. “It’s a lot of fun to read through these—and in each section you get great storytelling from top Baen authors, of course.”

The Many Deaths of Joe Buckley is available here.

Free Eric Flint Audio Play Starts 9/19

Baen logoA four-part audio adaptation of Eric Flint’s novella “Islands” begins on the Baen Free Radio Hour podcast September 19.

Set within the world of the Belisarius alternate history series created by Flint and David Drake, the story takes place in the latter days of the Roman Empire. “A being from the future shows up bringing technological knowledge,” explains Baen editor Tony Daniel, author of the adaptation. “And so, the Romans in ‘Islands’ have the telegraph, muzzle loading rifles, and steam powered ships. In the midst of all this we have an epic love story playing out.”

Daniel adds that along with war zone action, the story has a strong and heroic female lead, a Roman noblewoman who becomes a crusader for wounded soldiers on her way to the front. “There’s something in the play for everyone.”

The script is performed by a cast of 15 professional voice actors, and the action is accompanied with original music and a full effects soundtrack.

After the series premieres with a thirty-minute episode on September 19, the other installments will be released on September 26, October 3, and October 10.

The serialized podcast will remain free for download. Once the miniseries is complete, the entire audio drama will be for sale at Baenebooks.com.

[Based on the Baen press release.]

Baen Authors at Book Expo America

Eric Flint (left) and Charles E. Gannon (right), authors of the new novel in the best-selling "1632" alternate world series. Photo by and copyright © Andrew Porter.

Eric Flint (left) and Charles E. Gannon (right), authors of the new novel in the best-selling “1632” alternate world series. Photo by and copyright © Andrew Porter.

Andrew Porter used time travel to attend Book Expo America —

I got in using a Borders lanyard and a 1980 ABA Convention badge, apparently slipping past unobservant security people, and got a lot of comments from ex-Borders people!

Once in, Porter took photos of the writers and editors at the Baen party.

Above is his photograph of Eric Flint and Charles E. Gannon. See more on Baen’s Facebook page.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.]

Larry Correia’s Vulgar Blog Post – His Word

Adam Roberts, meet Larry Correia!

Last week Larry Correia served up a whole hot fudge sundae of self-promotion, victimhood, and smof-stomping in “Sad Puppies 2: The Illustrated Edition” at Monster Hunter Nation.

Some people rejoice in sad puppies. They say that having one tiny group of fans always vote for their favorites is “tradition.” They call popular authors’ attempts to stir up their non-WorldCon attending fanbase to vote in their little popularity contest as “vulgar.” By being vulgar and super non-traditional Larry Correia’s Sad Puppies 1 campaign only missed the Best Novel cutoff by a few votes, and those brave souls who supported him last year can do so again for FREE this year. But he needs more help… Larry Correia fans are far more likely to spend $40 on ammo, or snacks for the while they watch the new season of Justified than to join WorldCon, and if they actually attended a WorldCon they would probably be very, very bored.

But if somebody like Larry Correia would be nominated for a Hugo, then puppies everywhere would rejoice.

It really gravels him, as many fans as he has, that last year he lost what everyone admits is a popularity contest. Correia’s Monster Hunter Legion missed the 2013 Hugo ballot by 17 votes.

His strategy for avoiding the same fate in 2014 involves the rhetorical sleight-of-hand of convincing his fans that voting for their favorite (him) is a virtuous act of nonconformist rebellion, while the identical behavior directed by other fans towards their favorites (not him) is hideous elitism.

Shouldn’t that work?

Along the way, Correia called on people to nominate his editor at Baen, Toni Weisskopf. Now that’s something I can agree with – Toni Weisskopf should be competing for a Hugo. She’s a terrific developer of talent.

Beneath a photo of Toni’s dog, Daphne, Correia continued –

Daphne is sad because most of her owner’s authors are despised and ridiculed by the traditional WorldCon voting crowd and the snooty literati. She knows that her owner deserves a Hugo for Best Editor because of her impressive career editing hundreds of popular works of sci-fi and fantasy and for discovering dozens of new authors who went on to be big sellers…

For all that the Hugos are a popularity contest, fans are aware a writer can sell an enormous amount of sf — stuff they like! — without moving them to give him an award. One of my personal favorites, Mack Reynolds, sold hundreds of stories in his career, only one of which garnered a Hugo nomination.

It sounds absurd to argue that Toni Weisskopf has rendered service to the field while pretending her authors – which is to say Baen-published authors – are generally despised and ridiculed.  

Begin with Larry Correia himself. Worldcon members nominated Correia for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2011. They sure didn’t despise him that year.

Lois McMaster Bujold is a 12-time Hugo nominee, 5-time winner – and 3 of her Hugo-winning novels were published by Baen.

Other current Baen authors have history with the Hugo/Campbell awards from when they were with other publishers. Timothy Zahn won a Hugo and received two other nominations for short fiction in Analog. Wen Spencer won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer when she was with Roc.

It is a little surprising that two leading alternate history authors, Robert Conroy and S. M. Stirling, who are up for the Sidewise Award almost every year, have never made the Hugo ballot. (Stirling’s Nantucket trilogy came out when he was at NAL/Roc, so as I’m suggesting, the pattern probably has nothing to do with Baen.) And there are some more Baen authors — Michael Z. Williamson, Eric Flint, David Weber, and Mercedes Lackey – who have provided so much entertainment over the course of their careers it’d be great to see them nominated someday.