Midcoh Wins 2022 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Contest

Elaine Midcoh of Pembroke Pines, Florida has won the grand prize in the 2022 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award competition with her short story “Man on the Moon.” The Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Contest has been held annually since 2007 and is focused on stories of space exploration and discovery, with an optimistic spin on those activities for the human race.

FIRST PLACE

  • “Man on the Moon” by Elaine Midcoh

SECOND PLACE

  • Pierre-Alexandre Sicart [title withheld by request*]

THIRD PLACE

  • “The Rocketship of Her Dreams” by Larry Lang

HONORABLE MENTIONS

  • “Blowout” by Wole Talabi
  • “The Icy Wasteland at Her Feet” by Deborah L. Davitt

(* Sicart’s title was withheld by request of the author because he’s already submitted the story to another blind contest.)

Midcoh will be honored at the 2022 International Space Development Conference, in Arlington, VA, May 27-29, 2022. In addition to the award, her winning story will be published at Baen.com, paid professional rates, and the author will receive membership in the National Space Society.

“Winning the contest is an honor and opportunity for the winner, not only to be published, but to attend the ISDC, and meet scientists and space advocates from around the world,” said William Ledbetter, contest administrator. “In addition, 2020 and 2021 award winners M.T. Reiten and G. Scott Huggins have been invited to attend as well, given the Covid-19 pandemic meant they could not be honored in person previously.”

This was the first time in the 15-year history of the contest where not only were there more than ten finalists, but two honorable mentions among the winners. Pierre-Alexandre Sicart of Taiwan placed second, while third went to Pennsylvanian Larry Lang for “The Rocketship of Her Dreams.” The two honorable mentions were “Blowout” by Wole Talabi of Malaysia, and “The Icy Wasteland at Her Feet” by Deborah L. Davitt of Texas.

Judges for the award were author and space scientist Les Johnson, and the editorial staff of Baen Books, and entries were judged anonymously.

According to Baen publisher Toni Weisskopf, all of this year’s finalists turned in some incredible stories.

“We were really impressed by the breadth and depth of the submissions this year, it was an honor to read them all,” Weisskopf said. “We began this contest to honor new authors and celebrate space exploration, and all this year’s finalists exemplify the very best of what we want from the contest, and from science fiction.”

[Based on a press release.]

What the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award looks like.

2022 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award Finalists Announced

Baen Books, in partnership with the National Space Society, has announced the 2022 finalists for the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award.

First launched in 2007, for the past 15 years the Jim Baen Memorial Award has been awarded to realistic hard science fiction about what can be achieved in space exploration in the next few decades, ranging from the colonization of Mars to asteroid mining, with a focus on hard science and optimism.

“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 meet scientists and space advocates from around the world.”

The finalists for the 2022 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award are:

  • Mike Adamson (Australia)
  • Gustavo Bondoni (Argentina)
  • Deborah L. Davitt (Texas, USA)
  • Amanda Dier (Florida, USA)
  • Harry Lang (Pennsylvania, USA)
  • Elaine Midcoh (Florida, USA)
  • Avery Parks (Texas, USA)
  • J. Russell (Alabama, USA)
  • Pierre-Alexandre Sicart (Taiwan)
  • Wole Talabi (Malaysia)
  • Brad Zeiger (Oregon, USA)

Judges for the award were author and space scientist Les Johnson, and the editorial staff of Baen Books, and entries were judged anonymously. The contest occurs annually and looks for stories that demonstrate the positive aspects of space exploration and discovery.

This year’s winner will be honored at the 2022 International Space Development Conference, in Arlington, VA, May 27-29, 2022. In addition to the award, the winning story will be published at Baen.com, paid professional rates, and the author will receive membership in the National Space Society.

 [Based on a press release.]

Grantville Gazette Publishes 100th Issue

The Grantville Gazette has reached its milestone hundredth issue. The alternate history series created by a vast community of writers began over 20 years ago. Eric Flint can tell you about the beginnings of the 1632 story, and current Grantville Gazette editor Walt Boyes brings us up to date in “The Story So Far”, which he shares with File 770 in the following excerpt.


THE STORY SO FAR . . . by Walt Boyes: Whew! We made it. We made it to Issue 100 of the Grantville Gazette. This is an incredible feat by a large group of stakeholders. Thank you, everyone.

