Balticon 32


Balticon 32 will feature a new, expanded program: eight continuous program rooms on Friday and Sunday and twelve continuous program rooms on Saturday, plus the fixed functions such as art show, dealers room, computer room etc. Our goal is to amaze and inspire your sense of wonder by pushing your understanding about the art-form of science fiction beyond the mundane. Formal panels with SF professionals, informal discussions among gathered fans, skills demonstrations and more.

Programming Features

Literary Programming

Crafted by Michael Walsh, past chair of Balticon, Worldcon and World Fantasy con, literary programming will feature philosophical debates, story crafting ideas, author readings, and outrageous speculation by every science fiction author we can lure into the convention. We invite hundreds of SF and fantasy authors--and a fine selection of the most daring respond by coming to the con. You never know who might show up at the last minute, but the lineup is always fantastic. A full schedule of autograph signings is planned. The Balticon website will list many of the ideas we are developing. Your suggestions are encouraged. For more information e-mail


An all new poetry track including a poetry workshop and a poetry reading will be held on Saturday. Hosted by the Baltimore poetry newspaper Lite, this multi-hour focus will explore the arena of non-prose SF literature. Topics to include: How to write it, what editors look for, where to submit for publication, and a overview of small press publishing. There will be featured readers as well as an open reading. People wishing to contribute or participate should e-mail or check the Poetry Track/Workshop box on the registration form.

Writers Workshop

This year's writers workshop will feature short story exercises and discussion. Pre-registration is required for participation at the workshop. Please check the box on the membership form to pre-register for the workshop and receive an information package. Please do not send manuscripts before receiving the writers workshop information package. For more information e-mail

Science Programming

Our famous science programming track continues with updates on future NASA planning, space suit design, SETI, cosmology, launch systems, paleo-biology, DNA research, and more. We will have 10 hours of the type of briefings usually reserved for industry and government leaders. For information and suggestions e-mail

Children's Programming

The children's program track will provide games, projects and stories for children ages 6-12. These programs will inspire your kids to appreciate the Balticon experience. This is not a daycare function; parents retain full responsibility for children during this program.

Media Programming

Your chance to explore the ideas and art of SF movies, television and video.

Fan Club Discussions

Informal discussions of your favorite SF universe moderated by the people who know it best. Groups of SF fans sharing their opinions with other fans, what could be better? We need to find all SF and fantasy fan clubs regardless of size. If you belong to, or know of a fan club, call, e-mail, or write us now. Suggest a topic and we can start a fan club or discussion group at Balticon among like-minded folk.

BucConeer - The 1998 World Con

A special question and answer panel on the coming World Science Fiction Convention in Baltimore. Come to Balticon and scout the area to plan your Worldcon attendance.

Art Programming

Learn the techniques that created the beauty. See the slide shows that reveal an artist's body of work and place it in context. Marvel at the themes of visual imagination.


The filk program returns again this year bringing science-fiction-folk-music to life. Headlined by our wonderful filk guests of honor Ed Stauff and MEW in concert. We will have at least four hours of panels and workshops, plus our traditional half-hour concerts. And, of course, we will have wonderful circles on both Friday and Saturday nights for late night filk. Watch the internet newsgroup for details of our filk program. Special song-writing contest: write a filk song with alternate history theme and win a prize. For details, e-mail or check the Filk Contest information box on the registration form.

Scottish Pipe and Drum Concert

A Friday night Scottish pipe and drum concert featuring Dunloggin, The Pipes & Drums of Tir Na Mhairi, a non-profit group of professional bagpipers and drummers. Dunloggin, The Pipes & Drums of Tir Na Mhairi has just released its first CD and has competed in the World Pipes and Drums Tournament in Scotland.

Friday Night Dance

On Friday night we will have a dance featuring the music of the seventies, eighties and nineties--selected to appeal to the widest SF fan audience by the ever popular artist currently known as Rikk. If time permits after the Masquerade on Saturday, we will open the dance floor again.

Skills Demonstration Extravaganza

SF fans have a vast reserve of talents. If you have a talent or skill you can demonstrate, please let us know. All we ask is that it be safe, interesting and legal. Skills include magic, archaic crafting, dance, juggling, etc. Approval prior to convention required for scheduling. For details, check the Skills Demonstration Extravaganza information box on the registration form.

Costume Programming

Learn some new skills you can use to make your own costuming designs a reality, for either hall or stage, by participating in workshops, demos and panels. Sign up in advance by e-mail at or check Costuming Track/Workshop box on the registration form. Check the website prior to the con for more details as posted by Betsy Delaney, Costume Programming Coordinator.


