While there are lots of things to like about fan conventions like the upcoming Texas ComicCon and San Japan, there are a lot of things not to like about them, too: crowded hallways, long lines, overexcited sugar-and-energy-drink-fueled teens running around everywhere and the eventual feeling of ‘been there, done that.’
If you’re tired of the same old convention scene and want to check out something different, I strongly suggest dropping by Aetherfest in San Antonio this weekend. “Texas’ First Steampunk Convention” is taking place at the St. Anthony Hotel and will feature a host of activities, vendors and guests for all to enjoy. For the uninitiated, “steampunk” is an odd mash-up of speculative fiction, science fiction, alternate history, and fantasy…set in Victorian times. That’s the best way I can put it, you just have to see it.
Based on my experience attending last year, Aetherfest is very different than your typical fan convention. The Steampunk audience slants a bit older, so there aren’t as many hyperactive kids running around, the con organizers are capping attendance at 500 in order to prevent overcrowding, and as there is no truly ‘definitive’ Steampunk work of fiction, just about everything that will be presented there will be original. In fact, I can say with confidence that you will see many things that you have not seen before at Aetherfest.
In addition, the St. Anthony Hotel fits the aesthetic perfectly, you will feel as if you have stepped into another place and time at Aetherfest. A more civilized time where lords and ladies spoke proper English, paraded around in elaborate outfits, and exotic devices bought to life by the not-quite-understood power of aether were in abundance.
I look forward to making your acquaintance there!