I visit Balticon 44

The Baltimore Science Fiction Society throws a convention this time every year, and I slipped up to the Hunt Valley Inn midday on Saturday to pay it a visit.  I wasn’t sure I was going to attend again after last year— I didn’t have a bad time, but my tastes have changed somewhat over the years and a SF convention is a little too niche-like for me nowadays.  Still, I am getting some painting assistance from John Montrie who is attending, and I figured, eh, why not?

When you’re used to miniature and tabletop gaming conventions, a SF convention seems a bit small and pokey by comparision.  That’s because the action is broken out across several rooms– panel discussions, art shows, dealer areas, gaming rooms, lecture areas, movie rooms.  There’s a couple of really big events that happen that are convention wide (in the ballroom), such as the film festival (on Sunday, which I missed, drat it all), and the costume show at night (which I avoided like the plague).

I made my connection with John Montrie and handed off some Terminator suits for him to paint.

I walked around a lot and discovered lots of old friends from the grand old days when I used to attend SF shows many years ago.  It was very pleasant to catch up.  The dealer’s area was mostly books, which is fine with me.  That’s what I’m there for.  I scored about six new ones which I’ll catalog elsewhere.  Wrote down about a dozen more to put on a “to be read” pile.  Just by a fluke, I discovered a game vendor in the corner.  He was unloading his Mageknight large pieces for a dollar each, so I ended up getting somewhere around 20 or more 28mm scale chariots and steampunk vehicles from him.  There’s a game in here, I just need to find the right pieces for it.

(slide show: Facebook users click HERE)

I ended up having a great time.  The best panel discussion was one I caught walking out to the parking lot.  Not sure who was in it but I recognized Evo Terra and Jim Van Verth.  It was called “Everything Old is New again” and was about retconning and rebooting stories.  A great discussion.

So, yeah, I have to admit I enjoyed myself..  I will likely visit again next year.  Don’t tell anyone!