An exhausted but happy blog post after a day at the Asylum. And no, this does not mean that the men in white coats have finally taken me away – Asylum is a huge Steampunk event. Named, as far as I can make out, for the presence of The Lawn, a big place that was not only an asylum, but the first hospital in the UK dedicated to mental illness. We wandered the grounds there today, and that was a rather moving experience.
Being Splendid is a big part of the steampunk ethos. It’s there in the clothes, the creativity, the being polite and charming to each other and such good things. There might be a dash of punk in the visuals, but it’s not so much a culture of trashing the state, it’s not overtly angry. It’s subtly angry and subversive, and I love this.
It’s been an amazing day, I have met more awesome people than I can count, or, I fear, remember anything like as well as they deserve. There have been some mind-blowing conversations, more of that to follow once I’ve had time to reflect on everything a bit.
Undoubtedly the greatest joy of today has been the sheer number of people delighting in Tom’s artwork. I’ve loved his art for years now, but having so many people stop to enthuse, has been a joy. And we’ve seen so much fab stuff as well. Dr Geoff is a new and happy discovery for us, and we ended up on a panel with both him, and Robert Rankin – who is a most excellent fellow.
There’s a fair few druidy and pagan folk here too, including John and Caitlin Matthews, launching their exquisite Steampunk Tarrot. I didn’t get the name of the artist, but I recommend checking it out – it’s not just tarot with cogs on, its thoughtful, beautiful stuff, and if I was even slightly into working with tarot cards I would seriously consider getting a set.
Tomorrow promises more awesomeness. I’m planning on posting about what we do in the panel With Professor Elemental – Tom has some stories to share, and once he’s aired them here, we’ll make it a bit more public. It’s going to be a wild sort of day.