Tag Archives: games

The Jim Baen Memorial Award: The First Decade

jbmtfdSince 2007, Baen Books and The National Space Society have sponsored The Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award, to honor the legacy of Jim Baen and to promote the ideals of forward-thinking, positive science fiction.

Back in 2013, thanks to Martin Shoemaker, I discovered this contest. My little story placed third. And then, miracle, in 2014 my next story won. I was stunned and honored with the win. And I’m as honored now to have that story in this First Decade anthology. Among some remarkable company too (the estimable Martin Shoemaker among them).

Here gathered together for the first time are the best of the best of the first decade of the Jim Baen Memorial Award. Stories that dare imagine a bright future in which humankind has shaken off the shackles of gravity and moved into that limitless realm known as “outer space.”

Edited by Nebula Award winner William Ledbetter the book collects a variety of stories.

Set in plausible, near-future settings, these stories display variations as limitless as the imaginations of the array of authors represented. Stories that ask, “What if?” Stories that dare to say, “Why not?” Stories that continue the grand science fiction tradition, looking to the future with a positive outlook on humanity’s place in the universe. (Borrowed and paraphrased from the blurb).

The Jim Baen Memorial Award: The First Decade, is available at Amazon, and other retailers.

_____________

Improvising at Branson SixAs a side note, my third placed story, from 2013, “Improvising at Branson Six” is available as a standalone ebook. Available from Amazon and Smashwords, and other ebook retailers. Coming soon in print.

Cover © by Abidal | Dreamstime.

Advertisements

Low Arc to appear in The Jim Baen Memorial Award: The First Decade

jbmassc-coverMy story “Low Arc”, which won the 2014 Jim Baen Memorial Award, will appear among other winning and place-getting stories in a new volume due this autumn.

The Jim Baen Memorial Writing Contest is an annual award, run as an association between the National Space Society, and Baen Books. Winners attend the International Space Development Conference, including an awards dinner for the presentation.

The contest is administrated by Nebula Award Nominee William Ledbetter. He’s edited this volume. Thanks Bill.

The contest asks contestants to “write a short story of no more than 8,000 words, that shows the near future (no more than about 50-60 years out) of manned space exploration”. My own story is an adventure piece, set on the moon in the near future. One of the times where I’ve gone for hard sci-fi.

This is my first pro anthology appearance, and I’m honoured to be among such company.

“A Better Sense of Direction” by Mjke Wood
“Letting Go” by David Walton
“Cathedral” by Mike Barretta
“Space Hero” by Patrick Lundrigan
“That Undiscovered Country” by Nancy Fulda
“Taking the High Road” by R.P.L. Johnson
“The Lamplighter Legacy” by Patrick O’Sullivan
“Low Arc” by Sean Monaghan
“We Fly” by K.B. Rylander
“Dear Ammi” by Aimee Ogden
“Citizen-Astronaut” by David D. Levine
“Gemini XVII” by Brad R. Torgersen
“Scramble” by Martin L. Shoemaker
“Balance” by Marina J. Lostetter
“To Lose the Stars” by Jennifer Brozek
“Cylinders” by Ronald D Ferguson

The cover is by the esteemed Bob Eggleton. Bob published a thumbnail of the cover minus the text on facebook, which is kind of cool.

jbmassc cover without text

My pick for game of the year …

Osmos

Osmos Screenshot

Okay, I don’t play many computer games – I don’t have the patience or the mental/physical reflexes for most. Usually the first level starts and my car crashes, my warrior is slain, I’m stuck out or sacked or have already gone broke. But I’ve just found Osmos, which takes you into a delicious immersive world, filled with gently drifting motes which coalesce and burst, grow and shrink. The idea, usually is to grow your own mote until you’re the biggest. Usefully this game has sucked away hours of my life I’ll never retrieve, but it’s sure more calming than other games I’ve played. Great soundtrack too from including tracks by a couple of my favourite ambient artists Gas/High Skies and Biosphere. The game is a $10 download, which is cheaper than seeing Avatar – actually, do both.

I won’t use the five star system with half-stars (I could rant about that, but another time), but will give this a four and four-fifths star rating. Which means, nothing, of course.