Balticon

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Balticon is the Maryland Regional science fiction convention, sponsored by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society (BSFS). It has been held annually since 1966. The name "Balticon" is trademarked by BSFS.

Overview

Balticon brings together over 1700 science fiction and fantasy professionals, creative amateurs, and fans on Memorial Day weekend each year for a 4-day multi-track event in the Baltimore, MD area.

Balticon can be described as a "General" or "Big Tent" science fiction convention since, while the primary emphasis is literary, programming and activities cover a number of other areas, as such as anime, art, costuming, film, gaming, and filk. A Childrens' Program track is offered every year. Balticon has an exceptional Science Program, in part due to its proximity to the DC area and its plethora of Federal Government researchers. Balticon's Podcasting and New Media Program is well established and thriving.

Balticon is produced by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society, Inc., a 501(c)(3) literary society, and is staffed and run entirely by volunteers, who assume responsibility at many levels, ranging from gofers who sign up and run errands at the convention, to the Con Chair who may spend up to two years on planning and administration.

Activities and program items are developed by the convention staff with suggestions from program participants, and the literary program usually concentrates most heavily on the segment of genre in which the year's Guest of Honor publishes most of his/her work.

Some Balticon activities and tracks run 24 hours a day from Friday afternoon to Monday afternoon. Balticon also usually hosts a Heinlein Society "Pay It Forward" Blood Drive during the convention.

Awards

The winner of the annual Jack L. Chalker Young Writer's Contest is announced at Balticon. BSFS sponsors this short story writing contest for Maryland residents or school attendees between the ages of 14 and 18, in the Fantasy or Science Fiction genres.

The Balticon Poetry Contest winners are invited to read their winning entries at Balticon, and they are published in the Balticon Program Guide. Cash prizes and convention memberships are awarded.

The Masquerade is usually held on Saturday night, and awards are given for various categories in Costuming, including creativity, construction and presentation.

BSFS presents the Compton Crook Award during Balticon, for the best first novel of the year in the Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror genres. The previous year's winner is invited back to present the award to the new winner.

Winners:

  • 2013 - Myke Cole, Control Point
  • 2012 - T. C. McCarthy, Germline
  • 2011 - James Knapp, State of Decay
  • 2010 - Paolo Bacigalupi, The Windup Girl
  • 2009 - Paul Melko, Singularity's Ring
  • 2008 - Mark L. Van Name, One Jump Ahead
  • 2007 - Naomi Novik, His Majesty's Dragon
  • 2006 - Maria V. Snyder, Poison Study
  • 2005 - Tamara Siler Jones, Ghosts in the Snow
  • 2004 - E. E. Knight, Vampire Earth|Way of the Wolf
  • 2003 - Patricia Bray, Devlin's Luck
  • 2002 - Wen Spencer, Ukiah Oregon|Alien Taste
  • 2001 - Syne Mitchell, Murphy's Gambit
  • 2000 - Stephen L. Burns, Flesh and Silver
  • 1999 - James Stoddard, The High House
  • 1998 - Katie Waitman, The Merro Tree
  • 1997 - Richard Garfinkle, Celestial Matters
  • 1996 - Daniel Graham Jr., The Gatekeepers
  • 1995 - Doranna Durgin, Dun Lady's Jess
  • 1994 - Mary Rosenblum, The Drylands
  • 1993 - Holly Lisle, Fire in the Mist
  • 1992 - Carol Severance, Reefsong
  • 1991 - Michael Flynn, In the Country of the Blind
  • 1990 - Josepha Sherman, The Shining Falcon
  • 1989 - Elizabeth Moon, The Deed of Paksenarrion|Sheepfarmer's Daughter
  • 1988 - Christopher Hinz, Liege-Killer
  • 1987 - Thomas Thurston (Wren) Doomsday Effect
  • 1986 - Sheila Finch, Infinity's Web
  • 1985 - David R. Palmer, Emergence
  • 1984 - Christopher Rowley, War For Eternity
  • 1983 - Donald Kingsbury, Courtship Rite


The Balticon Sunday Night Short Film Festival is a no-submission-fee competition traditionally held on Sunday night. The audience votes on the best independent live action and animated short films in the Science Fact, Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror genres.

Past winners:

  • 2011 Best Live Action DEAD ON TIME — Kostos Skiftas, Andreas Lambropoulos, directors
  • 2011 Best Animated ZERO — Christopher Kezelos, director
  • 2011 Director's Choice Animated SINTEL — Colin Levy, writer/director
  • 2011 Director's Choice Live Action CORBIN — Brent Weichsel, director
  • 2010 Best Animated ETA — Henrik Bjerregaard Clausen, Director
  • 2010 Best Live Action (tie) THE LEGACY — Mike Doto, writer/director
  • 2010 Best Live Action (tie) ANDROID LOVE — Lee Citron, writer/director
  • 2010 Director's Choice Animated THE PAINTER OF SKIES — Jorge Morais Valle, writer/director
  • 2010 Director's Choice Live Action MY FRIEND JOSH — Shaun Springer, director
  • 2009 Best Animated BURNING SAFARI
  • 2009 Best Live Action The Hunt for Gollum
  • 2008 THE END IS NIGHT
  • 2007 HIDE AND SEEK — Chris Romano, Creator/Director
  • 2006 THE GRANDFATHER PARADOX

History

Prior to 1966, BSFS held an annual event for the election of BSFS Board of Directors. After several years, BSFS rented hotel space and invited an author to speak, as a guest of honor, at its election events. From this point forward, the event became an annual convention known as Balticon. Subsequently, BSFS election functions were moved to a different date.

