SteamCon 2012 with Adrienne Fox

Hey GeekGirlCon fans! This is Adrienne Fox, former GeekGirlCon copywriter turned guest blogger, reporting on Steamcon IV at Shubz’s request.

Steamcon is a regional convention in the Pacific Northwest dedicated to steampunk. Steampunk, if you are not familiar with it, is a sub-genre of science fiction and fantasy based on steam-powered mechanisms focused in the 19th century, most often during the Victorian era. But, that is a very simple description. The steampunk aesthetic has grown beyond literature to art, music, costumes, clothing, and even Justin Bieber. After four successful conventions, Steamcon shows no sign of slowing down.

The inspiration for Steamcon IV was “Victorian Monsters.” The steampunk crowd had a lot of fun with the theme and showed off costumes from the fantastical to silly, and even scary. Check out the KOMO news photos, the Seattle Weekly slideshow, or the Steamcon IV Flickr pool.

I chose to go the monster hunter route so I could vanquish the likes of any vampires or werewolves lurking in the glow of gaslight. It is always better to patrol in pairs so I bought along my friend—and her crossbow.

Even a monocled, gentleman werewolf was not safe from our pursuit.

Batgirl and Supergirl lent a hand to rid the con of evil…

…and mad scientists. (But seriously this extra-capacity brain set up is totally amazing.)

So amazing that I believe another view of that awesome mad scientist is necessary. And check out the antique syringes on the belt.

Lots more families donning the steampunk garb at Steamcon IV. So cute!

Steampunk has a neat aesthetic no doubt, and it’s easy to get caught up in a word of mad science, shiny brass gears, bustles, and buckles. However, because the Victorian era was also one of extreme racism, classism, and sexism, it can be problematic to adopt uncritically the styles, etiquette, and habits of the period. Just as GeekGirlCon strives to create space for everyone, including the often marginalized fans, there is a dedicated group in steampunk working toward inclusiveness. Check out blogs like Silver Goggles, Beyond Victoriana, and Steampunk Emma Goldman for critical insights into the era and the steampunk community itself.

Next year, the Steamcon theme is “Around the World.” I might pull out the ol’ airship mechanic coveralls inspired by Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker for next year. Or do something totally new—who knows. If you were to attend Steamcon V, what kind of costume would you put together?

Adrienne Fox is a conservationist by day, but by night this geek unwinds on the couch with some Firefly and Hammer horror. Or you might find her cozied up with a stack of comics and steaming cup of Earl Grey. Adrienne came to Seattle by way of a childhood in Pennsylvania and college years in Rhode Island. For as long as she can remember she’s been amassing geek collectibles, like the mail-away for Boba Fett, her 12-inch talking Tick, and recently obtained BSG Top Gun stein. Also a rabid soccer fan, her love of the U.S. Women’s National Team, Manchester United, and the Seattle Sounders knows no bounds. You may see her at Emerald City Comicon, Steamcon, the “Clink,” and random comic shops around town.

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