Steamcon is a gathering of folks who are in love with the idea of a Victorian world that never existed. I’d have to say it’s the biggest adult pretend party I’ve ever seen. Even better than the elaborate Halloween party I used to attend back East, (with a horse drawn hay ride and a square dance band in the barn).
Nearly everyone dresses up for Steamcon, and by that I don’t mean just a long skirt and fancy blouse. Most of the costuming is very elaborate and extremely creative. That’s what I love most about Steamcon, that people feel free to interpret steampunk in their own way, assume personas and for one weekend each year live out their fantasy life.
What is steampunk? Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction, fantasy, alternate history, and speculative fiction that came into prominence during the 1980s and early 1990s. (Here’s the Wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steampunk).
This year the theme was 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, and I’ll confess, unlike last’s years Wild, Weird West theme, I wasn’t inspired to create a new costume. But I was amazed at the creativity of other people attending Steamcon… because there were people with boats on their heads, in diver’s suits, with gowns trimmed with seashells and even a person dressed like a fish with flippers on his feet!
And that’s the reason I love Steamcon, because more than anything else it feeds my imagination. As I listened to Unwoman sing, an entire storyline flashed through my head. As I snapped photos of beautiful Victorian gowns, I could see a heroine ready to attend the Opera… and when I had the opportunity to chat with fellow steampunk enthusiasts, it supported my writing efforts in that genre.
I also managed to find three gorgeous prints for my office, which is now completely redecorated in steampunk decor. But that will be for another post!
There will be a Flickr page with photos from Steamcon on their website soon, and I encourage you to visit it and enjoy the variety of interpretations of the theme.