Field Report: Balticon

I just got home from being the musical guest of honor at Balticon, an annual science fiction and fantasy convention run by Maryland fen.

If you’ve never been to a fan-run convention and you’re not too far from Baltimore next Memorial Day weekend, Balticon would be a great place to start. It’s big enough (about 1,700 people) to have pretty much everything you’d expect at a fan-run con: art show, dealers’ room, fascinating panel discussions, movies, anime, costuming, etc; but small enough that you won’t feel overwhelmed by the sheer scale of it all.

Besides the usual filking, I got to perform three times. There was my usual show on the big stage, then a smaller one for the kids as part of their programming; I was also honored to perform at a memorial for Dr. Jordin Kare, the funniest and most humane singer/songwriter/physicist/engineer I’ve had the privilege to meet. His song “Psi Nought” is one I have never managed to get through without laughing; this time there were some tears too. We miss you, Jordin.

Other highlights: catching up with some old friends; making some new ones. Brunch with Ada Palmer hatched a kernel of a song that grew into a draft on the flight home; I’ll have the lyrics posted shortly. I sat on a couple of education/STEAM panels, which were surprisingly well attended. Con staff were fantastic. The hotel (Renaissance Harbor Place) had surprisingly good food. In short, the weekend was everything one could hope for at a medium-sized fan con.

To Marv and everyone else, THANK YOU so much for having me as a guest! I had a fabulous time, and from what I saw everyone else did too.