Steampunk weekend in Emeryville

I’ve been so busy, I completely forgot about the Nova Albion Steampunk Exhibition this weekend. I’m hoping to drop in Saturday afternoon, if I can get tickets. Here’s their blurb:
The Nova Albion Steampunk Exhibition (March 12-14 in Emeryville) takes the best elements of traditional science fiction and fantasy conventions, combines them with the passion, ingenuity, and hands-on workshops of Maker events, and places it all in a steam-powered, neo-Victorian setting that spans the 1830s through the early 1910s, from the cultured salons of gaslit London to the rugged coast of San Francisco. Tickets and more info at
You know what this really means. Corsets. Lots of people in corsets. And goggles. And a ripping good time!

One more Steampunk post

And then I’ll let it rest for a while.

Just a few more photos of costumes. The level and detail of the costumes just amazed me. Wish I had more photos, but there are tons more photos from other people here.


A Happy Couple.Wonder if she lets him wear his rocket pack in the house?


This guy even assumed the sorry-my-darling-but-duty-calls aura worn by any daring officer of world adventure.

SteamNewDressAnd, of course, your’s truly in a new bustier/shirtcoat/dressy thingy. Never felt so lovely in all my old life!

Pocket tool belts

Steampunk music

DancingLadiesAt the Abney Park part of the Seattle SteamCon concert, I had an odd, disconnected moment when three beautifully proper Edwardian ladies threw off their jackets and started boogying across the floor.

My niece loves Abney Park.  The band is edging towards something I’d like to listen to. But I’m put off by the karaoke-style drum track—guess I’m just old fashioned and want a drummer that I can swoon over. Captain Robert whapping on a djembe is not the same as a guy on a kit.

However, their show is  wonderful. I love watching them. The costumes are wonderful, the stage business interesting, and sometimes they have a belly dancer! I’m just not so into listening to them. But that could change. I’ll keep trying.

I’ve been trying hard to like Steampunk music. Honestly, I have. I’ve listened to most of the jukebox at I’ve sampled some of the Steampunk bands at (ok, Circus Contraption’s cut Come to the Circus comes close to being interesting, and  Clare Fader’s throwback Caberet Noir is compelling), but I’m still not sold on the style.

But I’ll keep listening. Isn’t anyone doing Steampunk tinged trad Irish?

The theatre of Steampunk


What is Steampunk? It’s a hard question to answer.

The  underlying story/fantasy behind Steampunk is a future that never was, full of cool clothing, sprockets and gears, wheels, and mechanical engines. It’s theatre, pure theatre.

Airships powered by magical steam ply the skies. Horse-drawn buggies plod along next to whizzing locomotives. Science thrusts satin-skirted ladies (full of buxom adventure) into the arms of mad scientists. Gentlemen (and women) adventurers explore new worlds;  they study new species of plants, animals, and people.

Steampunk is  a place where people can have wings.


My favorite part of the whole convention (besides the costumes) was the “radio show” put on by the folks at Studio Foglio, publishing house for and creators of the online comic,  Girl Genius. What fun that was! It was sort of a reader’s theater. I love radio shows, but this was even more fun to see the folks doing the lines. What a bunch of hams. .

Seattle SteamCon a blast and a half

SteamGirlGoggleBoyIt’s taken me a while to recover from the Seattle  SteamCon, a goofy, good natured gathering of space pirates, adventurers, Edwardian ladies, and lots and lots of people wearing goggles.

I’ve never been to one of these conventions before; in fact, I only just recently learned about this sub-genre of a costume party for grownups. It’s been going on at least 20 years, but, well, let’s just say I live a sheltered, nay, a never-get-out-of-of-my-cave life.

I’ve long been a fan of the ultimate Christmas dress-up festival, the Great Christmas Dickens Christmas Fair in South San Francisco. I love the breathtaking costumes and the emphasis on turning the enormous barn of the Cow Palace into the streets of long-ago London.

The Steampunk convention, on the other hand, seems to be all about costumes, however loosely defined the time period might be. At the hotel, attendees sailed through the lobby in full Edwardian suits, Lolita dresses, flapper clothes, or just a collection of gears and feathers built around a corset and skirt. It’s a full weekend of clothing fantasy, and it’s immensely fun to sit and watch the costumes. And watch the reactions of the unsuspecting, mugglish hotel room guests as they disembark from their airport shuttles into a sea of Steampunks.