Jeff Mach‘s Steampunk World’s Fair is the world’s largest Steampunk event! Everyone is welcome, from the veteran Steampunker to the simply curious. Come an join us for a weekend of merriment, we’d love to meet you!
Out with the Old, in with the New
The Steampunk World’s Fair 2017 was a rousing success! We’d like to thank everyone who attended this year’s event. We’d love your feedback; please feel free to share it with us via our feedback form!
Next year’s event, Steampunk World’s Fair 2018, will be at the Radisson and Embassy Suites of Piscataway, New Jersey, May 4-6th, 2018. Hotel rooms are available at our popular overflow hotel and tickets are available now as well!
New and don’t know where to start?
No problem! First, we recommend reading about what the Steampunk World’s Fair is. Then, take a look at our Entertainment line-up and our Merchant roster to get an idea of the things you can expect to enjoy at our event. Our VIP & Add-on event listings are a good way to see all the extra, premium content we have to offer, too! Then, when you’re ready, take a look at our Buy Tickets page to join us at the next SPWF.
The Latest from our Curators
I think I speak for all grumpy old men of Steampunk when I say: “BAH! HUMBUG!”
I suspect that the next entry here will contain some kind of holiday cheer. For everyone who’s up for that sort of poppycock, you should probably check tomorrow’s entry. But for now, let me give you some of the benefits of using Steampunk to avoid the holiday season.
7 Some people are dreaming of a snowy white Christmas. I dread that, my thought, which is precisely why I have my Steam-Powered Weather Alteration Device set to “Volcano.
6. Want to avoid awkward conversations at dinner? Just show up in your full Steampunk garb, complete with an assortment of weaponry. Everything becomes much more polite.
5. Don’t want to give presents? Just do what I do… give everyone tickets to events that have already happened. If they’re too lazy to own time machines, that’s on them.
4. Food coma from too much turkey and other festive food? Just slip your goggles off your top hat and over your eyes, and nobody will know you’re asleep!
3. Did Santa leave you a lump of coal? That’s fine; you can just use it to stoke the boiler in your airship. Then you can chase after his sleigh and get the GOOD presents.
2. Television wasn’t even invented in the Steampunk era, which is an excellent excuse not to watch “It’s A Wonderful Life” for the millionth time.
1. Remember, if anyone asks…you’re not a mean, nasty cuss; you’re just reproducing a beloved figure of the Victorian era – the one and only Ebenezer Scrooge!
(As told to Jeff Mach of Jeff Mach Events.)
“Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster.”
“I happen to LIKE oysters, thank you.”
Absinthe Secret Guacamole Rustico
It was pointed out to us that there are few things more Steampunk than guacamole. Think of it: You take a rich, ripe thing which is a paradox in and of itself (for it’s technically a fruit, but we treat it as a vegetable – how can one thing be both? And yet it is!) – and you pull off its outer shell, revealing something luscious inside. You then take that lusciousness and transform it by simultaneously smashing it with heavy implements and adding spice. Finally, you douse it in absinthe, set it on fire, and serve it. PLEASE DON’T DO THAT LAST THING, WE’RE JUST KIDDING ABOUT THAT.
What you CAN do is this other amazing trick:
- Take about a half a shot glass of Tequila – we recommend something of a higher quality, with a purer flavor.
- Take a little bit of your preferred green food coloring.
- Mix the two. You’ll get something that LOOK rather like absinthe, as long as no-one sniffs it. If you’re dining with serious absinthe experts, let them in on the secret in advance.
- Right before you finish mashing up the guacamole, preferably in front of an audience, add the tequila. If you make the guacamole BEFORE serving it, try this trick: Fill the WHOLE shot glass with your pre-greened tequila, then, just before you invite people to consume your treat, carefully splash half into the dish, mix it up a bunch, and theatrically finish off the remainder of the shot.
- This isn’t just for show! The tequila will REALLY bring out the lime and the salt and the contrasting flavors. And people will think you’re some kind of genius who managed to make absinthe go with guacamole. It’s up to you whether or not you let them in on the secret.
Yield: 2 cups
Skill Level: 1
- 4 ripe avocados, halved, pitted and diced
- 1 cup finely diced red onion
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 jalapenos, halved lengthwise, seeded and finely diced
- 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- Coarse salt to taste
- Tequila! (Masquerading as Absinthe)
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the red onion, garlic, tomato, jalapeno, and cilantro. Stir to combine.
- In a separate bowl, mash one portion of avocado. Add it to the medium-sized bowl and stir gently to combine.
- Repeat with the rest of the avocado, and then add the lemon juice and salt.
- Throw in the tequila!
- Taste for seasoning and adjust as desired.
Here is a Steampunk way of looking at love and loss:
Have you had your heart, not simply broken, but hurt so much you thought it was destroyed?
Good! Now you have Power. Like a lightning bolt through Dr. Frankenstein’s laboratory, you can activate something incredible.
You are a creator.
You have the power to re-make your heart.
You have the power to re-make your heart, and you don’t have to choose to make it out of rage and fear.
Make it into what you want to become. A clockwork man is not a parody of a human; it is animated potential, ready to try to be the best things a human can be. A clockwork heart can be built as you want. So want the things that will give you the possibilities you desire.
Remake your heart with joy.
Remake your heart with strength.
Remake your heart with force.
Remake your heart into an imdomitable, unending factory for creating a better life, a sweeter world, a better home for your mind, soul, and needs.
Remake your heart and become something stronger, better than anyone ever imagined.
And when you see that little smudge of red still pooled on the floor, just smile. That was the old you. That was the sad you. That was the you who was afraid.
