I doubt I’m alone when I say my first venture into geekdom was through the tried and true passages of fantasy, and that love has continually grown, shuttling me from classic fantasies such as Tolkien and The Last Unicorn all the way to more modern, progressive works like The Raven Cycle and Game of Thrones.
Fantasy—coupled with science and other speculative fiction—is a constant draw for me, so it’s no surprise that the GeekGirlCon ‘15 vendors leaning that way are all absolutely on my “Must Visit” list for the upcoming con. Here’s a preview of some of what you’ll see in the Exhibitor Hall, from steampunk corsets to full-on plate armor to delicate nymph headdresses.
Every aspiring magic user could use a skull or two, whether it’s a resin cast of a crow, raven or barn owl, or a replica bat skull strung on a long chain. Art Phoenix Studios’ skulls and jewelry add the perfect, fantastical touch to any outfit or decor.
If soft leather in beautiful styles is more your fancy, Bansai8 Creations should be your first stop. Hand-crafted gear-heavy necklaces, guitar straps, and even sporran bags await you in this fine establishment. Take a load off and invest in these high-quality goods.
Searching for a new look? Butterfly Frillies’ corsets, cinchers, and vests are perfect for almost every occasion. These steampunk, couture goods are hand-made by the designer and have been featured by USA Today, Ladies of Steampunk Magazine, and Dark Beauty Magazine!
There’s nothing like scalemail to really get the fantasy point across, and Crystal’s Idyll is the ideal place to get your fix. With hand-knitted bases to keep the mail from shifting, these epaulets, dice bags, and gauntlets will help you get into character no matter what the setting.
Planning on cavorting through some fields and forests in the near future? Idolatremight be what you’re looking for. Whether you’re interested in taking on the spirit of a jackalope, a ram, or even a maenad, these innovative pieces will help you blend into the steampunk or fantasy land while also standing out in style.
If it’s plate you’re looking to adorn yourself with, the lightweight armor made by Sinister Metalworks might suit. The helmets, crowns, and chestplates come in styles as varied as Grecian and Orc, and they even do custom jobs for your unique LARPing needs.
Never fear! GeekGirlCon’s Last Minute Geek Gift Guide is here!
Kinda Last Minute
There’s always Amazon, but if I can, I like to think a little smaller. CafePress, ThinkGeek, Etsy, and HalfPrice Books have a wide variety of products guaranteed to appeal to the geek in your life: t-shirts, toys (both pop culture and scientific in nature), coffee mugs, movies, books, bumper stickers — and the list goes on!
Local comic and games shops may offer gift cards or gift certificates if you’re overwhelmed by the amount of geek one place. Find out what genre your geek loves the best, then ask an employee to point you in the right direction. It saves time, and gives your shopping experience a personal touch–as well as giving that employee the opportunity to show off their own geek cred.
Mostly Last Minute
It’s definitely time to go local, people. If you’ve got a steampunker or a scientist in your midst, shops like UW Surplus, Second Use, and Hardwick’s are goldmines. New and used machine parts, tools, building materials, furniture, and stuff you never thought about using might be just what your geek is looking for.
There’s also a search option on Etsy for “shop local”. Find something you think your geek will like, and contact the artist. If that handmade awesomeness is available, it’s as easy as meeting the artist at a local coffee shop to exchange your money for the nifty gift.
TOTALLY Last Minute
Tickets to local events can be found on Brown Paper Tickets, a fair-trade ticket company; you can print them and hide them in a festive box for your geek to open. Brown Paper Tickets sells tickets to concerts, movies, author readings, and conventions. For instance, you can gift your geek with passes to GeekGirlCon ‘13! (shameless plug, I know…)
I don’t know about you, but I love to poke around in museums and educational attractions. Don’t tell the kids about the educational part, though, or you might have a fight on your hands! Some suggestions for local places and events:
Pacific Science Center: The big one going on now through January 6, 2013 is the King Tut Exhibit. There are also rotating movies at the IMAX Theater, as well as camps and scientific exploration stuff for the kids.
