Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New Northwest Steampunk Convention

Portland GEAR Con
A Celebration of Steampunk & Ne0-Victoriana
July 22nd-24th, 2011
Crowne Plaza Portland
Portland, Oregon

Weekend pass pre-registration for adults is priced as follows:
* $30 through April 10th
* $40 April 11th – July 21st
On-site registration is $45/adult. Day passes and concert/dance-only admissions will be available, as well as discounted admissions for workshop presenters and staff volunteers.

Meljean Brook
Meljean was raised in the middle of the woods, and hid under her blankets at night with fairy tales, comic books, and romances. She left the forest and went on a misguided tour through the world of accounting before focusing on her first loves, reading and writing–and she realized that monsters, superheroes, and happily-ever-afters are easily found between the covers, as well as under them, so she set out to make her own.

Veronique Chevalier
Veronique Chevalier is the eccentric Fran├žican (Fran├žais-American) Chanteuse (Songstress) known as The “Weird VAL” of Dark Cabaret. She’s an unparalleled Parodist; a Steamy Chanteuse, and Spooky Polkanista, who has been described as a campy incarnation of Edith Piaf from a parallel universe – the one in which her parents are Jim Morrison, and Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, and her godparents are Lucille Ball and Weird Al. As a self-proclaimed “Mad Sonictist,” she takes maniacal pleasure in combining previously unrelated musical forms into new, unholy combinations. She vows to leave no genre unadulterated in her quest to create the ultimate Sonic Frankenstein… She originated the genre of “Gothic Polka”. Her twisted brand of humour hits at the core of daily reality. Being gonged off the premiere season of America’s Got Talent (which is FAKE reality) was irrefutable proof her gifts are wasted on the masses.

M. K. Hobson
M.K. Hobson was born in Riverside, California, but grew up in Portland, Oregon. She attended the University of Oregon, where she ran Catalyst Films (the campus film society), helped launch The Student Insurgent (a radical progressive ‘zine that’s still being published) and drove night-shift cab in nearby Springfield, Oregon. After graduating with a degree in English and Communications, she moved to Hiroshima, Japan to teach English. Returning to the United States two years later, she purchased The Northwest Neighbor, a community newspaper founded by legendary Portland mayor Bud Clark. She ran the paper for several years before moving on to a career in the field of corporate communications, working with Fortune 500 clients in the fields of retirement and healthcare.

Kimberly King
The fiend holding the scissors is Kimberly May King, a madwoman for historical fashion in Portland, Oregon. As a very young lady she gravitated toward daring and scandalous pursuits — not one for humble beginnings, her very first sewing project was a custom corset. In the years since, she has further debauched herself by immersion in dressmaking, theatrical costuming, Victorian wardrobe both faithful and fanciful, and ever-more-elaborate corsetry. (I hear she even grinds her own bones — the very thought!) Rumor has the girl they call Scissorfiend continuing to flout decency by producing everyday apparel, occasional wear, accessories, and handbags for clientele of certain . . . inclinations. Not content to fall only so far, she has even learned the tricks of the milliner’s trade; it is whispered that she will indulge herself for hours over steam, block, and ribbon, abandoning herself unreservedly to obsession and delight.

Jay Lake
Jay Lake has been described as one of the rising stars of the science fiction and fantasy genre. Since first appearing on the scene in late 2001, he has seen over 240 short stories published, along with seven novels out, and three more forthcoming over the next few years. His work has received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Booklist, and significant recognition within the science fiction and fantasy field. He has won two of the most prestigious awards in science fiction and been nominated for numerous others. Lake was born and raised overseas as the son of a United States diplomat. His childhood experiences in Asia, African and Europe have given him a wealth of cultural and geographical detail to draw from when creating exotic settings and strange situations. He has, after all, lived them. His professional career has been in advertising and marketing for the high technology field, which gives Lake a lifetime of exposure to technology issues and trends. Taken together, these go a long way to explaining his choice of writing fields.

Andrew P. Mayer
Andrew Mayer has spent sixteen years involved with every facet of game design and production, bringing his unique insight and skills to companies such as Sony, Time/Warner, PlayFirst, Zynga, The Learning Company, 2K Boston, and more. He has been a creative force behind numerous best-selling titles, turning his unique insights in player participation and interaction into highly successful projects spanning a variety of genres and media, including online, television, and retail. As a designer and producer he provided original concepts for the wildly successful “Petz” brand, one of the first true “Social Games.” He also created numerous unique titles based on top brands, including Batman, Scooby-Doo, the Powerpuff girls, Diner Dash, Tonka Toys, Reader Rabbit, Mavis Beacon, and many more.