You don’t need that you any more. You have a greater self to be.
I own a LOT of old science fiction books, almost all of them purchased ridiculously cheaply at library book sales, rummage sales, and used bookstores. I can stroll through my library (by which I mean: my tiny, grimoire-crammed apartment) and peruse the shelves forever; actually, that’s about the only thing I CAN do in this apartment, as all the space is occupied by tomes of every conceivable size) – and sometimes, I run across something I acquired before I really knew what Steampunk was, and I say, “GOOD HEAVENS! IT’S A LOST TREASURE OF STEAMPUNK!”
Which brings me to this new segment in my blog: “Neglected Steampunk Novels”. And today’s book is The Other Log Of Phileas Fogg, by Philip José Farmer.
This is a Wold Newton book; and that, in and of itself, is fascinating. Long before the Expanded Universe or other present world-spanning and genre-spending ideas, Wold Newton (a real-life fallen comet whose consequence, in this Universe, was to create extraordinary abilities in those near it) – was a genre about whose characters, Wikipedia asserts:
“As well as Tarzan and Doc Savage, both Lord Peter Wimsey and Sherlock Holmes are descendants of the original families. Other popular characters included by Farmer as members of the Wold Newton family are Solomon Kane; Captain Blood; The Scarlet Pimpernel; Sherlock Holmes’s nemesis Professor Moriarty; Phileas Fogg; The Time Traveller (main character of The Time Machine by H. G. Wells); Allan Quatermain; A. J. Raffles; Professor Challenger; Richard Hannay; Bulldog Drummond; the evil Fu Manchu and his adversary, Sir Denis Nayland Smith; G-8; The Shadow; Sam Spade; Doc Savage’s cousin Patricia Savage and one of his five assistants, Monk Mayfair; The Spider; Nero Wolfe; Mr. Moto; The Avenger; Philip Marlowe; James Bond; Lew Archer; Travis McGee; Monsieur Lecoq; and Arsène Lupin.”
I won’t go too far into the plot for “The Other Log”–but Phileas Fogg is a fascinating Steampunk character. In the original book, we know so little about him – he’s oddly wealthy, he has very specific habits, he has the aplomb of a stereotypical British Victorian gentleman, and he races ’round the world, theoretically in defense of the technological capabilities of modern life and on the odd theory that the world is predictable–and he essentially bets all of his means on doing so.
Philip José Farmer does something very Steampunk here: He sees a story which has, not exactly plot loopholes, but deep gaps in who and what and why, and he invents them. He builds hitherto unconsidered reasons for Fogg’s actions and movements, layers them perfectly with the original novel, and creates meaning out of what had been emptiness–essentially, thin air.
It’s a joy to watch, and a joy to read, and a thoroughly Steampunk tale. It’s a fascinating book, and well-worth inclusion in your own library (or, in my case, my “giant mountain of tomes”.
Stay tuned to this blog for more neglected Steampunk ideas, thoughts about Steampunk in general, humor, inspiration, and, of course, tea.
Or, if I’m honest, also for the lazy and the artistically-deficient. And by that, I mean dead simple, and still looks fantastic! I used to think that not everyone has the time, inclination, or (eh hem, like me) the talent to make jaw-dropping Steampunk desserts. Or maybe we do! Here’s a quick list of decoration tools and products you can get to turn that every-day cupcake into a clockwork cupcake masterpiece:
Gears, Cogs, & Clockwork
Gears are probably the most universally-recognized Steampunk shape, so we’ll start with those. The easiest way to make soft food items like fondant, cookie dough, and sandwich bread look like a gear is to use a cutter of some sort. I have a few you can take a peak at below:
|This cutter is 3D printed and technically made for fondant cutting, but works well for any soft food. They are made to order for a very good price and currently on sale at JB Cookie Cutters. They offer a couple styles of gears which you can see at the bottom of the page as well, and you can order them in whichever diameter you wish.|
|Another great place to find cutters with Steampunk flare is Etsy! Just check out this one by TheCookieCutterLady, which has sharp edges and comes in a variety of sizes. (She also sells cutters in the shape of swords, plaques, and vintage keys, so check her store out!)|
Edible paper (called wafer paper) is a great way to make your iced cookies and cakes look literally hand-painted and come in an incredible array of styles (including custom!) I’ve found a couple excellent examples for your next Steampunk tea party:
|Which of us could ever say “No!” to a Mad Hatter Tea Party? None, I dare say! These edible wafer paper designs are not just for children and come in 8.5 x 11″ sheets with 25 assorted images. They’re available from Fancy Flours, who also carries hundreds of other designs as well.|
|Here comes Etsy to the rescue again! QueenofTartsWafers has a delightful array of edible art suitable for your splendiferous needs. The best part? They’re made with potato starch, water, vegetable oil, and food coloring, so they won’t taste strange, but they will certainly look it, in a good way!|
Breaking the Mold
Feeling a bit more daring? Check out these extremely cost-effective and awesome-looking molds for icing, fondant, chocolate, and more! These mold kits are all available on Amazon from Anyana:
Those are some good basic design shapes, but what about that last touch of class you want? If you have a local crafting store, chances are they sell Wilton brand cake decorations, which can help you through that last mile to the delicious finish line! Just look at some of these:
And that, dear readers, should get you off and decorating on the right foot. Though, if you need inspiration, I highly suggest you check out the Steam Cakes Steampunk Collaboration gallery on Facebook – some of the pieces there are truly awe-inspiring and incredible to behold.
~ A guest blog by Evalynn