NO TIME WHATSOEVER
As an absolute last minute option, there is probably a gift card rack at your local supermarket or convenience store. Those racks have gotten bigger over the years, and sometimes that card is the gift your geek will value most. They get to pick what they want at their leisure, online or in a store, and you don’t have to worry about having your gift exchanged or returned. Some racks contain gift cards for iTunes, a favorite restaurant, or online gaming sites. Even a gift card to that Seattle coffee chain looks pretty in its little envelope, and geeks love their caffeine.
Barnes and Noble Gift Card
My favorite gift, for anyone looking, is a Barnes and Noble gift card. Any denomination welcome. *wink*
Do you have a tabletop gamer in your universe who has been on the AWESOMESAUCE list? Can’t figure out what to get that d20 high roller? Well, take a gander at a few of these gift suggestions!
What’s great about DiXit is there are 3 expansion sets! That means more illustrations and endless fun!
Asmodee’s Dixit is a favorite in my household. My husband and I have introduced many of our friends to this fun game, which is recommended for folks as young as eight. With beautiful illustrations and tons of replay value, this game is sure to be a favorite with your geek.
Guesstures, 1st Edition
Guesstures, a table top twist of the game charades, is a classic for players 12 years old and up. Act out suggestions from drawn cards and have your team guess them all before the “mimer-timer” runs out.
Dungeons and Dragons Players Handbook, 4th Edition
Now, I just started playing Dungeons and Dragons, and I am having a blast! Whether you’re a seasoned GM (game master) or it’s your first time picking up a character sheet, one can always benefit from some D&D swag!
Do you like some crafting along with your tabletop game? Warhammer is going strong. Visit the Seattle Bunker or a store near you to learn about all the armies and games Games Workshop has been developing. If you are a fan of The Hobbit, there’s a game to go along with it.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey — The Bundle.
You can never go wrong with a couple of accessories! For the steampunk enthusiast, check out this steampunk dice set:
A plethora of dice is a tabletop gamer’s ally.
So many dice and no bags of holding in sight? Check out a few of these dice bags on etsy!
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.
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.
Hi folks! We’ve got less than three weeks until GeekGirlCon ‘12, and staff members are already getting our convention schedules together to make sure we don’t miss out on all the fun. Here’s what some of our staff had to say when asked which panel they were most excited for!
“I am most excited for the “Once More with Feeling” Sing-Along because who doesn’t love the musical episode of Buffy? Also, I’m excited for YA Literature and Feminism. As an avid reader of YA books, I’m interested to see the panelists’ perspective on this topic.” – Jex Ballard, Volunteer Coordinator
“This year, we have SO many excellent panels that this was a tough decision. Since I’m a die-hard Browncoat and Buffy fan, I had to go with Jane Espenson and Husbands because it’s a hilarious series and I cannot wait to see what surprises Team Husbands has for us.” – Kristine Hassell, Twitter Administrator
“The panel I am most excited for is—well, it is really, really hard to pick just one—Steampunk Sewing! Each year I have a fabulous idea for a Steamcon costume that never gets executed. And this year is no different; I have a great idea and I am way behind. I hope DodiRose Zooropa, Alisa Green, and Annah Sophia Summers share some nifty tips to save me from donning my dirigible mechanic garb once again because a girl needs options!” – Adrienne Fox, Copywriter
“I’m most excited to see Jane Espenson and the cast of Husbands. Jane is my hero as we desperately need more women writing and producing TV shows. I love that she can bring the funny, the dramatic, and the heartfelt. I also adore Husbands as I do remember a time (when I was a tiny kid) where I never thought queer people like me would be positively portrayed and in lovingly adorable relationships in TV.” – Erica McGillivray, President and Marketing Director
“I am so excited about some pretty different panels this year. I’m really looking forward to A Fate Worse than Death: The Last “Outsider” in Popular Culture – Disability — the panelists are a fantastic group and it’s a topic I am interested to hear more of. If I have to choose between the super cool science-y stuff (robots! NASA! more!), I would have to say that the Stunning Space Science: Voyager — 12,396 days and counting is really calling out to me — you had me at space + science.” – Amanda Powter, Copywriter
Check out our Saturday and Sunday Programming Guides and let us know which panel you are excited for!