The Winning Story from the Baen Fantasy Contest: The Golden Knight

The story has been posted over on Baen.com

 http://www.baen.com/The_Golden_Knight.asp 

This was a really hard contest to judge. There were so many solid entries and so many good writers.

##

As one of the judges people have been asking me if we’ll release a list of the final 15 that they narrowed the 506 entries down from. I asked about that, but when Baen set up the rules we specified that we’d be listing the 3 finalists, not the others. So nope.

51 Responses

  1. Thanks for giving me a signal boost, Larry! Pretty thrilled to have my first professional sale come from Baen. I got a chance to read one of the runner up stories and wow, this competition was really fierce.

    • Loved yours. Can’t wait to read more from you.

    • I just read your story. Hope to be reading more from you in the future. 🙂

    • Great story, looking forward to more.

    • Good story! I don’t feel at all bad for losing to you!

    • Excellent story! 🙂

    • Wow, that was really good. Loved the ending. Congrats on winning. I’d definitely be interested in reading a novel by you.

      I’m also disappointed that we can’t hear who the final 15 were. Though let’s be honest–I probably didn’t make it, so maybe it’s for the best anyway.

    • Great story, Kate!
      I look forward to reading more of your work in the future! 🙂

    • Are we going to see longer work set in this world? I’d love to read it. 😀

    • Just read it, I like it! Great story! Looking forward to more! Bear warriors ftw!

    • How do you know a really great story? Makes you want more. This sure as hell did. Love it, please write more!

    • Read it yesterday. Read some other short stories in an anthology today. Preferred yours.

      I agree with Robert Hicks below. The main plot is something that has been done many times. Your execution is what makes the short story a fun read (the word superb is wandering through my mind).

      Good luck with the other stories you have. Hopefully I’ll be able to buy them soon.

    • Hey, with this being a first professional sale, is this our Sad Puppies entry for the Campbell award?

      • It is certainly worthy. However, before I ever nominate anyone ever again I’m going to ask their permission, because apparently if Larry Correia says he likes your story that is enough to bring an angry mob to your doorstep. 🙂

      • Cool! Did you like my story? It had a girl who was the slave of an evil wizard, a succubus, and a big oaf of a barbarian who could have ended everything with his heroics.

        I mean, I insulted the hell out of Damien in the last post about him, and that didn’t attract his ire. And Clamps isn’t insulting my stories either. I need some notoriety somehow…. 🙂

        From what I read of the rules, Self-publishing on
        Amazon, no matter what your sales, doesn’t count for terms of the Campbell award.

  2. I like this story a lot, particularly because I am an Alan, with an older brother named John.

  3. Great story! Sad that the final 15 won’t be able to know that they made it that far (I still hope I made it that far, if only because then you got to read mine).

    • AJ, your’s made the final 15. It was a great read.

      • Wow, that’s great to hear! I actually put Wolfhound up on Amazon Kindle just last night as a 99 cent impulse-buy to try and stir up some renewed traffic for my novel (since I put the work into it, might as well try to follow rule #1 -Get Paid). Knowing that you liked it makes me feel a lot better about making that call.

  4. I’ve read this plot 20-30 times but this was exceptionally well done. I want more. Any chance of a novel?

    • That’s awesome praise, Robert. I’ve got several stories in this universe. This story came out of a legend from a finished novel (not sold yet) set 300 years later, with an even more over the top tournament!

  5. This is very well done. You got a lot going on there in the limited space available to you. Congrats and I look forward to (hopefully) seeing this universe expanded!

  6. I was also hoping to see who the final 15 were. Oh well. Rules is rules.

    • Also, it’s pretty cool of Baen to let us read this for free. I’m looking forward to having this for my reading tonight before I call it a day.

    • Me too, but not knowing means I can dream my submission made it to the lucky 15 list for the rest of my life 🙂
      Meanwhile, I put my loser (er, my otherwise-winning-’cause-we’re-all-winners, or something PC like that) up on Amazon and it’s making me a little bit of money, although clearly the big earners are novels, not short stories.
      Congrats to the winner, loved the story!

