Press Kit

Balticon is one of Baltimore’s premiere science-fiction and fantasy conventions.

Completely volunteer run, we host four days of literary and science panels, music, a costume Masquerade, a festival of short films, gaming, an art show, vending, and more! In our 55th year, Balticon will be ONLINE and FREE on May 28-31, 2021 (Memorial Day Weekend)!

Check out for more information or contact us at:

By fans, for fans.

Download a PDF of the press kit.

Our guests of honor this year are:

Seanan McGuire photo

Our Author Guest of Honor is Seanan McGuire (who also writes as Mira Grant). Seanan is the author of the October Daye urban fantasies, the InCryptid urban fantasies, and several other works, both stand-alone and in trilogies or duologies. Seanan was the winner of the 2010 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and her novel Feed (as Mira Grant) was named as one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2010. In 2013 she became the first person ever to appear five times on the same Hugo Ballot.

Our Artist Guest of Honor is Alyssa Winans. Alyssa is an illustrator, animator, and game artist based in the San Francisco bay area. She currently works for the Google Doodle team and enjoys making pastries and unusual ice cream flavors on the weekends.

Alyssa Winans art (tree and white unicorn)

Margaret and Kristoph (with harp and guitar)

Our Music Guests of Honor are Margaret & Kristoph. Recording artists Margaret Davis and Kristoph Klover perform original arrangements of Celtic music from the British Isles and the Medieval and Renaissance melodies of the European courts and countrysides. Featuring soaring vocals and Celtic harp, guitar, octave mandolin, flute, recorders, and whistle. They have delighted audiences since 1993.

Our Fan Guests of Honor are Bruce & Cheryl Evry. In the lore of local fandom, one cannot pass the DC area without hearing about the convention running duo of Bruce and Chryl Evry. Bruce started a small gaming supply group called Fantasy Teknicks, or FanTek for short, around 1981 out of Aberdeen, MD. Then, a birthday party turned into Evecon. Around Evecon 3, he met a young woman from Philadelphia, Cheryl. Together, they became a formidable team running the conventions, which expanded to include CastleCon in 1987. Later, they went on to try out other experiments, like HalloweenCon and CthulhuCon, usually as one-off ideas, out of Frederick, MD.

Cartoon Martian version of Bruce and Cheryl Evry
C J Cherryh

The 2021 Robert A. Heinlein Award Winner is C. J. Cherryh. C. J. Cherryh is a speculative fiction writer, editor, and translator. Ms Cherryh’s body of work, particularly stories set in the Alliance–Union universe, are honored for their portrayal of the rich and complex social and economic life possible for a spacefaring culture and in particular one based on space-station life.

The 2021 Compton Crook Award Winner is Micaiah Johnson. Micaiah was raised in California’s Mojave Desert surrounded by trees named Joshua and women who told stories. She now studies American literature at Vanderbilt University, where she focuses on critical race theory and automatons. Her debut novel, The Space Between Worlds, is a science-fiction novel that uses the concept of the multiverse to examine privilege.

Micaiah Johnson photo
Arkady Martine publicity photo

The 2020 Compton Crook Award Winner was Arkady Martine. Arkady Martine is speculative fiction writer and, as Dr. AnnaLinden Weller, a historian of the Byzantine Empire and a city planner. Under both her names she writes about border politics, rhetoric, propaganda, and the edges of the world. Her first novel, A Memory Called Empire, won the 2020 Hugo Award for Best Novel and the 2020 Compton Crook Award for Best First Novel.

The 2019 Compton Crook Award Winner was R.F. Kuang. Rebecca F. Kuang is the Astounding Award-winning and Nebula, Locus, and World Fantasy Award nominated author of The Poppy War and The Dragon Republic (Harper Voyager). Her debut novel The Poppy War won the Crawford Award and the 2019 Compton Crook Award for Best First Novel.

R. F. Kuang author photo

Balticon is hosted by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society (BSFS). BSFS is an entirely volunteer run non-profit, charitable, literary and educational organization, dedicated to the promotion of, and an appreciation for, science fiction and fantasy in all of its many forms. BSFS supports young readers with our BSFS Books for Kids Program with change collection jars and a charity auction (of donated books, artwork, or services) at Balticon.

BSFS maintains a library of science fiction and fantasy books and other media with over 12,000 titles that are available to be lent to members and the public alike. BSFS also hosts monthly anime watch parties, book club meetings, movie nights, writers critique circle events, game nights, and more. See for more information.

BSFS, in cooperation with Balticon, hosts several awards ceremonies.

The Compton Crook Award is presented by the members of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society for the best first novel in the genre published during the previous year. The Award is named in memory of Towson State College Professor of Natural Sciences Compton Crook, who wrote under the name Stephen Tall, and who died in 1981.

The Robert A. Heinlein Award is given for outstanding published works in science fiction and technical writings that inspire the human exploration of space. (This award is given by The Heinlein Society).

The Marty Gear Memorial Masquerade is the opportunity for fans to present their science fiction- and fantasy-related costumes to delight our audience. While some costumers may simply model their costumes on stage, most entries present dramatic or comedic skits. A team of judges reward costume design and workmanship to encourage our costumers’ efforts.

The Jack L. Chalker Young Writers’ Award is given for outstanding works of science fiction or fantasy, written by Maryland residents, 18 years or younger.

The Balticon Sunday Short Science Fiction Film Festival (BS3F3) will give awards in both the Live Action and Animation category based upon audience preferences.

As one of the Mid-Atlantic’s top fan-run conventions, we annually host an average of 1500-1800 people. We hope to see you there.