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Jan 23 2014 6:00pm

Steampunk Events for February 2014

Steampunk Events February 2014

February may be the shortest month of the year, but we have some big plans for it. Namely, check out the announcement from Kevin Steil, the Airship Ambassador, after the jump about “Steampunk Hands Around the World,” a new blogging even spanning the aetherwebz to highlight steampunk communities around the globe. If you are looking for some new people to meet, I highly recommend following along this month. For offline funtimes, people can check out the steampunk and “of-steam-interest” events below, gathered here with the help of our guest contributor & fellow Tor author Leanna Renee Hieber.

[Steampunk Events Around the World in 28 Days]

Dec 31 2013 2:00pm

Steampunk Events for January 2014

Still buzzing off the holiday cheer? Extend the celebration into 2014 by attending some steampunk events for your New Year’s Resolution. This is the third year that Kevin Steil the Airship Ambassador and I have brought you the latest retrofuturistically-inclinded events from around the world, and we’re excited to have a line-up of guest contributors to help give some additional insights. To begin 2014, we have returning contributor Pablo Vasquez, the co-chair for ’Aetherfest, on-hand to bring some Texas know-how to the list.’

Did we miss out on your event for January? Give a shout in the comments below. People can also submit future events to be featured too. Email by January 15th, 2014 with the details for upcoming February happenings.

All descriptions are taken from the event’s website or Facebook unless stated otherwise.

[Wind-up for 2014]

Dec 17 2013 6:00pm

The Magical Lives of Others: Sergei Lukyanenko’s Night Watch

Night Watch Sergei LukyanenkoSergei Lukyanenko’s Night Watch series may already be familiar to English-language sci-fi fans. In 2004, these Russian bestsellers got two high-octane film adaptations directed by Timor Bekmambetov; the movies broke box office records in their home country and garnered a cult following in the US. The Night Watch books were brought stateside, but didn’t grab as much attention as they should have (I blame the covers) and the books eventually went out of print. I’m glad the series, beginning with Night Watch, is making a comeback, however, in a slick new package that is way more attuned to the series’ vibe.

The premise of the book may sound a bit tired—individuals known as “Others” are divided into Light and Dark magicians that square off in Moscow—but the way that Lukyanenko spins the material turns oft-used tropes and makes them into instantly readable and increasingly addictive books with every installment. Lukyanenko writes an engrossing urban fantasy with a spy thriller bent for those who like their protagonists hard-boiled and their plots seasoned with ethical dilemmas and political brinkmanship. In the first book of this series, he takes the reader on a long, dark subway ride of the soul—figuratively and literally.

[But in the twilight there is no difference between the absence of darkness and the absence of light]

Dec 6 2013 12:00pm

Describing the Craft of Writing is an Art: Jeff VanderMeer’s Wonderbook

Wonderbook Jeff VanderMeer

What subject will always spark that light in a writer’s eyes? That gets writers going for hours in conversation? Gives them another reason to socialize on mailing lists and forums and then out of the house tot readings, salons, and conventions? What gets them more enthusiastic than their current project is the art of writing itself. For people aspiring to be published, “How do you do it?” is always the standby question they ask each other.

Thankfully, there is a new, craftily-assembled, and beautifully-designed resource to shelf beside your dog-eared copy of Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style. That’s Jeff VanderMeer’s Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction.

[More than “what you know”]

Dec 3 2013 6:00pm

Steampunk Events for December 2013

The end of 2013 is around the corner, but there are several steampunk events waiting to be enjoyed before the year is out. Ring in 2014 with The Clockwork Cabaret, attend a “Steampunk Camp” in Australia, or pay a tribute to A Christmas Carol at The Dickens Fair in California.

These celebrations and festivities, plus many more, are listed below, found with help from Kevin Steil the Airship Ambassador and this month’s guest contributor Jean Martin, the editor-in-chief, writer and photographer for Science Fiction/San Francisco.