I don’t think Eric Flint had any idea what he’d created when he sent Jim Baen the manuscript for 1632. In the intervening two-plus decades, the book he intended to be a one-shot novel has grown like the marshmallow man in Ghostbusters to encompass books from two publishing houses, a magazine (this one, that you are holding in your metaphorical hands) and allowed over 165 new authors to see their first published story in print. The Ring of Fire Universe, or the 1632 Universe, has more than twelve million words published. The Grantville Gazette is bi-monthly, publishing six times a year. To do this requires a dedicated group of editors and proofreaders, authors, and artists. Later in this issue, you can read interviews with Eric Flint and Paula Goodlett about the early days of the Grantville Gazette.

From the Grantville Gazette’s unique beginning, we knew it would be a different magazine. Growing as it did out of the writing group from Jim Baen’s Universe, it was always dedicated to finding and grooming new writers–writers who had oftentimes never published anything before, or who had published only non-fiction for their entire careers. We set up the conferences in Baen’s Bar that we still use today as a permanent floating crit group where you could post your story, get comments and criticism, rewrite and repost your story until the editor bought it. There wasn’t another crit group like it anywhere–the prize was, “We bought your story.”

I am the third editor of the magazine, and with my right-hand man, Bjorn Hasseler, we continue to build the legacy of this wonderful magazine and its crit groups on Baen’s Bar. We are always looking for new authors, and we keep finding them. Bethanne Kim, Sarah Hayes, Joy Ward, and others have been looking at the 1632 Universe from a woman’s perspective, so it isn’t all about hillbillies in Germany. Joy and others have written about LGBTQ issues in the seventeenth century. Robert Waters, Griffin Barber, and Iver Cooper have written about the collisions between 20th-century mindsets and South America, India, Japan, and the Native Americans on the West Coast of the United States. The canvas of the 1632 series is utterly vast–an entire world! Garrett Vance, who is our Graphic Designer, has also written about saving the Dodo, the thrust toward a balanced ecology, the Japanese diaspora, and the Time Spike universe. These are just the tip of the iceberg of authors and visions and topics and themes. These are only a few of the authors who have collaborated with Eric Flint’s world as he built it. As an homage to Jim Baen’s Universe magazine, we have kept a portion of the Gazette we call the Universe Annex, to publish really good science fiction from great authors, just not in the 1632 Universe.

The theme of this issue is the Committees of Correspondence set up by the Americans in the first novel, 1632. Based on the committees formed in the American Revolution, the Committees of Correspondence (CoCs) have been dedicated to improving the lives of the downtrodden in the Early Modern Era, They teach and organize on every subject from sanitation and hygiene to spreading democracy and tumbling over-reaching Adel. Above all, the CoCs are literal death to anti-Semitism and witch-burning. 

We have selected twelve stories about the CoCs, including one by Eric Flint himself. It is called “1632: The Wrecking Crew” and is about Harry Lefferts and the CoC getting started. Another look at the beginnings of the CoC is from Bethanne Kim called, “Freedom Arches.” Terry Howard, one of the Gazette’s most prolific authors, gives us two stories in this issue, “Like the Mad Men of Munster,” and “Funding the CoC.” Virginia DeMarce talks about killing witch-burners in “If You Want to Write a Play with Witches.” Marc Tyrell takes a different look at the CoC killing witch-burners in “Advocatus Angeli.”  In “Be Happy Now, My Enemies,” A.P. Davidson asks what happens when the Adel start fighting back. Can the CoC’s new political consciousness win against centuries of noble skulduggery? 

Joy Ward returns with “It’s Only Rock and Roll, But…” showing another side of the Committees of Correspondence as a place where teenage misfits can rock out on rhythm and blues without getting in trouble, and where a young gay boy can make friends in the name of music. In “Aftermath,” Bjorn Hasseler shows that the CoC can fight and beat Swedish regulars during the rebellion of Axel Oxenstierna, and show graciousness and nobility when the fighting is over. In Michael Lockwood’s “What Price an Adel?” the story of one man’s political journey in the Magdeburg CoC is told.Edith Wild’s “Leftovers” lets us see what happens after a CoC action when a son dives in front of his father’s assassin.  In “Slamfire!” by Bjorn Hasseler and Walt Boyes, a young Welsh gunsmith’s new political consciousness leads him to create a special design of shotgun cheap enough to equip all the Committees of Correspondence in Europe and North America. In the only piece of non-fiction in this issue, we present Kristine Katherine Rusch on 100 issues of the Grantville Gazette.

