The Steampunk World's Fair 2013

FANTASTIC!

I went to the World's Fair in New Jersey this year, and it was a lot of fun. This three day convention was full of games and cosplay as well as fantastic music, merchandise, and mystery.... ooohh the alliteration. 

Games:

 1. Several fun things on the agenda included: Cards Against Humanity, monopoly, and other board games that you and other steampunk enthusiasts could enjoy. I made several new friends while playing. We also swapped costume ideas and book/t.v show recommendations. 

2. One of the booth owners created an augmented reality game where folks would be given a starter pack of cards. Then he would text you clues throughout the weekend on where special events and cards would be held. People could challenge other members of the game at random, and the winner of the challenge collected all their opponent's cards. There were prizes for special cards. 

 3. Interactive improv was also part of this convention. If you want a good laugh, I suggest going to one of these. 

 

Cosplay:

Need I say more? Everyone looked incredible! From Steampunk Batman to civil war android soldiers, the World's Fair had it all! Cons are one of the few places where you can rev up your creative side into full GEAR. Walking around the hotel courtyard surrounded by hundreds of people dressed in  a "retro-futuristic style" really brought the whole convention to life. It was surreal. 

Fellow cosplayers

Fellow cosplayers

Of course, what is a convention without a cosplay fashion show? 

Music:

There were two tents with stages (Each location of this event may have a different set-up.)  I will be honest, I hadn't heard of many of the bands before the convention- aside from Steam-powered Giraffe, who by the way, totally rocked. 

Music added to the ambiance and gave the convention a positive vibe. Live music at a convention- definitely a plus.

Merchandise:

There were several large rooms full of merchandise, as well as many hotel rooms which were being used as booths for specific types of steampunk gear. There were old coins, metal trinkets, leather jackets, aviators, weaponry, jewelry, lingerie, and more. I would shop around before you make any purchases. The prices varied and a lot of the vendors were a bit pricey, but if you kept a keen eye, you could find what you were looking for for a decent price. 

Also, on Sundays, the last day of the convention, many vendors have sales. 

Steampunk guitars

Steampunk guitars

Mystery:

-I attended a murder mystery dinner. This dinner was fun, though I was sitting in the back, so it was hard to hear at times. The food was decent and had a lot of variety (buffet style.)  The mystery dinner is yet another way the World's Fair strives to immerse you into the steampunk universe. The hosts are fun and comical, and for you gentlemen out there, they have a pretty lady co-host. 

-There was also an absinthe tasting event. I enjoyed this event as I got to learn about French culture and the origin of absinthe. You get small shots of each brand offered. Our group was lucky as they had a few extra at the end of the event. We were also served snacks. 

Overall:

I had a lot of fun at this convention. If I would have brought more money with me, I would have purchased all kinds of things. I do recommend this convention for any steampunk enthusiasts, or even if you are just curious about it. The hotel was nice, the people were fun and open, and the events were well managed. 

Fantastic cosplay

Fantastic cosplay

Steampunk R2D2 That someone made

Steampunk R2D2 That someone made

locomotive that someone built

locomotive that someone built

Find a Steampunk Convention Near You

Steampunk is gaining popularity all across the board. There are many Steampunk Conventions and cosplay events all over the world. I hate it when I hear about an event after the fact., but let's face it- sometimes these events fly below the radar within the mainstream media. Here is a list of upcoming events for steampunk and cosplay lovers everywhere; I hope this helps :) 

1. Steampunk at the Seaside on March 22nd-25th: Camber Sands England, UK

2. AnomalyCon3 on March 29th-31st, 2013: Denver, CO

3. Thingamajigy Fayre on March 16th-17th : San Antonio, Tx

4. Steampunk at Gettysburg on March 29th -31st : Gettysburg, PA

5. Steampact on March 30th -31st : Rome, Italy

6.Steamwerk Ball on April 6th, 2013: Lancaster, PA

7.Florida Steampunk Exhibit East on April 13th-15th: Daytona Beach, FL  

8. Sakura Steampunk Celebration on April 7th :Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan

9. Steampunk Empire Symposium on April 26th-28th,2013 : Cincinnati, Ohio

10. Divine Decadence on April 26th-28th,2013: Somerset, NJ 

11. Steampunks in Space on April 26th-28th, 2013: Santa Clara, CA

12.Gaslight Gathering on May3rd-5th, 2013: San Diego, CA

13. Aethercircus on May 4th-5th, 2013: Stage, Germany

14. Steampunk Soiree on May 10th-12th, 2013: Lafayette, LA

15. The Watch City Festival on May 11th and 12th: Waltham, MA

16. The Steampunk World's Fair on May 17th-19th: Piscataway, NJ

17. Up in The Aether Steampunk Convention on May 24th-26th,2013 : Detroit, Michigan

18. Clockwork Alchemy on May 24th-27th,2013 : San Jose, CA

19.The Brass Screw Confederacy's Steampunk Hootenanny on June 7th-9th, 2013: Port Townsend, WA

