Conventional Undertakings

Steampunk Bison Sculpture outside of the Dakota Restaurant, Rapid City, South Dakota

I just got back from Geneva Steam this week, and boy, conventions can take a lot out of you — especially when you have a stomach issue of some type that pops up on Friday and doesn’t leave until Saturday afternoon. Makes for kind of a short convention experience.

I really like Geneva Steam. It’s steampunk, as the name suggests, but it’s a smaller, laid-back convention with lots of music, a solid slate of programming, and a decent dealer’s room. I also have enjoyed the venue: the Lakelawn Resort in Delavan Wisconsin, though the sprawling complex can be tough on people who are less mobile than I.

In the past, I’ve volunteered my time working on an author track of programming. I know a bunch of local steampunk authors, and it has always disappointed me that (in my opinion) steampunks don’t do a better job of supporting the authors in their own community, so I set about to change that by trying to make authors more visible through panels and readings at Geneva Steam.

The last two years of tracking down authors and collecting panel ideas has attracted attention: I’ve been invited to officially join the Geneva Steam convention committee, and I’ve accepted. I’ve been down this road before: I’ve worked on programming for WisCon, GeekKon, and others, and even volunteered at a WorldCon or two, so I know my way around a program book. I’m also not kidding myself: working on a convention IS work, but since I’ve been doing the same thing for the last two years anyway, I might as well roll up my sleeves and really pitch in, right? Besides, I find it tough to say no to Melinda, Camille, and Emily, who do a terrific job of running Geneva Steam already, but can always use a little more help.

My next Steampunk event isn’t until late September and the Chicago Steam Expo It’ll be fun spending my birthday weekend celebrating in steampunk style, though I’ll need to do a little clothes shopping between now and then.

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