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UC San Diego Library to Host Steampunk Tea Aug. 25

gaslight gathering

Participants at Gaslight Gathering, San Diego’s annual Steampunk Convention

Victorian time-travellers are invited to join fellow futurists, explorers, and adventurers at a steampunk-themed tea on Saturday, Aug. 25, at 2 p.m., in Geisel Library—known as the “mother ship”—on the UC San Diego campus.

The tea—which is free and open to the public— will be a celebration of steampunk literature, which re-imagines the Victorian Era with a sci-fi aesthetic in a steam-powered world. The event is being sponsored by the Arts Library.

Anastasia Los Con Party

Anastasia Hunter

The event, which includes light refreshments, will include a lively survey by Anastasia Hunter of steampunk literature from Jules Verne onwards.  Steampunk fans will also have the opportunity to see a collection of Jules Verne books and view a scale-model paper theater version of the author’s most successful play “Journey through the Impossible.” A selection of steampunk-inspired films in the UC San Diego Library’s permanent collection will be screened in Geisel Library’s high-definition rooms.

Anastasia Hunter, director of Programming for Gaslight Gathering, San Diego’s premier steampunk convention, will discuss the history of steampunk literature, from its inception in the 19th Century with the works of Victor Hugo and Jules Verne, to the 1980's, when the term “steampunk” was first coined. Hunter will also survey more recent examples of the genre from authors such as Scott Westerfeld and Cherie Priest. Hunter’s presentation will highlight the use of steampunk as an inspiration for journeys of discovery, both real and imaginary.

The exhibit of works by Jules Verne, “Jules Verne: Father of Science Fiction and Adopted Godfather of Steampunk” includes books owned by steampunk aficionados James and Kim Keeline. Supplementing the exhibit is a selection of the Library’s steampunk books, including those from local authors William Stoddard and Scott Farrell.  Also on display in Geisel Library through the month of August are examples of Victorian Era entertainments of interest to steampunk enthusiasts, such as: magic lanterns, paper optical toys, and paper theatres.

Steampot Library

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