Steampunk Hands 2016 – Steamcon

steampunk_hands_Stefan Holzhauer

You never forget your first, and Steamcon was my first steampunk convention.

Steampunk conventions were really just getting started in the mid to late 2000s. There was Salon Con in 2006, Steam Powered (California, USA) in 2008, and Asylum (England, UK) in 2009 – just weeks before the first Steamcon in Seattle, Washington, USA.

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Searching for ‘steampunk’ on the internet was turning up more and more items in 2009. Keyboards and other items from Jake Von Slatt and Datamancer often led the list. Steampunk Magazine had a few issues out by then, and the Brass Goggles forum was already linking people together in the Aether.

Somehow, and thankfully, a passing notice on Facebook or the internet during the summer caught my attention, alerting me to the event, right in my own backyard! I had been following the slow growth of steampunk online since my first computer in 1990. Now, instead of just a few posts or comments, here was a group of people getting together in person – I couldn’t possibly pass it up.

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Organizer Diana Vick relayed in an interview that she and her team were only expecting about 500 people for a first time convention. 900+ showed up, and every year, the number of attendees kept growing.Priest

Walking into the hotel lobby was like walking into a wonderland. Tim Powers was the author guest of honor. Cherie Priest was there with Liz Gorinsky from TOR, talking about her first steampunk book, Boneshaker. The halls were filled with top hats, corsets, and breathtaking creativity in every direction. Phil and Kaja Foglio were there talking about Girl Genius, their online comic.

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Panelists talked about books, movies, fashions, and history. People stopped routinely anywhere there was space to ask others about their outfits, how something was made, or where it was bought. Contact information was exchanged, and friendships were formed.

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The following year, I returned as a panelist, doing the live version of interviews that I was doing on Airship Ambassador. Nine hours of interviews in essentially forty-eight hours, including a fantastic standing-room-only chat with Gail Carriger. Abney Park returned that year as the musical entertainment.

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From 2009 to 2013, Steamcon brought together thousands of people to celebrate steampunk, bringing in stellar guests including authors James Blaylock and K.W. Jeter, and Lady Mechanika artist Joe Benitez. Steamcon also introduced the Airship Awards to honor the best in five categories as voted on by the attendees of the convention.

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It was an amazing five weekends of great memories, new and renewed friendships, and experiences. Steamcon ended in 2013 but left a lasting impression on those who attended.


Follow along each day as new entries are added to the Official Link List and join the discussions on the Facebook event page.


 

 

Published in: on February 4, 2016 at 10:34 pm  Comments (1)  
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Steampunk Hands 2016 – Favorite People – Mike Perschon

steampunk_hands_ Araceli_Rodríguez

It might be said that Captain Nemo introduced Steampunk Scholar Mike Perschon and I in the earlier days of Mike’s academic research into steampunk for his doctoral dissertation.

Jules Verne‘s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea had been a passionate interest of mine every since I watched Disney’s 1954 film version, as well as reading the book. Mike was giving a panel about Captain Nemo at the first Steamcon convention in 2009 and I was in eager attendance to learn much more about this anti-hero.

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Mike was writing his blog, Steampunk Scholar, where he’d relay reviews of the books he was reading for his dissertation, and share some of the ideas that would become the foundation of it.

It was a learning experience for me, reading his blogs and then the final dissertation. He was able to define and describe the literature facet of steampunk in a clear and concise manner. His works engaged others in some lively discussions, and the meeting of multiple perspectives always gave people something to think about afterward.

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Mike was invited to speak about steampunk at the 100 Year Starship Symposium in 2015 and was able to share how a steampunk perspective still has a place in the future. He has also been invited to a number of conventions where he delivers great presentations about steampunk.

If you have any academic and intellectual interest about steampunk and how and why it ticks, Mike’s blogs and panels at conventions will only help feed your steampunk addiction.

Thanks, Mike, for the education, the friendship, and the conversations which kept us up until 3am a few too many times.


Follow along each day as new entries are added to the Official Link List and join the discussions on the Facebook event page.


 

 

Published in: on February 3, 2016 at 10:48 pm  Comments (1)  
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Steampunk Hands 2016 – Favorite People – Josue Ramos

One of my favorite people in the steampunk community is author, organizer, and administrator Josue Ramos of Spain.

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Steampunk Hands Around the World was literally created while I was instant messaging with Josue. We were talking about steampunk stuff, events and such, and I thought it was so great that technology enabled us to talk real time, even though we were half a world apart.

It was also inspiring to me that we could brainstorm steampunk ideas, share information, and generally get to know each other and build a friendship. That conversation really drove home the amazing connections we can and do have in our community, and I wanted to share that same feeling with everyone. That idea of sharing and building friendships led directly to Steampunk Hands Around the World.

We first met while he was blogging on MundoSteampunk (Steampunk World) and running The Golden Gear forum which attracted members far beyond the hub in Spain.

Josue is an author of several books, including Ecos de voces lejanas and he was an early organizer of EuroSteamCon Madrid, which was one of the Spanish groups taking part in the multi-group, multi-location EuroSteamCon convention event.

All of that aside, Josue has been upbeat and positive while facing personal challenges, creative and persistent with his goals and projects, and always supportive of other steampunks and their works.

If you are looking for people who help create and shape steampunk and the community, Josue is a great person to follow.

Thank you, Josue, for all of your writings and contributions, for the sharing and support, and especially for your encouragement of other steampunks to pursure their dreams, too.


Follow along each day as new entries are added to the Official Link List and join the discussions on the Facebook event page.


 

 

Published in: on February 2, 2016 at 10:54 pm  Comments (1)  
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