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02 August 2012 @ 06:03 pm
Thanks to everyone for the interest in the August 25th and January 26th day-long writing workshops at BSFS! This is the first time we've done something like this in a long while, and whether we do it again or not depends on if the community likes and supports the idea. We're excited by all of the up-and-coming writers in MD/DC/VA/PA who have contacted us, asked questions, and put down money to get instruction by published, professional scifi/fantasy writers!
Brenda Clough

Brenda Clough, who teaches the Aug 25th workshop, has not only been teaching science fiction for years at the Writing Center in Bethesda, she's also been nominated for the Hugo and Nebulla awards and is an excellent writer with a long career in her own right. See these reviews of her work on Amazon:

This one for The Doors and Death of Life, published by Tor in 2001:

And this one for Revise the World, published in 2009:

There are still a few seats remaining for her August 25th, 10 AM BSFS workshop. Money is due by August 11th. First come, first reserved. Cost to participate is $25, which includes lunch. E-mail BSFSEvents@BSFS.Org for more information, including how to pay. Thanks everyone!
25 May 2012 @ 03:58 am
Happy Balticon everyone!

Remember that the official Balticon webpage is www.Balticon.org.

The pocket program is here: http://www.bsfs.org/images/bsfs-b46-pocket-program.pdf

Friday's Rocket Mail, which provides programming news and updates, is here: http://www.bsfs.org/images/bsfs-b46-rocketmail-friday.pdf

Keep up with the BSFS Twitter feed (@BaltimoreSciFi) for further Rocket Mails and Balticon news while the con is happening.

And most importantly, stay calm and have fun!
09 April 2012 @ 08:40 pm
Hey! Hope you're well.

Another busy time for BSFS coming up! On Thursday, April 12th, the Spec Fic Critique Circle will again meet at BSFS HQ in Highlandtown. We've got a strong, diverse, large core coming regularly for the Circle, all strong writers with different backgrounds yet who all manage to get along rather well. It's interesting. ;)

Then on Sat, April 14th, the Balticon/BSFS Business Meeting will start at 7. With Balticon only being a month away, these meetings become vital; attending is a great way to have a say on the make-up of one of the most important sci-fi cons in the region.

AND, on Sat April 21, we'll be doing a Highlander special at the BSFS HQ--showing the blu-ray of the director's cut of the first Highlander movie, and then showing the anime adaptation Highlander: Search for Vengeance. Yes, audience participation is encourage, and it will be 80'slicious.

All events are free and open to the public. New people are encouraged to attend! Any questions, hit me up here, or at BSFSEvents@BSFS.org.
10 February 2012 @ 11:47 pm
Hi, quick heads up:

The Balticon/BSFS Business Meeting is happening at BSFS HQ, Sat Feb 11 (tomorrow) at 7pm, its free and open to the public. Everyone is welcome to come by and see what we do.

Finally, our friends over at Cons or Bust are starting their auction soon so they can raise money to send minorities to sci-fi conventions. Give them a look at :
04 February 2012 @ 02:43 pm
Again, hi all.

Wanted to give a heads up that the inaugural Speculative Fiction Critique Circle is being hosted at BSFS this Thursday, Feb 9th, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. If you want your work analyzed by friendly fellow sci-fi/fantasy fans, please bring at least 6 - 8 copies for others to read. You don't have to bring anything if you don't want--we welcome people to just come by and give feedback and hangout.

The Circle will be meeting on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month through the rest of the year.

And don't forget that the Book Discussion group starts on the 4th Saturday of March. We'll be breaking down Kim Stanley Robinson's, "Red Mars."
Current Music: Esperanza Spalding, "Black Gold"
12 January 2012 @ 10:15 pm
Hey all!

Just a heads up: for those who attend Balticon, don't forget that the con is run by members and volunteers from the Baltimore Science Fiction Society!

BSFS is a 501(c)(3) based in our own building in Highlandtown in Baltimore City: throughout the year, we do gaming meetings, business meetings, social meetings, anime/manga/gaming socials, and we start a scifi/fantasy critique group for writers in February and a book discussion group in March!

Follow the official BSFS livejournal here: http://baltimorescifi.livejournal.com/

And follow us on Facebook at:

And Twitter at:
Current Mood: artistic
31 May 2011 @ 10:50 pm

If you lost one or more items at Balticon this past weekend, some nice person may well have turned those items in to the Balticon Lost & Found. Send an e-mail to ops@balticon.org with a description of the lost item(s), and we'll let you know if they have been found. In most cases we will not be in a position to ship the items back to you, but if you are local you can come pick the items up at a monthly BSFS meeting, or some arrangement for shipping items of value could be made.

