Annual contest celebrates stories focused on near future space exploration.
Contest marks 16 years of highlighting bright futures and rising talent.

RIVERDALE, NEW YORK, March 3, 2023—Baen Books, in partnership with the National Space Society, has announced the 2023 finalists for the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award.

First launched in 2007, for the past 16 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.”

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.

Said judge Les Johnson, “Science fiction can entertain. Good science fiction can entertain and inspire. I was inspired to study physics in large part because as a teenager and young adult, I was reading good science fiction—these stories definitely fall into that category!”

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.

“We launched this award with the goal of paying tribute to Jim Baen, and celebrating two of his great passions, space exploration and discovering new authors,” said Weisskopf. “It’s very encouraging to see people from around the world engaged and choosing to write positive stories about our future in space. This year, we had entries from twenty-one countries on five continents.”

The finalists for the 2023 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award are:

Zack Be – Maryland, USA
J. M. Eno – New York, USA
Meghan Feldman – Texas, USA
William Paul Jones – California, USA
K. D. Julicher – Nevada, USA
Marshall J. Moore – Georgia, USA
Avery Parks – Texas, USA
Hûw Steer – London, UK
Rudy Vener – Connecticut, USA
Brad Zeiger – Oregon, USA

Baen Memorial Short Story Award

This year’s winner will be honored at the 2023 International Space Development Conference, in Frisco, TX, May 25-28, 2023. 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.

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

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