I’ll be speaking on a few panels at the Steampunk World’s Fair in Somerset, New Jersey this weekend, so if you’re there, come up and say hello!
Saturday, at noon, in the concierge lounge, I’ll be part of the Steampunk Bible booklaunch, a book I’m quite excited about because I trust the editors of it completely. (I can’t wait to see my copy. One downside to being nomadic is that I only pick up my mail a few times per year.)
Then on Sunday, 10am, Coolige room, I just discovered I’ll be a panelist at the Envisioning a Better Steam Society: Social Issues & Steampunk panel, moderated by Ay-leen the Peacemaker of Beyond Victoriana. From the description:
A discussion panel where panel participants discuss their thoughts about finding aesthetic inspiration in a historical era rife with sexism, racism and classist thinking. Can the steampunk subculture come to terms with its problematic past, or are we just repeating history, except with ray guns? Together with the audience, we hope to engage in an open dialogue about whether steampunk confronts or condones the historical ideas behind its inspiration, how nineteenth century thinking is re-interpreted in the present day, and what makes steampunk actually “punk.”
And starting on Saturday, gods willing, I’ll have copies of What Lies Beneath The Clock Tower.
I haven’t been to a steampunk event in years, and I’m excited as hell. It’s no secret I burned out on steampunk for awhile, growing sick of all the glorification of imperialism and obsession with trying to get on MTV. But it seems like a really good strong crop of people came up through it and are dedicated to utilizing steampunk as a lens with which to critique and understand contemporary society. And let’s face it, not everyone wants to be a punk-punk, so I’m glad that *punk has come around and opened the doors to DIY culture and anti-authoritarianism for more people. It’s not every day that a new subculture crops up that, for example, specifically includes a lot of people in their thirties and older who’ve never been subculturally affiliated. So fuck yeah, I like steampunk.
Now to figure out what the hell to wear.