Our ever popular masquerade returns to Saturday night! Featuring the cleverest and most creative of performance artists crafting with cloth, sculpture, and stage magic, this event is a triumph to behold. Balticon's masquerade is one of the oldest on the East Coast and is a fine opportunity for everyone who loves making costumes to show off. The masquerade competition will be judged on the experience skills division system to give beginners a chance to go home winners. There is separate and optional workmanship judging. The masquerade rules are available on the web page, or you can request them by mail - just check the Masquerade box on the registration form. You may e-mail the masquerade director with questions at

Other Activities

Hall Costumes

This year we are looking for the most colorful, unusual and alien hall costumes ever! In recognition of our guest of honor, a special extra hall costume award will be given to people dressed as a character from a Harry Turtledove book. Whether you are a beginning or an experienced costumer, Balticon wants you to dress up. Hall costume awards and Turtledove hall costume awards will be presented by our wandering judges.

Art Show

Come visit one of the biggest and best regional art shows on the East Coast. Painting and sculpture using both traditional and innovative new materials. Special exhibit of works by Jody A. Lee. There will be over thirty-two hundred square feet of exhibit packed with an explosion of beauty. Both original art and prints will be available at the art auction.

Artists must pre-register to be included in the art show. Information will be mailed in January. For information send a request to Or write: Balticon Art Show, Suite 161, 7188 Cradlerock Way, Columbia MD 21045.

Dealers Room

Our dealers room features over sixty tables in a 4500 square-foot room. Everything a SF fan might want - from hard to find books to ancient weapons, costumes, collectibles, models, and more can be found in the Balticon Dealers Room. Dealers in SF and fantasy related merchandise may inquire about availability by writing: Balticon 32 Dealers Room, P.O. Box 70013, Baltimore, MD., 21337. Write now because the reserved space fills well before the con.

Computer Room

New games and SF-related software combine with demos of new computer hardware making this your source for the cutting edge. As part of our expanded function space, this will be a three-day exhibit of the computer SF and fantasy interface. To help, or for questions, e-mail:

Gaming room

There will be multiple tournaments and role playing games in our dedicated non-computer gaming room. Some games will feature prizes, some will be for the honor of the win. We will also have free-form gaming. Contact the gaming czarevitch at

LARP: Mists of the Empire


This year we have charged two different anime fans with creating a program that will appeal to connoisseurs of this animation art form. We have a huge high-resolution screen with home-theater surround sound and sub-woofer system playing SF and fantasy anime.


We run the hottest new SF movies selected from 47 of the brightest movie/video studios in the world. Share a screening with your friends and experience the best of SF/fantasy content and plot originality. Video producers with works they wish to share with the Balticon audience should e-mail details to

Young Writers Contest

This is a contest for young Maryland writers (age 12-18) of SF and fantasy, sponsored by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society. Share your stories and compete for fame and savings bond prizes. The deadline for submissions is January 31, 1998. Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Saturday. Check the Young Writer's Contest information box on the registration form for more information or e-mail

BSFAN (Souvenir Book)

The BSFAN is our annual color-cover, perfect-bound, eighty-page magazine collection of work appealing to the SF and fantasy fan. It will include a special submission by Harry Turtledove. The BSFAN will be distributed to all convention attendees at registration. We are looking for submissions of art, short stories, research articles and poetry that you want to share with the Balticon community. The BSFAN book will be 8 1/2 x11.

Advertising rates: Full page ad:$190; Half-page ad: $100; Quarter-page ad: $60. There is a 50% discount for fan organizations. Balticon dealers can submit a camera-ready business card sized ad for $25. Rates for center spread may be negotiated. Deadline for submission is January 1, 1998. Send submissions and requests for more information to the main address, attention BSFAN or e-mail:


Babysitting is available for children aged 18 months to six years. The cost is $60 per child. Hours will be: Friday, 3 pm-11 pm; Saturday, 9 am-11 pm (or Masquerade end); Sunday 9 am-2 pm. Space for your child is guaranteed only if you sign up before March 10, 1998. Check the box on the registration form for more details. For information send e-mail to


Please send all correspondence and membership fees to the appropriate department at the address below. Please send us your phone number and postal address when sending e-mail so we may respond with the most effective information package. Updated information will be posted on the Balticon web page as it becomes available.

