Balticon 10

(Don - 4th)

1976: April 16-18

Hunt Valley Inn, Timonium, MD

GOH: Isaac Asimov
Fan GOHs: Jerry Kaufman, Suzanne Tompkins

With Worldcon away in Australia during 1975, Don was pretty desperate by the time Easter rolled around. Balticon 10 fulfilled his desires...and more.

With 1976, Balticon found a congenial home: the Hunt Valley Inn. The hotel's cavernous function space, its labyrinthine layout and its isolation made a perfect setting for Balticon until the monster crowds of the mid-80s outgrew the facilities.

Convention materials reveal how much Balticon had grown in a year: the program book is a multi-page, stapled affair and the program reveals a complete film track as well as workshops, plays and filking.

Don was particularly fascinated by the deCamps doing a presentation on "The Professional Side of Writing Sience Fiction" (He took pages of notes and went home to redesign his professional life) and Chip Delany's "Science Fiction Today and Tomorrow." What sticks in his mind, though, is Saturday night's "Midnight Hypnotist, Bill Phelps." He hypnotized Tom Moteleone and told the audience he was going to regress Monteleone into his childhool. Phelps said, "I'm going to send you back, back into the past, far into the past. What do you see?" Monteleone's eyes lit up. "It's just like they said it would be. They're real." "What's real? What do you see?" "A Triceratops," Monteleone answered. "And a Brontosaurus in the background."

"Hmm," said Phelps, "I've never tried this with a science fiction writer before. You people are strange."

This Balticon not only continued the Amateur Fantasy Film Festival and the Easter 10:17-1/2 AM Wakeup Party, but it also featured a short fiction contest. Don, of course, didn't win. He doesn't even remember if he entered....

(Coincidentally, it was on this same weekend that a 12-year-old named Thomas Atkinson was attending a Star Trek convention in Boston.)

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