Does your loved one have The Steampunk?

Does your loved one have The Steampunk?

Portrait of a steampunk man with a mechanical devices. Fantasy.Does your loved one have The Steampunk?

Are they suddenly significantly taller, due to the addition of a top-hat with a clock nailed to it?

Do they possess goggles which, for no particular reason, never seem to be found on their eyes?

Do they suddenly insist on drinking tea?  Oh, sure, I’ve heard that normal people drink tea, but I don’t believe it.  Have you ever tried the stuff?  Horrible muck.  Give me coffee any ol’ day.

Do they often forget to pay the rent or mail a letter, than walk into a large blue box, and emerge a few minutes later having dramatically altered the Universe by forbidden travel through the space-time continuum?

Have they begun gluing gears to things?

Do you find them disappearing on certain weekends weekends to odd and distant places, like Piscataway, New Jersey, and reappearing on Sunday night, exhausted, happy, and babbling vaguely about being overwhelmed by dancing, music, art, games, fun, and ballpits?

Good heavens!  Who knows what peculiar things will happen next if we don’t put a stop to all this?

Friends, we must be ever-vigilant.  Your neighbors, your friends, even your loved ones may have The Steampunk!  The dangers are incalculable, mostly because almost all of them are imaginary.  I mean, have you ever read something Steampunk?  The most frequent Steampunk deaths are falling out of dueling airships, being struck by lightning by Thomas Edison’s evil death-ray, and accidentally forgetting to eat anything that isn’t a crumpet.  It’s pretty hard to calculate how likely any of those things is to happen, but I suspect the odds are 22,079,460,347 to one against.

And I have left out a secret: It’s actually impossible to stop The Steampunk.  It keeps re-creating itself in new and wonderful ways, as more and more people bring their far-flying imaginations to it.  It’s incurable.

You might as well enjoy 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.

On having food delivered to events

On having food delivered to events

Funny young chef with a pot in kitchenIt almost always supports the venue, and thus the event, if you’re able to order food from an event; many events have food or drink minimums that they must meet as a part of their contracts; and it makes all kinds of cultures, from Steampunk to Geekery to Goth, look good to hotels when those hotels make a lot of money at their bars and restaurants.  

(If you did not know this, you should know this: hotels, and other venues, talk to each other.  That’s why it used to be much harder to do Steampunk events in hotels; hotels didn’t know who we were or what we were doing.  But a number of events–ours being one of them, but not the only one–showed that Steampunks are great hotel guests.  Now it’s fairly easy to book a Steampunk show.)

Still, there are times when you just need to get food brought to you from the outside.

If you choose to have food delivered to our show, please keep in mind the following suggestions and tipping etiquette:

• Do tip. Even supervillains tip. Plenty of them worked their way through Evil University via the thankless task of acquiring protein for cyclopean monsters whose idea of a tip was only eating one of your kidneys.

• Do not tip using fairy gold which vanishes at daybreak. Make sure it vanishes in about three days, after they’ve had a chance to perform the standard College Student Alchemy of turning small amounts of money into Ramen.

• Do not tip by offering up your favorite memory of a perfect summer day when you were young and the summer stretched before you in
an endless panaply of wonder. The exchange rate for memories in New Jersey is TERRIBLE.

• Do not tip in priceless golden pirate doubloons if the pirate from whom you stole them still wants them back.

• Do tip generously. The sights and sounds your delivery person has experienced can never be unheard or unseen, but a sufficient tip can, at least, put in a down payment on some liquid therapy.

 

~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.

What is Goth, then?

What is Goth, then?

spirit of Halloween in a cemetary at nightToday’s the last day to get $20 off of Dark Side Of The Con with promo code “vampirefreaks”, and so I thought I’d do something Gothic.  You might have seen my recent entry wherein I crowdsourced the question “What is Steampunk?” I thought, given how quickly  is coming up, I might try the same thing with the eternal (or at least undead and ever-living) question: “What is Goth?”

Here are some of my favorite responses:

“Goth is an appreciation, understanding, or love of the macabre and all things dark.”
~Sarah DeLeon

“My middle name.”
~Eden O’Clair

“An amazing lifestyle.”
~Austin Bounds

“Goth is what happens when Steampunks discover black.”
~Jeff Mach

“There are a great many dichotomies in this world, including light vs. dark and order vs. chaos. Goth is being in touch with the dark side.”
~Christopher Pinky Gazeent

“Seeing the beauty in what others deem not.”
~Stephanie Linn Hardick

“I never saw “being different” in and of itself as the point to “being Goth” — dressing different from most others, maybe, but the point to me was to get together with people who liked the same music and clothes, or at least very similar music and clothes, and go to clubs, go to movies, go to coffee-houses and hold poetry readings and, in general, just have some good harmless fun. Did I look like a dork? Sure, but so did everybody else in the club. We weren’t “being different”, at least not all of us, we just were different and the point was to stop bitching about being different and just have fun.”
Ruadhán J. McElroy

“The Goths were a proud East German people whose clashes with the Roman Empire would one day bring about its end. :)”
~Brian McKinley

 

(Quotes sourced and collected by yours truly, 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.

