Monday, October 24, 2011

MileHiCon 43

So - As one can probably guess from lack of posts/pics, I did not get a full-on steampunk outfit put together for MileHiCon 43 this past weekend. I went ahead and work "civvies" on Friday, then donned Utilikilts and my Steamhammer for Saturday and Sunday. Evidently, this was sufficient to identify me as an Interested Person to the panelist handing out fliers for AnomalyCon after the "Bling Your Brass" panel - she headed straight for me with a handful after the panel was over, and I was able to grin and point out that I already had one...

MileHiCon is a long-running SF/Fantasy con here in Denver - 43rd annual edition this year - and its focus is primarily literary. Lots of books in the dealer room, lots of authors and editors on panels, and not as much cosplay as my wife was expecting - but what there was, was largely steampunk or SP-inspired... Plenty of steampunk programming as well:

  • A Bartitsu demo (which, unfortunately, was scheduled at the same time as a different panel I really wanted to see...)
  • A presentation on Victorian (and slightly later) steam-powered carousels, organs, and other attractions
  • "Bling Your Brass", a multimedia exploration of the steampunk aesthetic as expressed through fiber arts, drawing/painting, jewelry making, polymer clay, and miscellaneous making
  • "Sounds Like Steampunk", on Steampunk music (didn't see - was opposite another writing workshop)
  • "What's New In Steampunk", panel discussion on current trends (literary and otherwise).
I did find myself chuckling after a somewhat self-congratulatory comment on "diversity" within Steampunk was followed up by one of the panel pointing out the same thing I'd been noticing - aside from one older Asian gentleman and a vaguely Sephardic-looking fellow, every other person in the room was, as the panelist put it, "in pretty much the same category, albedo-wise...". This, in turn, triggered a promising discussion of the notion of multiculturalism in steampunk, with the panel (and audience) all in agreement that it's "a good thing" - and engaging the problematic ideas of Imperialism within the steampunk sandbox was likewise seen as "a good thing". Not a full-on panel discussion dedicated to the idea - but it's a start, and the groundwork's been laid. Should be interesting to see what AnomalyCon comes up with in March.

Also found out that Cherie Priest's new novel, Ganymede, is out - and Ms. Priest will be in town for a book signing next month. W00t!