Since 2007, The National Space Society and Baen Books have honored the role that science fiction plays in advancing real science by teaming up to sponsor the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award. The prize is given out at the annual International Space Development Conference banquet. “Salvage Judgment” is the winner of this year’s Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award. And, for the first time in over a decade, we have a double winner of both the JBM and the Baen Fantasy Adventure awards. “Humanslayer,” by G. Scott Huggins was the 2020 grand prize winner of the sixth annual Baen Fantasy Adventure Award. As a testament to the author’s ability, we would like to stress that both contests are judged blind, and the judges had no idea who the authors were while adjudicating both contests!
Today, I am honored to confirm that my story, “Salvage Judgment,” has been selected as the winner of this year’s Jim Baen Memorial Award. I am rather aghast to realize that my story will be taking its place among so many excellent stories. One of my favorite short stories in the past decade is, in fact, Brad Torgersen’s “Gemini XVII,” and that story took second place in 2011.
And I won? Surely not.
For a long time, I described myself as “G. Scott Huggins, Very Nearly Award-Winning Author,” because I came in second a LOT. In fact, my professional career began with coming in second in the Writers of the Future contest in 1999. Then I came in second in the very first Baen Fantasy Adventure Award in 2014. Then I came in second in a Twitter Pitch contest called #ReviseAndResub.
And last year, after many submissions that never even made it to finalist status, I won the Baen Fantasy Adventure Award. And now, the Jim Baen Memorial Award.
I’m the first, and so far only person to win both Baen Books short story awards. And that’s… that’s a little tiny slice of SFF history. And I can be happy about that. That’s… more than i could have ever expected when I started writing, sometime in the last century.
I really think you’re going to like this story when it debuts in a month. I’d like to say that it was written in a burst of inspiration, but I have to tell you, it was a bear to write. I hacked it mercilessly out of the dead void of space, and then had to cut twenty percent of it. It was not a pretty process, and I sometimes can’t believe I finished it. But when I did, I really, really liked it.
Thank you to all my readers who have borne with me so long. I’m finally getting to the place where I want to be. The places I want to show you.