“Steampunk, in its many forms, brings people together in an inclusive and helpful network of similar mind. From sharing book and music review opinions, to playing the newest games and sharing DIY information on fashion and props, the steampunk community easily and comfortably brings together people ages eight to eighty in ways not often seen in other communities.” – Steampunk Hands Around the World
Truly one of the greatest things about fandom is the camaraderie that develops between individual fans. Get passionate people together (whether at a local event, a regional gathering, or national convention), surround them with a shared narrative and aesthetic, and you’re bound to nurture more than a few friendships.
Steampunk is no exception.
In fact, I think a lot of us would suggest that steampunk is one of the most friendly fandoms out there. In particular, the internet (or the “aetherwebs” and “aethernet,” as we steam-folk sometimes call it) has amplified the friendship possibilities of fandom.
Although, some might argue that this is somewhat ironic in the case of steampunk. As a futuristic yet retro community, we often critique technology and even point to its ultimate obsolescence. And yet, what would we do without the internet?
Especially on February 2nd.
Why that date, you ask? Because, starting that day, steampunks around the globe have a chance to demonstrate the true breadth, strength, and depth of our international fandom. And fittingly, we’ll do it online . . . through a fantastic project called Steampunk Hands Around the World.
Orchestrated by everyone’s favorite Airship Ambassador, Kevin Steil, #SteampunkHands (as we’re calling it on Twitter) has attracted more than seven dozen steampunk creators—bloggers, authors, event organizers, and others—for a “month-long project in a multi-format media presentation about the international connection and communications in the community, for steampunks and non-steampunks alike.”
So what exactly does this mean? A lot of things. Pretty much whatever individual creators want it to mean: blog posts, videos, live streaming events, interactive contests and showcases, pod casts, roving on-the-street gatherings, you name it.
The fun begins Sunday, February 2nd, when the Ambassador kicks off the festivities on his blog, and will run through Friday, February 28th.
The goal? “Show and share . . . that steampunks everywhere are linked together and that new friend are waiting in every conversation.”
If that is not the heart of fandom, my friends, I don’t know what is.
The fun’s not just for the seven dozen creators, either. More are joining every day. And many (like the Aurelians, who will be doing their part!) represent wider communities of steampunks who will work together to produce their final contribution.
As one of the creators involved in the project, I’ve made a few new friends myself already—and the fun hasn’t even really kicked off yet! And, perhaps most exciting of all, many of the constituents involved represent Africa, Asia, South America, and parts of Europe where I’m less acquainted with the steam community. This truly is a perfect chance to meet steampunks all around the world.
Get the latest on Steampunk Hands Around the World on the official Facebook event. Note that you won’t find lots there yet, mostly because a lot of the activities are top secret until February 2nd. But take my word for it: there’s a ton of steamy planning going on behind the scenes. You won’t want to miss a single update once things get rolling!
Also, you can access the official press release content here. And feel free to share around with others who might be passionate (or curious) about our fandom.
With all these #SteampunkHands joining, you never know what new friendships might result … even if they do rely on those suspicious aetherwebs.