Don't get too conventional all at once, will you?

The Gaslight Gathering (official website here), held last weekend, was San Diego's first dedicated steampunk convention ever. As someone who easily developed an interest in steampunk culture (I think because of my interest in Victorian literature, films based on stories by Jules Verne, and goggles), I decided to participate.

First of all, it was an interesting visual experience. It was fascinating to see the different interpretations of the steampunk aesthetic:

Lots of people had rayguns of varying shapes and sizes

A Victorian/steampunk ghostbuster

Handy for yardwork or for defending yourself against zombies

Old West steampunk (which reminds me,
Cowboys and Aliens
is coming out this summer!)


A steampunk mobile communication device - right now he's texting

The wire from the gadget on his wrist connects to the telegraph key in back

Fun with electricity!

Another dangerous-looking appendage

Zombie butler

More wings: he made these retractable wings from cds and twist-ties

My favorite outfit: the steampunk sock monkey!

There was entertainment . . .

. . . including a concert and a dance, which I did not go to, a magic show, some belly dancers, a guy riding around on a velocipede, and demonstrations of (low voltage) electricity.

There were also various informative panels and author discussions. I went to a few of the panels, but mostly I was interested in the authors. I listened to their discussions and discovered some new suggestions to add to my list of steampunk books. I haven't read any of them yet, so I don't know how they are, but they do have high recommendations, and in the case of Anno Dracula, there's the proof of longevity: it's been around since 1992 or something, and just received a new printing.

Leanna Renee Hieber, who writes what she calls Gaslamp, as opposed to Steampunk

There are three books so far in her series about a group of Victorian ghostbusters

Dru Pagliassotti, author of several books, only one of which is steampunk

Her only steampunk book (so far); unfortunately, Clockwork Heart
is out of print, so you have to get it from a used book seller (which I did)

Kim Newman, who has written several Dracula books

This is, as I recall, the only one set in the Victorian
period and so qualifies as steampunk.

Kaja Foglio, co-writer and illustrator of the Girl Genius graphic
was also at the Gaslight Gathering. I failed to get
her photo, but here's one I took at WonderCon last month.

She and her husband, Phil, have written a book based on the
graphic novels. Although I got no photo, I did have
enough sense to get her to sign my copy.

I had a good time and plan to go again. I'm thinking I might even check out the steampunk convention in Seattle, which is considered by many to be the American capital of Steampunk. We shall see.


Megan said...

Sock monkey!

Looks like a lot of fun! I love seeing all those incredible costumes/props... people are so creative and artistic. I wish I could go with you to the one in Seattle. And I want to read lots of books that you have...

Shannon said...

some of those contraptions are awesome!
3 Qs:
-Did you take all those pictures yourself?
-Where is a picture of you?
-What do zombies have to do with steam punk?

Megan said...

I was just about to ask Shannon's second question, actually. And now that I see her third, I also want to know the answer, although I seem to recall that you don't know and find it incongruous. Maybe I'm remembering that wrong, though.

Janeite42 said...

Yes, I took all those pictures myself. The picture of me is one I took in a mirror and it looks incongruous (speaking of incongruous) to be holding a digital camera. Zombies have nothing to do with steampunk per se, but they are, for some reason I don't get, a standard element of the steampunk genre, as are vampires (which I do understand, because Dracula took place during that time). Not every steampunk book has zombies or vampires in it, but some of them do.

Megan said...

wow what happened to Shannon's comment and my second comment? Is blogger trying to eat your comments??

I don't remember everything Shannon said, but I seconded her question about why you didn't have a picture of you in your costume in the entry.