Balticon 43 will feature continuous multi-track programming throughout the
4-day weekend plus
fixed functions such as Art show, Dealers Room, Computer Gaming Room etc... Our goal is to
reawaken the sense of wonder that originally brought you to SF/F. We constantly seek ideas from
fan clubs and news-groups and conduct brain-storm sessions to generate fresh new topics and
"twisted" spins on old ideas. The excitement in our program committee this year is
dramatic and just a little scary, but in a good way. Down with boring panels--up with the new
reformed Balticon panels!
Panel discussions with SF professionals (writers, artists, agents, etc.), informal
discussions among devoted fans, skill demonstrations, readings and performances are included.
Every cultural art form related to Science fiction and fantasy will be brought out, dusted off and
given a beautiful shine through our interactive program.
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Balticon program participants with qualifications as authors, editors and publishers will explore
varied themes in SF literature through panel debates, author readings and personal autograph
session interaction. Everything from philosophical debates, story crafting tips, publishing advice,
science speculation and historical perspectives will flow. Reviewers and Fan group officers will
review and discuss work and its place in the genre to help you find new literature suited to your
taste. Multiple literary program tracks make this the core of Balticon programming.
Balticon 43 will once again host the annual Writers'
Workshop on Saturday morning. Each participant should bring a sample
of their writing (at most, one page), to be read aloud at the
workshop. Authors may read their own work, or have the workshop
coordinator read for them. Each participant will have a turn, with
feedback provided by other participants. This is your chance to
hear how your words sound, and to fix those problems (grammar,
dialog, setting, etc.) youve been having. Constructive criticism
is one of the hallmarks of SF/F fandom. Take this opportunity to
help yourself and others. Rules are available on the website. Info:
email email@example.com or check "Writers' Workshop" on the
More information can be found
I Should Be Writing Workshop:
This is a workshop for complete beginners. No writing sample necessary, but
pre-registration is required. Should you be writing? Been afraid of following
your dream to be a writer? Scared to join a workshop because everyone else will
be more experienced? We will discuss and do exercises to cover the beginning
steps of the three aspects of a writing career: the craft, the business, and the
Limited to 15 participants. Saturday 9 am - noon
Sorry, but the I Should Be Writing Workshop is full.
AboutSF's Teaching Science Fiction Workshop:
A Workshop to prepare teachers to develop a class on science fiction
for primary or secondary students. Monday (Memorial Day) noon to 4 p.m.
in the Garden Room at the Marriott Hunt Valley. No advance registration
is required. The Teaching Science Fiction workshop covers what to
teach, how to organize a class, and ways to promote the course. The
workshop answers all questions educators may have about this idea
oriented, forward looking, student stimulating body of speculative
literature. Materials for the workshop have been developed by the
AboutSF Science Fiction Resource Center, a joint project of the
University of Kansas, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of
America, and the Science Fiction Research Association. Presenters
include: Catherine Asaro, author and Nebula Award winner, Magi D.
Shepley, a teacher who has taught science fiction in the classroom, and
David-Glenn Anderson of Reading for the Future. There is no charge for
those attending Balticon for the full weekend or just for the day. A
special Workshop-only one-day Balticon membership for teachers is
available for $11. For questions please contact:
Young Writer's Contest!
This contest is for young Maryland writers (age 14-18) of SF and
Fantasy, sponsored by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society. Share your
stories and compete for fame and cash prizes. The deadline for
submissions is March 31, 2009. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Poetry programming at Balticon 43 explores
the arena of verse from inspiration and writing to submitting for
publication and an overview of small press publishing. There will
be a poetry workshop and reading featuring winners of the Balticon
43 SF&F Poetry contest, Edgar Allan Poe dramatic readings, and open
mic. Calling all poets who want a chance at fame, glory, publication
in the BSFAN and a cash prize (deadline: April 1, 2009).
email@example.com or check the "Poetry Track/Workshop"
box on the registration form.
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An entire track of costume programming with items of interest to beginners and
experienced alike. Learn how to create an exterior casing that reflects your soul or at least your
sense of humor.
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Our art programming features demos and classes with several popular
artists. Bring your sketchbook!