14 August 2009 @ 10:06 am

It is with deep regret that I must tell you all that Hal Haag passed away from [apparent] heart attack #6 on the morning of Wednesday, August 12. Hal chaired two Balticons, and wore many other hats over the years including department head / sole propietor / slave for the Hall Costume Contest, Rocket Mail (the daily newsletter) and most recently the Gaming Room Czar. When he wasn't engaging in SMOF activities, Hal could almost always be found playing some kind of game or chatting with friends (usually both). His love of games led him to be well known in local board and card gaming circles, and he introduced untold multitudes to a wide variety of games.

Hal Haag's son Evan (necroluth) has set up the halhaagmemorial community for folks to share their memories and thoughts about Hal. Evan has posted some additional details on the community for those who are interested as well.

Current Location: Highlandtown, hon
Current Mood: sadsad
Current Music: Eels : Novacaine for the Soul

Since there has not been a post in this space for quite a while, and a request has come down from the Program Coordinator to post some "teasers" for the Balticon 43 program, I humbly present the following Balticon 43 update:

Guests of Honor

  • Author Guest of Honor: Charles Stross, award winning author of Singularity, Accelerando, Glasshouse and many other works of SF.

  • Art Guest of Honor: Kurt Miller, artist and illustrator whose works have graced book, magazine and video game covers, board games, video games and my wall at home.

  • Music / Filk Guest of Honor: Mary Crowell, singer, songwriter, musician, composer and teacher whose musical forays include filk, jazz, classical piano and composition for brass and wind instruments.

  • Special Guest of Honor: Scott Sigler, Future Dark Overlord and ground-breaking podcaster whose novels Infected and Contagious have proven that one can make the leap from digital media to mainstream print media.

  • Ghost of Honor: Edgar Allan Poe, American poet and writer of tales of mystery and the macabre, whose 100th birthday we honor at Balticon 43.

  • 2008 Compton Crook Winner: Mark L. Van Name, author of One Jump Ahead, its sequel Slanted Jack, and the forthcoming Overthrowing Heaven.

Program Highlights

  • Friday Face Time (Friday @ 9 PM): After the opening ceremonies meet and mingle with writers, artists, podcasters, scientists and more at receptions in the Con Suite, Art Show and Science Program room.

  • Dancing in the Gears (Friday @ 10 PM): Attention all aeronauts, aethernauts, lady and gentleman adventurers, mad scientists, inventors, and other Steampunks and neo-Victorians! Join us Friday night at for a time-traveling formal evening at the Steampunk Ball! Become part of the living clockwork of Victorian and Victorian-inspired set dances and spin madly with your partner to romantic waltzes and lively polkas. No previous experience is needed; all dances will be taught by dance mistress Susan de Guardiola. Music will be an eclectic mix of modern and nineteenth century. Steampunk, neo-Victorian, or Victorian costume encouraged and admired but not required. Airships and time machines should be parked outside the ballroom. No sabers, ray guns, or clanks permitted on the dance floor.

  • Medieval Dance (Saturday @ 4 PM): Steampunk not your style? Prefer the rythyms of a simpler time before the Age of Steam? Have no fear - Patches and her merry band of musicians and dancers return to Balticon 43 so that thou might get thy Medieval boogie on. Upwardly noble or pleasantly peasant, come comfortably dressed (as always, period dress encouraged, but not at all required) and get thee down in excellent company. Take a break from sitting in panels and surrender to two hours of music, dance and merriment!

  • Book Launches (Schedule TBA): Every year more and more authors choose Balticon as the "launch pad" for their latest book releases, and Balticon 43 has even more book launch goodness than ever before! Book launches currently in the pipeline for Balticon 43 include (check website for the latest list and schedules):
    • Wicca Girl by R. Allen Leider
    • Buffalito Destiny by Lawrence Schoen
    • The Halflings Court: A Bad-Ass Faerie Tale by Danielle Ackley-McPhail
    • So It Begins, an anthology edited by Mike McPhail
    • Nina Kimberly the Merciless by Christiana Ellis

As always, program items and schedules are subject to change, so please check the Balticon 43 web site on a regular basis. We will try to update this journal more regularly as the date of the convention draws near.


Greetings citizen! This is a gentle [albeit a bit late] reminder that the Balticon 43 membership rate goes up to $53 for adults (from $48) and $26 for children (from $24) at 12:00 AM March 1, 2009. That would be midnight tonight!