Balticon 53 has ended. Go to for information about the next Balticon.

Welcome to Balticon

– a four day 24-hour-a-day extravaganza

Over 300 Hours of Multi-Track Programming featuring authors, publishers, editors, artists, scientists, musicians and other creative SF luminaries. Join over sixteen hundred SF fans for the area’s largest and longest running convention of its kind! Visit our huge art show, dealer’s room, concerts, gaming room and video room. Everything Science Fiction and Fantasy in one huge package. Join members of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society as we embark on the second fifty years of Balticon, the premier non-profit, fan-run Science Fiction Convention in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Download the Pocket Program PDF
or use the On-line Schedule

Guests of Honor

Elizabeth Bear (Photo Credit: Kyle Cassidy)
(Photo Credit: Kyle Cassidy)

Elizabeth Bear won the 2005 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, the 2008 Hugo Award for Best Short Story for Tideline, and the 2009 Hugo Award for Best Novelette for Shoggoths in Bloom. She is one of only five writers who have gone on to win multiple Hugo Awards for fiction after winning the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. (Follow link for additional biography)

Scott Lynch is an American fantasy author who wrote the Gentleman Bastard series of novels. Lynch’s debut novel, The Lies of Locke Lamora, was a World Fantasy Award finalist in 2007. In both 2007 and 2008, Lynch was nominated for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Lynch received the Sydney J. Bounds Best Newcomer Award from the British Fantasy Society in 2008 and he was nominated for the Locus Award. (Follow link to additional biography)

Charles Vess photo

Charles Vess was born in 1951 in Lynchburg, VA. He became a freelance illustrator, working for many publications including Heavy Metal, Klutz Press and National Lampoon. For over 10 years Charles’ work was featured in various comic book publishers including Marvel (Spider-man, Raven Banner), DC (Books of Magic, Swamp Thing, Sandman) and Dark Horse (Book of Night).  One epic result was a Spider-man graphic novel Spirits of the Earth (1990) that he wrote, drew and painted. Since then his artwork has moved more into book illustration and he continues to win accolades and praise with his detailed, ethereal, light-and-shadow infused work. (Follow link to additional biography)

The Blibbering Humdingers, Balticon Musical Guests of Honor, are magical masters of musical hi-jinx and mayhem. They will wizard rock the tea towel right off your house elf! Their unique blend of 80s new wave, 50s do-wop, straight up pop rock and old-timey sing-songy comedy will leave you laughing and crying for more. They draw inspiration from the Harry Potter series, Dr Who, the SCA, medieval fantasy, science fiction and all kinds of delightfully, geeky fandomness. (Follow link to additional biography)

Nicky Drayden photo

Nicky Drayden won the 2018 Compton Crook Award and the RT Reviewers Choice Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy for her novel The Prey of Gods. This year she will present the 2019 Compton Crook Award to the 2019 winner. (Follow link to additional biography)

Gregory Benford photo

Gregory Benford is the recipient of the 2019 Heinlein Award. He is the author of over twenty novels, including Jupiter Project, Artifact, Against Infinity, Eater, and Timescape. A two-time winner of the Nebula Award, Benford has also won the John W. Campbell Award, the Australian Ditmar Award, the 1995 Lord Foundation Award for achievement in the sciences, and the 1990 United Nations Medal in Literature. (Follow link to additional biography)

Jack Chalker photo from 2003

Jack L Chalker is recognized this year as a Ghost of Honor. He was best known for his Well World series of novels. He had over 50 novels published (most of them as part of a series) as well as numerous short stories. He was a co-founder of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society. (Follow link to additional biography)

R.F. Kuang

R. F. Kuang is the winner of the 2019 Compton Crook Award for Best Debut Novel for The Poppy War. Rebecca F. Kuang is the Nebula and Campbell Award nominated author of The Poppy War and its forthcoming sequel The Dragon Republic. She is currently pursuing an MPhil in Modern Chinese Studies at Cambridge University, where her research examines wartime fiction by Dongbei writers. (Follow link to additional information)

Date: May 24-27, 2019
Location: The Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel
Baltimore, Maryland


Balticon Events
Available on DVD!

Many Balticon events are recorded and are available on DVD, including Events and GoH Presentations, DVD sets starting with Balticon 40 (2006), Masquerade sets starting with Balticon 27 (1993) and Parody Play performances.

Orders help support the Baltimore Science Fiction Society. Find detailed information about available DVDs on the Balticon DVDs page; download the order form here.

Donate to BSFS Books for Kids


Sponsored by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society, a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization.

BalticonTM is a service mark of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society. © 2018 BSFS, Inc.
Balticon is run entirely by volunteers.

Balticon Code of Conduct

P.O. Box 686
Baltimore, MD 21203-0686
Email: Phone: 410-JOE-BSFS (563-2737)