Brrrrr—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.
The Airship Ambassador recommends:
Founded in 2006, TempleCon is a celebration of all things with a Retro-Futurist theme. It’s a three day festival of modern hobby gaming and fandom, including events, performances and activities from all the genres out there. This year’s theme is Biopunk.
AnachroCon, founded in 2009, is the premier place in the Southern United States for people to celebrate historical reenacting, alternate history, steampunk, sciences, horror, etiquette and indulgence, fashion, fabrication, literature and media, costuming and socialize with people of like minds.
Steamfunk Murder Mystery Party
Join us on Friday, February 22, 2013, as we step back in time to the Age of Steam and experience the Steamfunk Mystery Dinner Party! Come in your Steamfunk gear. We are also giving away signed copies of Steamfunk! to the first person to arrive for dinner, and the person with the (Steam)funkiest costume!
Lucretia Dearfour recommends:
Ethereal Exhibition at the Wauregan Gallery: the Extended Edition
Why Lucretia recommends this: “The second half of an extended exhibit which started in mid-January, the Ethereal Exhibition features works by Citizens of the Red Fork Empire, all hand-picked by the Emperor Justinian Stanislaus himself. The Emperor, a mixed-media artist himself, likes to surround himself with well-established and up-and-coming artists in all fields. This exhibition will show artists at various stages of their development, but the one thing I know to be true of Ethereal Exhibitions is that they always show quality.”
The Grand Victorian Masquerade Ball and Steampunk Weekend
Why Lucretia recommends this: “In addition to the masquerade ball their entire Friday schedule is dedicated to honoring artists being featured in their art gallery. Amongst the artists include Tempest and Jake Von Slatt. It is hard to tell when either of their work will be able to be displayed there again so it would be best to see it now! Not to mention swap meets, dancing lessons, and even a Saturday morning coffee and costuming session (probably to lessen that hangover from the Friday night pub crawl).”
Why Lucretia recommends this: “While I don’t speak Spanish I really wish I could make it out to Barcelona for Setmana Retrofurturista! There will be an art exhibit, various performing artists, and discussions on Spanish Steampunk and ‘Pistoles de rajos, aventures a l’espai, màquines impossibles, robots amb personalitat, tecnologia màgica,’ which (roughly) translates to “Ray guns, space adventures, impossible machines, robots with personality, tech magic...” I truly wish I could attend this event or as Google translate tells me, ‘mi gato está en llamas!’”
About our guest contributor: Lucretia Dearfour, sometimes going by the pseudonym Ashley Rogers, is one of the organizers of the Steampunk Industrial Revolution and is the founding director of The Copper Claw. Currently, Lucretia works as a freelance hair and makeup artist and also blogs for Nerd Caliber.
Additional Events Around the World:
Speakeasy Dollhouse Immersive Play 2013
Performances begin February 2 and run through May
New York, NY
From their website: “A true tale of bootlegging, mafia, infidelity, and murder set in Prohibition-era New York City. The speakeasy is our dollhouse and the actors and you are our dolls. Each guest will be assigned a role when they arrive at the speakeasy. We encourage you to explore. Unlocked doors (or revolving bookshelves) should be entered. Ignore the advice your parents gave you as children, be nosy and talk to strangers. Time is warped here. The time frame of the night is from 1928 (prohibition era)—1935. After you order your ticket(s) you will receive an email from Frank Spano with the secret password. If you leave your email address we will send you secret evidence via email. Shows occur on the first Saturday and Monday of every month (except holidays weekends). We will have special guest actors and singers at selected shows. Howard Fishman (AKA Henry Azelrod & The Gut Buckets) will be performing at every show.”
Steampunk Ice Skating
From their Facebook: “In lieu of the holiday season it seems only fitting to enjoy the nice brisk Wisconsin weather with some steamscapades of the ice skating variety. Come show off your moves in Steampunk attire but be sure to dress warm!”
Le Tea Time Victorien 2013 at Café de l’Opera
From their Facebook: “The Victorian Tea Time 2013 will be held February 3, 2013 at the Cafe de l’Opera. As usual, you must come dressed in a Victorian or neo-Victorian outfit (your vision of Victorian today). For this edition the British Empire is in the spotlight! So you can come dressed as a nineteenth-century Indian, Chinese, Scottish, Egyptian or any other communities from the British Empire during the reign of Victoria. Of course, the purpose of this event is not an apologist celebration of colonialism, but rather to honor an aesthetic and fashionable mix of cultures.”
From their Facebook: “Come for the music, stay for the sweet potato fries.”
New England Steampunk Meet-up at the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation
From their Facebook: “This monthly meet-up at the Charles River Museum is the place for steampunks—young and old, newcomers and veterans—to hang out and socialize. The schedule of events have yet to be decided, but we hope you’ll join us!”
Milwaukee Steampunk Society February Meeting
From their Facebook: “The Milwaukee Steampunk Society is a group for any Steampunkers in the Milwaukee area and beyond. We meet officially once a month to socialize, network, and talk about what’s going on in the Steampunk world. Do you have friends that wonder why you curl your mustache and wear goggles to work? Here is your chance to show them the wonders of the Steampunk world in a relaxed environment that does not require you to be dressed up or in character. Hope to see you there!”
Wicked Faire’s Time Traveler’s Resort
From their website: “The Wicked Faire and the Steampunk World’s Fair have joined forces to create something that blends faire, anachronism, whimsy, dark magic, absinthe, and, of course, a swimming pool. Jeff Mach Events has extended the Wicked Faire’s collective madness through space and time and summoned forth a unique interactive event which takes up an entire hotel—The Time Traveler’s Resort & Museum! Watch as the creators and co-creators of some of the nation’s most unique events join forces for a weekend of fascinating opportunities, entertainments, amusements, challenges, and beyond!”
Steampunk Emporium and Swap Meet
From their website: “Free admission and open to the public! This event runs from 11 AM—4 PM and will feature an autrhor signing by Gail Carriger, stage shows throughout the day from the Aether Brigade, Equilibrium Fine Arts and SwingGoth. Plus over 40 vendors, including Tom Banwell, Touseled Dolly, Arsenic Fashions, Lulu Deux Millinery, Kelly’s Heroes, 3D Photography, and Of Corsets.”
The Victorian Gothic: A Discussion and Reading
New York, NY
From their Facebook: “The New York Nineteenth Century Society is proud to present its first panel discussion on Victorian Gothic literature. Join authors and scholars as they read from and discuss the genre in its many forms, from old favorites like Dracula and Edgar Allan Poe, to rediscovered works by authors like Marie Corelli and Ellen Wood, as well as twenty-first century writing inspired by the Victorian classics. Our distinguished presenters are: authors Genevieve Valentine and Leanne Renee Hieber, editor Dr. Curt Herr of Kutztown State University, Dr. Gwen Hyman of Cooper Union, and Dr. Leah Richards. Moderated by Dr. Catherine Siemann of Cooper Union.”
Oh and one final, major event on the docket—here’s a BIG BIRTHDAY shout-out to Kevin on February 23! You’ve been navigating these events with me for over a year now, and I wish you the very best on your special day (And I’m sure our readers do too.)