Welcome to SPWF

The Steampunk World’s Fair is the world’s largest Steampunk event! Come join us and have a chance to meet amazing people like:

Internationally-acclaimed Steampunk author Gail Carriger

One of the world’s most beloved Steampunk Bands, Emperor Norton’s Stationary Marching Band

Many members of the cast of ‘Steampunk’d

And join us for literally hundreds of hours of vendors, programming, shows, entertainment, and other things to see, hear, and experience!

Want to find out about our other adventures?
Check out the Jeff Mach Events website.

The Radisson Hotel Piscataway-Somerset
21 Kingsbridge Road, Piscataway NJ 08854
732-980-0400
SOLD OUT of hotel rooms
Embassy Suites Piscataway
121 Centennial Avenue, Piscataway, NJ 08854
732-980-0500
SOLD OUT of hotel rooms

Some rooms are likely to open up closer to SPWF, so keep checking back.
An official overerflow hotel is available. We are actively looking for more official overflow hotels.


Dark Side of the Con

March 17-19, 2017
Radisson Hotel, Piscataway, New Jersey

Find out more at darksideofthecon.com

Hullaballoo and the future of Steampunk crowdfunding

The promotional still from the lovely short pictures which, we still hope, will someday come into being. 

You know what I’m really excited for?  “Hullaballoo“, perhaps the best-funded Steampunk Kickstarter of all time.

But I’m not that excited for the movie.  After all this time, I have no idea how the movie will be.  Hopefully, it’ll be splendid, but that’s not really my concern.

My concern is seeing it happen at all.

Hullaballoo was pushed heavily, and its social presence is still, to this day, managed by – some of Steampunk’s more challenging characters, to wit, the people behind the Steampunk Goodreads abomination.  (I don’t mean to use sensationalist language, but frankly, we of the Steampunk community know why we banned those two figures, and they have, to this day, never even acknowledged, much less apologized for, this or their other actions.  Honestly?  I used to be friends with them.  I miss the good I saw in those people.  But I can’t let the bad go unanswered, because it continues.)

“Hullaballoo” might be incredible.  The team is fantastic.  The art is fantastic.  The ideas are fantastic.  It’s going to be a fantastic addition to the Steampunk Universe.

If it ever happens.

I’ve run many a crowdfunding campaign.  It can be hard to get every single bit out there.  My rock opera is way behind in getting people the live album we promised; we had a mic failure and cast illness.  But we sure as hell got the full live video out, and we fought to get everything else we promised to everyone.  And we absolutely made sure that when we hit our goal, and then went over it, we made the production happen, on time, come hell or high water.  We delivered all of our funding promises, and are just waiting on the one bonus – and actually, we’ll be releasing that next week.

That doesn’t make me cool or special.  That’s just, I think, the minimum we should ask of people whose Kickstarters get funded:  That we see some of the meat of what we were promised.

Let me stress again: I sure as anything am not attacking Hullaballoo, and I’m only bringing up the old Goodreads scandal in passing; even that is just to provide context, it’s not the core of this article.

Did you back Hullaballoo?  Did you see rewards?  There’ve been bits of content released over the past few years as teasers; are you satisfied with them?  What are you hoping for out of this?

Mad Science: A Bit Of Steampunk Verse

Mysterious red-haired woman in Victorian dress in the winter parkCode Of The Shocking Pink Illuminatus
(To Be Read With Closed Eyes)

Never surrender your Transylvanian soul.
They have the money, the power, the logic; theirs are the
guns, the good beer, the air-conditioning, and the light of day.
But we have the Mad Science.
We draw the blood of destiny. We autograph madness. We
scribble in the margins of the books of Fate.
We are the professionals.
We are the grand meddlers.
We hum thoughtcrime in barbershop quartets; we throw open the
vast doomgate of Things Best Left Unknown; we penetrate the great
telepathic obscenities of salad (if you use Russian Dressing, you
are one of THEM! Be warned: we know where you hide your tuba.)
We are concealed, but we are by no means gone; subtle, but
strong.
Let them control What Is.
We are the caretakers of What Might Be.

~Jeff Mach
www.patreon.com/jeffmach
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Jeff Mach runs Jeff Mach Events, which in turn runs the world’s largest Steampunk event, The Steampunk World’s Fair; the peculiar Faerie festival Glimmerdark, and co-runs Dark Side Of The Con (with VampireFreaks).  He’s on Twitter @steamworldsfair.

Seek joy.

Adorable funny toddler girl with curly hair wearing a colorful dress on her birthday playing tea party with a teddy bear doll toy dishes cup cakes and muffins in a sunny summer gardenI’ve written a bit, lately, on some challenging subjects.  So here’s a reminder to all Steampunks and other people of wonder.  Remember, we imagine worlds vast beyond belief; we imagine entire Universes; as Steampunks, we imagine other times.  So let us not forget to turn our minds inwards, for the transformation of our real lives through the things which help us transcend those lives – be it cosplay, or making things, or simply being around other Fen, fandom, geeks, Steampunks, Goths, and other strange people

Seek joy.

Not fun, though you should seek that. Not happiness, though you should seek that. Seek joy.

Seek transcendence. But don’t be too stuffy about it; don’t walk around saying, “Oh, I can’t be bothered with the mundane, for I shall reach Nirvana!” Totally bother with the mundane; totally seek to do “mundane” things to the best of your ability. Joy is both everpresent and elusive; you don’t always know when it will hit you. Like inspiration, joy comes in part through the unpredictable actions of the universe, and in part through preparing like mad to receive it.

