There’s a lot more than speakers and exhibits to enjoy at Balticon! Watch short film finalists and show off your costumery skills, enjoy geeky music and applaud award-winning writers – from the young to the amateur to the debut novelists.

Balticon’s 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 Short Film Festival draws entries from filmmakers from around the world to complete. Balticon attendees get to view them and vote for their favorites.

The Baltimore Science Fiction Society will present the Robert A. Heinlein Award during the Opening Ceremonies on Friday, May 27. The Heinlein Award page has the announcement of the 2023 honoree and information about the award itself.

The Compton Crook Award is presented to the best of each year’s English language first novel by an author in the field of science fiction, fantasy, or horror.

Concerts and Filk

Join our Filk circles in the evening with a different theme each day.  See Technical Difficulties 2.0 in concert.  Our panels and discussions promise to be interesting, informative, and full of general musical mayhem!

Charity Auction

Fandom has a history of giving. At Balticon, you will have opportunities to contribute to several causes.

BSFS Books for Kids

Balticon holds two auctions to raise money for the BSFS Books for Kids program: Saturday evening during the Masquerade intermission and Sunday afternoon after the Art Auction. Funds raised will be used to purchase books for students to keep on their own. BSFS Books for Kids also collects book donations for local school libraries. Items for the auction are donated by individuals and companies and generally have a Science Fiction or Fantasy theme. To donate items for the auction, contact

The winners of the Jack L. Chalker Young Writers Contest will be announced at Balticon. Visit the Young Writers Contest page for information about the award and how to enter.