Tag: Australia

This weekend just gone was emblazoned mightily in local steampunkian calendars; lo (and/ or verily) it held the first Steamfest annual convention – celebrating steampunk loudly, proudly and with the help of international guests.

It had G D Falksen (writer, ‘that guy with the steampunk arm who always shows up in google searches for Steampunk’), Abney Park (band, airship pirates), Unwoman (musician, appears to have lost most of her cello), Evelyn Kriete (editor, author, fashion designer, stylist, co-founder of Gilded Age Records, wow), Starboy (musician, movie maker, holy crivens the outfits), The Mouldy Lovers (band, 8 piece, Cat Empiresque) and Rapskallion (band, burlesque-esque, got a conga line going in Abney Park’s set, such fun). It had clothing stalls, accoutrement vendors, a blacksmiths and other purveyors of steampunkery. It had snow cones (so good for Brisbane Winter, honestly, so darn hot). It had a steam train outside the venue running every hour for the authentic experience of steamtrainery. It had duels by boxing, sabre, bartitsu and others by the European Defensive Arts School.

Summary, it had tonnes of things to do, see, hear and enjoy. And that’s not including the Spectacular outfits on display by the attendees.

I helped supply equipment for the Steampunk Ghostbusters – who were raising money for cancer research and ended the weekend with just under $450 raised – a brilliant result.

Here are links to other writeups/ galleries of the event:

I like Silver Goggles. It’s been part of my required reading Rss repository(1) for ages. This week, Jaymee interviewed Stephanie Lai, an Australian-Malaysian-Chinese lass, about Steampunk and Australia. Huzzah!

And then I read the following “There are a lot of readers and writers, and as a community we are definitely growing, if the number of panels being run at cons (and the number of people attending) is anything to go by. There’s nothing separate happening, mostly it’s just a handful of panels at Swancon and Continuum, but I think we’re moving towards maybe a specialised gathering or two”…”Steampunk itself in Australia is still basically nascent!”

Well dang. Steampunk has been proceeding in leaps and bounds all over Australia and New Zealand (I’m including our Antipodean Bretheren) in more places than just con panels, and I’m thinking that we just haven’t been noisy enough about everything we’ve been up to. So consider this, in the vernacular, a signal boost.

Groups:

  • STEAM, ROSEA, FAUST: Brisbane’s major steampunk groups, founded a number of years ago, they’ve participated in charity fund raising, picnics and other events. Full disclosure: I’m one of the founders of ROSEA
  • Antipodean League of Temporal Voyagers: altv has a blog that promotes events and discusses steampunk around Australia.
  • Adelaide Steampunk: a very active collection of talented South Australians
  • League of Victorian Imagineers: Spectacular New Zealand Steampukenrs who have claimed Oamaru as their base, and they’ve been welcomed! A Steampunk town in New Zealand, that’s nifty.
  • Steampunk HQ

Makers:

  • The Mad Uncle, who is currently working on and off on creating a Steampunk Motorcycle, has opened a shop in Melbourne selling antiques and steampunk builds.
  • Baron von Borg: a good friend of mine of many arms, he also had made raffle prizes for Prometheus Bound to help new steampunkers
  • Tesla Down Under: I’ll admit this is more mad science than steampunk, but come on! Guy makes various tesla coils do all sorts of wonderful things, and was at Euchronia last year making things go Fzzzzzzz!
  • Me

Events:

  • Euchronia: a steampunk new years eve event that happens every two years.
  • Prometheus Bound: a steampunk nightcub that on Feb 4 celebrated it’s 4th anniversary. It did this by having not only a massive nightclub, but also featured Voltaire from New York. Exceptionally exciting
  • Supanova. While this is the pop culture expo, so not strictly steampunk, the Brisbane event has an unofficial Steampunk Sunday, where all the local (and some not so local) Steampunkers turn up in their garb to hang out, chat, and get the now traditional staircase photo. Local steampunk era have won a number of the Cosplay awards over the years, so that’s something to say about steampunk’s impact on the non steampunkers.
  • STEAM: Brisbane organizes picnics, movie outings and the like through the year.
  • Steamfest: This isn’t a steampunk event, rather it’s a celebration of the Steam age in Australia. A number of steampunks I know make yearly pilgrimages to this place to learn from blacksmiths, leather workers and other traditionally skilled craftspeople. Plus, steam trains!

Arts:

  • Ged Maybury: the first novel in his series Across the STonewind Sky was published in 2011. Very cool
  • fragrances: still trying to find the link, but the last Prometheus Bound event had a fragrance booth in attendance, that had specially created steampunk fragrances for sale.
  • Courier Mail: Brisbane steampunk has been featured, and we have just been asked to be interviewed again!
  • Steampunk HQ:Again in Oamaru, worth a look.
  • Weta: Home of Dr Grordbort’s Rayguns!

We are indeed everywhere, and are influencing more than just comic conventions. If anyone has any other groups or events or people or anything I should be promoting as Australian Steampunk let me know and I’ll update this list. What Stephanie has highlighted to me is that we are being unsuccessful in communicating to everyone just how many opportunities to join in steampunk there are. Maybe in a small way this blog can assist.

Also, I’m finding and buying the heck out of Stephanie’s books (or the collections that contain her books). Yes I’m aware one of the collections is Steampunk Lesbian Stories, even if I’m not the target audience good stories are good stories. Support the steampunk!

1) arbitrary alliteration addendum accrual (2)
2) continued copied commencement character count (3)
3) ..sorry, stopping. Seriously (4)
4) damnit.