- Politics and Social Issues
Living in the weird weird west!
Greetings chrononauts, aviators, tinkerers, scientists and steampunk enthusiasts! We at Steamcon Central toiled tirelessly to bring you an even more spectacular convention than our first quite successful Steamcon. The second steamposium highlighted the Weird Weird West or American steampunk, if you will. Imagine the age of steam on the wild frontier. We explored the world of roughriders on mechanical horses, mad inventors, mystical Indian shamans, and mighty steam locomotives. Picture airships instead of stagecoaches, and the precision of robotic sharp shooters. If western steampunk didn't appeal, there was still be lots of classic steampunk to partake of as well. We doubled our space to bring you even more steampunk wonders and delights. The ever popular Mr. Bodewell's Cabaret returned with expanded hours. There was Riverboat Gambler Night, Wild Lillie's tea parties, the Outlaw night concert and much much more.
Author Guest of Honor - James Blaylock - One of the fathers of steampunk
James P. Blaylock, born and bred in the heart of the southern California wilderness, has been publishing stories and novels since around 1975 – more than twenty novels and story collections in all. In 1977, UnEarth magazine published his story “The Ape-box Affair,” arguably the first American steampunk story. Over the years he has won the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award for his steampunk novel Homunculus and two World Fantasy Awards. His short story “Unidentified Objects” was nominated for an O.Henry Award.
His most recently published novels are Knights of the Cornerstone, set in the California desert, and The Ebb Tide, a steampunk adventure set in London and the Lake District. In the works is another steampunk novel titled The Affair of the Chalk Cliffs.
He has been a teacher for 35 years, and is currently a professor at Chapman University in the city of Orange, where he has lived for more than half his life. Also, he directs the Creative Writing Conservatory at the Orange County High School of the Arts, the most extensive school-year-round creative writing program in the known world, with 160 students and ten faculty, including master teacher Tim Powers. Jim has been married to his wife Viki for nearly forty years. They have two sons, both actors and aspiring writers, who live in New York.
Artist Guest of Honor: Jake Von Slatt
Jake von Slatt is a maker, tinkerer, and all around techno dilettante living and creating just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. Jake is interested in the blending of 19th century aesthetics and technology with the modern world and showcases projects of that ilk on his website at steampunkworkshop.com. While he eschews the temptation to rigidly define the term "Steampunk," he does know that it has something to do with the intersection of technology and romance.
Games Guest of Honor: Shane Lacey Hensley
Shane Lacy Hensley is a 20+ year veteran of the pen-and-paper and video/computer game industry. He's best known for founding Pinnacle Entertainment Group, where he has created award-winning products such as Deadlands and Savage Worlds.
Shane also served as as a lead designer on the award-winning City of Heroes/City of Villains at Cryptic Studios (now Atari) before moving on to become Studio Head of Superstition Studios where the team was working on a Deadlands MMO. Superstition's parent company folded, but Shane got right back in the saddle with Dust Devil Studios and a new casual game called "Zombie Pirates."
As a freelancer, Shane has worked for such companies as SSI, Petroglyph, Hasbro, TSR, West End Games, FASA, Topps, WizKids, and Eden Studios. He has written or designed hundreds of products, including role-playing game books, collectible card games, web-based games, historical miniature games, Facebook games, large scale MMOs, first person shooters, novels, and short stories.
Shane lives in Gilbert, Arizona, and loves the heat. He also loves to run games and meet gamers from all around the world.
Ghoultown have thrilled, marauded and rocked their way across the nation for over a decade. Boasting collaborations with Chris Telkes (Nocturne) and Sara Lee Lucas (Marilyn Manson). Think of it this way--if Rob Zombie and Johnny Cash were tossed into a meat packer, Ghoultown is what would come out the other side.
Ghoultown's live performances have garnered a loyal nationwide fanbase opening for the likes of Hank III, The Misfits, and Gorgeous Frankenstein. After conquering the Texas live circuit, the band took their act on the road. From New York's infamous CBGBs to Bar Sinister in Los Angeles, no saloon or concert hall is safe.
Hailed as pioneers of hellbilly rock, Ghoultown continues to make hearts race and skin crawl as they bring their unique brand of music to more fans. Recently, the band embarked on their first international tour with shows in Germany, Poland, and Slovakia.
Abney Park comes from an era that never was, but one that we wish had been. An era where airships waged war in the skies, and corsets and cummerbunds were proper adventuring attire. They've picked up their bad musical habits, scoundrelous musicians, and anachronistically hybridized instruments from dozens of locations and eras that they have visited in their travels and thrown them into one riotous dervish of a performance. Expect clockwork guitars, belly dancers, flintlock bassists, middleastern percussion, violent violin, and Tesla powered keyboards blazing in a post- apocalyptic, swashbuckling, Steampunk musical mayhem.
Abney Park CDs!
Were you at Steamcon II? Tell us about it? We'd love to hear from you!