Do things that have brought you joy in the past. But don’t get hung up on them. They’re not the only way to find that place.

Depression can be bigger than you are. It can snuff out, not just joy itself, but the thought that you can ever find joy again. Remember: Depression is a demon, and demons lie.

Try to bring others joy. You can, if you want, do this simply because it’s a great thing to do. But also acknowledge: giving joy, giving it with a whole and open heart, is one of the clearest steps on the path to finding joy of your own.

Seek joy today. Not in an abstract sense, not as something that sounds cool to say – “Oh, I’m seeking joy”. Seek out the places where you can really leap out of your own skin for a little while. Seek out joy in things big and small. Seek joy in the subtle and joy in the obvious.

Today, do the things you need to do, and do them with this mission:

Seek. Joy.

~Jeff Mach
www.patreon.com/jeffmach
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Jeff Mach runs Jeff Mach Events, which in turn runs the world’s largest Steampunk event, The Steampunk World’s Fair; the peculiar Faerie festival Glimmerdark, and co-runs Dark Side Of The Con (with VampireFreaks).  He’s on Twitter @steamworldsfair.  

Why we’re a Steampunk Festival, not a Convention

Are we really defined by being a festival, and not a convention?  For me, the answer’s yes.  Steampunk girl with googles

I do love conventions.  But think about conventions.  Trade shows are conventions.  Academia has conventions.  Your corporate job probably has, or attends, conventions.  I happen to enjoy all of those things.  They’re not bad things.  BUT…

Think about what it means to be a festival.  Let’s try this on a few ideas, and see how they sound:

Music Festival versus Music Convention.  Now, I’m a musician.  A music convention sounds exciting to me; I can learn great things, I can buy a new pickup for my guitar, I can talk shop with other musicians.  I’d enjoy going.  But it’s not a Music Festival.  At a music festival, I’d sing all day and dance all night and spend the whole time rocking out.  (That’s even if it was a classical musical festival; you can ABSOLUTELY mosh to Mozart.)

Renaissance Festival versus Renaissance Convention.  I’m biased, I’ve never been to a Renaissance Convention.  But I picture it as very scholarly, with lots of talks about the Renaissance, its historic origins, its affects on modern life, its lessons, and how we might look at that time period.  All of which is cool; I’d be into that.

But I’m still more likely to buy tickets to a Renaissance Festival, where I can throw my kilt on, buckle on my sword, quaff mead, eat giant turkey legs, and mosh to some wicked lute playing.

Steampunk Festival versus Steampunk Convention.  I’ll be fair: In practice, people don’t really make a distinction; the first Steampunk events were called “Conventions”, presumably after the Science Fiction Conventions after which they were modeled, and now all Steampunk events, including mine, get listed as cons.  And we probably are closer to the audiences of, say, a science fiction convention-listing website than a music-festival website.  But our spirit is absolutely wild, high-spirited, exciting, full of entertainment and joyous experiences!  We don’t like being called a Convention; we love Conventions; but we’re a Festival through and through.

A polite festival, though.  All of our moshing is extremely mild-mannered.  We are, after all, Steampunk.

~Jeff Mach

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Jeff Mach runs Jeff Mach Events, which in turn runs the world’s largest Steampunk event, The Steampunk World’s Fair; the peculiar Faerie festival Glimmerdark, and co-runs Dark Side Of The Con (with VampireFreaks).  He’s on Twitter @steamworldsfair.

Did Steampunk come from Goth?

Goth/Steampunk retro man wearing black cylinder. Gray background.Why do I think Steampunk descended, at least in part, from Goth?  Lots of reasons.  And not just because this weekend is the opening of our collaboration with Vampire Freaks – “Dark Side Of The Con: America’s 3 Day Goth / Dark Alternative Convention“.  There are reasons why we get along so well together – and I’ll get to that in a bit.

Exhibit A: Abney Park.  One of Steampunk’s first and most prominent bands absolutely started in the Gothic world and became a Steampunk band.  It’s indisputable.  You can tell it perfectly well from their music, and that’s part of why so many Gothic bands have made so many Steampunk audiences happy.  It’s a common ancestor.

Exhibit B: Gothic Fashion.  Seriously, my friends, do you know who was wearing Victorian and Edwardian clothing, and top hats, and generally anachronistic clothes, long before most of us knew the word Steampunk?  It was the Goths, of course.

Exhibit C:  The evidence of our own eyes and friends.  Look at any group of Steampunks, and you will find a goodly percentage of them who have Goth in their past.  Search your heart.  You know it to be true.

Heck, don’t search your heart.  Search the back of your closet.  The place where you keep all the black clothing, with the black accessories, the stuff that goes with the black shoes, the black cane, and the black looks that “normal” people used to give you when you walked into restaurants.

And best of all,

Exhibit D: Because if we decide this is true, we suddenly both have a new family, and this time, we get to choose who’s in it.

~Jeff Mach

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Jeff Mach runs Jeff Mach Events, which in turn runs the world’s largest Steampunk event, The Steampunk World’s Fair; the peculiar Faerie festival Glimmerdark, and co-runs Dark Side Of The Con (with VampireFreaks).  He’s on Twitter @steamworldsfair.