Anyone who is interested in any of the myriad forms of science fiction or fantasy (books,
magazines, films, video, games, television, etc.) is invited to become a member of the
Baltimore Science Fiction Society, Inc. (otherwise known as BSFS).
Dues are only $35 per year (our fiscal year is Oct 1 to Sep 30); this includes membership in
our annual convention --
New members are eligible to join after attending two business meetings within a 12 month
period. We want you to KNOW what you are getting into before we take your money.
How did this all start? Some people returning from a meeting of the Washington Science
Fiction Association (WSFA) first formed the Baltimore Science Fiction Society on
January 5, 1963, in the back seat of a Trailways bus. It went into suspended animation after a disasterous election fight on October 12, 1968,
on a (non-functioning) streetcar. Its only production of consequence was the first
Balticon (1967) and it has in
common with the present group only the name, spirit and continuity of several founders, most of whom have now passed beyond this veil of tears.
There were no formal club meetings during the intervening years, but several fans managed to keep
Balticon tradition alive by holding
Balticons numbered 2 through 8.
The present Baltimore Science Fiction Society was re-started in 1974 when it was
incorporated in the State of Maryland. It applied for and was granted IRS tax-exempt
status. In 1996 a copy of the original 1963 BSFS by-laws was discovered and confirmed that the rules for
calling a meeting had been followed in 1974, for calling a meeting if one had not been held in the past six months, resulting in further (if coincidental) continuity
between the old BSFS and the new state chartered BSFS.
BSFS is an equal opportunity organization. Its members range in age from young
children to septuagenarians, from ex-hippies to ex-religious, from unemployed to
self-employed, from lawyers to truck drivers, but they all have one thing in common
-- science fiction. Come visit us, we don't think you're weird because you like that
BSFS is a 501(c)(3), non-profit, charitable, literary and educational organization,
dedicated to the promotion of, and an appreciation for, science fiction in all of its
BSFS is run entirely by volunteers, none of the Board of Directors, or officers,
receive any pay for what they do. Likewise, all
Balticon workers are volunteers.
Balticon, our annual
regional science fiction & fantasy
convention, features authors,
editors, publishers, artists, filmmakers, and, most importantly, fans.
speeches by our guests, author readings, panels, slide shows, films, videos, an
art show, a dealers room, board gaming, card gaming (collectible and otherwise),
computer gaming, a masquerade show (costume contest), science programming, a
writer's workshop, and much, much more. Up to the year 2000,
Balticon was traditionally
held on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Easter weekend in a Baltimore area hotel.
As of 2001,
Balticon has moved to the Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday of
Memorial Day weekend!! See the
Balticon web page for more information or contact
BSFS to have your name added to our
BSFS publishes an annual fanzine (fan magazine) BSFAN in conjunction with
The BSFAN generally contains bios of the current Guests of Honor at
(usually) a bibliography of our author Guest of Honor's works, articles on science
fiction, short stories, the winning entries in the Young Writer's Contest, reviews,
advertisements, and anything else the editors deem appropriate or related.
BSFS has presented "The Compton Crook Award" each
Balticon since 1983, for
"... the best first novel in the genre published during the previous year..." The list
of eligible books is published in the monthly newsletter so all club members will
have a chance to read and vote and a complete list (with synopses) is also available
on-line through the
Compton Crook Award Page. The winning author is invited
Balticon (BSFS pays
transportation and lodging) and presented with the cash
award. Compton Crook, who used the nom de plume Stephen Tall, died in 1981.
He was a long time Baltimore resident, Towson University professor, and, of
course, a science fiction author.
BSFS holds a yearly "Young Writers Contest." Contest submissions must be in
the field of science fiction or fantasy. Contestants shall reside in, or attend school
in Maryland, and be no older than 18 years of age as of the date of
Submissions shall be no more than 2500 words in length. The first, second and
third place winners are invited to and announced at
Balticon. Please see the BSFS
Jack L. Chalker Memorial Young Writer's contest rules
web page for the full rules or contact BSFS for a hard copy.
BSFS supports young readers with our BSFS Books for Kids Program
(BSFS Books for Kids)
with change collection
jars and a charity auction (of donated books, artwork, or services) at
BSFS produces a monthly newsletter addressing club business that is distributed
free to all members and is exchanged with other Science Fiction Clubs throughout
BSFS is the third Science Fiction Club in the country to own a building. LASFS
(Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society) and NESFA (New England Science Fiction
Association) are the other two. The former theater at 3310 East Baltimore Street,
in the Highlandtown section of Baltimore, is being slowly renovated as time and
BSFS maintains a library of science fiction and fantasy books (mostly paperbacks)
and videotapes with over 12000 titles. BSFS members and the public may borrow these books and
videos. BSFS also has an extensive collection of old pulp SF magazines on microfiche.
The regular monthly BSFS business meetings are held at 8:30 PM on the second
Saturday of the month. When needed,
Balticon planning meetings are held at
7:00 PM on the second Saturday of the month.
There is a social meeting at 8:00 PM on the fourth Saturday of the month.
BSFS sponsors an SF Book Discussion Group that meets at 6:00 PM on the fourth
Saturday of the month just before the monthly social gathering. Please call for
the schedule of books to be discussed or check the
BSFS Calendar web page
for the book schedule.
All meetings are open to any member of the general public. Unless otherwise
announced, all meetings take place in the BSFS building. Occasionally, the
business and social meetings are swapped to accommodate members attending
a convention. Please call to verify any meeting you plan to attend. Meeting
information and special events information is available on the answering machine or on the
BSFS Calendar web
Food, fuel etc… near the BSFS building.
SubWay, Taco Bell's, Vizinni's, McDonalds, Popeye's, Royal Farm Store and
China Wok (a fine Chinese carryout) all near the corner of Highland and Fayette Streets
(close to RT 40), just north of the corner of Highland and East Baltimore as noted above.
On Eastern Avenue on your way to BSFS, as described above, there is a fine Greek
restaurant in Greek town known as Ikaros. Paid parking for Ikaros is across the street
from Ikaros itself. Ikaros has a classic Greek cuisine recommended by Marty Gear,
who's family used to own a Greek restaurant. Ikaros, 4805 Eastern Ave., Baltimore
21224, (410) 633-3750
Within one block east on Fayette (RT 40) there are several gas stations including
24 hour and diesel fuel.
See above for directions from BSFS to Fayette and RT 40.
For more information, see
The Baltimore Science Fiction Society, Inc.