With a thriving comic convention, several gaming and comic shops in the city, and a cafe dedicated to all things great and geeky, Baltimore is a very nerd-friendly town. You can probably trace that acceptance back to the Baltimore Science Fiction Society, which has been holding it annual convention Balticon for over 50 years. This year the con welcomes award winning sci-fi writers Fran Wilde, Ada Palmer, and sci-fi artist Donato Giancola. Balticon also features several rooms for whatever you're into, be it anime, gaming, or buying stuff for the mothership. The weekend-long festival also includes writing workshops and a minicon focusing on guest of honor, author Eric Flint, creator of the 1632 series where a modern American town is transported back to Germany in 1632. The weekend also includes the annual presentation of the Compton Crook Award for sci-fi writing, and, let's be honest, what we really love about Balticon—the annual Masquerade costume contest. Renaissance Baltimore Harbor Place Hotel, 202 E. Pratt St., balticon.org, tickets from $35.