Steampunk: Back to the Garden

Nancy and James Hay in San Diego Citybeat

San Diego Citybeat writer Kinsee Morlan interviewed an array of local San Diego fans for “Steampunks by the sea”, published May 4.  

Leading off the article are Nancy and James Hay from the concom of Gaslight Gathering, a steampunk-themed convention running May 6-8 at that old faithful, the Town & Country Hotel in Mission Valley.

“Steampunk has been around since ’87,” says James, wearing a mad-scientist, Victorian-era costume complete with brass goggles and a futuristic-looking time-travel watch. “But it was just kind of a low-lying thing—not really a big part of science fiction. Then, I eventually heard about the first steampunk convention, and I went, ‘Oh, OK, when did it become a movement, and why the heck didn’t anyone tell me?’”

Next, Ingred Chamberlin and Kim Hutsell talk about the steampunk movement in terms that echo the longings of people in the Sixties who ended up joining communal farms or participating in the Society for Creative Anachronism. Chamberlin is the farmer:

“I have six chickens as of last week,” Ingred explains. “For us, [steampunk] gets back into that whole, What did we leave behind, and is it worth reconsidering? thing. It brings up permaculture and the question, Am I really all that thrilled about buying carrots in a plastic bag from the grocery store when I could be growing my own?”

And Hutsell is stocking the arsenal:

Kim Hutsell’s hands are covered in black grease as he sits in front of his toolbox and puts the finishing touches on a shiny brass hand grenade, just one of his steampunk creations.

[Via James Hay.]