The Baltimore Science Fiction Society will hold Balticon 55 as a free virtual convention Memorial Day weekend, May 28-31, 2021. The guest of honor is Seanan MacGuire. Seanan was the winner of the 2010 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and her novel Feed (as Mira Grant) was named as one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2010. In 2013 she became the first person ever to appear five times on the same Hugo Ballot. To prepare for the con, I’m currently reading her novel MIDDLEGAME.
I’ve had the honor of participating in this convention for several years. This year I will be a moderator, a reader, and a panelist. I’m incredibly excited about my panel topics. Check out my schedule:
Friday, May 28th
2:30 PM Traditional Storytelling and Genre Fiction
Why am I a panelist: My Master’s Thesis was on the role of women in medieval Irish and Welsh texts. The myths began as oral stories and I’ve been trained to recognize techniques in the books that are a result of that origin
4:30 PM Reading: Sherri Cook Woosley
Should I read from an upcoming novel in my Misbegotten series or should I read from a short story?
Sunday, May 30th
11:30 AM Tell Me What to Read Next (Moderator)
Why am I a moderator? As part of the Charm City Spec reading series, I have a familiarity with contemporary speculative fiction. I hope everyone leaves our discussion with a huge To-Be-Read list!
2:30 PM The Motivations of Monsters
Why am I a panelist? I love the idea of discussing how monsters have evolved in fiction to represent fears of each generation. My background in world mythology and fairy tales will help to be specific about monsters from various time periods and various cultures.
7:00 PM Writing Compelling Villains
Why am I a panelist? This is a time ripe for writing anti-heroes and villains because of the rage against what is happening in our society. From Holly Black’s The Cruel Prince series to Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorn and Roses series to Baru Comorant, we have characters making devastating — and horrible — choices for the greater good. Does the end justify the means or is that just something that villains say?
I hope to “see” you at Balticon this weekend!