This past weekend I attended Portland’s annual steampunk convention, Gear Con. This was my first convention in several years, and my first steampunk get together.  I have to say I really enjoyed the experience.

DSC08800-corrected-480x640Held July 5th – 7th at the Doubletree by Hilton, it was 3 days celebrating everything steampunk-ish from books to music to art and offered just about anything a steampunker (what else do you call those of the steampunk persuasion?) could want, including vendors, panels, crafts, a tesla coil (!!),and even some 19th century martial arts. The gathering might have been on the small side but the attendees were enthusiastic and made for a fun, if polite (we are talking Victorian manners here), crowd.

While there may have been some organizational challenges with the weekend (to be expected at most conventions) I thought the staff did a great job making everyone feel welcome and always seemed to be pitching in wherever they could. Likewise the vendors were all helpful, even quickly replacing a watch my sister had purchased after we found it to be running backwards! Alas, we had not discovered a time machine as first thought, but only a pocket watch that had gotten a bit ahead of itself.

I was fortunate enough to hang around the convention with my friend and writer Jonathon Burgess, and as he was on a number of panels throughout the convention, I also got to hang out with the other panelists and spend time with the likes of Jessica Van Hulle, Jordan Stratford, Andrew Mayer, Andrew S. Fuller, and Jillian Lerner. All of them were great and provided a lot of insight into the businesses of writing and art, and where the steampunk genre is going in the future. A big thanks to all of them for letting a unpublished fellow such as myself hang out and absorb some creative geeky vibes.

GearConPanel-1024x768

All in all I had a great time and recommend it to anyone looking to get their steampunk on next year.