Steamcon Ahoy!

October 5, 2012

I think I’ve mentioned it previously, but I’ll mention it again now, in greater detail, that I’m attending Steamcon IV — and I’m on programming!  I’ll be reading part of a new Harry and Marlowe story, signing books, and appearing on several panels:  Frankenstein, Paranormal Steampunk, Werewolves of London (natch), and The Spiritualist Movement of the 19th Century (which I know more about than the average monkey, but am far from an expert on, so I think I’ll be doing some brushing up on the topic).  So interesting!  I get to put on my Victorian lit scholar hat for a weekend!

I have a confession:  I’ve been feeling like a bit of a dilettante, jumping on the steampunk bandwagon and foisting myself upon programming when I really only have one published steampunk short story to my name right now (soon to be two, honest!).  But several people have e-mailed me to say they’re happy I’m coming, which gave me a boost, and I’ve realized I just need to dive on in and be a fan about the whole thing.  I’m not just a steampunk author, I’m a costumer and a reader and a literature scholar, and no one’s going to be checking my steampunk ID at the door.  I’m going to Steamcon to have a great time, and I can’t wait.

Which leaves only one remaining concern:  What on earth am I going to wear?  Because it’s become entirely clear to me that after just a few years of steampunk costuming, on top of twelve years of SCA costuming, not to mention years of general Halloween and theme party costuming, I have one hell of an excellent collection of clothing.  I have more outfits than I can ever possibly wear in a weekend.  Just look:

Corsets.  Oh yes.  Corsets.  Nothing says, “You are not from this time and place” like a well-fitted stripey or leather corset or bodice.  (I made the two blue ones.  The leather and red one were purchased.)

Also, hats.  Why oh why did hats ever go out of style?  I’m telling you, half the fun of steampunk costuming is the marvelous HATS.

Not to mention the various skirts, shirts, trousers, and jackets I have, none of which are specifically steampunk, but you put them together with a choice corset and a hat and the right leather belt and pouches and such, and ta-da!  There you go.

Herein lies the true trick of steampunk costuming:  everyone has a steampunk outfit hiding in their closet.  Do you have khaki pants?  A white dress shirt?  A vest or jacket from a suit?  A silk scarf to tie jauntily around your neck?  A pair of slick boots or dress shoes?  Leather gloves?  Then you have the basic steampunk costume, which you can wear to a steampunk convention like Steamcon IV.

And then you know what I made for myself this summer?  A frockcoat.  I am definitely bringing the frockcoat to Steamcon for its first public outing.

Alas, I believe I may have revealed my secret.  As much as I like talking about Victorian literature (I really hope we can talk about the novel’s frame story on the Frankenstein panel!), how much more fun is it when I can do so while wearing a frockcoat!

So, how many of you will I be seeing in Seattle at the end of the month?


9 Responses to “Steamcon Ahoy!”

  1. WanabePBWriter Says:

    Being a something of a Luddite, steampunk does intrigue me but I would find attending a con intimidating. I am currently in Con mourning for my symbolic home Con, ConQuest KC, whose venue has moved from the downtown KC Sheraton, to a suburban holiday inn attached to a waterpark across the highway from Kansas City Chiefs football stadium.

    Have a great Con.

  2. bunnyface Says:

    We will be there! It will be our second time attending, and we are madly sewing away on our costumes now. I love your waistcoat! Your panels sound very exciting, I’m sure we’ll be dropping in!

  3. Rebecca Sparks Says:

    Alas, I cannot go. I will have friends attending though–my friend that I lent the Kitty Series & After the Golden Age. She loved them very much. I’m sure she’ll be thrilled you’ll be there. (She and her husband are staffers.)

    … How are you going to work the “Victorian Monsters” theme into your outfit?

  4. kirstenhwhyte Says:

    Until today I had never heard of Steampunk. I am not sure how this genre has passed me by! I am off to investigate some more. I wish I could attend SteamCon (but being in the UK, it is a bit of a hike), I love a corset!

  5. […] This morning I read the latest post on Carrie Vaughn’s blog about Steamcon and Steampunk. […]

  6. carriev Says:

    Oh, you’re in for a treat! The UK has lots of steampunk events of its own, check out the Brass Goggles forum for more info:

  7. Andrew Says:

    If you have access to transportation, and of course the time, you should check out the AFK Tavern in Everett. It’s not far from Bellevue, but not within walking distance either.

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