Duel at Dusk 2018

It's that time again. Duel at Dusk! It seems we never do it exactly the same every year. This year we held it in conjunction with ConDor. But we had our same great lineup: Drake directing fencing; Bob Mogg, the Iron Tailor, wrangling Nerf gun dueling; Madame Askew reigning over compliment and tea duelling; Murray Willett running around making sure none of the balls hit the floor.

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Setting Up


We're Sure This is Just a Wardrobe Correction

Our foil fencers this year were Bryan Bishe and Ben Jagger with the win going to Ben!

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Staba, Staba, Staba

One may always rely on Madame Askew for urbane hilarity, even in the most mundane of activities such as the explanation of the rules of the venerable art of tea duelling.


Madame Askew Explains it All

John Bollman acquitted himself with valor in the Nerf gun dueling to take the top prize, a very cool Nerf gun steampunked by Bob Mogg. We have a feeling John will be back next year to defend his title.

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Take That! And That!

Of course the room was full of friends old and new.

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What's a Party Without Friends?

Vendors? Of course there were vendors:
Rae Wolf Designs, Wyng'd Lyon, Gears & Roebuck, and Gear Oils. Because, what's a steampunk event without shopping? Special thanks to our ever-capable vendor wrangler, Lindsay Rae Harold Wagner, who made sure we satisfied everyone's shopping craving.

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In addition to his skills with Nerf guns, carpet bags, parasols, bandoliers…oh bother, the list just goes on! More to the point, Bob Mogg has a wicked sense of humor that often manifests itself materially. Voilá!


Because it's a Fencing Event. Get it?

What do y'all think? Do it again next year?

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Book 5 Episode 5: The Waylaid Letter

Thanks, WikiMedia!

Where our adventurers dine and prepare to dash…out of San Francisco.

Click here to read the new episode ...

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Announcing Duel at Dusk 2018

Duel at Dusk 2018 Header

“Duel at Dusk” is back! This is the fourth time we are offering this event. Drake & McTrowell, along with help from the ConDor Con 2018, is making it even better than ever.

Not familiar with Duel at Dusk? It's a steampunk parlor event with dueling. Once again, there will be four types of dueling: steampunk nerf gun dueling, tea dueling, compliment dueling, and our traditional Olympic-style foil fencing! We will also have our usual dazzling array of steampunk vendors, and much, much more.

Duel at Dusk 2018

On-line sales for Duel at Dusk 2018 have been closed. You can still buy tickets at the door!

7 P.M. to 9:30 P.M. on Saturday the 20th of January, 2018

Location: Co-located with ConCor Con
Handlery Hotel
Garden Ballroom
950 Hotel Circle North
San Diego, California 92108

You may buy tickets at the door of the event. $10 for adults (age 13 and up) and $5 for children (ages 4 through 12). If you have a FULL 3-day Membership to ConDor Con for 2018, then you may attend Duel at Dusk for free (please RSVP so we'll have enough seating).

On-line tickets may be purchased for $8 for adults and $4 for children (only available on-line until 11 PM Wednesday January 17, 2018).

So acquire your tickets, stuff your photographic apparatus into your carpet bag, take in an early dinner, and come join us on the evening of January 20th to participate and/or watch the competitors!

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Long Beach Steamy Tea and Picnic

Off we went to Long Beach on a lovely Sunday morning to join the Long Beach Company of Steampunks and Neo Victorians for their Steamy Tea and Picnic.

All was in readiness for a delightful picnic in El Dorado Park.

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Picnic in the Park

Several very fine gentlemen were in attendance.


Picnic Gents

And what could be a better accompaniment to a picnic in the park than croquet?

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Plus, there were corgis!


Corgis Attended by their Human Servants

Alas, we had to bid adieu to all the fine steampunk trappings, including this lovely creation.


Tower of Steampunk Finery

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Comic Con 2017

With Comic Con a lot more spread out and so many paths blocked, we didn’t make it to quite as many panels and events this year. But, there was still some great stuff!

We’re always happy to see that
Tess Fowler is up to something new, and her new project for IDW, “Black Crown,” looks to be darkly fabulous.


Black Crown

We made it to Cosplay 101 where
Bob Mogg was showing off his steampunk Batman costume and providing all manner of useful advice for cosplayers novice and expert.


Cosplay 101

Sparky even spotted a Delores Umbridge in the crowd, although we confess to being more enamored with
Kelly Varner’s version.


Delores Umbridge

We’ve been reading Arcana’s “Howard Lovecraft” series recently, so we really enjoyed the panel on the movie.

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Howard Lovecraft

Of course, there were sightings of amazing costumes including this Groot that was at least 7’ tall.


I Am Groot

Kelly and Murray crushed this 1950s Star Trek mashup.


1950 Star Trek Mashup

This kid was having the best Comic Con of all! Her dad would hoist her up in the air every couple of minutes, sending her into squeals of delight. Sparky wants to know if she can get someone to do this for her.


Wonder Baby

Check out the Samurai droid mashup!


Samurai Droids

And what Comic Con would be complete without the
Starburner Galactic Courier Service steampunk meetup and awards? Kudos to the Starburners for the ensemble cosplay with the Victorian baseball costumes.

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Play Ball!

But the highlight of the meetup was when Jeb Haught surprised his long-time girlfriend, Barbara Lekes, with a marriage proposal.

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She Said, “Yes”

Sparky spent quite a bit of time lending a hand in the
Gaslight Gathering booth. The highlight was a chance to be in KPBS’s live stream of the fan tables on the mezzanine.


ooth Hand Sparky

We were quite literally heading for the door to leave on Sunday when we spotted
Nichelle Nichols! Not to be those children of the 60s, but squee!



We did find a few minutes of quiet to enjoy a romantic meal at our favorite downtown dining spot,
Café Chloe. How can a girl resist a boy who orders her sparkling rosé?


Bubbly Drake

And, yes, we’ve submitted our professional registration materials for next year. Fingers crossed.

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Clockwork Alchemy 2017

With Sometime Later and Kepler’s Cowboys just out, Clockwork Alchemy was mostly about vending for us.

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All the Vending

Fear not, dear reader, life in Authors’ Alley is not all commercial drudgery. The authors have their own tea service to keep up our energy.


Very Civilized

This year, for the first time, we had a contest for table decoration. We won second prize for best use of banners!


Best Use of Banners

And most everyone wanders through Authors’ Alley at some point, sharing their splendid costumes with us.

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Authors’ Alley Promenade

But, of course, there was Drake & McTrowell’s “Hot Potato School of Writing™!”

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Now with Actual Hot Potatoes!

Although we didn’t get pictures, we did run “There Was Once a Steampunk from Limerick™” for the second time. You can find the clever and hilarious results

We did manage to conserve our energies enough to make it to the evening performances for our favorite steampunk circus,
Cirque Des Bêtes, and Strangely Doesburg.

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Look Ma, No Hands or Head

And what Clockwork Alchemy bloop would be complete without pictures of
Thena MacArthur in some magnificent costume, like this resplendent red number for the fashion show?

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Lava Red Thena

Remember that Clockwork Alchemy is earlier next year: March 23 – 25th. We’ll see you there!

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