Balticon 33


Balticon 33 will feature 8 continuous program rooms throughout the weekend plus fixed functions such as our art show, dealers room, computer room etc. The goal: to amaze and inspire your sense of wonder by broadening your understanding about the genre and art-form of science fiction & fantasy.

Formal panel discussions with SF professionals (writers, artists, agents, etc.), informal discussions among devoted fans, skills demonstrations, readings and performances.

A few of the confirmed authors and notables at BALTICON this year:

More confirmed every day!

Programming Features

Magic At BALTICON 33

Internationally renowned professional magicians Dennis Haney and Steve Myers will perform a magic skills demonstration and show where they explain the historical importance of classic stage magic. Semi-retired after almost thirty years touring as "Denny and Lee" Dennis Haney founded the Denny and Lee Magic Studio in Baltimore to bring the magic arts to new generations. Behold, as Denny and his associate Steve Myers bring their art to BALTICON--for the sheer joy of performing for people like themselves who love Science Fiction and retain a sense of wonder.

Literary Programming

Coordinated by Jul Owings, past chair of Balticon & Hexacon, this year's programming tracks will feature philosophical debates, story crafting tips and ideas, author readings, book signings and usually outrageous speculation by every science fiction author we can lure to the convention-- and we do lure quite a few. There will be separate poetry, academic, literary and media tracks. Meet our Guest of Honor, David Weber and this year's Compton Crook Award winner, Katie Waitman, for best first novel!

Call for Papers!

For the first time, there will be a presentation of papers on science fiction, fantasy & horror in books, film & television. The deadline for entries: January 31, 1999 Papers accepted will be published in the BSFAN souvenir book.


Once again hosted by The Lite Circle, publisher of Baltimore's literary newspaper Lite, our poetry track continues to explore the arena of non-prose literature from inspiration and writing to submitting for publication and an overview of small press publishing. There will be featured readers and an open reading. To contribute or participate should e-mail or check the Poetry Track/Workshop box on the registration form.

Writers Workshop

Our very popular workshop will involve 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 and receive an information package. Please do not send manuscripts before receiving the workshop information package. For more information write or call for details. For more information write or call for details or e-mail

Science Programming

Our famous Science Programming track continues with:

Michael Brett-Surman and Tom Holtz are bringing never before seen slides depicting the newly discovered feathered dinosaurs from China that have set the Paleo-World on fire.

For information and suggestions, e-mail

Children's Programming

Games, projects and stories for children ages 6-12 to inspire your kids to appreciate the convention experience. This is not a daycare function; parents retain full responsibility for children during this program.

Some of the fun topics on the Children's program include:

Fan Club Discussions

Informal discussions of your favorite part of the SF universe moderated by the people who know it best. Share your opinions. Tell others about any groups or clubs you represent or know of by voice, e-mail or snail mail. Topic suggestions are most welcome.

Art Programming

Learn the skills and techniques that created the beauty. Marvel at the themes of visual imagination. Learn to tell "good" art from "bad" and how to protect your art from damage.


Returns to Balticon bringing science-fiction-folk-music to life. There will be panels and workshops and concerts. Our Filk Guest of Honor, Echo's Children, will perform featuring the talents of Cat Faber and Callie Hills. Of course, there will be Bardic circles on Friday and Saturday nights for late night filkers. Check out the internet newsgroup for more details as well as e-mail or check the filk box on the registation form.

Friday Night Dance

This year, Balticon plans to expand the dance to Friday & Saturday Nights and will feature music of the seventies, eighties and nineties.

Skills Extravaganza

Calling on the vast reserve of talents shown by SF Fans, show us your wares. If you have a talent or skill you would like to demonstrate and it's safe, interesting and legal, please let us know. Skills may include magic, handicrafts, dance, models, juggling, etc. Skills must be approved by the convention prior to scheduling. For details, check the skills demonstration box on the registration form.

Costume Programming

Learn some new skills to make your own costume dreams a reality for the hall or stage. We have workshops, demos and panels. Sign up in advance by e-mail at or check the Costuming Track/Workshop box on the registration form. Check the website prior to the con for more details.

