The Crossroads of the Aether
I know the title sounds whiny and it is truly not meant to be. I merely wish to state how I'm feeling when it comes to the Steampunk Community. None of my friends have any interest in Steampunk, and neither does my spouse. It also doesn't help that so many people out there make these wonderous gizmos and the only steampunk attire and weapons i can seem to come up with are mass produced articles of clothing and modified NERF weapons. I am working on a Longstrike variation that i have yet to see, originally it was going to be a modified boarding shotgun but i had a eureka moment, and well let's just say, i think the finished product will be awesome! Any way i digress. I live near the Houston area, but due to internet limitations i am almost completely clueless about my own local community. I do know that the Airship Isabelle tends to be the local go to for all things Steampunk and they sort of inspired me to come up with my own airship and persona, albeit a very militaristic one. What can i say i am an Army brat and I've always wanted to fly something. I know for those of you reading it appears as though i am rambling but truly i seek assistance. In what you ask? Becoming more involved is that answer. Joining the Empire was a great first step, but i need help to find the right bearing.
Captain Tobias Grey
Confederate Republic of Elysia
Dear Captain Grey,
Methinks that simply by being interested in bygone days in this age of technocracy, we all feel abit like the proverbial piscine in drydock.
Myself, I feel rather like fish sans water even within the steampunk community....although for years I had ties to Olde England and had a fiance there, (now amicably ex) I've suddenly rediscovered roots and I don't see a whole lot of the Olde Amerikan
West about...within much of what's steaming locally.
I do love old Joe Lansdale's 'Flaming Zeppelins' books, and even Mike Resnick's Weird West books. But there seems to be very few of such tie-ins featuring the Weird yoked with the Olde West.
Left to my own designs then, so be it. Wrote my own books. Writing my own songs.
Keep swimming upstream, Captain, and bon voyage! You may have to create your own world. I did.
I have always felt like this.
Firstly, I accept that. When you stop caring what other people think, they start getting interested.
Secondly, give it time. Now most of my friends like it if they aren't into it somewhat. Once they get used to it and figure out how cool it is, and that it isn't just an idea fad, they'll be a little better.
I too understand your feelings. Escapism is a great thing but knowing what you escape to always helps. There is quite a few Steampunk novels out there and a few short stories to be found on the net if you do not mind looking at fan fiction which I must say can be quite good. Do not limit yourself to just the Empire site wonder around the net and see what else you might find that might pique your interest.
look at the ministryofpeculiaroccurrences.com
The authors are quiet good at what they do and their site is a hoot. (I have met them both, lovely people!)
Also look into Cherie Priest's work.
I live far north of you but not as far north as Alice, I live in Denton Texas north of Dallas. I do not know if you know this but Airship Isabella has moved from Houston to Celina TX which is just east of me. Anyway I know there is a steampunk presents in the Huston area because I have chatted with many of them in the Empire Chat room. Might I suggest that you go to the Groups and look for an Airship in the Huston area. I know Cindy lives down there and she comes to the chat room somewhat regularly.
I too know that feeling well Captain Grey. I am currently serving in the Army, and there aren't a lot of steampunks serving with me. My ex-wife actually mocked my love of all things steam. However, my current girlfriend loves it like I do, and we are beginning to create our own items. Doing that has brought some of our friends closer to converting. We have also been slowly introducing both my children, and hers to the genre as well. I know that there are some people nearby who share the love, but I haven't tried to make contact with them yet. I am just trying to take things slowly and bring as many people along with me as I can. Feel free to stay in touch with me, maybe we can help each other ease into this brave new world.
I agree with your philosophy. If you can make it, meaning you have the skill and time, then make it. If you can't, buy it. Personally I am in a position where I am having to teach myself to make things that I never thought I would need to know how to make, all because of the almighty dollar. As a result of that, I am planning on selling more and more of my items at a much more reasonable price than I have been able to find online. I realize that I am beginning to ramble so I will cut this short. Just indulge me in a moment of shameless self promotion, look at ClockworkPixie on FB. Thank you.
Greetings, Captain Grey,
The aethernets are a great way of staying inspired and connecting to the community, but it just isn't the same as getting together in person. Others have pretty much said what I would suggest, which is to attend cons and events that may not be Steampunk events, but have a similar flavor. I just thought of something - you could put an ad on your local Craigslist asking about Steampunk meet ups in your area. That may be a way of getting in touch with locals with similar interests.
And there's nothing wrong at all about massed-produced items. They can always be customized to make them unique. Personally, I like seeing how creative people become when modding Nerf guns.
I fell quite the same. Only one of my friends has some kind of interest and he is far from devoted.
Because of some limitations i have no attire or anything so i kinda feel like a wanna be. But i feel its the best genre ive ever found.
Adding to my last reply: I live in idaho and am still in school. Middle School actually! Not an airship in the sky. Just balloons. And potatoes. There is also a Hot air balloon festival we have. Lucky we also have a military surplus store so i can buy some hats.