 In the two-plus decades since Eric wrote 1632, nearly 200 people have contributed to the success of the Universe directly, and many more indirectly by reviewing and buying the books and magazines. Time passes in the original timeline, and some of those people have passed away. We want to acknowledge them and their wonderful contributions to the story:

  • Leonard Hollar
  • Eva Musch
  • Cheryl Detweiler
  • John Zeek
  • Karen Bergstralh
  • Pam Poggiani
  • John Johnson
  • Nick Lorrance
  • Kevin Evans
  • Karen Evans
  • Rick Boatright

…Finally, I want to point out that the 100th issue of the Grantville Gazette is the first that will be issued in POD as a trade paperback on Amazon. Going forward, all issues will be done this way, and we are going to go back toward the beginning issues as we can scrape up the time to do it. Eventually, the entire backlist of the magazine will be available in hard copy as well as in multiple format ebook editions.

So once again, I ask you to strap on your seat belt, keep your arms and legs inside the car, and get ready to ride the 1632 rollercoaster! Welcome aboard!

Sharon Lee & Steve Miller Liaden Universe® News

What’s happening in the Liaden Universe®? Sharon Lee and Steve Miller have a new update for fans. They have a lot of books and stories on the way.

FAIR TRADE. The 24th novel set in the Liaden Universe® is Fair Trade, created and written by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. It also is the third book in the so-called “Jethri arc.” Previous volumes were: Balance of Trade and Trade Secret.

The hardcover comes out from Baen on May 3, 2022. Signed hardcovers can be preordered from Uncle Hugo ONLY.  Click here. There are eARC’s already available from Baen Books — here’s the link.

LIADEN UNIVERSE® CONSTELLATION, VOLUME 5. The new collection of Liaden Universe® stories that have already appeared elsewhere was released as a trade paperback (and a Kindle edition) on February 1.

Table of Contents: Authors’ Foreword, “Fortune’s Favors,” “Opportunity to Seize,” “Shout of Honor,” “Command Decision,” “Dark Secrets,” “A Visit to the Galaxy Ballroom,” “The Gate that Locks the Tree,” “Preferred Seating,” “Ambient Conditions,” and “Dead Men Dream.”

IN TIMES TO COME. Lee and Miller are under contract to Baen Books for more three Liaden Universe® novels after Fair Trade. Those novels are:

1 TRADE LANES, the sequel to Fair Trade — Steve Miller, Lead Writer

2 SALVAGE RIGHT — Sharon Lee, Lead Writer

3 A Liaden Novel to be Named Later — Sharon Lee, Lead Writer – probably. The authors say, “At the moment, this is looking like a return to the Redlands and checking in with Padi, Tekelia, Aunt Astra, Eet, and the gang. This could change, as all things may change, and only reflect our thoughts at the moment.”

BOSKONE 59 SCHEDULE. Steve Miller will be a virtual panelist at Boskone 59, February 18-20. Boskone is a Hybrid Convention this year. All of Miller’s panels are Virtual. His schedule is below. All times are Eastern Standard.

VIRTUAL: Unhappy Endings
18 Feb 2022, Friday 8pm – 8:50pm, Marina IV (Westin)
Jane Yolen, Steve Miller, Julie Czerneda, Paul Di Filippo (M), Ada Palmer

Tragic plays from Shakespeare, Sophocles, Aeschylus, and Euripides are still with us … hundreds, even thousands of years later. Not all stories let the protagonist triumph — sometimes they lose; sometimes they even die losing. Some science fiction and fantasy writers’ unhappily ending stories are quite popular. Why do they succeed? Why do other such stories fail — even fail so hard their authors never try to write unhappily ever after?

VIRTUAL: My Favorite Character
18 Feb 2022, Friday 9pm – 9:50pm, Marina IV (Westin)
Olav Rokne, Jen Gunnels, Steve Miller, David Marshall, James Moore (M)

Google once estimated that humanity had published 129,864,880 books. If about half were SF/F/H trilogies — never mind, let’s ask it this way: from all the speculative fiction stories ever published, who’s your favorite character, and why? Heroine, villain, sidekick, romantic interest, alien bystander? Would you like to meet, have dinner with, or be that person? What does your choice say about your own character?

VIRTUAL: Solo Reading
19 Feb 2022, Saturday 12:30 – 12:55, Marina IV (Westin)
Steve Miller

BAEN PODCAST.  Lee and Miller have a Zoom event coming up later this month — chatting with Griffin Barber about Liaden Universe® Constellation, Volume 5. See or listen to this podcast here.

