31 May 2014

The Balticon Saturday Six That Growed

Wiped from turning in a story that went on too long and baking too many cookies, I didn't take as many pictures as usual at this year's Balticon. But I still had too many to narrow down to six. Balticon, the Maryland science fiction and fantasy convention held over the Memorial Day weekend, is like that. Mind-boggling and often disorganized, it's always crazy fun.

Marty Gear, the patron saint of Maryland costumers died last year, but his spirit definitely lingers in the Balticon Masquerade. Take this amazing stag, who is prepping for a turn onstage Saturday, May 24. The real eye holes are hidden beneath the orange glass eyes, and the jaw moved when the costumer spoke. BTW, the person inside is a woman.

Marty Gear also provided the motivation behind Stephanie Burke's gorgeous hand-painted kimono. She'd been promising him to create a Steampunk kimono for the Masquerade for years. This year, she did.

Meanwhile, you couldn't walk down a hall of the Escher Inn of the--I mean, the Hunt Valley Inn without seeing the towel over the bolt signifying a room party. The one two doors down from my roomie and I featured absinthe and this guy, who sang about "That Guy", the jerk you don't want to meet at a con. The filker was excellent and the song, spot-on.

I encountered this pair in the bar. The lady had the best clockwork stockings ever, and Buddha was having a grand time encouraging folks to rub his belly.

Even Super Mario Brothers were there.

Even I dressed up this year. Twice! No one caught a photograph of me in my Steampunk finery for Friday night's Zombies Need Brains launch party Friday night. (Remember how wiped I was before the con? Add in a four-hour drive that should've taken ninety minutes. Rinse. Repeat.) So I made sure to get a shot of my faerie gear for Sunday's Dark Quest Books launch party.

About those cookies--this photo shows the reason for all the baking. In addition to launching the line's new books, Dark Quest Books editor Danielle Ackley-McPhail turned the launch into a surprise 30th anniversary celebration and fundraiser for author CJ Henderson and his wife Tin.

The place was packed. I'm almost scared to see what Danielle cooks up when the Silence in the Library anthology for CJ, Dance Like a Monkey, is released later this summer. I may wind up chained to my stove for a week. On the plus side, folks REALLY liked my ginger cookies.

Finally, on the last day of the con, I captured this image of Guest of Honor Brandon Sanderson (right) and a fan dressed as the Mulian Alegretto from the anime RahXephon. Look at that headdress! Not only that, her manicure matched the costume perfectly.
Speaking of perfect, guests of honor don't get much better than Brandon Sanderson.  He managed to be funny, charming and instructive for four full days. And yeah, I got the interview. ;-)
Need more Balticon goodness? I've posted more photos on my Flicker page. Enjoy!

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