|Organizer||Baltimore Science Fiction Society|
Balticon is the Maryland Regional science fiction convention, sponsored by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society (BSFS). It has been held annually since 1966. The name "Balticon" is trademarked by BSFS.
Balticon brings together over 1500 science and science fiction and fantasy professionals, creative amateurs, and fans on Memorial Day weekend each year for a 4-day multi-track event in the Baltimore area.
Balticon can be described as a "General" or "Big Tent" science fiction convention, since it is not exclusively devoted to a specific area, such as literary or media, but includes programming and activities in these areas, as well as such fields as anime, art, costuming, science, new media, gaming, and music. These areas may change from year to year, depending on who is chairing and staffing the convention that year.
Balticon is run entirely by volunteers, who assume responsibility at many levels, ranging from gofers who sign up and run errands at the convention, to the Con Chair who may spend up to two years on planning and administration.
Activities and program items are developed by the volunteers who put on the convention, so they usually concentrate on the areas they are most interested in.
Some Balticon activities and tracks run 24 hours a day from Friday afternoon to Monday afternoon.
BSFS presents the Compton Crook Award for best first novel of the year in the Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror genre, during Balticon. The previous year's winner is invited back to present the award to the new winner.
The winner of the annual Jack L. Chalker Young Writer's Contest is announced at Balticon. BSFS sponsors this short story writing contest for Maryland residents or school attendees between the ages of 14 and 18, in the Fantasy or Science Fiction genres.
The Balticon Poetry Contest winners are invited to read their winning entries at Balticon, and they are published in the Balticon Program Guide. Cash prizes and convention memberships are awarded.
The Masquerade is usually held on Saturday night, and awards are given for various categories in Costuming, including creativity, construction and presentation.
Past Balticon Film Festival Winners are:
Prior to 1966, BSFS held an annual event for the election of BSFS Board of Directors. After several years, BSFS rented hotel space and invited an author to speak, as a guest of honor, at its election events. From this point forward, the event became an annual convention known as Balticon. Subsequently, BSFS election functions were moved to a different date.
|Event||Date||Location||Guests (listed GoH)|
|Balticon 1||abt. 1967||The Emerson Hotel, Baltimore MD.||no guest of honor|
|Balticon 2||abt. 1968||Lord Baltimore Hotel, Baltimore, MD.||Samuel R. Delany|
|Balticon 3||abt. 1969||Lord Baltimore Hotel, Baltimore, MD.||L. Sprague deCamp|
|Balticon 4||abt. 1970||Lord Baltimore Hotel, Baltimore, MD.||Damon Knight & Kate Wilhelm|
|Balticon 5||abt. 1971||Lord Baltimore Hotel, Baltimore, MD.||Harry Harrison|
|Balticon 6||Washington's Birthday Weekend, 1972||Hopkins Hilton Hotel, Baltimore, MD.||Gordon R. Dickson|
|Balticon 7||Washington's Birthday Weekend, 1973||Lord Baltimore Hotel, Baltimore, MD.||Poul Anderson|
|Balticon 8||Washington's Birthday Weekend, 1974||Lord Baltimore Hotel, Baltimore, MD.||Frederik Pohl|
|Balticon 9||Easter Weekend, 1975||Pikesville Hilton Hotel, Pikesville, MD.||Hal Clement|
|Balticon 10||April 16 - 18, 1976||Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD.||Isaac Asimov|
|Balticon 11||1977||Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD.||Philip Jose Farmer|
|Balticon 12||March 24 - 26, 1978||Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD.||Anne McCaffrey|
|Balticon 13||April 13 - 15, 1979||Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD.||Poul Anderson|
|Balticon 14||April 4 - 6, 1980||Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD.||Algis Budrys & Sean Spacher|
|Balticon 15||Easter, 1981||Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD.||John Varley|
|Balticon 16||April 9 - 11, 1982||Hyatt Regency Hotel, Baltimore, MD.||Samuel R. Delany|
|Balticon 17||April 1 - 3, 1983||Hyatt Regency Hotel, Baltimore, MD.||L. Sprague deCamp & Catherine Crook de Camp|
|Balticon 18||April 20 - 22, 1984||Hyatt Regency Hotel, Baltimore, MD.||Parke Godwin|
|Balticon 19||Easter Weekend April 7-9, 1985||Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD.||R. A. MacAvoy|
|Balticon 20||March 28 - 30, 1986||Hyatt Regency Hotel, Baltimore, MD.||Nancy Springer|
|Balticon 21||April 17 - 19, 1987||Omni Inner Harbor Hotel, Baltimore, MD.||Roger Zelazny|
|Balticon 22||April 1 - 3, 1988||Omni Inner Harbor Hotel, Baltimore, MD.||Spider Robinson|
|Balticon 23||March 24 - 26, 1989||Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD.||C. J. Cherryh|
|Balticon 24||April 13 - 15, 1990||Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD.||Robin McKinley|
|Balticon 25||March 29 - 31, 1991||Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD.||Nancy Kress|
|Balticon 26||April 17 - 19, 1992||Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD.||Donald Kingsbury, Christopher Rowley, David R. Palmer, Sheila Finch, Thomas T. Thomas (Wren), Christopher Hinz, Elizabeth Moon, Josepha Sherman and Michael F. Flynn|
|Balticon 27||April 9 - 11, 1993||Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD.||Allen Steele|
|Balticon 28||April 1 - 3, 1994||Hyatt Regency Hotel, Baltimore, MD.||Mercedes Lackey|
|Balticon 29||April 14 - 16, 1995||Lord Baltimore & Omni Inner Harbor Hotel, Baltimore, MD.||James P. Hogan|
|Balticon 30||April 5 - 7, 1996||Omni Inner Harbor Hotel, Baltimore, MD.||Robert Jordan|
|Balticon 31||March 28 - 30, 1997||Omni Inner Harbor Hotel, Baltimore, MD.||Glen Cook|
|Balticon 32||April 10 - 12, 1998||Omni Inner Harbor Hotel, Baltimore, MD.||Harry Turtledove|
|Balticon 33||April 2 - 4, 1999||Omni Inner Harbor Hotel, Baltimore, MD.||David Weber|
|Balticon 34||April 22 - 23, 2000||Omni Inner Harbor Hotel, Baltimore, MD.||Octavia Butler|
|Balticon 35||May 25 - 28, 2001||Wyndham Inner Harbor Hotel, Baltimore, MD.||Hal Clement|
|Balticon 36||May 24 - 27, 2002||Wyndham Inner Harbor Hotel, Baltimore, MD.||Mark Rogers, Phil Foglio & Kaja Foglio|
|Balticon 37||May 23 - 26, 2003||Wyndham Inner Harbor Hotel, Baltimore, MD.||Steve Miller & Sharon Lee|
|Balticon 38||May 28 - 31, 2004||Wyndham Inner Harbor Hotel, Baltimore, MD.||Lois McMaster Bujold|
|Balticon 39||May 27 - 30, 2005||Wyndham Inner Harbor Hotel, Baltimore, MD.||Steven Barnes & Tananarive Due|
|Balticon 40||May 26 - 29, 2006||Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD.||Neil Gaiman|
|Balticon 41||May 25 - 28, 2007||Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD.||Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, Joe Bergeron, Jeff & Maya Bohnhoff, Michael R. Mennenga & Evo Terra|
|Balticon 42||2008||Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD.||Connie Willis, John Jude Palencar & Urban Tapestry|
|Balticon 43||May 22 - 25, 2009||Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD.||Charles Stross|