      • Yeah, I punted mine up on lulu ebooks last week for slightly over a dollar last week (alas, exchange rates when I set the price changed and what was originally 99c became $1.01…) and waiting for the links to ibooks, nook and Amazon to be sent/appear.

        ^.^

        I wonder if there could be a post somewhere where those of us 503 non-top-3 entrants could link if we put our short stories up for sale. (Coz, I’d like to read the works that went in too!)

      • Do people actually buy Kindle short stories from unknown authors? I’ve been pondering what to do with mine.

      • People have been buying my Sparrowind short. I’d still consider myself an unknown author.

      • Well, You saw mine, since I put it up for free on my DeviantArt account. But I’m gonna shoot for novel length, and that’s going straight to Amazon.

        One bit of advice for shorts, sign them up for KU/KOLL. I did with Kiwi, and I had two “Borrows” last month, and because of the way the pool works, they each paid about 150% of the selling price (let alone the normal royalty payment). Clearly for books it’s not as lucrative, but for shorts, wow. And the KU terms make borrowing shorts much more practical for the readers.

      • I don’t know if we can do the KU/KOLL thing, since we’re using Lulu as our primary publisher as opposed to Amazon Direct; as well as having the book distributed outside of Amazon.

        :-/ And I’ve noted about the headaches of international tax exemption filing as a foreign national…

      • Yeah, you have to be an Amazon exclusive for KU/KOLL

        I guess Lulu will work for you (JollyJack uses it as well) although I’ve heard some vague things about them not being such a good deal.

      • ^^; yeah, there’s a lot of quick convenience that Amazon provides but…

      • I haven’t had many problems so far, with lulu.

        Oh, speaking of deviantart, Clamps went to mine so he could make fun of my art at Jordan’s blog, because he was ‘losing’ on arguing about the book I put out was crap. The only thing he’s really revealing is that he stares waaaaay too long at the nude body studies, and at the crotches of my male characters. It’s been entertaining me on my coffee breaks.

      • He must be developing some huge muscles from toting those goalposts around so much.

      • I think he dropped them on his foot the last time he tried to move them. *chuckle*

  7. Congratulations.

  8. This line should be italics I think:
    “You know if you’d let me, I could heal that leg faster than you can blink”

    Well done short.

  9. If I mentioned the plot details of mine, would you say if you recognized it?

    As it is, I’m planning to expand it to book length.

  10. Good story! Looking forward to more. There will be more, yes?

    Mildly frustrated about the top 15. Leaves me in limbo. Ah, well, I’ll have to see where else the story might take me.

  11. So. . .you can neither confirm nor deny that a Stiennon story about an amphibious pirate and a ghost ship was in the top 15?

  12. *bookmarks to save it as a reward as the end of the day’s work*

    Congratulations! And extra congratulations for Baen being your first! \^o^/

    (*Idly wonders if Larry got to read mine… but I figure that’s dreaming on my part* XD )

