Welcome to Balticon

The Maryland Regional
Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention

May 22-25, 2020

The Baltimore Science Fiction Society (BSFS) is pleased to announce a free Virtual Balticon over Memorial Day weekend. We decided this was the best way to bring the Balticon Community together without contributing to the spread of the illness.

Plans for Virtual Balticon are still in development. Currently, we expect to include:

  • Panels, Presentations, and Readings hosted as webinars
  • Music concerts streamed live
  • Open Filking hosted through an online platform
  • Watch parties of past presentations at Balticon, along with discussions featuring the presenters on the BSFS Discord Server
  • Watch parties of TV shows, movies, and anime through streaming services, along with discussions on the BSFS Discord Server
  • Online tabletop RPGs and board games
  • A collection of links to the online stores of our dealers and artists
  • Open conversations on the BSFS Discord Server

If you have any other ideas of items we could feature online or would like to participate, please email program@balticon.org. If you’d like to join our team, please email volunteers@balticon.org.  If you have other questions, please email balticoninfo@balticon.org.

The virtual convention will kick off Friday night May 22nd, 2020 and run until Monday afternoon. Details on the schedule will be listed on the Balticon website (https://balticon.org).

The shift to a virtual convention this year presents a challenge to many of the artists and dealers who depend on sales made at Balticon for a substantial part of their income. If you had planned on attending Balticon 54 and making purchases, please consider purchasing directly through the links we will provide at balticon.org.

BSFS depends on memberships from Balticon for nearly all of its yearly budget, including the seed money for the next Balticon. While the Virtual Balticon will be free of charge, donations would be greatly appreciated. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, all donations to BSFS are tax-deductible (please contact your tax professionals for full details). Please visit http://www.bsfs.org/donate.htm to donate.

Lastly, we have been sending emails regarding pre-paid Balticon 54 memberships and reservations for Artist Alley, Dealers Room, or Art Show. If you purchased one of these and have not yet received an email, please contact refunds@balticon.org.

Michael Rafferty
Chair, Virtual Balticon 54

(The earlier response to the hotel reservation cancellation and COVID-19 concerns are in this earlier message from the Balticon 54 chair.)

Over 300 Hours of Multi-Track Programming over 4 days 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.

Guests of Honor

Wen Spencer - Guest of Honor
Wen Spencer is the author of more than a dozen science fiction and fantasy novels including the Elfhome series. She’s the 2003 winner of the John W Campbell Award for Best New Writer and the 2002 winner of the Compton Crook Award. More Info
Lee Moyer photo
Lee Moyer illustrated book covers for Seanan McGuire, Kim Newman, and Iain Banks. His award-winning work has been exhibited in New York, Los Angeles, London, Santa Fe, and Helsinki; and featured in Communication Arts, China’s Top Artist magazine and 7 Spectrum collections. More Info
Cheshire Moon duo
Cheshire Moon is the musical collaboration of Lizzie Crowe and Eric Coleman. The Cheshire Moon rises over the landscape, smiling down as only a trickster the size of planet could smile. Come join in the fun! More Info
Jay and Leigh Targaryen cosplay
Jay and Leigh Targaryen are well known for their cosplay and masquerade activities. They have won Best in Show from the Balticon Masquerade and many other awards. Jay organizes and runs the cosplay department for Magfest. They have also created over 500 costumes throughout the years for various dance companies and performances. They are now a happily married couple, partly in thanks of the Hawaii trip they won from the 2012 AUSA masquerade. More Info
R. F. Kuang author photo
R. F. Kuang is the winner of the 2019 Compton Crook Award. She is the Nebula and Campbell Award nominated author of The Poppy War and its forthcoming sequel The Dragon Republic. She will present the 2020 Compton Crook Award. More Info

Award Honorees

Photo of Vernor Vinge: 2020 Heinlein Award

Vernor Vinge, a four-time Hugo Award-winning science fiction author, is the recipient of the 2020 Heinlein Award. This award is in recognition of Mr. Vinge’s body of work, including his nine novels, more than two dozen short stories, and many non-fiction articles. Mr. Vinge regrets that he is unable to attend Balticon to accept the award in person. More Info