Bustles the size of small tents. Ray guns which could destroy entire cities. Dresses with concealed drinks cabinets. Contraptions which could take over the world.
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the Asylum!
|Alyson and Rob|
Once a year, the historic city of Lincoln hosts the world famous Steampunk event, the Asylum. The cathedral city is a beautiful location, perfect for such an event. The weekend is a chance for Steampunks from across the globe to gather, meet, drink tea, go to concerts, take part in competitions and generally have a very splendid time. Oh, and tea dueling! Must not forget the tea dueling, a competition which has become an integral part of those few days. The event takes its name from where it first was first held; an old asylum called The Lawn.
|Roger and Barbara|
For one weekend, it feels like a film set as people, dressed from head to foot in some of the most beautiful Steampunk outfits you'll ever see, wander the streets, take up residence in hotels and sit in cafes. It's not unusual to be stopped and asked what's going on. And, a lot of the people who wonder if they've stepped into an alternative reality, go on to some of the events.
This year, the sun blazed down on Lincoln, bathing everything in a warm and happy light. The Asylum is a crazy few days, a chance to meet old friends and make new ones. For me, it was a chance to wallow in the wonderful Steampunk world. It's beautiful and wondrous, filled with so many ideas. I had a trade table and spent two great days meeting new people, talking and handing out goodies. People brought the book, and those who'd already read it came past to say how much they were looking forward to book 2. Many asked if we were going to have a party on the scale of the one we threw for Mars on the Rise! One wonderful person stopped to say how happy she was that someone was writing LGBT Steampunk, a gesture which makes the hard slog of writing a book seem worthwhile. Several people who I'd only met via Steampunk websites and Facebook groups came over and introduced themselves.
For the curious, the Steampunk community is one of the friendliest and most accepting you'll ever come across. There is no right and wrong when it comes to it. You can dress however you want, create whatever you want and, as long as you live by the credo of “Be Splendid”, you're in. It was inspiring and thought provoking and I feel so blessed that I had such an opportunity to meet and converse with such incredible people. And I can't wait to do it again!
|Proudly flying the rainbow flag on my stall!|
Photos copyright of Michael Young and Dean Wilkinson. Thank you to everyone for allowing me to use your photos, and to Michael for all his hard work compiling them. Hope I've gone you some justice. :)