By Elizabeth Cychosz, firstname.lastname@example.org
Two weekends from now hordes of people dressed in corsets, top hats, goggles and ray-guns will converge upon Athens to the bewilderment of all who have not noticed the relevant advertising around town.
Well, perhaps not hordes, but they will be dressed like that, right down to the ray-guns. They’ll be here for the Steampunk Spectacle on September 7, which has been coordinated by the Athens County Historical Society & Museum and the Athens Public Library. I’ve been helping them with their publicity this summer, and I and Beta Fish secretary/creative submissions editor Jules Coleman – and hopefully you, too! – will be attending in costume.
If you’ve never heard of steampunk before and that first sentence wasn’t helpful, here’s a quick run-down: It’s a literary and visual genre that takes Victorian and Edwardian fashions and technologies and puts them into a different time period. It’s very whimsical, playful and creative, and at the same time is brilliantly intelligent. It’s the spirit of creation, discovery and exploration that marked that Industrial Revolution, full of science and invention.
You’ve probably seen steampunk-themed movies like Wild Wild West (1999), Around the World in 80 Days (2004), or the most recent Sherlock Holmes films. You may also know games like Bioshock or Fallout, or books like H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine or Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
The Steampunk Spectacle is a two-part celebration of all things steampunk. The diurnal phase will be at the Athens Public Library and will consist of workshops, lectures, displays and a low tea ceremony – all free. The evening will be a ball at the Central Venue on Carpenter, with a live band, costume contest, gadget contest, vendors, dancing and more – all for only $10. After the ball those of-age can adjourn to a private soiree at Jackie O’s. Check out the event website for more info or call 740-592-2280.
Part of the fun of steampunk is the opportunity to develop a persona and act/dress in character, and Jules will be following this post with another specifically regarding that. And remember, there will be a costume contest at the ball!