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Steampunk at Pandoracon

If you are local to Cincinnati, or are only a few hours drive away, you may already be planning for the next big steampunk event in this area to follow the Symposium.  There is the Cincinnati Steampunk Salon at 8pm on the first Saturday of each month at Arnold’s (est. 1861) down on 8th Street (between Sycamore and Main), there will be a Victorian Swimwear Picnic at Loveland Castle, and there is the Midsummer Masquerade at Loveland Castle on July 21 . . . BUT, the next really BIG event for steampunks in Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, and neighboring states will be the Steampunk Track at Pandoracon on September 28 – 30, 2012. Pandoracon is a participatory convention that celebrates all aspects of science fiction (especially Doctor Who), gaming, animation, comics, books, fantasy, and general geekdom. The current line up of special guests include Babylon 5‘s Jason Carter, zombie artist Billy Tackett, author Teri A. Jacobs, and several others. Check out for daily geek articles from the Pandoracon team of writers and video hosts.

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A Full House

The Steampunk Empire Symposium opens tomorrow, and in the wee hours, shortly after midnight, the last of the weekend memberships to the Symposium were purchased. At this point the only remaining badges are Saturday-Only which can be bought at the show, starting at 9am on Saturday, for $20 (children 5-12 are half price).

This weekend is going to be the biggest gathering of steampunks that Cincinnati has ever witnessed, and that has not escaped the local press. Yesterday CityBeat, Cincinnati’s free alternative weekly paper, came out with their latest issue with the Symposium and steampunk in Cincinnati as the cover story. The article paints a very complimentary picture of the whole steampunk community both locally and nationally. We at the Symposium are very grateful to Jacqueline Kern for writing such a great article on steampunk.

Don’t forgot to join us on twitter by following @SteamSymposium. We will be sending out real-time messages during the show, providing updates on all the exciting things taking place and tossing in odd facts, photos and much more. You can also check in on the hashtag #steamsymposium for a mix of updates from attendees throughout the weekend. Arriving at the Atrium today? Tweet us and let us know you’re there. We’d love to welcome you to the show!



Twitter at the Symposium

We may be housed squarely in the aether this weekend directing airships and negotiating treaties between the Symposium Games contestants but we are allowing one aspect of the “now” to invade the spirit of the weekend.  Our Twitter feed may be clockwork powered, but it will be incredibly useful to you throughout the upcoming weekend.



We will be sending out real-time messages during the show, providing updates on all the exciting things taking place and tossing in odd facts, photos and much more.  This will be an information pipeline for you which many can see from their cell phones (or assorted gear laden gadgets).  This feed will be updating regularly throughout the weekend.

Hashtag us via #steamsymposium so everyone join in the celebration!

Not familiar with hashtags?  Organized real-world events, such as ours, make use of hashtags as beacons for event participants allowing them find each other on Twitter and similar social media sites.  Hashtags are included in your posts (in this case #steamsymposium) and then become a clickable link with in your post showing a feed of all messages which utilize the hashtag.  Between our feed and the hashtag, those on twitter should see quite a show this weekend as well all tie our posts together.

We here at the Steampunk Symposium send out special thanks to Emilie P. Bush and Lisa Lombardi
for the conversation that led to the inspiration for our twitter initiative this year.  

The Family that Plays Together, Stays Together

Welcome Steampunk Symposium Parents! I am very excited to tell you more about the children’s program at this weekend’s Symposium. We have some amazing volunteers to lead the program and they all work professionally with children as their day job so you can be assured that the kids are being left in good hands. We have also arranged to have some of our guests visit with the children so they will get a taste of the weekend’s activities themselves, including a visit from Steampunk Boba Fett and a musical performance by Frenchy and the Punk. The weekend’s highlight will be an original play that will be written, directed, and preformed by the kids themselves. This will be a short (probably no more than 15 minutes) skit that the kids will be working on all weekend and which will be performed for everyone at 11am on Sunday morning.

There are some important pieces of information that you need to know. The kid’s program is in the Hyde Park room off the of the Atrium Ballroom. The children’s program runs from 4 pm until 8 pm Friday, from 10 am to 8 pm Saturday and from 10 am to 2 pm Sunday. Many of the panels from 8-10 pm each night should be PG-13 so younger teens who wish to attend with their parents should be fine, although please read the description and use your own judgement. Activities of the con after 10 pm will not be appropriate for those under age 18. Snacks will be provided but you are responsible for feeding your young charges. There is not a scheduled meal time in the kid’s program so it will be up to you to come and collect your kids whenever you are ready to take them to eat.

