File 770 got an advance look at the table of contents in March, and in April announced the opening of online voting for the associated Readers’ Choice award for the best overall story in the anthology. Voting continues until August 31.
When assembling the first volume in the series, I asked Baen publisher Toni Weisskopf about those stories that were excellent but were only kinda sorta space opera and/or military SF. Would we rather have superlative stories that didn’t quite fit the theme of the book, or merely great ones that certainly did fit the theme? We both agreed that we’d be willing to stretch the definitions to ensure that we got the best of the best. And stretch we did, though I should say not to the breaking point. For this year’s volume, we decided that the old title just wasn’t inclusive enough. Hence the name change to The Year’s Best Military and Adventure SF. And now, as Paul Harvey used to say, you know the rest of the story.
David Weber explains in his Introduction:
Military sci-fi comes in all flavors, but good military sci-fi, enduring military sci-fi, is seldom of the “fluff” type. Seldom what I think of as “splatter porn” or of the sort that romanticizes the ugliness of combat and the taking of human life or suggests the “good guys” will get off without paying a horrible price of their own simply because they’re the good guys. I’m not saying all of it has the gritty realism of a Drake, and I’m certainly not saying “good” military sci-fi has to be an anti-military screed. But as Toni Weisskopf once pointed out in a conversation with me, there’s a distinct difference between military science fiction and militaristic science fiction. The biggest difference is that the former is normally written by someone who at least has a clue about how militaries and warfare work whereas the latter is written by someone who doesn’t have a clue about how they work but thought it would be really cool to write about a war.
Click here to find out how to vote for The Best Military and Adventure Science Fiction Reader’s Choice Award. The award-winning story will be announced at Dragon Con.
David Afsharirad has revealed the table of contents for his next collection of The Year’s Best Military and Adventure SF, picked from short fiction published in 2015.
Preface by David Afsharirad
Introduction by David Weber
“The Siege of Denver” by Brendan DuBois
“Save What You Can” by David Drake
“For the Love of Sylvia City” by Andrea M. Pawley
“The Wizard of the Trees” by Joe R. Lansdale
“Helping Hand” by Claudine Griggs
“Morrigan in Shadow” by Seth Dickinson
“Remembery Day” by Sarah Pinsker
“Gyre” by Brad R. Torgersen
“Twilight on Olympus” by Eric Leif Davin
“The Trouble with Telepaths” by Hank Davis
“This is the Way the Universe Ends: With a Bang” by Brian Dolton
“The Tumbledowns of Cleopatra Abyss” by David Brin
The volume is slated for publication in June. It’s available for preorder from Amazon and Baen ebooks.
Baen once again will host a readers’ poll for best story from the collection. The official name now is The Year’s Best Military and Adventure SF Readers’ Choice Award. The voting site is not yet live, but will be by the time the book is released. Like last year, winner will be announced at DragonCon. Update 03/09/2016: Corrected title, added art and preorder links.
Editor David Afsharirad with Michael Z. Williamson, first winner of the Year’s Best Military SF and Space Opera Award (as it was then called) for his 2014 story “Soft Casualty.”
“Soft Casualty” by Michael Z. Williamson has been voted the accolade “Year’s Best Military and Adventure Science Fiction Story” by readers of Baen’s The Year’s Best Military SF & Space Opera edited by David Afsharirad.
The announcement was made at the Baen Travelling Road Show (with Prizes) at Dragon Con. Williamson received an inscribed plaque and five hundred dollars.
Baen 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.
“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.
After 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.