There will also be an exhibit of past award winning costumes on display this year. The theme for special hall costume awards this year will be characters from the work of David Weber.

Costume Programming will include panels on the following:


On Saturday night Balticon hosts one of the oldest and largest masquerades on the East Coast. This event features a clever and creative variety of costuming art. Marvel at the participants crafting of fabric and other materials into imaginative and extraordinary costumes. The masquerade competition will be judged on the experience skills division system to give beginners a chance to go home winners. The masquerade rules are available by mail by checking off the masquerade box on the registration form. Questions? E-mail the masquerade director at Hall Costumes will be encouraged on stage this year.


Andrew Bergstrom presents his new comedy "FANimal Crackers" on Friday night.

Have ever had one of those days where everything goes right? Neither has Art! The Twilight Zone was never this zany! We find our fateful characters in the midst of a family reunion of HELLish proportions, and then things get worse. See our heroes go to Hell and beyond, with majic and mirth for all. Remember, it's only "'Til death do they part!" Another fine Production from Andrew Bergstrom, but not brought to you by Ralston Purina or Mutual of Omaha.

Other Activities

Hall Costumes

Every year we look for the most colorful, unusual and imaginative hall costumes. Be you a novice or an experienced costumer, Balticon wants you to dress up. Hall costume awards will be presented by our wandering judges. This years theme earning a special award will be costumes inspired by the books of our Guest of Honor, David Weber.

Art Show

Visit one of the biggest and best regional art shows on the East Coast, with painting and sculpture using both traditional and innovative materials. There will be over thirty-two hundred square feet of exhibits packed with both original art and prints. Most of the works and prints are available for sale.

Artists must pre-register to be included in the art show. Information will be mailed in January. For details, send a request to Or write: Balticon Artshow, 8775 Cloudleap Ct Ste P61, Columbia MD 21045

Some of the artists exhibiting in the BALTICON 33 Art Show are:
(A)=attending BALTICON 33, (EO)= Exhibiting but not attending.

More artists confirm every day!

Dealers Room

Features a 4500 square-foot space with room for over sixty tables. Everything a Fan might want! From hard-to-find books to ancient weapons, costumes, collectibles, models and more can be found. Dealers in SF and Fantasy related merchandise may inquire about availability by writing: Balticon 33 Dealers Room, P.O. Box 70013, Baltimore, MD., 21237. Write to us now since the reserved space fills up well before the con.

Computer Room

New games and SF related software and demos of new computer hardware provide an opportunity for the Fan to see what's cutting edge. Like last year, this will be a three-day exhibit. To help, or if you have questions, e-mail:

Gaming Room

Presenting multiple tournaments and role-playing games. Some games will feature prizes, some will be for the honor of the win. We will also have free-form gaming. Contact the gaming czar at

L.A.R.P.: Balticon will have a Live Action Role Playing event again this year. It will be run by Necessary Evils. For more information, check the updates on the webpage or e-mail

The story:


A high-resolution screen with home theater surround sound will present a dazzling array of the latest SF and Fantasy anime. The anime schedule will be posted on the Balticon webpage in the weeks before the Con.


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

Young Writers Contest

This is the 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, 1999. Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Saturday. Check the Young Writer's information box on the registration form for more information or e-mail

BSFAN (Souvenir Book)

The BSFAN is our annual color-cover, 8 1/2 x 11 perfect-bound, eighty-page souvenir magazine appealing to the Balticon fan. Attendees will receive a copy of the BSFAN at registration. Submissions of art, short stories, research articles and poetry are greatly encouraged.

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 submissions is January 1, 1999. Submissions and information requests should be sent to the main address, attention BSFAN or e-mail:


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 33 P.O. Box 686 Baltimore, MD., 21203-0686

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

Other Information


The Baltimore Omni Inner Harbor Hotel hosts BALTICON 33 again this year. The hotel is providing even more function space this year than last year.