Many of the participants in the children’s program are in the middle school or even high school age range. If your child falls into this category and you wish for them to be able to leave the children’s program to attend other con activities during the day please negotiate this with your child and make your wishes known to the wonderful ladies running the children’s program.

Emilie P. Bush will be reading her steampunk bedtime story to the children’s program at 6pm on Saturday. Copies of her book will be available for sale at the convention and she would be thrilled to autograph a copy for you child. Ms. Bush is also giving a panel of interest to parents called “Growing up Steampunk” noon on Saturday. Another author, this one more suited for young adults, Leanna Renee Hieber, will be selling her books and giving a talk for the older kids on Saturday at 5 pm and Frenchy and Punk will be performing at 12 pm on Sunday for the “after party” of the play. All of these individuals would love to autograph copies of their work for their young fans.

The complete schedule for the children’s program can be found here. Contact me, Ginny Tonic, at ginny @ if you have any questions.

Today, Tomorrow, then Symposium!

With two days left until the first ever opening of the Steampunk Empire Symposium things are coming together at a rapid rate, and a few things are having to be let go for this year. Alas, musical guest Veronique Chevalier has had to bow out of this weekend’s celebration due a family illness; we wish her mother a speedy recovery from her surgery.

A wide variety of restaurants surround the Atrium Hotel, and a map of them is provided in the Program Book, but for those reluctant to leave the conference center, or for those simply hungry between events, we can now happily announce that food and snacks, sodas and beer, will be on sale in the atrium ballroom throughout the day. The ballroom, lined with banquet tables, is also where breakfast under the skylit atrium dome will be available each morning.

At the time of this post there are only ten weekend memberships left to the Symposium, but the Saturday-Only Memberships will be available to purchase at the convention. One day tickets are $20 for adults and teens, and $10 for children aged 5-12; kids 4 or under are free.

Look out for more updates later today, we have news about the Symposium Twitter feed, and even more details about the Steamkids Program.

A Look At What Awaits You

Aloysius Fox and I stopped by the Atrium Hotel today to see how things were coming together for the upcoming Symposium; we found the venue already setting up and getting ready for a great celebration this coming weekend.  Just to get you excited, here are a few shots of the main Atrium Ballroom as it begins to take shape.

This first picture shows the beautiful glass ceiling and mini-stage area where we plan to share extra surprise entertainment moments throughout the weekend.  You never know what will be happening here.

Here’s another shot of the show floor itself.

Taking a peek into one corner as Aloysius talks with hotel contacts.  All tables will have table cloths and the event will be dressed in its finest by Friday.  Like the balconies?  Won’t it be fun to have a room that has 24 hour access to this hub of steampunk celebration?

Imagine a steampunk ball where you can actually look up at the stars as you dance. Don’t imagine… See you this weekend!

Three Days Left to the Symposium

The countdown has moved over to our new site which is building around you even as you read this post.

During the days of the Symposium, live updates will also appear on this site; all announcements will be posted at this address, so even when the Symposium has begun, it is worth checking here to see if there are any surprises that we may or may not have for you . . .

So ladies and gentlemen, here we are three days away from the first Steampunk convention to ever grace the tri-state area of Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana . . . the inaugural year of the Steampunk Empire Symposium.

For those of you bring children, between the ages of 5 and 12, please note that the Steamkids’ program runs Friday 4pm – 8pm, Saturday 10am – 8pm (lunch is NOT provided; only snacks), and Sunday 10am – 2pm. Several special guests and bands will visit the Steamkids for presentations and performances, and there will be crafts, games, movies, and the staging of a small theatrical play to occupy the younger members of the Symposium. The Steamkids program is for children registered with a full weekend membership; alas those with a Saturday Only membership need to stay with the lady or gentlemen with whom they arrived.

Moving on to a more mature topic . . . booze! The Atrium Hotel does not have a bar, but room parties in the atrium wing are strongly encouraged until certain hours, in fact the Midnight Masquerade will essentially be a 50 room hotel party as all rooms in the atrium wing open into the atrium ballroom and our secondary stage; check in at the Registration Desk for guidelines regarding signage for your party. Each room comes with a refrigerator so make sure you are stocked with your favorite beverages. Rooms in the tower wing of the hotel have been designated as quiet for the benefit of families and professionals, so please keep the festivities in the atrium wing.

Please also be reminded that if you wish to enter a piece for the Curiosities Exhibit, visit the Oxford Room on Friday evening to sign it in with the wonderful Mrs. Brown and Calamity Dawn for the display that will open on Saturday. Objects and props will be returned on Sunday afternoon.