2022 Baen Fantasy Adventure Award Contest

Entries for the ninth annual Baen Fantasy Adventure Award contest will be accepted beginning February 1, 2022 at 12:01 a.m. Eastern. Full guidelines at the link.

What We Want to See

Adventure fantasy with heroes you want to root for. Warriors either modern or medieval, who solve problems with their wits or with their weapons—and we have nothing against dragons, elves, dwarves, castles under siege, urban fantasy, damsels in distress, or damsels who inflict distress.

What We Don’t Want to See

Political drama with no action, angst-ridden teens pining over vampire lovers, religious allegory, novel segments, your gaming adventure transcript, anything set in any universe not your own, “it was all a dream” endings, or screenplays.

The contest closes for submissions April 30, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern. The winners will be officially announced during the Baen Traveling Roadshow at Dragon Con, which is scheduled for September 1-5, 2022, in Atlanta, Georgia.

Each entry is limited to an original short story in the English language of no more than 8,000 words, and only one entry per author. Complete guidelines here. Entries will be judged by Baen editors

  • The GRAND PRIZE winner will be published as the featured story on the Baen Books main website and paid at industry-standard rates for professional story submittals. The author will also receive an engraved award and a prize package containing $500 of free Baen Books.
  • SECOND place winner will receive a prize package containing $500 of free Baen Books.
  • THIRD place winner will receive a prize package containing $300 of free Baen Books.

Finalists will be announced no later than July 1, 2022

Winners will be notified no later than July 21, 2022.

Since its beginning the contest has received thousands of entries of fantasy stories from all over the globe.

2022 Baen Short Story Contest Deadline Is 2/1

Entries in the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award writing contest are being accepted through February 1, 2022. The submission window opened October 1. See rules and specifications at the site.

Judging will be done by Baen Books editors Hank Davis, Jim Minz, Tony Daniel, David Afsharirad, and Baen author David Drake.

Ten finalists will be announced no later than March 8, 2022.

  • 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 2022 International Space Development Conference, a year’s membership in the National Space Society.
  • SECOND and THIRD place winners will receive free entry into the 2022 International Space Development Conference, a year’s membership in the National Space Society.

The winners will be announced and notified no later than March 22, 2022. The winners will be honored at the 2022 International Space Development Conference in Arlington, VA, May 27-May 29, 2022. 

Ticknor Wins 2021 Baen Fantasy Adventure Award

M. Elizabeth Ticknor, 2021 Baen Fantasy Adventure Award contest winner.

The results of the 2021 Baen Fantasy Adventure Award for best original fantasy short story were announced September 4. They are:

GRAND PRIZE: “Echoes of Meridian” by M. Elizabeth Ticknor

SECOND PLACE: “Absinthe & the Alchemist” by Stephanie Kraner

THIRD PLACE: “The Codes of Binding” by C. Jonah Abbott

The other finalists were:

  • “Shadows of the Children” by Jacob Barlow
  • “The First” by Dale Cozort
  • “Soulshifters” by Charles Dib
  • “The Teardrop Harvest” by J.D. Lars
  • “Reverse the Clock” by Ari Officer
  • “Blood and Ashes” by Grant Riddell
  • “War Painting” by Elise Stephens

The annual Baen Fantasy Adventure Award contest began in 2014. The award honors stories that best exemplify the spirit of adventure, imagination, and great storytelling in a work of short fiction containing an element of the fantastic, whether epic fantasy, heroic fantasy, sword and sorcery, contemporary fantasy, or historical fantasy. The stories are judged anonymously.

The Grand Prize and Second and Third Place Winners were announced during the Baen Travelling Roadshow at this year’s Dragon Con.

Author of the Grand Prize story receives an award trophy, a prize box filled with Baen merchandise, and paid professional rates for first publication rights. The winning story also will be featured on Baen.com main webpage from September 15 through October 15, 2021, and will be available in the Baen Free Library thereafter.

[Thanks to Sean CW Korsgaard for the story.]

