The Jim Baen Memorial Award: The First Decade

Edited by William Ledbetter. Baen, $16 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-4814-8281-3
The Jim Baen Memorial Award, granted to tales of space exploration and sponsored by the National Space Society, gives rise to this optimistic anthology of 16 short stories that present a plethora of futures beyond Earth. In Michael Barretta’s “Cathedral,” a staged accident strands an astronaut on Mars in order to force a rescue mission that will jump-start a space race. A retired NASA astronaut sacrifices himself to rescue a Disney space cruise liner in Patrick Lundrigan’s “Space Hero,” which critiques the idea of space as a corporate playground. Even as space changes human nature, fathers will still worry over their daughters (“A Better Sense of Direction” by Mjke Wood, “Letting Go” by David Walton), and children will still confront the mortality of family and friends (“Balance” by Marina Lostetter). These works combine both the routines of life in a corporatized final frontier (Jennifer Brozek’s “To Lose the Stars”) and the individual acts of courage that make such life possible (Martin Shoemaker’s “Scramble”). Fans of hopeful space stories will be very satisfied by those on offer here. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/25/2017
Release date: 11/07/2017
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