Devon Monk
Devon Monk writes the Allie Beckstrom urban fantasy series, the Age of Steam steampunk series, and the occasional short story. She has one husband, two sons, and a dog named Mojo. She lives in Oregon and is surrounded by colorful and numerous family members who mostly live within dinner-calling distance of each other. She has sold over fifty short stories to magazines and anthologies in five different countries, including a Year’s Best Fantasy collection. When not writing, Devon is either knitting strange things, remodeling the house-that-was-once-a-barn, or hosting a family celebration.

Cherie Priest
Cherie Priest is the author of ten novels, including the steampunk pulp adventures Dreadnought, Clementine, and Boneshaker. Boneshaker was nominated for both the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award; it was a PNBA Award winner, and winner of the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. Cherie also wrote Bloodshot for Bantam Spectra; Fathom and the Eden Moore series from Tor; and three novellas published by Subterranean Press. In addition to all of the above, she is a newly minted member of the Wild Cards Consortium – and her first foray into George R. R. Martin’s superhero universe, Fort Freak (for which she wrote the frame story), will debut in 2011. Cherie’s short stories and nonfiction articles have appeared in such fine publications as Weird Tales, Subterranean Magazine, Publishers Weekly, and the Stoker-nominated anthology Aegri Somnia from Apex. Though she spent most of her life in the southeast, she presently lives in Seattle, Washington, with her husband and a fat black cat.

Kevin Steil
Kevin Steil, the Airship Ambassador, is a one-man information clearinghouse about all things steampunk. His website and Twitter feed are a constantly-updating directory of global steampunk happenings, and his in-depth event reportage, editorials, and interviews cement his position as steampunk’s cultural curator.

San Francisco’s Unwoman, also known as Erica Mulkey, creates darkly beautiful music, a powerful collage of vocals, cello, and electronics. Matthew Heilman of Starvox.net writes, “Her style ranges from a kind of experimental trip hop to swirling darkwave atmosphere with just enough static and noise to give it that extra technical punch."

Vagabond Opera
Bohemian Cabaret ensemble Vagabond Opera is described by the Washington Post as “A band of ceaseless charisma, boundless energy, impeccable musicianship and more than a little touch of both the naughty and exotic.” The group delivers passionate offerings of Bohemian cabaret for young and old. Paris hot jazz, gut bucket swing, tangos, Ukrainian folk-punk ballads, klezmer and vigorous originals meet a world of riverboat gambling queens, Turkish belly dancers, and the enigmatic Marlene Dietrich. Weaving elements of Kurt Weil, Duke Ellington and Edith Piaf with absurdist flair, theatrics and an old world mood, Vagabond Opera presents the new wave of opera–lusty voices singing in 13 languages and presenting a cabaret of rich musical phrasing, sparkling lyrics and indomitable stage presence, all played with exuberance, skill and a gritty Vagabond edge. This is Opera liberated and reinvented for everyone!

Vernian Process
Artists have dabbled in Steampunk’s Scientific Romance, Neo-Victorian and Gothic Horror themes throughout the history of modern music, but none of them were created with the express intent of creating Steampunk music . . . until the year 2003. Enter Vernian Process, the San Francisco-based progenitor of the Steampunk music scene – inspiring a cadre of artists worldwide to find musical expression through retrofuturism. The band’s moniker is inspired by the forefather of Steampunk himself: science fiction author Jules Verne. By fusing sounds and styles spanning over two centuries with the themes of an alternate Victorian timeline,” Vernian Process musically captures the surreal and gritty essence of Steampunk culture. Their latest album, Behold the Machine (released October 1, 2010), has already sold hundreds of copies to an audience spanning the globe from the United States and the UK to Russia and Australia.

Diana Vick
Diana Vick is vice chair, creative director, and co-founder of Steamcon, one of the largest steampunk conventions held thus far. For the past several years, she has been speaking on the topic of steampunk at many conventions across the country, beginning with the infamous “guerilla steampunk panel” that she instigated at Dragoncon in Atlanta. She has been interviewed by Women’s Wear Daily Fast, and Seattle Metropolitan Magazine, and appeared on King Five News. She has written many articles and guest blogs on the subject of steampunk and has many more in the works. She has a few short stories and serials in the works as well.

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