Finalists exemplify the best of near-future, forward-thinking science fiction. Annual contest marks 16 years of highlighting bright futures and rising talent.

RIVERDALE, NEW YORK, March 12, 2024— Zack Be of Maryland, USA was named the winner of this year’s Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award Contest for his story “Locus of Control.”

The contest has been held annually since 2007 by Baen Books, in partnership with the National Space Society, to discover original stories celebrating optimistic, near-future space exploration.

Be will be honored at the 2024 International Space Development Conference, in Los Angeles, CA, May 23-26, 2024. In addition to the award, his winning story will be published at, paid professional rates, and Be 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 to Be’s winning story, Baen Books and National Space Society honored two runners-up for the award. Trent Guillory of Texas was awarded second place for his story “Extraction;” and in third place was “Saving Gallivander” by William Paul Jones of California.

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. “It seems we say this every year, but it really is true that all of the judges were quite impressed by the breadth and depth of the submissions. Stories like those by the top ten finalists and the three winners exemplify the very best of what we want from the contest, and from science fiction.”

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, and Lois McMaster Bujold’s multiple award-winning Vorkosigan Saga. 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, email, or call 1-800-ITS-BAEN.

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