|Baltimore Book Festival Entrance|
I made the time this year, and I am glad I did. It's really awesome to see a city like Baltimore, which has quite a few issues when it comes to its priorities, come together to celebrate the act of reading of all kinds.
And that was the thing I liked about this festival--whether it was romances, kids books, anarchy, or even cook books--the focus was on the printed/digital word. Even the vendors were primarily focused on books, with plenty of opportunities to grab used or new books for cheap, try out a indie author looking to break out into the next big thing, or even subscribe to a newspaper. Comics were sorted out into their own area, which is either good or bad, depending on your outlook, and of course the Pratt Library was out in full force, doing their "get carded" program.
|The Short Fiction in Sci Fi Panel|
While I personally did not do a lot of panel-sitting--I'm notoriously bad at this if there's things to look at (see my visits to comic cons over at Panel Patter)--my friends did, and they came away very impressed with the quality of the presentations. One told me she'd learned a lot and was going to start putting certain ideas she got at the show into immediate practice to improve her writing craft. I realize I'm a bit biased because of the moderator, but Sarah Pinsker did another spectacular job running the short fiction panel, picking good questions and keeping all members of the panel on task and involved.
|The Baltimore Science Fiction Society|
For various reasons due mostly to jet lag, I didn't spend as much time at the Festival as I might have normally, but what I saw I thought was well run, with few hiccups or annoyances. The number of cops did give me pause (did they think there'd be a book riot or something?) and they need to turn the music down at the bandstand, but otherwise, I would recommend this little outdoor con without hesitation. It's free, pretty easy to get to by Baltimore transportation, and even worth the drive if you're just outside the area.
This will almost certainly be my own trip to the Baltimore Book Festival, but it was a good one, and I hope it continues for many years to come.
You can find a complete set of my pictures from the Baltimore Book Festival 2013 here.