RIVERDALE, NEW YORK, March 22, 2021—G. Scott Huggins of Mt. Pleasant, Wisconsin, has won the grand prize in the 2021 Jim Baen Memorial Award competition for his short story “Salvage Judgement.” The Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Contest has been held annually since 2007 and focuses on human stories of space exploration and discovery. First runner up in this year's contest is “Reaction Time” by C. Stuart Hardwick. There was a tie for second runner up between “Samba do Espaço” by Gustavo Bondoni and “Love On The Ganymede Trail” by Kurt Pankau.
In an interesting turn, Huggins was the winner of the 2020 Baen Fantasy Adventure Award, another short story contest sponsored by Baen Books. Both contests are judged anonymously.
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, 2021, 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.
“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. The annual contest seeks stories that demonstrate the positive aspects of human space exploration and discovery. “We're looking for stories about the near future solar system with moon bases, Mars colonies, orbital habitats, asteroid mining, artificial intelligence, realistic spacecraft, heroics, sacrifice, and adventure,” said Ledbetter. “And once again we've found writers, and an ultimate winner, who deliver just that.”
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