The dog days of summer are upon us, and so are the hottest conventions and events in steampunk. Kevin Steil the Airship Ambassador and this month’s guest contributor Emilie P. Bush join us in recommending places where you can stay cool (especially in all those layers!). Visit a museum for the clockmaker in all of us! Party hard at the Geek Mardi Gras known as Dragon*Con! Help chaphop rapper Professor Elemental shoot a music video! Details for all for these, plus much more going on this August can be found after the jump.
The Airship Ambassador recommends:
Portland GEAR Con - August 17th to 19th, 2012 - Portland, OR
Returning for their second year, GEAR Con says, according to their website, “three days of immersion in steampunk art, culture, & industry. Your weekend pass grants you all-access to the year’s most populous & diverse assembly of Portland’s steampunk community; author readings, presentations, & panel discussions on myriad topics of interest to the inquisitive “gaslamp fantasist”; and Hands-on workshops in revival crafts, historical costume, & steampunk propmaking. Plus, our vendors’ hall, consignment marketplace, & fine art gallery and more.”
Seattle Steampunk University – August 4th All Pilgrims Christian Church - 500 Broadway E, Seattle, WA
From their website: “In response to the many questions and requests we got, we began SteampunkUniversity back in 2008. Despite its lofty name, the aim of SU is really just to introduce people to the literary genre of steampunk and help them figure a few things out, like what to wear to Steamcon and how to make cool stuff. It’s pretty basic, but can be a lot of fun. We also run a store at the same time, so you can get some fun items to wear and meet some of the merchants that will be at Steamcon. This year we aren’t even charging tuition, so it’s the best opportunity to come and learn a little about our passion, steampunk.”
About our guest contributor: Emilie P. Bush is a Steampunk novelist, a journalist, children’s book author, and a mentor to other writers as the Leader of the Gwinnett County Writer’s Guild. Her first novel, Chenda and the Airship Brofman, was an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Semi-finalist in 2010 and her follow up tale, The Gospel According to Verdu, picks up where Chenda left off — high in the skies and wild with adventure. Emilie’s children’s book, Her Majesty’s Explorer: a Steampunk bedtime story, is the world’s first Steampunk picture book, and recently hit #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases Bestseller List. Her next children’s book Steamduck Learns to FLY! will launch October 10th.
Dragon*Con’s Alt. History Track - August 31st - Sept 4th, 2012 – Atlanta, GA
Why Emilie recommends it: “Let’s be honest — on the East Coast, and especially here in the Deep South, it’s too dang hot for most events in August. It’s a thin time of year around these parts. Maybe it’s not just the heat, but the 800 pound event gorilla in the corner — Atlanta’s Dragon*Con. It’s the biggest Sci-Fi media event east of the Rocky Mountains, and a good slice of those comers are there for the Alternate History Track: which is all about the Steampunk. This year, the track is under new leadership and the butt-tonnage of great Steampunk going on is staggering. Event titles include: Steamy Steampunk: Paranormal Romance and other Readings, Clockwork Celluloid — Steampunk Cinema and Short Film, The Noble Razor: Cold Steel on Hot Lather, and The Diesel Punk Debate. By far the biggest draw will be The Gagiteer Showcase – miniature builders from all over will be showing what they have up been tinkering on. Last year THOUSANDS came through this exhibition. Also, bands confirmed for D*C are Bethlehem, PA’s, This Way to the Egress, The Aereonauts from Huntsville, Alabama, hometown favorites The Extraordinary Contraptions, and world travelers Frenchy & the Punk.”
The Clock and Watch Museum presents “Meet the Old Cranks” – August 3rd & 17th, 2012 - Bristol, CT
Why Emilie recommends it: “But like I said, it’s hot in the South, and for most of the month I’d rather be in New England – Bristol, Connecticut, in fact – at the American Clock and Watch Museum. This place. Is Awesome. Did you know that New England was once the home to many of America’s clock makers, and that the price of brass drove them to making clock gears in the northeast’s abundant hardwoods? The displays are fascinating and the little shop has a collection of very hard to find clockwork books, field guides to early American clocks and other bizarre things. Be sure to stop by on August 3rd or 17th for their special program “Meet the Old Cranks” – where the official clock winders for the museum open many of the clocks to wind them – and one can look behind the closed doors (of the clocks) for a special treat.”
Why Emilie recommends this: “Another cool and breezy visit of interest to Steampunks would be in the Pacific Northwest and Astoria, Oregon. Goonies fans will recall it as the location of the fine Victorian Goonie house — which you can go see, but the whole town of Astoria is of interest to Steampunks — and the Clatsop County Historical Society will point them out to you! BUT — aside from the many great examples of Victorian Architecture and the elephant seals on the docks grunting their hearts out (a sight to behold) — I say go see the Astoria Column. A fantastic way to beat the summer heat is to take the ever shrinking iron stair spiral to the top and catch the cool fresh air and the some breathtaking views.”