A Valentine for my Steampunk love

A Valentine for my Steampunk love

A Steampunk clockwork heart concept with a heart shape made of cogs and gears

Valentine’s Day!  A day which will forever be dear to restaurants and people who sell holiday cards.  That being said, there’s something to be said for Love, True Love, and so I thought I would speak to you, for just a moment, of my deep and abiding Steampunk Love.

When I sailed my Airship to the farthest port of the known World in order to bring you back the rarest of oils to perfume your bath, you mentioned that you’d just asked me to nip out and pick you up some aspirin for your headache.  I will admit to being a touch miffed.

When you journeyed far into the Underdark to bring back the rarest, strangest Goblin fruits for the delectation of my table and the satiation of my hunger, I noted that I’d simply said I could use a snack, and pointed out that we had mini-pizzas in the freezer.  This was not, I suppose, our best moment.

When we declared our love atop the very tallest peaks, shouting it through the mighty lightning storm which struck our castle and awoke our Frankenstein monster, it was terribly romantic, but I must admit that it displeased both the local peasantry, and all of the wedding guests, the former of whom attacked our house with torches and pitchforks, and the latter of whom found the top of a mountain fairly inconvenient, and complained that they got terrible pictures of the ceremony.

When we both sipped that singular and wondrous tea, the tea which had been procured for us by our dear friend and boon companion Dr. Jekyll, and both turned into beings strange and ravening and monstrous, savaging the countryside beneath the night of the full moon–

Well, that was just fun.  Let’s do it again sometime, shall we?

 

~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.

“What is Steampunk?” – a crowdsourced version

“What is Steampunk?” – a crowdsourced version

Blue-haired Steampunk women.

Some Steampunk cosplay, captured at The Steampunk World’s Fair 2014 by Babs Who Takes Pictures.

If I had a dollar for every time someone had asked me, “What is Steampunk?”, I’d have enough money that I’d be writing this blog from some sort of beach somewhere much, much warmer than New Jersey.  I have plenty of my own thoughts, but I figured I’d try asking The Steampunk World’s Fair Facebook page.  And behold – here are the results!  But, as always, I encourage you to find your own answer to that question, and decide what works for you.

“A punk rocker in a steam room?”
~RW Backus

“Steampunk is the answer to the question “what if?”
What if Tesla had business sense? What if Steam had reined? What if pirates took to the air instead? What if we wore our corsets on the outside?! The answers in expressions from the page to fashion to music and whats for tea are Steampunk!!!”
~Alicia M Downs

“Romanticized Victorian to early 1900s style alt universe focusing on a world that utilizes steam power, leather, glass, and vaguely scifiesque early electrical elements and gas lighting to create a setting of wonder and excitement in a world of what if love and adventure.”
~Travis Roseberry

“According to many it’s anything you stick cogs on or a flux capacitor in. I personally don’t find the inside of my daughters princess watch or the delorean at all steampunk but maybe I have a very narrow view of it and need educating.”
~Alison Burnaby

“Steampunk means to me, referring to the couture and theme:
It’s a combination of genres and history, fiction, victorian, invention, hippie fabrics, ruffles and leather, a few “normal” clothes with added flair and interest Love the whole thing.
Plus the strong female presence portrayed as feminine with added badassery of weaponry and invention history usually places with men.”
~Shannon Feyhl

“Part Victoriana, part unbridled imagination.”
~Dawn Vautier

“Steampunk is a love affair with something sublime, Victoriana at its finest, with a generous helping of vision, bravery and limitless possibilities. Ode to the steam era. The smell of sweet worn leather pulled tightly around my cuffs, or my thighs. The corsets thrusts you back in time….as hard as the corset you wear, the class the sheer beauty. I cannot truly describe what steampunk means to me, but I am so so pleased that what I was obsessed with since being a young girl, had a name. And of course, it lead me to the works of Tesla the great (my hero) the visionary.”
~Deidre Glasgow

“Steampunk began as a sub-genre of alternative history SF. It then added some of the other functions that were often featured at SF conventions, such as costuming. It added music, film, graphic novels, and eventually grew into a full-fledged alternative culture complete with every aspect one could expect. One thing that separates Steampunk culture from other alternative cultures is the emphasis on the maker. People who make things, whether music, literature, art, clothing, jewelry, leather goods, brass objects, etc… make Steampunk more than just a hobby, but a culture in which people can actually lead full lives. Culturally, Steampunk is also a culture of diversity and acceptance. This is just as important as any other aspect and provides a home for those who didn’t belong anywhere more restrictive. That’s only my opinion, but Steampunk makes me feel at home.”
~Lawrence Tagrin

 

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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.