What is the worst thing about being a time traveler who is also magnetic?

Coffee! I mean, tea.

Oh, good heavens. Magnetic! Why, of all things, must I be magnetic?

“He was turned to steel
In the great magnetic field
When he traveled time
For the future of Mankind.”
~Gilbert & Sullivan

The very worst of it all is that I’m not some sort of ordinary figure of magnetism, attracting various metallic substances. I could see that being quite useful; I would seldom drop my shillings when hailing a cab, ironmongers would pay me protection money to avoid their shops, and I should never lose a game of jacks.

But no!  I had to be a freak magnet.  

Here I am, visiting the future.  “Thank goodness!”, I thought to myself, “I’ll be amongst sane, rational people of a wiser age.  The world shall make sense.  No doubt we’ll finally have figured out how to harness the moon for its natural cheese resources, and we’ll end barbaric practices like drinking, or dancing in public.”

But no.  No!  I appear to have appeared within a crowd of Steampunks.

I haven’t any idea what a STEAMPUNK is, and yet, they take me for one of their own!  Their top-hats are peculiarly large or small; they all have the most dubious pocketwatches I have ever seen; and I am distinctly aware that not all of them might be adult, male, and subjects of the Queen.  Who knows what horrors await?

Still, until my time machine can be re-fueled, I’m stuck.  Fortunately, it runs entirely on phlogiston, so that oughtn’t be hard to find.  Until then, some of these “Steampunks” have promised to introduce me to something called “Absinthe”.  They say it contains herbs and, as such, I am certain it will have healthful medicinal properties – so what could possibly go wrong?

~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.

Sometimes Steampunk events die

Blond Woman In Steampunk Clothes Is Pulling A Retro Train.Friends, with the death of beloved Steampunk festival Steampunk Unlimited, I’m reminded of a sad fact:

Steampunk’s strength is the fact that it comes from the people, that anyone can make Steampunk, that all of us can help create what Steampunk is and can be.

And Steampunk’s weakness is that if you devote a business to it, if you devote a large chunk of your life to it, you might not succeed.  Steampunk’s not Disneyland or Action Park or the California Renaissance Faire or some other major attraction, with million-dollar budgets and international fame.  It’s this ever-expanding, but still small and fragile, universe, and we are building it piece by piece, step by step.

And sometimes, the steps are too high.

We remember Steamcon, the world’s second-largest Steampunk festival.  It was an event beloved by all – and it ended $41,000 in debt (see the article for details).  We remember events you might or might not have seen – The Greater New England Steampunk Festival, for example.  Frozen In Time.  Steampunk Gettysburg.

If you love Steampunk, remember: you need to support it to keep it alive.  You don’t necessarily need to support our event; that’s not why we’re writing this.  We’re writing this to remind you that you need to support SOME kind of Steampunk if you want Steampunk to continue to survive.

Goodbye, Steampunk Unlimited.  We will miss you.

~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.

Come to the Dark Side: We have cookies, imagination, and absinthe

spirit of Halloween on the cemetery at night

Were you around for all the years people kept saying “Steampunk is when Goths discover brown”?  It’s not true.  But I see where they get that from.

It seems clear that, whether or not Goth lead to Steampunk, Steampunk wouldn’t exist as it does without Goth.  Goth was one of the first cultures to say, “We’re creating this world of imagination, and we want others to share it with us”.  When I went to Goth clubs in the 80s and 90s, it was clear that they were trying to make an atmosphere, a world, which was shared by all the inhabitants.  Sure, we knew we weren’t vampires, we knew we weren’t 19th-century poets, and we knew that clove cigarettes  tasted terrible.

I’m pretty excited to take all of the knowledge from The Steampunk World’s Fair and our Wicked Faire and put it towards Dark Side Of The Con, an event collaboration between Jeff Mach Events and VampireFreaks.  It’s going to be an amazing event.  You should go.

Find the Dark Side on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/199366893801128.

Go to conventions or Zombies will eat you!

Zombies attack!

“OMG YOU GUYS it has come to my attention that SOMEONE on the internet is saying that my fictional 19th century zombies are NOT SCIENTIFICALLY SOUND. Naturally, I am crushed. To think, IF ONLY I’d consulted with a zombologist or two before sitting down to write, I could’ve avoided ALL THIS EMBARRASSMENT.”
Cherie Priest

Why go to conventions? Because they’re your highest percentage move for surviving the Zombie Apocalypse!

I mean, “fun”?  Who believes in “fun”?  Friendship, companionship, being with people like you, having a chance to be yourself?  Nahhh.  Those aren’t real reasons.  The real reasons are strategic: to spend as much time as possible somewhere relatively immune to attacks by the living dead.
Military bases don’t count, since our brave military will be fully engaged tackling the first lines of the combat, and we salute them for it. Secret government installations? Hell no. Where do you think the Zombie plague came from in the first place?
Shopping malls? Not anymore. Too many people saw “Dawn of the Dead” before their surcease and untimely resurrection. They’ll know to swarm in via the Hot Topic entrance that employees propped open so they could smoke cloves.

No way, Jim.  I want to be at a convention: a place where they’re potentially selling swords, chainmail, and handbooks for surviving the Zombie Apocalypse.  I want to be surrounded by gamers and other tactical thinkers.  And, hell, I remember my last office job much too well.  If I the Zombie Apocalypse happened in that dead, boring little space, I’m not sure anyone would even notice.

~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.

Steampunk and the responsibility of whimsy

jeff_cleve

The world is still a weird place, despite my efforts to make clear and perfect sense of it.

~Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

People from all sides of the political spectrum have, as late, asked us to take ourselves a little more seriously.  And these are what Dr. Thompson would call Serious Times.

But to some extent, I know this: We are Steampunks, and we are dedicated to the power of frivolity.

The world needs big things.  It needs Solutions.  It needs Health and Prosperity and Safety and Freedom.

But the world needs this thing, too: The world needs Frivolity.

The world needs the ridiculous.  The world needs the ability to laugh, to imagine, to take flights of fancy from here to the hottest night spots of Neverland.

We don’t recommend escapism.  Imagination, humor, and laughter are not ways of hiding from the Real World; they are ways of altering how you deal with The Real World, and how it deals with you.  That is a power as great as any known to Science or Magic, and by Thunder, we WILL use the power of the eccentric, the unusual, the bizarre, and the peculiar to create a little joy wherever and whenever we can!

So mote it be!

~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.