Room rates are $109, 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 now guarantees that the convention rate will be available till March 31, 1999 and has extended our block on rooms to that date as a "make good" for the hotel employee that had been erroneously saying the hotel was full. 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. 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. Please book your rooms early due to an increase in hotel room demand. Both the SF fan demand to meet our GOH David Weber, and another convention in the city at the same time, create the potential of a room shortage for those booking rooms during the last weeks before the Con. The OMNI has blocked 50 more rooms than we used last year and extended the blocks deadline. The hotel has agreed to honor the convention rate of $109.00 a night right up to the start of the convention, on a space available basis, but if more than 50 new fans want rooms there might still be a crush. We still have all the function space in the OMNI, but the other convention is looking for 3000 sleeping rooms in the city and the OMNI is bound to look good to them. Booking your hotel room early is the best thing you can do for BALTICON and your other favorite SF conventions.

Several people have reported that the 1-800-OMNI line has told them that there were no more rooms available, but when they called the hotel during normal business hours they had no problem booking rooms. Because of this the OMNI has extended our room block cut off date to March 31, 1999. There should be no shortage of rooms, with the new March 31, 1999 cut off date, right up till the con. If you have problems get the name of the OMNI person you are speaking to and e-mail Dale Arnold at:


From points north take I-95 south through the Fort McHenry tunnel. Take Exit 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 on Baltimore street for one-and-a-half-blocks, looking to your left, to find the Omni Hotel.

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..


If you stay in the hotel and self park under the OMNI remember to show your hotel bill receipt when you leave and get the discount offered for staying in the hotel. There are two large lower- cost self-park garages on the north side of the OMNI. If all else fails, or you like the convenience, pull up to the front of the OMNI and Valet park. Even if you are not staying in the hotel overnight; one-time-in one-time-out Valet park for $12.00 per day; or $16.00 a day for unlimited in and out. Valet parking has six times the capacity of the OMNI self park so there should always be room and it's easy. (Editors Note; I always use Valet park at BALTICON" for the stuff that is already there.)


Again this year 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 may gather. Registering all room parties allows us to keep the people who want to sleep away from the night owls thus insuring good traffic flow to the party floors and peace and serenity for those who wish to rise early for the next morning convention festivities. 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 for being too noisy anyway. During the past four years we have had zero problems with registered parties. Check the appropriate 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 2am. By special arrangement with the hotel, several lower level rooms will remain open until 4am for Balticon attendees. These rooms will used for filk and conversation areas. Between the hours of 2am and 6am, you will be asked to leave the hotel if you do not have either a Balticon badge or a room key. People under the age of 17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who is attending Balticon.


Maryland law prohibits indoor public smoking except in designated areas. At the Omni, these are the designated smoking hotel sleeping rooms and the smoking sections of the restaurant and bar.


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, 1999, and we will attempt to accommodate you.

Costume Weapons

Costume weapons must be inspected and peace bonded. Taking costume weapons outside the hotel will create conflict with the police; please do not take anything that looks like a weapon outside the hotel.

Community Policing

Balticon will have a uniformed Baltimore City police officer stationed inside the hotel for community policing. This means that at Balticon our officer can explain our unique culture(peace-bonding of weapons etc.) to the rest of the local force, providing enhanced security for everyone at the convention.


Balticon is an all-volunteer managed convention. We need and want more volunteers. Show your SF community spirit by volunteering a few hours at the con. Volunteers who work more than 10 hours receive our exclusive volunteer T-shirt. Those working more than 20 hours will have next year's 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. If you have something to donate to the charity auction, please bring it to the con.

More items to be listed soon so keep checking back!

Reading is Fundamental

A charity auction benefiting Reading is FUNdamental will be held during the halftime break of the Masquerade on Saturday night. There will be SF collectibles, memorabilia and other exotic items put on the block. If you have something to donate to the auction, bring it to the con.

Guest of Honor David Weber will be contributing to the auction a Tuckerism in the form of a glorious (or inglorious) death for the fortunate individual in the next Honor Harrington novel

For the fourth year in a row, Balticon is accepting donations for Reading is FUNdamental. This terrific organization works nationwide to teach kids to read by getting them hooked on reading at an early age and distributes free books to many children who can not afford a book of their own. RIF listed Balticon as one of their top 100 donors for the past two years. For more information on RIF please check the Reading is FUNdamental on the registration form or e-mail

We Want Your Old Computers

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

Balticon 33 Home Page.
Go to the BSFS Home Page.