[December 2013 steampunk events]

Nov 1 2013 2:00pm

Steampunk Events for November 2013

This November, conventions, galas, and art shows galore fill up the autumn calendar. With the help of Kevin Steil, the Airship Ambasador, and our guest contributor Lee Ann Farruga (a.k.a. Countessa Lenora) of Steampunk Canada, we bring to you a variety of interesting steampunk & steam-friendly events that the world has to offer.

Did we missed out on your gilded occasion? Give a shout-out in the comments below. Your event can also be featured here next month—feel free to email the details to me at before November 15th.

All descriptions taken from the event website or Facebook, unless stated otherwise.

[Steam on in November]

Oct 31 2013 10:05am

What Happens When We Speak: On Con Harassment and Fandom

Keep Calm and Backup

“So I heard that you won Tumblr,” a coworker joked with me the other day.

He was referring to the maelstrom of activity that was triggered when I posted about my con harassment experience at New York Comic Con by the film crew of the YouTube web series Man Banter, hosted by Mike Babchik. I won’t reiterate everything that happened, but kept pretty good documentation. Other industry professionals and geek news sources had done the same, too. There is a petition out, created by the activist group 18 Million Rising in order to hold Babchik’s employer, Sirius XM Radio, accountable for his actions since Babchik had gotten into the convention using his job credentials. Since the incident happened, New York Comic Con had assured that they will tighten their safety policies, and I even had a nice wrap-up interview about making convention spaces safer with NYCC show manager Lance Fensterman.

Okay, that ugly event got all wrapped up with a nice li’l bow of resolution; we can leave this in the fandom corner until the next big misogynistic thing that happens to women at conventions hits the fan (but oh wait, it just did as I typed this). At this moment, I feel like I can voice something that I’ve been holding in this whole time: I am lucky. And it shouldn’t have to be that way.

[On speaking out and staying silent]

Oct 10 2013 5:00pm

A Steampunk’s Guide to New York Comic Con

New York Comic Con is upon us! Let’s see what the largest geek event in NYC has to offer for the brassy ‘n’ sassy set.

Flip through the suggested list below for panels to scope out at the Javits Center. Included are various “of steampunk interest” events too, (which explains Legend of Korra and Doctor Who among these items. But c’mon, who wouldn’t want to see John Barrowman?)

Comment below with any suggestions of other panels you’re excited about, vendors to pursue, and afterparties to crash!

[Fasten your goggles folks!]

Oct 2 2013 11:30am

Steampunk Events for October 2013

October has always been a big month for steampunk events (must be the “dressing-up” appeal). From conventions to lectures to picnics to Halloween balls, we have a list of noteworthy events, assembled with the help from Kevin Steil the Airship Ambassador and Mr. Jordan Bodewell of and

Want to see your event here? Email me at before October 15th to get your event name-dropped for next month.

[Read More]

Aug 28 2013 5:00pm

Steampunk Events for September 2013

Steampunk Events September 2013Starting with the tail end of Dragon*Con’s Alternate History Track (featured last month), this fall’s steampunk events season continues with fashion shows and art galleries in London, a continent-wide network of conventions reaching across the UK, Hungary, France and Spain, and many more. With the help of my co-contributor Kevin Steil the Airship Ambassador and this month’s guest contributor Pablo Miguel Alberto Vazquez aka the Mr. Saturday of Mr. Saturday & Sixpence we bring to you the our monthly listing of steampunk and steam-friendly events from around the world.

Missed seeing your event here? Comment below. Looking to see your future event listed? Email before September 15th with the details!

[September 2013 steampunk events worldwide]

Aug 26 2013 9:00am

A Divided Nation in Gene Luen Yang’s Boxers & Saints

Boxers and Saints Gene Luen YangA well-placed ampersand can imply many things: a fighting duo, a complimentary pair, or polarizing opposites. In the case of Boxers & Saints, the members of the Boxer Rebellion and their opponents, Westerners and Chinese Christians, retain all three elements in their interactions.

What is engrossing about this graphic novel diptych—the newest work from Gene Luen Yang of American-Born Chinese fame—is how intertwined the stories are, literally and thematically. This dynamic is presented in its bold and eye-catching box design. On one side, the aggressively commanding ghost of Ch’in Shin-Huang, the first emperor of China. On the other, the grim glowing figure of martyr Joan of Arc. Split between them are two young, wide-eyed faces of Little Bao and Vibiana. They stare out at the reader, serious and uncertain. Their expressions symbolize the heart of Boxers & Saints: a story that unpacks the anxieties of an unstable nation, and unflinchingly portrays the people who become swept up by the winds of history.