  13. I just want say that I gave up on reading after highschool. I was homeschooled for the longest time, and an avid reader of the books furished by my mothers curriculum. But the drivel they force down your throat tortured me until I gave up reading all-together. I lost the stomach and desire to read, I know there are amazing books out there, but I lost interest in picking up pages with a cover on them. Yes, fiction in highschool is that bad.
    Finally I drew together all my courage, walked into a bookstore and bought The Hunger Games, which was the book all my friends were fawning over as the great god-work of all writing. I could hardly finish it the writing was so dull and lifeless. I decided to pick up the suggested book next to it on a whim at the time, and gave it a chance after The Hunger Games. It was so atrocious and unimaginative I put it down half way through and haven’t picked up a printed book since.
    That isn’t to say I haven’t been reading period. But my general desire to read has definitely deminished, and what little respect i had for the publishing industry as a whole disintegrated into a nothingnes of puppy related sadness. So instead I’ve been reading internet published fanficion and various stuff floating around on websites or forums. If any of you have any interest in these kind of stories here’s a shameless plug for one of my all time favorites.
    http://www.equestriadaily.com/2011/04/story-fallout-equestria.html
    Bronies get a lot of hate, but some stories are amazing writing, somgive it a chance. PDF link is at the bottom if you’re like me and want to save things for future reading when that mystical time in the future when you have the time to do that thing comes just before the impending pocalypse.
    Lead up and link pushing aside, I found Larry’s blog through political avenues but the way you talk about the type of stories you’ve written appeals to me. I’ve told myself a few times that should get/read/finish a Larry Correia Classic, but I’ve been so let down and discouraged by hype that the idea of reading anything I feel no desire to finish might just kill me. However, if The Golden Knight is what you like to read I might just have to give what you like to write a chance!
    Also, thanks for over the past year restoring my faith in humanity with both your political and writing related blog posts. Its really made a tangible improvement to my outlook on life.* You win three internets!
    *Apologies for winded angst.

  14. I just want say that I gave up on reading after highschool. I was homeschooled for the longest time, and an avid reader of the books furished by my mother’s curriculum. But the drivel they force down your throat tortured me until I gave up reading all-together. I lost the stomach and desire to read, I know there are amazing books out there, but I lost interest in picking up pages with a cover on them. Yes, the perscribed fiction in highschool is that bad.
    Finally I drew together all my courage, walked into a bookstore and bought The Hunger Games, which was the book all my friends were fawning over as the great god-work of all writing. I could hardly finish it the writing was so dull and lifeless. I decided to pick up the suggested book next to it on a whim at the time, and gave it a chance after The Hunger Games. It was so atrocious and unimaginative I put it down half way through and haven’t picked up a printed book since.
    That isn’t to say I haven’t been reading period. But my general desire to read has definitely deminished, and what little respect i had for the publishing industry as a whole disintegrated into a nothingnes of puppy related sadness. So instead I’ve been reading internet published fanficion and various stuff floating around on websites or forums. If any of you have any interest in these kind of stories here’s a shameless plug for one of my all time favorites.
    http://www.equestriadaily.com/2011/04/story-fallout-equestria.html
    Bronies get a lot of hate, but some stories are amazing writing, so give it a chance. There is a PDF link at the bottom if you’re like me and want to save things for future reading when that mystical time in the future when you have the time to do that thing comes just before the impending apocalypse.
    Lead up and link pushing aside, I found Larry’s blog through political avenues but the way you talk about the type of stories you’ve written appeals to me. I’ve told myself a few times that should get/read/finish a Larry Correia Classic. Grimnoir looks awesome, but I’ve been so let down and discouraged by hype that the idea of readinone more published book and losing the desire to finish might just kill me. However, if The Golden Knight is what the editors at Baen like to read I might just have to give what they like to write a chance!
    Also, thanks for restoring my faith in humanity over the past year with both your political and writing related blog posts. Its really made a tangible improvement to my outlook on life.* You win 3 internets courtesy of restoring hope and warm fuzzies! (:
    *Apologies for winded angst.

    • Larry’s work, and the Baen stable in general, is a long way from much of the hyped ‘popular’ work.

      Check ’em out. I’d wager you’ll not be disappointed.

  15. We definitly have more in that universe, some of which bumps into those characters. We have been shopping around some shorts, a novel and have several others in the works. I can’t say when those might be available. We have been very excided by the response to this story because it is just the sort of thing we like working on. It might not be as soon as we would like but please keep an eye out for more from us in the future.

    Now I will get off Larry’s soap box before he bills me ;D

  16. Excellent story. Would like to see more.

  17. Great story! I tried send in a story, but I didn’t find out about the contest until a month before it was due. And as we were trying to send it in there were some glitches and we didn’t get the story in until a few minutes after midnight on the due date. So I don’t know if my little five-year-old with her army of chainsaw-armed pirates and armored dinosaurs fighting against robot wolves and evil nightmares made it into the contest or not:/

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