Before 2001, Balticon was held on Easter weekend to take advantage of lower hotel costs and was three days long; however, in 2001 Balticon moved to Memorial Day Weekend and expanded to four days.

Past conventions

Event - Number - Date Location Guests (listed GoH)
Balticon 1 abt. 1967 The Emerson Hotel, Baltimore MD no guest of honor
Balticon 2 abt. 1968 Lord Baltimore Hotel, Baltimore, MD Samuel R. Delany
Balticon 3 abt. 1969 Lord Baltimore Hotel, Baltimore, MD L. Sprague deCamp
Balticon 4 abt. 1970 Lord Baltimore Hotel, Baltimore, MD Damon Knight & Kate Wilhelm
Balticon 5 abt. 1971 Lord Baltimore Hotel, Baltimore, MD Harry Harrison
Balticon 6 Washington's Birthday Weekend, 1972 Hopkins Hilton Hotel, Baltimore, MD Gordon R. Dickson
Balticon 7 Washington's Birthday Weekend, 1973 Lord Baltimore Hotel, Baltimore, MD Poul Anderson
Balticon 8 Washington's Birthday Weekend, 1974 Lord Baltimore Hotel, Baltimore, MD Frederik Pohl
Balticon 9 Easter Weekend, 1975 Pikesville Hilton Hotel, Pikesville, MD Hal Clement
Balticon 10 April 16–18, 1976 Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD Isaac Asimov
Balticon 11 1977 Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD Philip Jose Farmer
Balticon 12 March 24–26, 1978 Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD Anne McCaffrey
Balticon 13 April 13–15, 1979 Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD Poul Anderson
Balticon 14 April 4–6, 1980 Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD Algis Budrys & Sean Spacher
Balticon 15 Easter, 1981 Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD John Varley
Balticon 16 April 9–11, 1982 Hyatt Regency Hotel, Baltimore, MD Samuel R. Delany
Balticon 17 April 1–3, 1983 Hyatt Regency Hotel, Baltimore, MD L. Sprague deCamp & Catherine Crook de Camp
Balticon 18 April 20–22, 1984 Hyatt Regency Hotel, Baltimore, MD Parke Godwin
Balticon 19 Easter Weekend April 7–9, 1985 Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD R. A. MacAvoy
Balticon 20 March 28–30, 1986 Hyatt Regency Hotel, Baltimore, MD Nancy Springer
Balticon 21 April 17–19, 1987 Omni Inner Harbor Hotel, Baltimore, MD Roger Zelazny
Balticon 22 April 1–3, 1988 Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD Spider Robinson
Balticon 23 March 24–26, 1989 Omni Inner Harbor Hotel, Baltimore, MD C. J. Cherryh
Balticon 24 April 13–15, 1990 Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD Robin McKinley
Balticon 25 March 29–31, 1991 Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD Nancy Kress
Balticon 26 April 17–19, 1992 Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD Donald Kingsbury, Christopher Rowley, David R. Palmer, Sheila Finch, Thomas Thurston (Wren), Christopher Hinz, Elizabeth Moon, Josepha Sherman and Michael F. Flynn, all past Compton Crook Winners
Balticon 27 April 9–11, 1993 Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD Allen Steele
Balticon 28 April 1–3, 1994 Hyatt Regency Hotel, Baltimore, MD Mercedes Lackey
Balticon 29 April 14–16, 1995 Lord Baltimore & Omni Inner Harbor Hotel, Baltimore, MD James P. Hogan
Balticon 30 April 5–7, 1996 Omni Inner Harbor Hotel, Baltimore, MD Robert Jordan
Balticon 31 March 28–30, 1997 Omni Inner Harbor Hotel, Baltimore, MD Glen Cook
Balticon 32 April 10–12, 1998 Omni Inner Harbor Hotel, Baltimore, MD Harry Turtledove
Balticon 33 April 2–4, 1999 Omni Inner Harbor Hotel, Baltimore, MD David Weber
Balticon 34 April 22–23, 2000 Omni Inner Harbor Hotel, Baltimore, MD Octavia Butler
Balticon 35 May 25–28, 2001 Wyndham Inner Harbor Hotel, Baltimore, MD Hal Clement
Balticon 36 May 24–27, 2002 Wyndham Inner Harbor Hotel, Baltimore, MD Mark E. Rogers, Phil Foglio & Kaja Foglio
Balticon 37 May 23–26, 2003 Wyndham Inner Harbor Hotel, Baltimore, MD Steve Miller & Sharon Lee
Balticon 38 May 28–31, 2004 Wyndham Inner Harbor Hotel, Baltimore, MD Lois McMaster Bujold
Balticon 39 May 27–30, 2005 Wyndham Inner Harbor Hotel, Baltimore, MD Steven Barnes & Tananarive Due
Balticon 40 May 26–29, 2006 Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD Neil Gaiman
Balticon 41 May 25–28, 2007 Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, Joe Bergeron
Balticon 42 May 23–26, 2008 Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD Connie Willis, John Jude Palencar
Balticon 43 May 22–25, 2009 Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD Charles Stross, Kurt Miller
Balticon 44 May 28–31, 2010 Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD Tanya Huff, Howard Tayler
Balticon 45 May 27–30, 2011 Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD Dr Ben Bova, Vincent DiFate
Balticon 46 May 25–28, 2012 Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD Jody Lynn Nye, James Robin Odbert (Nybor)
Balticon 47 May 24–27, 2013 Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD Joe Haldeman, Rick Sternbach

Upcoming convention

Event - Number - Date Location Guests (listed GoH)
Balticon 48 May 23-26, 2014 Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD Brandon Sanderson, Halo Jankowski

References

External links