[They fought for China. Mild spoilers.]

Aug 2 2013 1:30pm

Steampunk Events for August 2013

The dog days of summer are upon us, so it’s time to dress down and put up your parasols. Join fellow steampunks on time-traveling weekends, picnicking at castles, or at one of the mega-conventions of the year, Dragon*Con! Thanks to Kevin Steil, the Airship Ambassador, and our monthly guest contributor Doctor Zachariah E. Fantastique of Doctor Fantastique’s Show of Wonders for their help in gathering some of the most exciting steampunk and steam-friendly events this month.

If we overlooked yours, feel free to plug in the comments. If you’d like to see your event here next month, please email me at with the details by August 15th

All descriptions are from the event website or Facebook, unless stated otherwise.

[August events tally-ho!]

Jul 3 2013 12:00pm

Steampunk Events for July 2013

Steampunk Super Culture

While fandom’s getting ready for one of the biggest media-geeky explosions this month, we’re previewing the steampunk events line-up at SDCC here. For those who can’t attend this year, tons of other events are happening across the US and around the world, including steampunk at Comic Con in Paris, a brand-new event in Cambridge, England, the re-creation of a fantastical Moroccan street market in Salt Lake City, and Tokyo’s vision of a futuristic Wild, Wild East meeting the West.

Thanks go out to Kevin Steil the Airship Ambassador for his recs. As always, if we missed out on your event, feel free to drop some info in the comments. People interested in showcasing their event here for next month can email me at with the deets by July 15th.

All descriptions are taken from the event’s website or Facebook unless stated otherwise.

[Read more.]

May 31 2013 1:00pm

Steampunk Events for June 2013

Steampunk Events for June 2013

In June, steampunks worldwide will celebrate International Steampunk Day on the 14th. (And why June 14th? Because that’s when Charles Babbage first proposed his plans for the difference engine to the Royal Astronomical Society, that’s why). Throughout the month, however, there are many shindigs, fêtes, and celebrations going on from Argentina to Ontario to merry ol’ England. Kevin Steil the Airship Ambassador and our guest contributor OctopodiCon con chair Noddy Brothers join me in gathering a list of steampunk, and of-steam-interest events. Extra props go to Noddy for being especially excited about contributing: not only does she offer her Top Three Picks, but added several more to “Additional Events Around the World” section.

Did we miss yours? Give a shout out in the comments. Have a steampunk event for August you want to see listed here? Contact me at with the details before June 15th.

All descriptions are taken from the event website or Facebook Page unless otherwise stated.

[Steampunk events for June]

May 17 2013 5:00pm

“Going Native” in Steampunk: James H. Carrott and Brian David Johnson’s Vintage Tomorrows

Review Vintage Tomorrows James H carrott Brian David JohnsonRecently, everyone and their grandmother are trying to place steampunk in the grander scope of things. Most of pop culture has poked at it at this point. Many in the SF/F community gives the subculture a passing nod (or are slowly edging away, since, being early adapters by nature, quite a few in sci-fi are tired of it already).

Still, questions about steampunk have set people in pursuit of the deeper meanings behind the aesthetic movement. Two years ago, Intel’s futurist Brian David Johnson wanted to answer the biggest one about steampunk’s rise: “Why now?” He was joined by a cultural historian James Carrott and they filmed a documentary, and also wrote a book by the same name: Vintage Tomorrows (or two books, actually. Steampunking Our Future: An Embedded Historian’s Notebook is the free e-book companion you can get online).

[Read more]

May 3 2013 5:00pm

Steampunk Events for May 2013

Steampunk events for May 2013

May has always been a packed time for steampunk events, and this year is no exception. With the help of Kevin Steil, the Airship Ambassador and our delightful guest contributor “the Mad Sonictist” Veronique Chevalier, we’ve gathered a listing of top steampunk and of-steampunk-interest festivities from around the world. This month includes nine conventions of all shapes and sizes, from a CthulhuCon / film fest for the Lovecraftians buffs to a cruise along the historic Bridgewater Canal in Manchester, UK.

