Finally! Welcome to the only time of the year where mainstream society thinks it’s okay to walk down the street in steampunk gear (not that many steampunks care about mainstream society anyway). To celebrate dropping temperatures, changing leaves, commercially-sponsored sugar-highs, and retrofuturist-gothic adventures, take a gander at events gathered with the help of Kevin Steil (the Airship Ambassador) and author S.J. Chambers.
This month, attend a Girl Genius-themed ball in California, party with Lord Saint Germain in Japan, or spend an evening with Edgar Allen Poe wherever he may pop up!
Did we miss out on your festivities? Drop a line in the comments! Want to see an event posted here? Email [email protected] with the details by October 15th for November’s round-up.
All descriptions taken from the event website or Facebook page unless stated otherwise.
The Airship Ambassador recommends:
Girl Genius Ball: A Steampunk/Gaslamp Fantasy Ball
Oct 4—Alameda, CA, USA.
Inspired by the classic online Graphic Novel. The celebrated Celtic Fusion and Renaissance rock band Avalon Rising plays an evening of Victorian and neo-Victorian steampunk dance music – from waltzes and polkas to steampunk line and set dances (All pattern dances will be taught and called at the ball). There will be a pre-ball dance lesson at 7pm, and formal dancing begins at 8pm. Victorian, Steampunk, Oktoberfest, or Girl Genius-inspired costume is admired, not required.
Oct 12—San Donà di Piave, Italy
Sunday afternoon, inside cosplay event there will be a non-competitive parade dedicated to Steampunk.
The Tower of Saint Germain
Oct 19—Yokohama, Japan
You are invited to the gathering held by Earl Saint-Germain: a historical figure from the 1700s brought to life for one night only. Famous aristocrat, pirate philosopher, musician, and inventor, Saint Germain also appears to be a time traveler! All costumes are welcome: Rococo, Victorian, steampunk, Pirate, gothic, masquerade, and anything else you can dream of. Please join us in the image of “social circles of those who have escaped from every age!”
S. J. recommends:
An Evening With Edgar Allan Poe
various Northeast US locations throughout the month
Why? “You can’t let October pass by without spending an evening with one of Steampunk’s great-great grandfathers, Edgar Allan Poe. It just so happens one of the best living history performers, Rob Velella, is doing several of his famous Master of the Macabre appearances, which mixes readings with biography, throughout the month in various cities in New England like Amherst, NH and Boston, MA, as well as Sleepy Hollow, NY, and Philadelphia, PA. Velella’s lectures and readings of Poe, as well as Nathaniel Hawthorne, have garnered national attention from outlets such as NPR, Los Angeles Review of Books, and The Folklorist. For more information on Mr. Poe’s appearances, please visit Velella’s website The American Literary Blog.”
Dances of Vice’s Grand Halloween Ball Phantasmagorey
Oct 31—New York City, NY, USA
Why? “Ever wish you could go back in time to the fin-de-siécle Paris and attend one of those naughty Heaven and Hell parties that were all the rage? Well, if you are in the NYC area, now is your chance. Dances of Vice will be holding their sixth annual Phantasmagory Halloween Ball with the Heaven and Hell nightclub theme held in a four-story Victorian mansion in downtown Manhattan. Throughout the floors, attendees will be able to traverse their own Divine Comedy. As is always true for this venue, the costumes for this should be over the top, and are encouraged to stay within the realm of demonic or angelic. At midnight, there will be a fashion show hosted by the goth/steampunk inspired designer PUREVILE and a “Devil’s Tea” dessert bar with delectables like Bathory’s Delight, a white chocolate and raspberry mousse cup with raspberry coulis that’ll certainly be to die for.”
Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination at the British Library
Oct 3, 2014 – Jan 20, 2015, The British Library building at St Pancras, London NW1.
Why? “Opening October 3 for a run through January 20, 2015, Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination is being touted as ‘UK’s biggest ever Gothic exhibition.’ Taking a multi-media approach spanning over 250 years, this exhibit aims to trace the Gothic from its eighteenth century literary birth with Horace Walpole’s (still super creepy) The Castle of Otranto through its maturity in the works of Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker (handwritten manuscripts!), and its revival in the works of modern masters like Clive Barker. And that’s just the literature. They also will have on display myriad artifacts showing the Gothic’s importance to music, film, fashion, architecture, and you know, everything else under the pale, pale, moon.”
