Balticon 2013 (Convention Weekend)

Balticon 47, Maryland's regional science fiction convention, is being held this Memorial Day Weekend! We held our first group trip to the con last year, and we had an absolute blast. Balticon is a really fun weekend with roots as a literary con. If you're put off by the really big cons (like ComiCon), don't worry; Balticon is probably less than 2,000 attendees. There are excellent panel discussions, a great con suite, and some really fun events.

Since several members have expressed an interest in attending, we'll use this meetup to let members coordinate rides, roomsharing, and generally hanging out during the convention. The convention runs from Friday, May 24 through Monday, May 27.

For more information, and to register for the convention, please visit the Balticon 47 website.

Registration:

Registration is $62. Please don't delay in signing up!

Lodging:

The Hunt Valley Inn is offering rooms at the con rate of $135 (book here). Many of are staying across the street at the Embassy Suites Baltimore - North/Hunt Valley (bigger rooms and breakfast included) at the same rate. We have a block of rooms booked for the club, but if you're planning on staying separately (or would rather not share a room), you may wish to make your own reservation. Also, please confirm with us that you have a slot in our room block, rather than assuming. If you'd like to find a roommate, please use the Comments section below (or message other attendees individually). The same will go for carpooling to and from the con.

Meals:

Just like last year, we're planning to congregate for meals in the con suite as schedules permit. We will probably put in large carry-out orders to Noodles and Company for at least 2 dinners (see menu here). For lunches, we may or may not be able to coordinate, since it's a busier time at the con, but if we do, we'd prefer to have the lunch be something you can grab and go if you need to hit a panel. So we're most likely to put in group catering orders to Subway (6" sub, cookie, and chips, apple, or yogurt for under $7) and Chipotle (burrito with shareable chips, salsa and guacamole for under $9.50). You are, of course, more than welcome to get food independently and join us where we're sitting for meals in the con suite; this is just meant for the convenience of the group. You can expect more details (as well as a request to put in your orders as needed) closer to the weekend. Friday dinner and Monday lunch (since they're not nearly as busy), we can probably go off-site to eat.

  • Guest of Honor: Joe Haldeman
  • Artist Guest of Honor: Rick Sternbach
  • Special Guest: Nnedi Okorafor
  • Music/Filk Guest of Honor: Ada Palmer
  • See the full list of who's coming


This is what glory looks like!
(We'll need your help to defend our club's title as reigning trivia champs!)

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  • Elizabeth B.

    I had a great time, even though I was only there for Sunday. For anyone who missed the short film festival, I've tracked a few of the films down on youtube. It's far from a comprehensive list, but there are some good ones in here!

    Caldera: http://youtu.be/DrFipymxkwQ
    Saga of Biorn: http://youtu.be/MV5w262XvCU
    Rollin' Safari: http://youtu.be/yltlJEdSAHw
    The Reward: http://youtu.be/kkAYze6ae18
    The Gate: http://youtu.be/jkBXMwqyRps
    Catzilla: http://youtu.be/3HSNwmx9cOE
    Luminaris: http://youtu.be/mOEeGfB0iQM
    C (299,792 km/s): http://youtu.be/8XkZldgp1-E

    7 · May 27, 2013

  • Vijay

    Thanks to everyone for making it such an awesome weekend! I hope you all had as great a time as I did enjoying the con and getting to know fellow members better, and are looking forward to future cons (Dragon*Con, CapClave, and of course Balticon 2014!).

    8 · May 27, 2013

    • Sandeep

      Thanks to YOU Vijay, for helping make it such an awesome weekend - your clear communications, coordination of meals, and general help, advice and organization efforts really allowed us the opportunity to get to know each other better, and you truly helped make it easy for us to really enjoy the con with minimal issues or conflicts... your consistently easy-going good nature and positivity always helps as well... Hats off to you, and for all your efforts: a huge thank you! I look forward to attending more cons (don't forget readercon) with all of you as well... this was a great experience, fo' sho' !!!

      10 · May 28, 2013

    • Jeremy D. H.

      I'm going to go ahead and second Sandeep.

      2 · May 28, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Loved the writing panels!

    2 · May 27, 2013

  • Rohit R.

    I really enjoyed my day at the Con, and talking with those of you I had a chance to meet. Will be there the whole weekend next year! :)

    2 · May 27, 2013

  • Nicole H.

    I had a great time this year. I am so glad I get to meet the group, everybody was so nice.
    Maybe next year there won't be some much to do that I can sit and get to talk more.

    3 · May 27, 2013

  • Laquetta

    My first con and an amazing weekend. Thanks to Vijay for his work arranging rooms and meals so we could all share the experience.

