Tea & Automatons

Diana Vick's corner of the interweb

Jeter to be Author Guest of Honor at Steamcon III!

Have you ever wondered what the man who coined the term “steampunk” thinks steampunk is?   We definitely have, so we’ve asked him to join in the conversation. Steamcon is extremely proud to announce that K.W. Jeter will be our author guest of honor for our fabulous third year!

K. W. Jeter is widely credited as having coined in 1987 the term “steampunk,” and is the author of Morlock Night and Infernal Devices, two of the earliest novels in the genre. In addition, he has written many other science fiction and thriller novels, including Dr. Adder, Farewell Horizontal, Soul Eater, and In the Land of the Dead. In addition to his writing career, he has worked as a researcher for the University of California Medical Center on AIDS-related bereavement issues with heroin addicts, and as a creative writing instructor for Portland State University in Oregon. After residences in England and Spain, he currently lives with his wife Geri in San Francisco, California – though that might change.

Morlock Night and Infernal Devices have been recently reprinted, with additional material, by Angry Robot; more details can be found at Mr. Jeter’s steampunk-related blog, or at the K. W. Jeter Information Site. His long-awaited sequel to Infernal Devices, titled Fiendish Schemes, will be available soon from Tor Books.

Norwescon: Eggs, Tentacles and Steampunk

As I try to recuperate and unpack from Norwescon, I will take a quick break to write up a review.  As usual, it all went by much too quickly.  The main goal for the weekend was to promote Steamcon III, so the Steamcon lobby table was our main focus.  A scant couple of weeks before the con, I came up with a crazy idea to draw more folks to the table, the Golden Egg-stravaganza!  Essentially a bunch of candy, badge ribbons and mystery prizes in gold colored eggs.  Each egg was a one dollar donation.  I didn’t have much time to find the prizes, but I used some Steamcon stickers, buttons and such as well as a few little compasses, dirigibles, hot air balloons and little octopi.  We also gave away four full Steamcon III memberships, which really delighted their recipients.  The eggs were very popular.  Too popular!  I realized that we would sell out completely on Friday morning, so I put half of them aside for Saturday.  We still sold out before noon each day.  Live and learn.  I am already plotting for next year.

Nemo's Daughter

As another ploy to draw attention to Steamcon III, I dressed in somewhat 20,000 Leagues regalia.  My Saturday outfit was Nemo’s daughter as an admiral with a little bit of the sea in her blood as it were.  It was quite well received.  I participated in the Under the Sea fashion show, which was very creative.

On Saturday night, I did a second version of Widget the automaton.  The lightning goggles and makeup were a huge hit.

I had about five panels, almost all on steampunk or related themes.  Despite having done this for so long, I am always learning more about steampunk.  I want to say thanks to Lou Anders of Pyr for some great insights and stating that Sherlock Holmes is not steampunk.  One of my favorite people, Claire Hummel was on many of my panels as well and she is always a fount of new information and good insights.

Social anthropologist, James Carrott followed me around to my panels to record the discourse in preparation for a dinner at the Dahlia Lounge on Sunday hosted by Brian David Johnson, the futurist at Intel.  Brian’s goal was to gather steampunk “luminaries” to discuss steampunk with an eye toward what we could add to future technology.  The dinner was lovely and the discussions quite lively.  The Foglios, Paul Guinan, Anina Bennett, Kevin Steil, Claire Hummel, Thomas Becker, Jordan Bodewell, Marshal Hunter, R. “Martin” Armstrong and myself along with James and Brian discussed steampunk past, present and future while the cameras rolled.  I confess to being quite intrigued by what may come of this.  If nothing else, hanging out with James and Brian during the convention, was very entertaining and thought provoking.  Thanks to both of you!

It was a marvelous but exhausting weekend.  You can see the photos my darling husband took on Flickr.com.

Widget the automaton and Steam Wench

My Steampunk Archetypes Book Is Now Available!

For the past few years I have been dressing up in steampunk attire for events and gatherings.  I enjoy it immensely and try to be as creative as I can.    When I first got started I found it immensely helpful to imagine a few steampunk archetypes and think about what they would wear.  Since then I have been writing and lecturing about that topic.  Since I had so many photos, I decided to take advantage of the current print on demand services and make a little book on the topic as well.  You can preview and purchase a copy here. I hope you find it entertaining.

Going to Norwescon on Easter weekend?

Then you’ll want to check out my panels:

“Steampunk Art” Thursday   8pm Cascade 13

Is Steampunk art only for costuming and cool outfits and gadgets? No, we say! Come meet some artists to see how they use Steampunk influences and styles in their artwork!

“The Best of Steampunk Then and Now” Thursday   9pm Cascade 9

Steampunk is the combination of what the past is and what it means, and what the future is and what it means; like Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea where a 1950’s nuclear submarine shows up in an 1880’s fictional world.  What are the steampunk classics and what new fiction is driving it forward?

“Dieselpunk and Retro Futurism” Friday   6pm    Cascade 8

What is it, why and how you too can build your own jet pack, or at least look like you could.

“Twisting History” Saturday   10am      Cascade 8

History need not be dry and dusty. Certainly Steampunk has taught us that it can be fun and greasy! Learn to take a historical period and give it just the pinch or nudge it needs to set off a whole new fresh interpretation of ideas in fun ways, from tropical Tudor, kente cloth kimonos, Halloween houppelandes, Asian Regency, and many more. Blow the dust of the musty history books and let’s have some fun!

“Multi-Cultural Steampunk” Saturday   4pm  Cascade 13

The Victorian era happened everywhere, not just England. Come get some ideas on how to make your Steamy-wear a bit more exotic.

Also, a bit of fun at the Steamcon fan table:

About The Author

Diana Vick

I am an illustrator, writer, costumer and steampunk enthusiast.
I have done illustration for comic books, animation and collectible card games such as Magic the Gathering and Legend of the Five Rings. Currently, I do art for my own line of cards and gifts in my Zazzle shop.