2021 Baen Fantasy Adventure Award Finalists

The top ten finalists for the 2021 Baen Fantasy Adventure Award for best original fantasy short story were announced July 1. They are:

  • “The Codes of Binding” by C. Jonah Abbott
  • “Shadows of the Children” by Jacob Barlow
  • “The First” by Dale Cozort
  • “Soulshifters” by Charles Dib
  • “Absinthe & the Alchemist” by Stephanie Kraner
  • “The Teardrop Harvest” by J.D. Lars
  • “Reverse the Clock” by Ari Officer
  • “Blood and Ashes” by Grant Riddell
  • “War Painting” by Elise Stephens
  • “Echoes of Meridian” by M. Elizabeth Ticknor

Started in 2014, this is the eighth annual Baen Fantasy Adventure Award. This award honors stories that best exemplify the spirit of adventure, imagination, and great storytelling in a work of short fiction containing an element of the fantastic, whether epic fantasy, heroic fantasy, sword and sorcery, contemporary fantasy, or historical fantasy. The stories are judged anonymously.

The Grand Prize and Second and Third Place Winners will come from among these ten finalists,

Those winners will be announced during the Baen Travelling Roadshow at this year’s Dragon Con. Dragon Con will take place from September 2-6 in Atlanta, GA.

Author of the Grand Prize story receives an award trophy, a prize box filled with Baen merchandise, and paid professional rates for first publication rights. The winning story also will be featured on Baen.com main webpage from September 15 through October 15, 2021, and will be available in the Baen Free Library thereafter.

[Based on a press release.]

Huggins Wins 2021 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Contest

G. Scott Huggins of Mt. Pleasant, Wisconsin, has won the grand prize in the 2021 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award competition with his short story “Salvage Judgement.” The Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Contest has been held annually since 2007 and is focused on stories of space exploration and discovery, with an optimistic spin on those activities for the human race.

Last year, Huggins won the 2020 Baen Fantasy Adventure Award, another short story contest sponsored by Baen Books. Both contests are judged anonymously.

FIRST PLACE

  • “Salvage Judgement” by G. Scott Huggins

SECOND PLACE

  • “Reaction Time” by C. Stuart Hardwick

THIRD PLACE [tie]

  • “Samba do Espaço” by Gustavo Bondoni
  • “Love On The Ganymede Trail” by Kurt Pankau.

Judges for the award were NASA scientist and science fiction author Les Johnson, and the editors of Baen Books. Stories were judged anonymously. The Jim Baen Memorial Award will be presented May 27 in a virtual ceremony at the annual International Space Development Conference.

The winner receives a distinctive award and professional publication of the story in June 2021 at the Baen.com web site. Second and Third place winners receive a year’s membership in the National Space Society and a prize package containing various Baen Books and National Space Society merchandise. 

“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. “Winning the contest and attending the ISDC is a wonderful opportunity for winners to meet scientists and space advocates from around the world.”

Entrants hail from all over the world. This year, in addition to the United States, stories come from many countries, including: Libya, Nigeria, Romania, Sudan, Bolivia, Iraq, Sweden, the UK, Australia, Canada, Algeria, and Spain.

[Based on a press release.]

What the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award looks like.

2021 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award Finalists

The finalists for the 2021 Jim Baen Memorial Award competition have been announced. The Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Contest has been held annually since 2007 and is focused on stories of space exploration and discovery, with an optimistic spin on those activities for the human race.

These are the ten finalists, in alphabetical order.

  • Gustavo Bondoni
  • Deborah L. Davitt
  • C. Stuart Hardwick
  • Scott Huggins
  • José Pablo Iriarte
  • William Paul Jones
  • Leigh Kimmel
  • Wendy Nikel
  • Kurt Pankau
  • Russell Pike

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 and third in 2020). Gustavo Bondoni was a finalist in 2019 (placing second). William Paul Jones was a finalist in 2020. Wendy Nikel was a finalist in 2018 (placing third) and again in 2019.

Judges for the award were celebrity author Les Johnson, and the editors of Baen Books . Stories were judged anonymously.

The Jim Baen Memorial Award will be presented May 27, 2021 in a ceremony at the annual International Space Development Conference (held virtually this year.) The winner receives a distinctive award and professional publication of the story in June 2021 at the Baen.com web site.

“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.

The contest occurs annually and looks for stories that demonstrate the positive aspects of space exploration and discovery. This year, in addition to the United States, entrants hailed from Sweden, the United Kingdom, Australia, Algeria, Spain, Morocco. France, Kazakhstan, India, Canada, Libya, Nigeria, Romania, Kosovo, Sudan, Netherlands, Tunisia, Bolivia, Germany, Iraq, Indonesia, Japan, and Switzerland.

[Based on a press release.]