    6 · May 27, 2013

  • Sandeep

    Just trying to track down where everybody/anybody is... ?

    May 26, 2013

    • Rohit R.

      If anyone wants to do anything tonight, message me through meetup. Ill be around. :)

      May 26, 2013

    • Sandeep

      Hey Rohit - got ur pmessage but don't know how to reply using the meetup app... it doesn't seem to have an option for it or something, or I'm just extremely unobservant or something lol :) call/txt my cell @[masked]

      May 26, 2013

  • Rohit R.

    Would love to hang out with you all tonight if you're still up. Head back home tonight :(

    1 · May 26, 2013

  • Mike O.

    Any one want to try to get a game of Cards Against Humanity going tonight?

    May 26, 2013

  • Samuel L.

    There was a trivia contest last night; it just was nowhere on the schedule. I participated and scored in the middle of three teams.

    3 · May 26, 2013

  • Vijay

    Hi, everyone. For Saturday night's dinner, most local establishments won't take reservations but will do call-ahead seating (which should eliminate or minimize wait times). 2 good sit-down options are California Pizza Kitchen (http://www.cpk.com/menu/) or Carrabba's Italian Grill (http://www.carrabbas.com/Content/tonights-specials).

    Tentatively, I'm thinking dinner around 7:15-7:30 on Friday night will work well within the schedule.

    Please weigh in as to (a) whether you're *reliably* interested in joining for dinner on Friday, and (b) what your preference is (if you have one) for dinner. We're a big enough group that we can absolutely split up and send tables to each place (or others), so don't feel like you'll be stuck with a choice you don't like. This can't be a game-time decision, though, since we do want to call in well ahead of time to request a large table, so that we don't end up waiting for 45 minutes to be seated. Thanks!

    May 21, 2013

    • Jeremy D. H.

      I'm joining for dinner for certain.

      1 · May 23, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I'll come over. See you guys in 30

      May 24, 2013

  • Mike O.

    if any one is interested I am also bringing my game collection (board and card games)

    May 24, 2013

    • Sandeep

      Does that include risk? And/or chess?

      May 24, 2013

    • Mike O.

      Not those but I have setters, cards againt humanity, ackams horror, flux, etc

      2 · May 24, 2013

  • Sandeep

    Heading up @ noonish, and will be there for the afternoon. Will anyone else be there this afternoon?

    1 · May 24, 2013

  • Michael

    It's a maybe for Sunday. Dental surgery on Saturday...

    May 24, 2013

  • Debbie H

    The con pocket guide is now available for download.

    http://www.bsfs.org/images/bsfs-b47-pocket-program.pdf

    5 · May 22, 2013

    • Cyndi

      Thanks Debbie! I wish I would have read your comment before almost breaking my laptop...

      May 23, 2013

  • Trish

    In for dinner Fri, CPK sounds good.

    May 23, 2013

  • Wes R.

    Carpool thread:

    I'm happy to give anyone coming from the DC area a ride. I'll be leaving from work (DuPont circle area) at or shortly after 12 noon. if you'd like to meet me nearby DuPont, post a comment and I'll coordinate with you. I have room for 3 more people comfortably.

    May 22, 2013

  • Vijay

    For anyone staying at the Hunt Valley Inn, PLEASE READ:

    The Hunt Valley Inn is now affiliated with Wyndham. They have switched over to a new reservations system, and some information may have been lost or mis-transcribed. It is a good idea to confirm your reservation by calling the Wyndham 800 numbers[masked] and[masked]-3426. Since your confirmation number may have changed, the reservations people can access the new one using your last name and the address of the hotel (245 Shawan Rd, Hunt Valley, MD, 21031).

    Please re-confirm any special requests you had on your original reservation (feather free, rollaway, etc.), also check-in and check-out dates, and rate, whether you are inside or outside of the Balticon block. The Wyndham will email you a new confirmation if you ask, which is a good idea.

    The best way to prevent confusion upon check-in will be for you to bring print-outs of your original and new confirmations. *This is highly recommended.*

    May 21, 2013

  • Vijay

    For anyone thinking about joining the 3-hour writing workshop on Saturday morning (9-noon), don't forget to e-mail writersworkshop AT bsfs DOT org to sign up. Also, you'll need to bring "a sample of writing that describes, develops, illustrates or otherwise presents a character"

    1 · May 9, 2013

    • Debbie H

      I sent an email to them on 13 May and never heard back. Does anybody know what happens if you just show up at 9 with your character sample?

      May 20, 2013

    • Vijay

      @Alexander: Do you know if the Writer's Workshop organizers are sending out confirmation e-mails for those who RSVP?

      1 · May 21, 2013

  • Elizabeth B.

