Review of Teslacon VII – 2016


Teslacon VII 2016 was another great experience presented by organizer Eric Larson and his entire team. Whisked back to Europe from last year’s outing in the United States’ Western frontier, attendees enjoyed the ambience and delights of Paris, France.


Photo by Donna Machen

For four days and three nights, steampunks reveled in culture, fashion, food, and social functions. There was definitely something for everyone at all times, be it panels and presentations, live music or conversation in the Tea Room, or constitutionals and promenades along the walkways and vendor room.


Photo by Lisa Sell

Ben Watkins kept the gamers busy with Superfight!, Noir!, and Cards Against Humanity. For other games, have you tried Teslacards Against the World or Twisted Skies from Mad Raven Productions?


Paris was surrounded by alphabetical explosive devices which attendees scrambled to find. Here is the dreaded F-Bomb. Photo by Sos Boss

There was a bountiful tour of Parisian culture including The Decadent Paris by Stephen Poe (Was Paris really more decadent than the rest of Europe, or did it just have better PR?), Les Theatres du Paris by Thomas Boice (a tour of famous and infamous theaters and playhouses), and the Republic et Empire 1871-1918 by Rory Silverstein (a multicultural history of the third French Empire).


Photo by Heather Cushing

Need language lessons beyond the “International Language” (Love)? How about The French They Didn’t Teach You in School by Marsha and Melissa Conroy (Cursing, Complaining, and the fine art of the French Insult).  Perhaps the history of American Sign Language by Bethany Davis. Or the excitement in The Daily Life of a French Translator by Marsha Conroy, who is a Supreme Court certified French interpreter.


Steampunk Spaceship by Mike Gosda

History may be more to your liking with Boiled Leaves: An Intro to Tea and Tea Culture by Tony Ballard Smoot, Catacombs and Sewers of Paris by Douglas J. Dahlberg, or Paris’ Theatre of Terror “Le Grand Guignol” by Gregory Rihn. More? Then there was the History of the Corset by Andrea Marcinkus, Blood on a Leaf: a Dark and Bloody history of Tea by Danial Meyers, and Vive Les Revolutionaries by Thomas Boice (a look at various French revolutions).


Photo by Ed Downes

After all of that, one may need a chance to sit and relax. The world famous Teslacon Tea Room returned, with staff-served tea and biscuits. The Kreiger family hosted a fine Germanic dinner, and the President of France hosted his own Little French Dinner. Those fine people of SWARM held their own dinner, which, ahem, may have ironically started late, running afoul of the schedule.


Image by Teslacon

Properly recharged, Parisians and tourists alike enjoyed premiere musical entertainment by Frenchy and the Punk, and Professor Elemental. Further entertainment was provided in the atrium by Gin Rebellion and other performers. There was also a very entertaining interview with Karianne Gottschalk, from the 2015 TV show, Steampunk’d.


Image by Teslacon

Enough to fill your time? No, no, no, there’s still more! The Care and Feeding of your Beard by Jim Best, Steampunk Hair Braids by Janine Wardale, and How to Grow a Might Mustache by Brad Fleener. Time to get dressed! Steampunk Fashion for Men by Tony Ballard Smoot, Boutonniere Gear by Carol Thomas, and Ascots to Spats by Jason Merrill.


Photo by Steampunk Angel Couture

Looking for something more, gasp, modern? LEDs for  Props and Costumes by Hollis Lumen Lovelace, CAD Software and 3D Printing by Amy and Lance Larsen, and Basic Animatronics by Claude McDonald.


Photo by Kathryn Poe

Oh, it’s bloodthirsty competition you crave? Tea Dueling by Gretchen Jacobsen, Teapot Racing by Travis Feirtag, and an American vision of Airship Racing , imported from New Zealand, also by Travis Feirtag.


Photo by Bob Archer

Oh wait – Fashion Show, Maker’s Room, and Wedding Vow Renewal!


League of Extraordinary Clergy! Photo by Gregory Mann

Whew! Can you believe there was still much more on the program schedule?


The ever wonderful Stephen and Kathryn. Look at that trim detail! Photo by David Wagner

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

There was one unfortunate event which happened at the convention which I must relate. A beloved tentacle prop, which has been seen at numerous conventions for several years, made by the late Sue Watts for her husband Don, went missing for a while. Over the years, the playful tentacle did make it into stranger’s rooms for the night, but it always discreetly crawled on home in those early hours,. Apparently, a woman and man couple decided they needed it more than Don, and the steampunk community, and planned on taking it home with them. The woman claimed she was drunk when she took it, but then hid it in their car under other items. Thankfully, witnesses came forward with photos and statements, leading to recovery of the trapped tentacle. The couple were rather reluctant to produce their identification, aside from the known license plate of their car, but once told of the five-figure value of the item, and that they had thus committed a felony and the police would be called, they finally showed their ID. While the police were not called, this time, several convention organizers were in attendance at Teslacon, and this couple has been banned for life at all those conventions.


Photo by Kollig

The lesson here? STEAMPUNKS DON’T STEAL! Bad people steal, get caught, and pay for their actions! The weed of crime bears bitter fruit!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Check out all the excitement for yourself in 2017 when we travel to the dark lands of Bucharest, Romania! We’ve been told there are no vampires, but that still leaves plenty of other things to go bump in the night. Sign up ASAP!



Published in: on November 27, 2016 at 3:01 pm  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Very nice! It was Ben Watkins who did the games, typo?

  2. Awesome review.Thank you for writing this.

  3. Searching for an “f” bomb, that is brilliant! You all look as if you had the most wonderful time. We really must join you next year. I hope you’ll bring the Professor back; a concert of his would be delightful to see!

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