(Apologies. I began this over a week ago, but my computer died and it’s taken me a while to get back to it. Onwards!)
Some of you may have heard of the project beginning this month; an international celebration of steampunk connections from all corners of the globe called Steampunk Hands Around the World. While this has caught me at a very low ebb in my steampunk career, I thought I would at least make an entry to make sure my readers are aware of this project and take a moment to highlight some of the wonderful connections that I have made throughout the years.
I suspect that six and a half years of planning events, giving talks and running Steamcon might serve to excuse me from the Bobbins Initiative. I’ve done my bit and I am taking a break. Seriously though, I am so honored when people tell me that I had even the smallest part in bringing them to the steampunk family. Sharing my passion with others has been the sweetest experience of my life.
Over the years I have made so many friends, in so many countries and steampunk has made it all possible. Steampunk seems to be able to touch us all so deeply and inspire us so mightily. It inspires us to dream, to make, to write, to sing and to connect.
At Dragoncon in 2008, when we discovered that the room for the steampunk panel was going to be much too small for all the eager fans, some friends and I took over an empty room and created the “Guerilla Steampunk Panel”. We had great fun entertaining and educating a full house. Since then I’ve had the pleasure of doing so at many conventions and it’s always well received. I’ve attended Dragoncon, World Steam Expo, Gaslight Gathering, Victoria Steam Expo, H.R.M., GEARcon and of course many local events as well. I was even fan guest of honor at Clockwork Alchemy. Everywhere I have been fans have been interested and passionate. It is so wonderful to see.
Dr. Grymm’s book One Thousand Steampunk Creations has been instrumental in letting the world see what steampunks have created. I was honored to be included. At Brass Screw Confederacy, I was approached by a woman who asked if I was Diana Vick. I told her yes and she said that her two young daughters were huge fans of mine. When I asked her how they knew my work, she said it was that book.
One of my greatest passions is costuming. Some of the costumers that I’ve met are so amazing. Paige Gardener is a total inspiration to me. Her ensembles are a miracle of ingenuity. Aleta Pardalis does simply stunning costumes, from Poison Ivy to Rowena Ravenclaw all with an amazing steampunk flare. Thomas Willeford remains one of the most iconic makers in the scene. Credit where credit is due.
I am proud to have met and chatted with all three of the steampunk fathers; Tim Powers, Jim Blaylock and K.W. Jeter. Not only are they all very talented writers but they are some of the nicest guys you will ever meet. Cherie Priest, another talented writer and total babe is also a fabulous lady.
There are so many amazing artists doing steampunk work. Brian Kesinger’s characters are so fascinating and he is a very dear man. Joe Benitez’s Lady Mechanika is wonderful and the fact he takes inspiration right from the fandom makes her even more amazing. Gary Gianni is fabulous and fabulously talented. Paul Guinan and his character Boilerplate are sneaking history lessons into comic art.
Jaimie Goh and I may not have had an auspicious start, but after some discussion, I feel we have bonded. Magpie Killjoy is a completely stealth phenomenon.
When I was researching my trip to France, French steampunk enthusiast Utelo connected with me and was a great resource. At Steamcon V I got to meet Barbara Nolasco from Puerto Rico, a charming and beautiful young fan. Many of the people that I know in other countries I have not yet met in person, but I hope to do so in time.
I am pleased to call the members of the band Abney Park, my friends, and they have always inspired me with their energy and fun attitude towards steampunk. Captain Robert and I may not always agree completely but we have deep mutual respect for one another. Nathaniel Johnstone and his new wife Tempest are a couple of the most beautiful and creative people I’ve ever met. Erica “Unwoman” Mulkey and her mother are a joy to know and hang out with, and of course Erica is an extremely talented musician.
Closer to home, I want to say that Jordan Block of Sepiachord is probably the most knowledgeable person on the planet when it comes to steampunk music. Nathan Barnett, innkeeper and all round dapper man is so gracious. Marshall Hunter and his Rise of Aester crew impress me with their creativity and skills.
As I write this I realize that I am not going to be able to mention all of the fabulous people that I have met. I apologize for my inadequacies, but please know I treasure you all. There are simply too many wonderful and talented people in the steampunk community and I feel blessed to have met so many of them. So many of you. Thank you.