From September 5 through 17, our fearless co-author S. J. Chambers traveled abroad to bring the Steampunk word to Europe. Of course, the word was already there, and she had a delightful time discussing the differences between U.S., U.K., and French Steampunk, as well as the unifying hope that Steampunk will continue to evolve as a movement. S. J. recounts her experiences in the following posts, beginning with London.
I hate to quote Hilary Clinton here, but the Euro tour took a village. In London, the illustrious Jema Hewitt (author of Steampunk Emporium: Creating Fantastical Jewelry, Devices and Oddments from Assorted Cogs, Gears, and Curios) helped me organize this lovely event at The Last Tuesday Society. I can’t thank her enough for taking the time to help with the scouting and organization.
This wonderful cabinet of curiosities is located in Hackney and displays oddities like Siamese baby skeletons, things in jars, death masks of Napoleon side-by-side with more contemporary surprises like prints of Leonora Carrington and Hans Bellmer. Mr. Kosmos very graciously let me take a quick video of the gallery to share with our readers.
I was joined by Steampunk Bible contributors Jema Hewitt (Emilly Ladybird) and Sydney Padua (Babbage and Lovelace), and the Victorian Monster Hunter Major Jack Union (masterminded by Kit Cox). The evening began with a lecture about the Steampunk movement, and I questioned Hewitt, Padua, and Cox about how Steampunk came to adopt them, what they found most inspiring about the movement, and what they hoped for the future. The audience was also very engaged, and were all very curious about the multicultural blossoming of the movement. The evening was concluded by a lovely performance by the Major (whose adventures we can look forward to in book form next year) and a signing.
There were many fine moments afterwards, one sneaking off with Jema to the gallery’s basement and doing a quick interview with her that will air later this week. Her interview will be kicking off Volume 2.0’s celebration of International Steampunk, so be sure to check back.
I really enjoyed getting to meet Sydney Padua (look for her Raw interview this week), who is as every bit as witty and charming as her comics allude. Sadly, she had to call it a night before all the frenzy of the event subsided, and I wish we could have chatted more. I did get a sneak peek of her new Lovelace and Babbage iPad app that just went live on Ada Lovelace day. It is a lovely thing, filled with sundry primary sources about Ada and Babbage that made me want to acquire an iPad. If you already have one, I suggest you ornament it with this app immediately.
Last, and not least, when the event was over, and the books were signed, I ended the evening with fans Johanna and Tom who took me to a pub and filled the waning evening with lovely conversation.