Annual contest celebrates stories focused on near future space exploration
Contest marks 17 years of highlighting bright futures and rising talent

RIVERDALE, NEW YORK, March 5, 2024— Baen Books, in partnership with the National Space Society, has announced the 2024 finalists for the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award.

First launched in 2007, for the past 17 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 real science, technological extrapolation, and human 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."

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.

According to Baen publisher Toni Weisskopf, one of the most exciting things about the contest over the past decade has been seeing submissions come from authors from nearly every continent. This year entries were received from the Netherlands, the United Kingdom India, Canada, Singapore, Bangladesh, Ukraine, Austria, Japan, Israel, China (Hong Kong), Indonesia, Spain, New Zealand, Mexico, Switzerland, Kyrgyzstan, Argentina, and the United States.

“The international appeal of this sort of science fiction is heartening. I think Jim Baen would have been pleased to see his hope for humanity's positive future in space shared so widely,” said Baen publisher Toni Weisskopf.

The finalists for the 2024 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award are:

Nik Alexander 

Zack Be

Gustavo Bondoni 

S.L. Davis

Trent Guillory 

C. Stuart Hardwick 

William Paul Jones

Jason Lairamore 

Avery Parks 

Marie Vibbert 


This year’s winner will be honored at the 2024 International Space Development Conference, held in Los Angeles, CA, May 23-26, 2024. 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.

Baen Books is known for its New York Times bestselling science fiction and fantasy, including David Weber’s Honor Harrington series, Eric Flint’s Ring of Fire alternate histories, Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter International urban fantasies, Lois McMaster Bujold’s multiple award-winning Vorkosigan Saga, and Wil McCarthy's Rich Man's Space series. Baen’s physical books are distributed by Simon & Schuster, while their eBooks are sold via numerous venues, including their own website.

For more information, visit Baen.com, email info@baen.com, or call 1-800-ITS-BAEN.

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