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British writer wins first Jim Baen Memorial short story contest

19/05/2007. Contributed by Jessica Martin

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Jim Baen's Universe Magazine and National Space Society team to select new space-based Science Fiction short stories in memory of James Patrick Baen, accomplished speculative fiction editor, who died in 2006.

Mike Wood, a writer from Great Britain, submitted the winning short story in the first annual James Patrick Baen Memorial Writing Contest.

His story, "A Better Sense of Direction," won out over nearly a hundred entries from all over the world. Toni Weisskopf, publisher of Baen Books, and one of the three judges, said she was favorably impressed with the overall quality of the submissions. "I was also favorably impressed by the positive spirit toward space science and the future found in each story," she said. "Space development was one of Jim Baen's passions."

"'A Better Sense of Direction' will be published in Jim Baen's Universe magazine, and Mr. Wood will receive standard professional payment rates for the story," said JBU Editor in Chief, and best-selling novelist, Eric Flint, another of the judges.

Mike Resnick, renowned Hugo and Nebula Award-winning Executive Editor of Jim Baen's Universe magazine, said, "The winning story was well-conceived, showed quite a bit of wit, and would have sold to JBU regardless of whether it was a contest winner or just a normal submission."

Resnick was the third contest judge.

First runner-up was "Anniversary," by Bob Billing, also a writer from Great Britain. Second runner-up was "Acclimatization," by Michael A. McPherson, a Canadian writer from Toronto.

Each of the three winners will receive a subscription to Jim Baen's Universe, an autographed copy of The Best of Jim Baen's Universe, a JBU logo mug and totebag, and a membership in the National Space Society.

The awards will be presented by JBU Managing Editor, Paula Goodlett, at the The 26th International Space Development Conference, NSS's annual event, to be held in Dallas, Texas from May 25-28 2007.

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