The year is 1880. The wealthy, the well-connected, and the thrill-seeking passengers gather in preparation for the launch of the Explorer II, Royal Britannia’s newest and most advanced Airship. But security remains tight (in light of what happened to the Explorer I), and not all is well among the guests . Still excitement remains high as final preparations are made for departure and for what will prove to be an unforgettable experience for all aboard.
This is the setting for Teslacon I, a new kind of steampunk convention taking place this coming weekend at the Radisson Hotel Madison in Madison, Wisconsin. The mad genius behind this event is Eric Larson, otherwise known as Lord Hastings Bobbins. A teacher and designer by trade, Eric had a vision of a fully-immersive convention which would combine the best parts of an interactive murder mystery with those of more traditional gatherings, and pull it all off with all the class and style that Steampunk has to offer.
“I decided TeslaCon would be an immersion convention – a place where the fans can truly express themselves in an environment that’s as close to the period as we can make it in the 21st century. After running close to 20 conventions I wanted something new and very different for this very exciting genre. I truly wanted the destination to be an experience for the members and a get-away for the fans.”
Guests are invited to imagine themselves aboard an actual airship on her maiden voyage across Eastern Europe, and their experience will be enhanced through the use of set dressing and sound effects. There will be panels and classes on everything from costuming to history to weaponry. The full program guide is available online here [PDF].
Guests also include author Cherie Priest, designers Samantha Re, Megan Maude and Heather Luca, the fabricators of Outland Armor, and musical guests Scarring Party, Eli August and Water Street Bridge. The crew of the Airship Archon and the Penny Dreadfuls will be in attendance, and members of the RLGEMS and the Imperial AntiPiracy Squadron will be taking the parts of characters in the scenario.
This is the maiden voyage for Teslacon, although plans are already underway for “Teslacon II – 20,000 Leagues Under The Aether” and “Teslacon III – The Great Expanse: Occidental-Oriental”. Memberships as well as day-passes are still available, and although the primary hotel is sold out the AmericInn Madison West next door still has rooms available at the convention rate.