Steam Powered reaching pressure

Steam Powered reaching pressure

I’m here in Sunnyvale, CA to cover Steam Powered, the first dedicated steampunk convention. Set-up is now underway. The local San Jose freebie, Metro, ran a nice cover piece on the event and steampunk 101. That’s Abney Park on the cover. The article emphasized the maker aspects of the genre and the non-serious roleplaying involved. I.e. it’s fun to make beautifully-crafted, ornamented retro-futuristic gadgets and to pretend they came from some parallel universe that mashes up appealing aspects of past, present, and future.

Some things I’m looking forward to at the convention are Chris Garcia’s talk on the replica of Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine, currently on display at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA, presentations from the Weta Workshop folks (see their Moon Hater Death Ray below), learning more about Airship Ventures, and of course, seeing Abney Park perform on Saturday night at the San Jose Civic Auditorium (tickets for this show are still available). Also, MAKE pal and frequent blog-subject Jake von Slatt is delivering the keynote address at the con. Should be a fun weekend.

BTW: If you’re at the convention, please look me up. I’m staying at the hotel where the convention is happening (The Domain).


Wired has a piece, Ray-Gun Maestro Zaps Steampunk Convention, on Greg Broadmore of Weta Workshop and his participation at Steam Powered.


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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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