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!