    So, a question for Balticon veterans - I'm accustomed to anime conventions that are usually dead by early Sunday, and since I have to work Friday and Saturday, I figured this would be a no-go. However, looking at the schedule, it seems like they have a fair amount going on Sunday and even into Monday, and they do offer a cheaper at-the-door rate for people just going those days. From past experiences, do you think it'd be worth it to go just for Sunday or Sunday and Monday, or does most of the worthwhile stuff happen early? Sorry, I'm having severe last-minute indecision crises :-\

    May 19, 2013

    • Debbie H

      What that last post should have said is that there is a downloadable PDF file for the programming. I'd agree with other folks - there is a LOT to do all day Saturday and Sunday and even some of the Monday panels looked interesting.

      1 · May 20, 2013

    • Elizabeth B.

      In light of all that, it definitely looks worthwhile to come just for Sunday. I'm in!

      1 · May 20, 2013

  • Sandeep

    I've confirmed my reservation at the Red Roof Inn, Timonium: 111 West Timonium Rd., Timonium, MD 21093 - it's just down 83 and I got it for $40 a night lol - can't wait!

    May 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I have a room (2 doubles) reserved at HVI and I am looking for people to fill that room if anyone wants to stay at HVI. If there's no interest for the room at HVI, is there still room in the ES block for me?

    May 1, 2013

    • Jeremy D. H.

      We have 3 in my room at the Embassy so far, if you want in it would make it a forth. Let me know if that works for you.

      May 1, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Still looking for 1 to 2 more people to make the room at HVI work. Please contact me.

      May 6, 2013

  • Alexander M.

    Happy to see you gals and guys will be at our convention! We're a 501c3 that always appreciates support! Feel free to follow us on Meetup, Twitter and FB for BSFS and Balticon news!

    https://www.facebook.com/BaltimoreSciFi

    https://twitter.com/BaltimoreSciFi

    http://www.meetup.com/Baltimore-Science-Fiction-Society/

    1 · May 6, 2013

  • Vijay

    If you've already asked to be part of out room block (at the Embassy Suites), you'll have gotten an e-mail from me, but if anyone else is interested, please let us know. We have enough space to accommodate more.

    If you'd like a room at the HVI (currently sold out), let me know that as well, and we can help. Thanks!

    April 23, 2013

  • Vijay

    If anyone has ideas for panels they'd like to see, you can submit your suggestions here: http://www.balticon.org/panel_ideas.htm

    April 22, 2013

  • Vijay

    I wanted to give everyone an update on the hotel situation. I've booked a 10 room block for our group at the Hunt Valley Inn, but we're also considering the Embassy Suites across the street instead (ES rooms include breakfast & evening reception and are better suited to socializing). I'm working on a discount rate for ES. Their king suites have a pullout couch & can sleep 2-4. I can get them for us for $139/night (compared to $135 at HVI). Double suites sleep 3-6 and would be $159/night. Post-tax, ES would be $185-$240 pp for 3 nights, assuming separate beds for each person.

    What I'd like to know from you is:

    (a) Do you have a preference between HVI and ES?

    (b) Would you like to be included in our room block or have you already made your arrangements separately?

    (c) If part of our room block, would you like a room for yourself or to share with a roommate?

    (d) If you'd like a roommate, do you have one figured out, or would like us to match you with one?

    Thanks!

    April 4, 2013

    • Trish

      a) No preference on hotels; b)Yes, included in book club room block; c) Share with roommates; d) Need roommate matches

      1 · April 10, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      (a) No preference; whichever makes up making the most sense.

      (b) Yep, but I want to be in a fully packed room so I pay less monies.

      (c) The more, the merrier. But no loud idiotic teenage/twenty-something­ types (something I don't think we're at risk of having).

      (d) I'd probably have to be matched up.

      1 · April 10, 2013

  • Samuel L.

    I usually volunteer so I'll be around.

    1 · February 11, 2013

    • Samuel L.

      I'll be commuting as I'm only about an hour away

      1 · April 5, 2013

  • Judy

    Yay for Balticon! Or as I like to call it, "Sleep Begone."

    2 · April 4, 2013

  • Wes R.

    Happy to take people in my car. I'd like to get on the list for sharing a room, as well.

    March 12, 2013

  • Debbie H

    Already registered and currently have a room reserved at HVI. Will be driving up.

    February 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I think I would prefer to stay in the Hunt Valley Inn (but if Embassy Suites is a better deal, maybe there), and would prefer quiet roommates.

    February 12, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Ooooh...I looked at the gallery for the Embassy Suites. That looks like a much nicer place!!! (But being in the con hotel is always nice)

      February 12, 2013

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