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Balticon 43 will offer over 30 hours of original science programming,
this year celebrating invention and the anniversaries of Darwin and
the Twilight Zone. Meet the scientists and attend fascinating panels
such as "The 100 Most Significant Inventions of the 21st Century,"
"Fantastic Voyage: A Trip to Darwins Galapagos Today," and "The 50th
Anniversary of the Twilight Zone... Proto-Science Trends in the Twilight
Zone That Were Achieved." Check out heavenly bodies at a Star Party
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Games, projects and stories for children ages 4-12 to inspire your kids to appreciate the
convention experience. This is not daycare; parents retain full responsibility for children during
this program. Kids will put on a skit play, have their own filk, learn to draw from an artist, hunt for
treasure, hear Silly Interactive Stories, build with legos and have great fun!
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Balticon's filk program starts out with
Mary Crowell, our lovely and
Music GOH, who comes to us from Alabama with a keyboard on her knees. (OK, the
keyboard will actually be on a stand, but you get the idea.) Mary brings a taste
of blues and jazz to the filk community, writing gorgeous tunes and deep lyrics
songs that have earned the moniker "tirch songs". In addition to her main
concert at 2pm on Saturday and a children's concert at 1pm Sunday, Mary will
be joining Rob Balder and Tom Rockwell for a Friday evening panel
on Pushing Filk's Boundaries, and giving a Monday afternoon workshop
on Fills and Sound Effects. She will also be hosting a Saturday
night theme circle featuring Songs of Myths and Legends.
In addition to our fabulous GOH, the Balticon filk program features Friday night
Ariel "Abby" Cinii
and Robert Cooke, and Sunday evening
"Decadent" Dave Clement
and by the
Boogie Knights. Abby
is a long-time filker out of New York and writes original songs of
space travel and alien worlds, with vibrant tunes strummed on
mandolin. Robert hails from southern Georgia and, like Mary, is a
fixture at GAFilk, held every January in the Atlanta area. "Decadent"
Dave, a member of Canadian filk/folk group Dandelion Wine and a
Filk Hall of Fame inductee, makes his way down from the Great White
North. And rounding out the filk concerts, we have local favorites
and parodists extraordinaire the Boogie Knights, singing their songs
of medieval derring-do.
Finally, our musical meanderings take an academic turn on Sunday.
Mel Tatum, a University of Arizona law professor, will discuss her
recent study of Gender and
Attitudes Towards Copyright in Filk. The paper she will be presenting
was solicited for a conference on Intellectual Property and Gender
held annually at American University.
For the dance-minded, Balticon has two folk dances. On Friday night,
Susan DiGuardiola hosts a Steampunk Dance. On Saturday
afternoon, Patches will host
a Medieval Dance, with music provided by Maugorn and friends. Come
put on your Regency and Medieval finest and take a few turns around
the dance floor. Dances will be taught, and all levels from beginner
to expert are welcome.
Gracing our Main Tent at noon on Saturday are local favorites The
singing serious and not
so serious songs a cappella, with a great sound, a lot of fun, and
a lot of energy! They delight audiences
with a combination of outrageous originals, crazy covers, melodic insights into
modern life, and a surfeit of science songs. The Internet, texting,
TV, fast food and the perils of bad hair - they're all subjects
of Chromatics originals. A
free download of their new song "Shoulders of Giants," commissioned
for the International Year of Astronomy, is available at
GEORGE HRAB STAGE
New for Balticon this year, we have expanded the offerings on the Hrab Stage, a
"coffeehouse-style" stage located off the hotel lobby, near the bar
& restaurant. There will be a diverse array of musical and other
performances all weekend, covering the gamut from rock to filk to rap.
The action starts Friday night with the
Diamond Star Project,
featuring Catherine Asaro and Donald Wolcott. Their rock-and-roll
panel last year was a smashing success; this year they kick off the
Hrab Stage action with a concert.
Phil Rossi &
Rob Balder and
and Bene Gesserit Witch.
When he's not wrangling
satellites or stepping
out at a Regency Dance, Bill picks up a 12-string and sings. New Media brings us
perennial singing podcasters Phil Rossi and George Hrab (for whom the stage is
named). And FuMP members Rob Balder and Sudden Death will have you
rockin', rappin', and rollin' in the aisle. Or at least in the
Sunday, Gary Ehrlich,
take the stage. Gary
is a mild-mannered structural engineer by day and filker (or folkie)
by night. (In the spirit
of full disclosure, he also runs the Balticon filk track.) Igor's
Egg is a progressive rock band from Philadelphia known for their
epic science-fiction concept album "Quest for the Ultimate Tuh."
