Up in the Aether: The Steampunk Convention Takes Flight Memorial Day Weekend in Detroit, MI

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Up in the Aether is a Steampunk Convention run by the community and for the community. With over 110 events and panels there is something for everyone, the full programming schedule can be found at http://www.upintheaether.com/programming.html

This Memorial Day weekend, Up in the Aether: The Steampunk Convention will be making its debut at the DoubleTree hotel in Dearborn, MI. The uninitiated entering the hotel lobby are likely to have several thoughts as they observe hundreds of people sporting goggles, corsets, canes, top hats, and various other unusual outfits. Did I fall into a time portal? Who are these people? What is going on? The answer is quite simple: it is a Steampunk Convention, and everyone is invited to join in the fun. Steampunk is an all-encompassing genre of sci-fi where Victorian and Edwardian era meet a steam powered industrial revolution. Topics covered at a convention include literature, film, clothing, crafts, history, music, and much more.

With only three and a half days, it will be impossible to partake in all of the 275+ hours of programming made available at the convention. Everyone will get a chance to try a little of something. On the music side, there are four DJs spinning music and seven bands with multiple live performances. Lectures in various aspects of history will be available ranging from Victorian medical triage, to Steampunk cooking, to how to wear a corset properly. In the Do-It-Yourself track attendees can build a brass rose, or learn how to distill essential oils. For literary fans, notable Steampunk authors Pipa Ballentine, Stephen Harper, Tee Morris, and Scott Lynch will be on hand discussing and signing books.

Special events will give attendees the chance to compete in the Miss Steampunk or Mister Steampunk competitions. Teams (also known as Airship Crews) will compete for top score in a computer game playing Steamfleet where teams fly digital zeppelins and defend against an invading horde of enemies. Tea lovers will have a chance to explore Steampunk Tea during one of four special Steampunk Tea sittings, while the staff from ConTemporal will be overseeing dueling sessions in the lobby.

To join the fun, visit http://www.upintheaether.com or email contact(at)upintheaether(dot)com. To experience it for yourself, you can drop by the Dearborn DoubleTree. Tickets are available at the door, $65 for a full weekend pass or $40 for a day pass. You just may find yourself becoming a Steampunk fan!

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Rick Aseltine
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