When sci-fi goes retro

Steampunks in all their glory

When sci-fi goes retro
Photos: Ally Levise

It was a punk rock, fantasy, time machine affair over Memorial Day weekend for the World Steam Expo at the Hyatt Regency in Dearborn. An estimated 2,500 Victorian-era cyborgs showed up to celebrate all things steampunk, a genre and a scene that fuses history with science fiction in a sort of latter-day send-up of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells. And while there's no agreed-on definition of what it means to be a steampunk, it was obvious at the Hyatt that it all has something to do with fanciful costumes, a fascination with gadgets and cogs, a taste for burlesque, and a heavy dose of imagination. Gentlemen, pirates and dystopian airship pilots whiled the weekend away shopping for goggles in the mercantile, checking out forums on zombie reanimation, and indulging in high tea luncheons sponsored by Farmington's Off the Beaten Path Books and Café, a hub for local steampunk activity.

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