Did we miss your shindig? Feel free to plug in the comments thread. Any upcoming events for June can also be sent to me at before May 15th to be featured here next month.

All descriptions are taken from the event’s website or Facebook page unless stated otherwise.

[May steampunk events around the world]

Apr 19 2013 5:00pm

The More Magical Side of Steampunk in Liesel Schwarz’s A Conspiracy of Alchemists

Review A Conspiracy of Alchemists Liesel Schwarz

Liesel Schwarz’s A Conspiracy of Alchemists lines up the usual suspects in steampunk fiction nowadays. Cue the headstrong female lead, throw in some airships, technological gizmos, and envious descriptions of fashion, coat everything in a veneer of brass and cogs. Yet this novel also attempts to move away from well-trodden territory, and you can tell straight away with the cheeky cover design. The Eiffel Tower establishes a setting away from good ol’ Britannia. Glowing glyphs and splashy neon font signal a flash of magic and a pinch of punk too. The end result: Schwarz’s debut novel is a fluffy steampunk adventure that toes the line of gaslamp fantasy. There are fairies, the occult, mad science, and secret conspiracies. What more can a reader ask for?

[Mild spoilers ahead]

Mar 29 2013 12:00pm

Steampunk Events for April 2013

Steampunk Events April 2013

Who wants to go on an airship ride in a California ghost town? Or travel via a historical tram to another world in Amsterdam? Or go to Doctor Who-themed costume ball? All that and more is happening in April. Whether your crew wants to participate in the 2nd annual Airship Games at the Steampunk Empire Symposium, or you just want to spend a nice afternoon in with some tea, cravats, and good company, we have a range of listings big and small from the steampunk community. Thanks always to Kevin Steil, the Airship Ambassador, and our guest contributor, the prolific SF/F author Cat Rambo for helping me gather these from across the aether.

Please give a shout-out in the comments if your event had missed our radar. Want to see your May happening featured here? Drop me a line at by April 15 (tax day!) with the deets.

All descriptions have been adapted from event websites or Facebook pages, unless stated otherwise.

[Fun times beneath the cut]

Mar 1 2013 5:15pm

Steampunk Events for March 2013

As spring approaches, events come out of the woodwork, it seems. Celebrate Italy’s first steampunk convention or camp out at Old Tuscon’s film studio for a wild good time. Travel with the Tokyo Inventors Society as they travel to New Dublin on their latest adventure. Find a whatchamacallit at the Thingymajigy Fayre in San Antonio. Have a pint with the authors of the upcoming gaslamp fantasy anthology Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells. All this and more has roots out from across the aetherwebz by myself, Kevin Steil the Airship Ambassador, and our guest contributors Ariane Wolfe and Mark Anderson, the founders & co-chairs of the Nova Albion Steampunk Exhibition.

Miss seeing your event here? Feel free to drop a comment below.  Want to see yours here for April? Email me at by the ides of March with the details.

[March events—In like a locomotive, out like a paddleboat…]

Jan 30 2013 6:00pm

Steampunk Events for February 2013

Steampunk Events for February 2013Brrrrr—February weather isn’t encouraging to the social set, but there are some events cropping up that I’d brave these temperatures for (or wish I could hop a plane to!). Splice a sequence or roll a D20 at a biopunk-themed gaming convention in Rhode Island, celebrate a week of retrofuturistic goodness in Barcelona, or discover your role in solving a real-life murder at a Prohibtion-era bar in NYC. Kevin Steil, the Airship Ambassador, and guest contributor Lucretia Dearfour of Nerd Caliber and the Copper Claw join me in rooting out this coming month’s steampunk and of-steam-interest events.

If we had missed out on featuring yours, don’t hesitate to plug away in the comments section. And if you have an event in March that we should know about, email me at by February 15th to be featured here in the future.

[Steampunk events to stave off the chill (and cabin fever)]