And Maugorn is our Man of a Thousand Songs, running the gamut from
classic rock to traditional folk.
For more filk announcements and details, watch the Balticon LiveJournal
Community, send e-mail to the
alias, or check the
"filk" box on
the registration form. Also, the Hrab Stage still has openings
available for interested performers. E-mail
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There's a whole wonderful world of non-traditional media available
and, like last year, we're bringing you more than just podcasting.
Come and meet local artists and writers from the world of web comics
and many other fascinating people leading the new media explosion.
Learn more about what's available in independent new media and how
to turn it to your advantage. Dont let your work be lost in the
shadows: find your audience! Balticon was the first con to run new
media programming and have its own dedicated podcast, which makes
ours the longest running new media track.
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Guest of Honor
British author and self-admitted computer geek Charles Stross will be coming
across the pond to be the Balticon 43 Guest of Honor (GoH). His novels
include Singularity Sky, Accelerando, Glasshouse and Saturn's Children, and
his novellas and short stories include collaborations with author Cory
Doctorow. His writing has earned him the 2005 Hugo Award for Best Novella,
the 2006 Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, the 2007 Locus Award
for Best Novella, the 2007 Prometheus award for Best Novel, and the 2008
Edward E. Smith Memorial Award (also known as the Skylark). His novel
Saturn's Children (Ace; Orbit) has been nominated for the 2009 Hugo Awards
Best Novel category, and he has been one of the top five nominees for the
Best Novel Hugo Award for the previous five years, making him the first
author ever to have a novel on the Hugo Awards shortlist for six years in a
Filk/Musical Guest of Honor
Pegasus Award winning filk songwriter and performer Dr. Mary Crowell will be
the Balticon 43 Musical GoH. Dr. Crowell is a singer, songwriter, musician,
composer and teacher whose musical forays include filk, jazz, classical
piano and composition for brass and wind instruments. An extensive
biography, and free music tracks for download, can be found at
Art Guest of Honor
Kurt Miller, artist and illustrator whose works have graced book, magazine
and video game covers, board games, video games and the walls of many a
fan's home will be the Balticon 43 GoH. Of particular note is that Mr.
Miller was responsible for the cover art for the most recent release of BSFS
founding member Jack L. Chalker's "Twighlight at the Well of Souls". His
online portfolio can be found at
Special Guest of Honor
New York Times Bestselling author Scott Sigler will be the Special Guest of
Honor at Balticon 43. In 2004, disillusioned with traditional publishing
routes for authors, Scott decided to podcast his novel Earthcore and give it
away for free. The initial release of Earthcore garnered Sigler an audience
of over 10,000 listeners. He immediately followed up the Earthcore, the
first novel available exclusively via podcast, with his second novel
Ancestor. Releasing his books for free, in serialized audio form, has
garnered him an audience in the tens of thousands as well as a major
publishing contract with Crown Books. Scott Sigler has proven that there are
alternate paths around the gatekeepers in the traditional publishing
2008 Compton Crook Award Winner
At Balticon 42, Science Fiction author Mark L. Van Name took home the 2008
Compton Crook Award for his first novel One Jump Ahead. Mr. Van Name returns
to Balticon 43 with two more novels in the Jon and Lobo series, and will be
particpating in events and panels throughout the weekend, including a
SCIENCE MAGIC SEX
Ghost of Honor
Edgar Allan Poe is well known not only in Baltimore but around the world for
his innovative writing, and his work is credited by some with contributing
to the early development of science fiction. He continues to create an aura
of mystery as each year, on his birthday, an unknown admirer leaves at his
gravesite in Baltimore a tribute of a single rose and a half-bottle of
cognac. Balticon will honor Poe and his work with occasional visual
reminders during the convention.
We will be updating our participant list on the web as we get more responses, so keep checking back!
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EXHIBITS & FUNCTIONS
All materials copyright © 2009 Baltimore Science Fiction Society, Inc., unless otherwise noted.