Other events from across the US and around the world:
August 3rd, 2012, from 9:30 PM – 1 AM — Johnny D’s Uptown Restaurant & Music Club, Somerville, MA
Please join ENSMB and their good friends, Bury Me Standing, in the jubilant celebration of their brand new album, Disco Dischordia! Set times are 10pm — Bury Me Standing and 11pm – ENSMB. Tickets are $12. Event is 21+
GlitchCon – August 3rd – 5th, 2012 — Bentonville, Arkansas
Glitch Con is a fandom oriented convention focusing on Steam Punk, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Gaming, and Anime. Aiming to bring the very best of what these cultures have to offer to Northwest Arkansas to bring the local fandom communities together and provide the very best in entertainment. Nerd owned and operated since 2010.
Cardiff Steampunk Market August 4th & 5th, 2012 — Cardiff, Wales
From their website: “This is a two day event held at the Owain Glyndwr pub in central Cardiff. Saturday will consist of a market opening its doors 11am and trading until 5pm, with a raffle drawn on the hour, every hour, with steamy prizes to be won! Sunday the market doors open at 11am and trade until 3pm, with board game tournaments in the back room. Throughout both days we will have musicians, performers and dancers to titillate and entertain!”
The High 10 Club with Ford Theatre Reunion and the Extraordinary Contraptions
10 High – August 5th, 2012, 7:30 PM – 11:30 PM - Atlanta, GA
From their website: “Ladies, Gentleman, and everyone in between, we have one last show to play before Dragon*Con this year! On August 5, we’ll be celebrating the completion of our music video for ’Prelude For The Nocturnis’ as well as hosting our friends Ford Theatre Reunion from Lexington, Kentucky at the legendary 10 High Club in Virginia Highlands. Tickets for the show are $7, and doors open at 7:30. This will be the last show before the release of The Time Traveler’s Constant, so it will be your FINAL chance to pre-order the album for $12! Come ready to rock as we lead up to the convention of Dragons!”
Professor Elemental’s “I’m British” Music Video Shoot — August 9th, 2012, 9:00am — Stamner Park, Brighton, United Kingdom
From his website: “Come one, Come all! Professor Elemental and Moog are shooting a new video and we want YOU in it! As part of the shoot, we want the new single “I’m British” to be accompanied by a splendid Elemental village fete. We are looking for stalls, props, and eccentric people of all sorts to come and represent different lines of the song. What with the wonderful weather that we’ve been having, we also really need a marquee or two, just in case. This is it! Your chance to become part of Steampunk History and have a splendid day out to boot! Write on the Facebook wall of the event to confirm your attendance and to discuss your role. We’d love to see you there...”
Professor Elemental the Comic Launch Party — August 10 8pm – 11 pm — The Marlborough in Brighton, United Kingdom
From his website: “Comprising part of his ongoing efforts for world domination, Professor Elemental is releasing his very own comic book, detailing in pictorial format, a witty and thrilling account of his greatest adventures through time and space. YOU can be amongst the first of his followers to get your mucky fingers all over the the very first edition of the comic! Expect a full set from everyone’s favourite time-travelling-tea-supping-Victorian-explorer, Professor Elemental, plus readings from eccentric legendary poets A F Harrold and Chris Parkinson, and a pith helmet-full of surprises!”
The Lost Circus — August 11th, 2012 – Irondale Center, Fort Greene, Brooklyn, NY
From their website: “The Circus is said to have started in ancient Egypt when the court entertainers of an immortal Pharaoh escaped their slavery under a midnight moon. They have traveled the globe for centuries, gathering talent from every great empire as the empire itself began to crumble: Istanbul, Saint Petersburg, London, Berlin...and now they have made it across the sea. Discover a circus long lost, with music from times gone by or times that never were: Amour Obscur (gypsy punk accordion vagabonds), Shayfer James (dark, danceable anthems of mischief), and Emperor Norton’s Stationary Marching Band (riotous steampunk brass). The circus unfolds to live bands and in between, in a 19th century church with soaring ceilings, stained glass windows and wraparound balcony. Between-band banter, ditties and skits by ne’er-do-well slapstick curmudgeons Bathtub Jen and the Henchmen. Tribal fusion bellydance by Rio. Stilted accordion antics by Max Fass. Fanciful body art by Painteresse Elysabeth. Tarot readings by Katelan Foisy.”
Steampunk Extravaganza at the Midtown Scholar – August 25th, 2012, 4 PM – Harrisburg, PA
Coming up this August at the Midtown Scholar as part of the Watch the Skies programming — a steampunk panel featuring myself, Pip, Brute Force’s Thomas Willeford, and Blood in the Skies’ creators Jared Axelrod and Steve Walker.
White Mischief presents Abney Park, Professor Elemental, and Sunday Driver at Scala – August 23rd, 2012 – London, UK
Steampunk band Abney Park, supported by Professor Elemental and Sunday Driver, are appearing at London’s Scala. Abney Park are also offering a special meet and greet for up to 50 guests, plus autographed merch and more. For details see: http://smarturl.it/abneypark
Ay-leen the Peacemaker is planning to keep it cool this August until she treks down to Dragon*Con. In the meantime, she runs the multicultural steampunk blog Beyond Victoriana, writes smart things, and occasionally tweets.