Balticon 32 P.O. Box 686 Baltimore, MD., 21203-0686

Phone:(410) JOE-BSFS [410-563-2737]

Other Information


Balticon will be held in the Baltimore Omni Inner Harbor Hotel. Renovations have been completed and have made the hotel more wheelchair accessible, added a ATM machine in the lobby, and improved elevator efficiency. The hotel is providing more function space for Balticon this year. Room rates are $104, plus applicable taxes for single, double, triple, and quad. Members should make their reservations directly with the hotel by calling (410)752-1100, or by calling the toll-free number 1-800-THE-OMNI. The hotel does not guarantee that the convention rate will be available after March 9, 1998; so make your reservations soon to avoid a higher rate. When you call the hotel, mention that you will be attending Balticon; you must be a registered member of Balticon to get the convention rate. Please register for your hotel room early. The earlier the hotel room block is filled, the better negotiating position we have with the hotel, and the smoother the convention runs for everyone. If you use a credit card to guarantee your reservation, the hotel can't charge your card until your arrival-date. If fate stops you from coming to Balticon, call at least 3 days, prior to your arrival-date to cancel and you won't be charged. Booking your hotel room early is the best thing you can do for your favorite SF conventions.


From points north take I-95 south through the Fort McHenry tunnel. Take Exit at 53(I-395) toward the Inner Harbor. Proceed north on I-395 until it becomes Howard Street. Proceed up Howard Street passing the convention center and Baltimore Arena. Just past the Baltimore Arena, turn right on Baltimore Street. Proceed east on Baltimore street for one-and-a-half-blocks, looking to your left, to find the Omni Hotel. The Omni Hotel is bounded by Fayette street on the north, Baltimore Street on the south, and Liberty street on the west.

From points south take I-95 north to Exit 53(I-395) and then follow the directions above.

From I-83: At the southern end of I-83, turn right onto Fayette Street. The Omni is on your left, one block after you go under an overpass.


We will be registering room-parties for an open-room-party floor. Open-room-parties are any parties, or hospitality rooms, where general members of Balticon are invited inside by either an open door or by flyers posted around the con. Registering all room parties allows us to keep the people who want to sleep away from the night owls, insure good traffic flow by putting parties on the lowest floor of the hotel, permit proper trash collection. Registered parties are also covered under our corkage agreement with the hotel. Alcohol is not permitted at open-room-parties. Parties that do not register with Balticon are responsible for making their own arrangements with the hotel, spending a fortune on corkage fees, and probably being shut down as too noisy anyway. During the last three years we have had zero-problems with the registered parties. Check the Party Registration box on the registration form to have party registration information sent to you.

Hours of public areas

Most official functions at Balticon and the public areas of the Omni close at 2 am. By special arrangement with the hotel, several rooms in the lower level will remain open until 4 am for Balticon attendees. These rooms will be used for filk and conversation areas. Between the hours of 2 am and 6 am you will be asked to leave the hotel if you do not have either a Balticon convention badge or a room key. People under the age of 17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who is attending Balticon.


The State of Maryland does not allow indoor public smoking except in designated areas. In Maryland these areas are designated smoking hotel sleeping rooms and the smoking sections of hotel restaurants and bars.


Pets are not allowed in the hotel. Service or guide animals are not pets.


If you require special access services from the convention, please contact us before February 1, 1998, and we will attempt to accommodate you.

Costume Weapons

All costume weapons must be inspected and then peace-bonded. Taking costume weapons outside the hotel will create conflict with the police; therefore, don't take anything that looks remotely like a weapon outside the hotel.

Community Policing

For the fourth year in a row Balticon will have a uniformed Baltimore City police officer stationed inside the hotel to provide community policing. Community policing at Balticon means that our officer can explain our unique culture (peace-bonding of costume weapons etc.) to the rest of the local force - and provide enhanced security for dealers, art exhibitors, and the rest of us.


Since Balticon is an all-volunteer-managed convention, we want and need more volunteers. Show your SF community spirit by volunteering a few hours at the con. All volunteers will have access to our staff den. Volunteers who work more than 10 hours will receive our exclusive volunteer's T-shirt. Those working more than 20 hours will have next years Balticon membership comped. You can sign up at the convention or check the Volunteering box on the registration form.

Charity auction

We will be holding a charity auction during the halftime break of the Masquerade on Saturday night. Money raised will be donated to Reading is Fundamental. There will be SF collectibles, memorabilia and other more exotic items put on the block. A breakfast meeting with Harry Turtledove (on Sunday morning at Balticon) will be auctioned. If you have something to donate to the charity auction, please bring it to the con.

Reading is Fundamental

Balticon is accepting donations for Reading is Fundamental. This terrific organization works nationwide to teach kids to read. It gets kids hooked on reading early in their lives and distributes free books to many children who could not afford a book of their own. RIF listed Balticon as one of their top 100 donors last year. For more information on RIF please check Reading Is Fundamental on the registration form or e-mail

We Want Your Old Computers

Balticon will be accepting donations of any computer hardware and software. The proceeds from the use or sale of these items will be used to support Balticon. The Baltimore Science Fiction Society is a 501(c)(3) organization recognized by the IRS, so your donations will be tax-deductible.

Worldcon is a registered service mark of the World Science Fiction Society, an unincorporated literary society.