Additional Events Around the World:
Harvest Faire & Steam Festival
Oct 4-5—Felton, California, USA
Step into the incredible world of steam power at the Harvest Faire & Steam Festival presented by Kinetic Steam Works and Roaring Camp Railroads. Welcome Fall with heritage children’s activities like scarecrow making, pumpkin patch picking, candle making and gold panning. Behold steam-powered line shafts, player pianos, letterpresses, printing presses and more! Admission is FREE for the whole family and children with a Steam Train ticket get to pick out a free pumpkin from our Harvest Pumpkin Patch on Bear Mountain.
Unwoman Live in Brooklyn, Presented by Gemini & Scorpio
Oct 8—Brooklyn, NY, USA
Doors open at 8, show starts at 9. $10 suggested donation. At the G&S Loft – RSVP for the Gowanus. See their events page for more details coming soon.
EuroSteamcon Andalucía 2014
Oct 8—Mairena del Alcor, Spain
The Steampunk Andalusia community is dedicated to the dissemination of the retro-futurisms and Steampunk culture today in the Andalusian region. We are pleased to invite you to our second convention as part of EuroSteamCon.
International Steampunk City at Speedwell III
Oct 11-12—Morristown, NJ, USA
We take over a historic site – the birthplace of the Telegraph – for a benefit event that spans seven acres of authentic 19th century historic buildings and grounds. We’ve shamelessly used our contacts from The Steampunk World’s Fair to put together a world-class lineup of Steampunk performers and vendors, and we’re going to show you a completely amazing time! Weekend tickets are only $20 in advance – DON’T miss this!
San Diego Comic Fest
Oct 17-19—San Diego, CA, USA
Steampunk programming track will be featured! The San Diego Comic Fest is the friendly comic convention with a casual atmosphere and an intimate scale that allows fans to mingle directly with professionals and exhibitors. It’s the place where you can indulge your love of comics, science fiction, and films, and meet an outstanding array of professional creators without high-priced tickets, crowding, or long lines.
At the San Diego Comic Fest you’ll find an extensive and eclectic program with things for every fan to enjoy. As you would expect of a comic con, there will be panel discussions; guest programs; an artist alley; tabletop gaming; cosplay; steampunk; an exhibitor hall full of your favorite comics, books, toys, and collectibles; and much, much, more. All of this takes place in a relaxed setting that enables fans and professionals to hang out and enjoy good times talking about comics, science fiction, films, animation, and all the other things that fans love.
Oct 26—Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington DC, USA
It is the place and the season for merriment and camaraderie, to wear your most elegant and feast among sumptuous delicacies on linen and lace, to remember those passed before us doing once the same. Come to Rock Creek Cemetery from 1—5 PM and join us!
Oct 25— Cincinnati, OH
Jack the Ripper’s Night of the Double Murders Masquerade Ball
Oct 31-Nov 1—Ronkonkoma, NY, USA
TwitchTwitch Productions and the Clarion Hotel bring you the MASQUERADE OF THE MACABRE for a fantastical Halloween experience. Join us for a night of the macabre inhabited by costumed fiends partying from behind masks as they dance, eat, drink as they rejoice in the celebration of their favorite holiday: HALLOWEEN.
Danse Macabre: A Steampunk Hallowe’en
Nov 1—Howard County Historical Society, Ellicott City, MD, USA
Imagine a world where airships roam the skies, steam powers Rube Goldberg-inspired contraptions. Imagine a universe where both fictional and non-fictional characters can exist. A place where both men and woman are equally capable, strong, intelligent and frequently mysterious. Imagine a talented collective of musicians, composers and artists who bring these visions to life in a unique musical melange that is lyrically, musically, and visually evocative.
This unique musical theatre event will feature the “Dark Americana” stylings of Eli August and The Abandoned Buildings along with music performed by Nightwatch Paradox. Perfect for Halloween weekend! Costume contest for prizes! Tickets are $15.00 for single tickets, $25 for two people.
Ay-leen the Peacemaker (or in other speculative lights, Diana M. Pho) works at Tor Books, runs the multicultural steampunk blog Beyond Victoriana, pens academic things, and tweets. Oh wait, she has a tumblr too.
S. J. Chambers’ fiction has most recently appeared in The New Gothic (Stone Skin Press, 2013), Acronos II (Tyrannosaurus Books, 2014), Steampunk World (Alliteration Ink, 2014) and in the forthcoming Darke Fantastique (Cycatrix Press) and Starry Wisdom Library (PS Publishing) anthologies. Her non-fiction has appeared at Tor.Com, Bookslut, WeirdFictionReview.Com, and in the forthcoming Frankenstein issue of Nonbinary Review (Zoetic Press). She posts irregularly on her blog.