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British Writer Wins First Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Contest
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Jim Baen’s Universe Magazine and National Space Society Team to Select New Space- Based Science Fiction



Winston-Salem, NC, May 9, 2007— 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."

From the winning story: “Stella was the first true child-of-the stars. She was conceived on the starship and she was born on the starship. Children had always been part of the mission plan, hence the low average age of the crew (Babes in Space, they called us). But it had never been part of the plan to have the first birth take place only nine-months out of Earth orbit.”

What would you do if your daughter suddenly figured out how to navigate in space, out of her head? Especially after you wrecked the engine trying to make her spaghetti? Would you believe her? Would the captain of the starship be willing to trust a little girl’s intuition and save the ship?

“’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.

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About the James Patrick Baen Memorial Writing Contest

The Second Annual James Patrick Baen Memorial Writing Contest will be announced in January 2008. Named for Jim Baen, publisher of Baen Books and renowned science-fiction editor, the contest seeks to help provide incentives for new authors to write short speculative fiction. The winning entry is published in Jim Baen’s Universe. The contest is a fitting memorial for Baen, who died in 2006, since he spent much of his career finding and grooming new writers. Among his discoveries were Lois McMaster Bujold, Elizabeth Moon, Eric Flint, David Weber and John Ringo.

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About Jim Baen’s Universe magazine

Jim Baen’s Universe is the largest magazine of speculative fiction in the world. Running an average of over 100,000 words per issue, it is published electronically six times annually. It is published in web-based form at www.baensuniverse.com, and in multiple downloadable forms, such as Acrobat PDF, Palm and Mobipocket ebook format, Microsoft Reader, and RTF, all without encryption or digital rights management schemes. In its first year of publication, JBU received two Hugo nominations, one Locus Award nomination, and four of its stories were published in “year’s best” anthologies. The Best of Jim Baen’s Universe is published in hardback by Baen Books.

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About the National Space Society
The National Space Society (NSS) is an independent, grassroots organization dedicated to the creation of a spacefaring civilization. Founded in 1974, NSS is widely acknowledged as the preeminent citizen's voice on space. NSS counts thousands of members and over 50 chapters in the United States and around the world. The society also publishes Ad Astra magazine, an award-winning periodical chronicling the most important developments in space. For more information about NSS, how to join or donate, or the annual International Space Development Conference, visit http://www.nss.org

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