Geekfest is above all a celebration by the imaginative of the imaginary, so what better place to share a passion for all forms of fantasy, from fiction, historical re-creation, live action role play, cosplay, history, role playing games and history than in the artificial but peculiarly charming simulated 19th century mining village that is the Coal Creek Historical Park?

The entertaining crew from Madman kind of phoned it in this year, with an empty room and a big screen hooked up to a laptop streaming their AnimeLab streaming service. A nice spot to sit in the air-conditioning on a warm day and have an ice-cream and watch some classic Sailor Moon and demented, depressed super hero One Punch Man, who fought a giant lobster in Y-fronts, leading to the inevitable speculation as to what would happen if the miserable eponymous hero punched himself? Of course we brought lots of money to buy Studio Ghibli DVDs, but Madman seems to have punched themselves in the face on this one.

The only other sour note was hint of Geekish cliquery when a young Steam Punkette referred to us as Morlocks. For the uninitiated, Steampunk is a genre inspired by a 19th century aesthetic, and usually extrapolates a fantasy sci-fi world where steam and other early technologies evolved instead of the electronics that have defined our modern era. Morlocks are a savage degenerate subterranean species of humans from H G Wells’ The Time Machine, one of the pillars of both SF and its Steampunk sub-genre. To refer to someone as a Morlock, I assume is an insult aimed at people that don’t form part of your sub-cultural clique, as they don’t dress in fantasy costume from an alternate future based on a re-imagined past.

Dear Miss Steamed, I can assure you that having read most of the works of Jules Verne, H G Wells, Arthur Conan Doyle and even John Sladek some thirty years before you were born, I qualify as a time traveller extraordinaire. Futhermore, a red checked Western shirt, a Pac Man T shirt, blue jeans and a vintage Dunn & Co Homburg (that’s a hat), constitutes an almost perfect contemporary disguise for any time traveller, and much superior to your flimsy synthetic reproduction.

Otherwise there were terrific displays of martial skills from the Live Action Role Players, fascinating talks from art director and sculptor Craig Fison, and animator Shaun Freeman, James Graewolf on Steampunk, some kids taught us about the interactive virtual world of Minecraft, where I literally went hog wild, creating hundreds and hundreds of square digital pigs that I’m sure are still roaming the fields and mines of virtual reality. Elegant Regency & Victorian Dancers, Cosplayers, Role Playing Games, Miniature Painting, Star Wars, Steampunks, designers and makers, including Fyodor Krasniy, whose work you can find at Madness & Tea, Eric Forrest, whose steam driven or alcohol burning devices, glowing mechanical shell jewellery and other miracles of strange device you can find at Mad Science At Work, fantasy authors, publishers, fried spiral potato on a stick and a whole lot more. We were happy as Morlocks at an Eloi party. Here’s the photos.

bluehairedgirl

A blue-haired girl summoning barbarians. I assume her Mad Maxish vehicle is out of NOx.

axesswords

Of Science And Swords were there with all sorts of fantastic masks and weaponry.

boxearself

Literal proof that boxing your ears is a thing with elves too.

helmetthor

Helmets and halberds and everything you could want in extruded plastic.

dalekpadmestpnk

Victorian steam, toddler Superman, Dalek, is that Padme or Leia, and a little barbarian.

darkworldvalkyrie

Valkyries actually have hearing aids built into those horns.

destinepress

Clan Destine Press were promoting amongst other books a Vampire novel, set in Queensland. Who knew Vampires made such unfortunate life choices?

elfvknight

An elf and a medieval barbarian shake hands after a sword fight outside a 19th century coach building establishment.

foodvendours

One day in the future people will wear flouro reflector safety jackets to costume parties, no one will talk to them.

fyodorkrasniy

Fyodor Krasniy does some fantastic Steampunk inspired art and design.

teatimecards

The famous Tea Time card set.

halounsc

Halo’s United Nations Space Command were there.

hatscorsets

As a general rule, a long skirt is a Victorian lady, a short skirt and a corset on the outside is a Steampunk lady.

boxesshadows

Fyodor’s silhouette boxes, and glass syringe pendants.

jawawedge

Little Jawa and little Wedge.

knighbeset

A knight being attacked by flies while eating a BBQ sausage on bread. This is Australia in the summer.

knightlegionnaire

Medieval Knight and Roman Legionnaire. In that battle my money is on the Romans. Organization beats armour any time.

knightshiny

legionairres

I come not to hail Caesar, but to bury him.

madmanphonesit

Sailor Moon. And some dummies in uniform, but no Studio Ghibli DVDs. Thanks Madman.

leiaorpadme

Padme!

madscientist2

Mad Scientist Eric Forrest with an alcohol burning mechanical device that recharges your mobile phone.

parasole

Considering whether to exchange her parasol for a sword.

phrynneee

Phryne Fisher was there apparently!

pikachuobiwan

Pikachu and Obi Wan Kenobi. Does this mean Ash Ketchum is a Jedi?

smartduck

Sometimes you just have to have a quack in the shade, and get fed chips.

piratesanimes

Hatter, Demon Girl, Pirate, Pirate.

steamfalken

James Graewolf, trying to sort out some non-steampowered technology, prior to an interesting presentation on Steampunk.

steamhelmets

Some of James Graewolf’s fantastic costume pieces.

stormtrooperdusty

Stormtrooper – he’s planning to put AC in the backpack.

swordmonk

A LARPing monk from Science & Swords who has heard good things about Shannara. He hadn’t heard of Stormbringer. Also, Shannara is Twilight with elfs.

supermanfriends

Cute!

thorhammer

Probably best not to have “Thor” in big English letters on your replica of Mjolnir. At least use runes.

trooperplaguedoctor

Where else do you see a Stormtrooper and a Plague Doctor having a chat?

valkyrieknight

Knight v Valkyrie.

woodsmanaxe

Some innocent anime characters approaching a nefarious axeman. I’d hate to see that episode.

bootssneakers

It’s the age old question, boots vs sneakers?

 

silhokitty

And we took one of Fyodor Kransniy’s original terrific silhouette boxes home.

 

About The Author

C S Hughes

C S Hughes is a proud member of the TV generation, studied film and communications, collects the paperback books of Philip K Dick, loves science fiction and fantasy books, B grade movies and cult TV, American thrillers and British noir, restoring vintage watches, reading poetry, creating innovative illustrated poetry books which are available in Apple’s iBooks format, and cake. Especially cake. He has also written short stories, and has a collection of horror stories coming out in 2015.

3 Responses

  1. C S Hughes
    C S Hughes

    We had a lot of fun, the flies did too! I’m considering starting an Order Of Steampunk Knights Templar who battle giant flies in Armoured Airships – their motto will be “Do not forget the Aeroguard!”

    Reply
    • Olga Hughes

      As long as the giant flies get a better name than Orson Scott Card gave his. But I trust you.

      Reply

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