March 16, 2017—RIVERDALE, NEW YORK: Philip A. Kramer of Seattle, WA has won the grand prize in the 2017 Jim Baen Memorial Award competition for his short story "Feldspar." 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 runner up in this year's contest is "Bullet Catch" by Stephen Lawson of Louisville, KY, and the second runner up is "An Economy of Air" by M. T. Reiten of Los Alamos, NM.
Judges for the award were the editors of Baen Books and special guest judge, author David Drake. Stories were judged anonymously. The Jim Baen Memorial Award will be presented May 26, 2017 in a ceremony at the annual International Space Development Conference held this year in St. Louis, MO. The winner receives a distinctive award and professional publication of the story in June 2017 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, Baen Books founder," said William Ledbetter, contest administrator. "It's a wonderful opportunity for the winner to meet scientists and space advocates from around the world."
The contest occurs annually and looks for stories that demonstrate the positive aspects of space exploration and discovery. Over the years, the contest has developed an international character. In addition to the United States, entrants have hailed from Sweden, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Algeria, Spain, and Morocco.
"Moon bases, Mars colonies, orbital habitats, space elevators, asteroid mining, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, realistic spacecraft, heroics, sacrifice, adventure—that's what we're looking for," said Ledbetter. "And once again we believe we've found writers, and an ultimate winner, who deliver just that."
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