20.ConTemporal on June 28th-30th, 2013: Raleigh , NC

21GearCon July 5th-7th, 2013 Portland, OR 

22. Salt City Steamfest on July 26th-28th,2013: Salt Lake City, Utah

23.Wunderkammer Festival on August 25th, 2013: Santa Rosa, CA

24.Skybourne Presents: A Carnival Menagerie on September 13th-14th : Dallas, TX

25. The Asylum on September 13th-15th, 2013 : Lincoln, England, UK

26. International Steampunk City on October 12th-13th, 2013 : Morristown, NJ

27. NH Secret Swan Masquarade on October 27th, 2013 : 5 Park St, Tilton, NH

28. Steamcon V on October 25th-27th, 2013 : Seattle , Washington

29.Teslacon IV on October 31st - November 3rd, 2013 : Madison , WI

30. Emerald City Steampunk Expo on November 1st- 3rd, 2013 : Wichita, Kansas

31. OctopodiCon on November 1st-3rd, 2013 : Norman, OK

32. Upstate Steampunk Extravaganza on November 15th-17th, 2013 : Anderson, S.C

33. Steampunk Unlimited on November 16th- 17th: Strasburg Rail Road, Lancaster County, PA


images (1).jpg

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest- A steampunk/zombie thriller

Boneshaker.jpg

My first experience with Cherie Priest was when I stumbled upon the Clockwork Century Series, of which, the first novel is Boneshaker. The world described is quite easy to envision, not because of any lack of imagination, but rather because the book is full of originality and tone. This novel combines a mechanical steam-punk world with a twist- zombies!!!! While the main story is one of adventure and your typical conflict/resolution story arc, there is another story about the search for identity and lineage. The book was an enjoyable read and the author's style flowed coherently.  I thought the decision to label zombies as "rotters" was fun.  The idea of being trapped in a foggy, blight-infested, rotter ridden town is terrifying to me! One blast of blight to the face and I'm a goner..or rotter that is...

Most characters are likable or at least interesting in some manner or another, which is always a plus.  As each page turned, I thought to myself : "How would this story fare as a movie?!" Well, someone out there must agree with me on this one; news hit Film School Rejects on November 11th, 2012 that studios are planning on transforming Boneshaker into a motion picture. John Hilary Shepherd is writing the screenplay for this Hugo Award winning novel. I do hope the film does the book justice. I loved the story and think it would make a great film if put in the right hands. 

I plan on continuing my literary journey with the Clockwork Century Series and I recommend that others do the same. :)

"Gearin''' up for the Steampunk World's Fair

Got plans for May 17th-19th? Too bad! :) It is time for the Steampunk World's Fair. This grandiose event will be held in Piscataway, New Jersey. The location of this event spreads across two hotels- The Radisson of Piscataway and The Embassy Suites of Piscataway.

 (**Note ** As of now, these two hotels are sold out, but the overflow hotel still has rooms. The overflow hotel, The Somerset Bridgewater Hotel, is located in Somerset, NJ which is roughly thirty minutes from the event. While this is the recommended overflow hotel, there are hotels closer to the World's Fair event. If you are like me and are planning on walking most of your stay in Jersey, then here is a good starting point for your hotel search : See the link below)

The World's Fair caters to creativity, theatrics, and fantasy. Events such as the Goblin Market and the Victorian Dinner captivate the imagination. We all need a bit of an escape every now and again, right? Why not become part of another world? A majestic, artistic , and bizarre world! Get your gears and top-hats ready- this Victorian  event is right around the corner.  Get ready for live bands, eerie marketplaces, and enthralling ensembles. The steampunk world is coming to New Jersey. I hope they are ready! 

IMAG0507.jpg

Steampunk Fashion

Steam-punk combines the Wild West, the Victorian Age, and futuristic science fiction into one unique style. Steam-punk is not just a genre of fashion, but a genre of literature, art, and film. Some essentials of this genre include brass everything, Victorian garment, top hats, worn leather, belts, gears, buttons, and the staple variation of aviator goggles.  This style combines creativity, science fiction/fantasy, and even a post-apocalyptic survivalist approach to life.  The literature and film industry have created vast steam powered worlds that capture the imagination,including anything from steam powered air ships to floating cities in the sky. The canon includes many books, manga, and anime that embody the steam-punk world. Not only do the settings and plots intrigue us, but the art, clothing, and architecture are something to behold. The ingenuity involved with taking ordinary items and transforming them into this "pseudo-Victorian mechanical style" is something to be respected. Though steam-punk is often considered a sub-culture, many mainstream stores and artists are beginning to explore more and more of this genre.  If you are interested in exploring this genre, it is easy to create your own steam-punk style with a little arts and crafts...

20130118_170136 (1).jpg

The hat above, I made using an $8 top hat, vintage trinkets, and feathers.

IMAG0509 (1).jpg

To the right, we added computer parts including: memory sticks, a hard drive, and a processing chip to a store bought top-hot.. We also added some gears and gadgets to the coat. The coat is also lined with brass buttons.  Rather than wearing goggles, Mr. Wyatt chose gold framed sunglasses to match the brass on his jacket.

20130220_201317.jpg

The blue dress was purchased at a yard sale. The vintage look really fit the steam-punk style. I added some accessories and store-bought goggles. Any thrift store or yard sale is a good place to search for the vintage look. Just add some imagination and you have got yourself a steam-punk wardrobe.

Below are some ideas for jewelry. Anything vintage or Victorianesque  will work. Try gold or copper lapels to really accessorize. Amazon and other sites such as Etsy have jewelry rendered to the steam-punk style.

20130220_201351.jpg
20130120_165351.jpg
20130120_165111.jpg
20130120_165308.jpg
13 - 1 (1).jpg