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* MADemoiselle Veronique Confirmed for PDX Gear Con, July 22-24, 2011

May 9, 2011 by Veronique Chevalier

July 22-24
Portland GEAR Con
Portland’s Gaslight Explorers, Adventurers, & Romantics Convention


Portland’s Gaslight Explorers, Adventurers, & Romantics Convention is a celebration of Steampunk and neo-Victoriana in the Pacific Northwest, taking place over three days in Portland, Oregon. Members of the public can register to meet fellow enthusiasts, attend presentations and workshops, meet authors and other steampunk community luminaries, shop for costumes and other goods, enjoy musical and variety performances, and much more.



Photo of Veronique © Ves Pitts



2011 presskit photos 2


and a host of others

with appearances from our honored guests


Jennifer-Dowling-photo[1] MK_Hobson_caption
Devon-Monk-caption Cherie-Priest-caption
phyl4[1] Professor-DR-Schrieber-photo[1]Kevin-SteilCaption Diana-Vick caption

Crowne Plaza Portland
1441 NE 2nd Avenue
Portland, OR 97232

What is Steampunk?
Steampunk is a retro-futuristic subgenre of speculative fiction, set in or thematically referring to an alternate Victorian period during which the technologies of the Industrial Revolution achieve fantastic sophistication and power. It is also an aesthetic inspired by said literary phenomenon, expressed in art, fashion, music, motion pictures, handcrafts, and other media. The name was coined as a tongue-in-cheek reference to Cyberpunk, another science fiction subgenre.
How do I register?
Adults and teenagers 14+ register for all three days of Portland GEAR Con by paying the PayPal button on our registration page, signifying that they have read and agreed to our convention policies and code of conduct.
If you are paying for multiple passes, please use PayPal’s “note to seller” feature to provide the names and email addresses of attendees other than the purchaser. All pre-registered tickets will be available at the Will Call desk.

more about our featured personae

Record reviewer, musician interviewer and Chief Officer; Steampunk University faculty; role-playing game scribe and commentator at Jordan is one of the leading voices in the ongoing debate over the question, “what does steampunk sound like?”

Meljean was raised in the middle of the woods, and hid under her blankets at night with fairy tales, comic books, and romances. She left the forest and went on a misguided tour through the world of accounting before focusing on her first loves, reading and writing–and she realized that monsters, superheroes, and happily-ever-afters are easily found between the covers, as well as under them, so she set out to make her own.


Veronique Chevalier is the eccentric Françican (Français-American) Chanteuse (Songstress) known as The “Weird VAL” of Dark Cabaret.
She’s an unparalleled Parodist; a Steamy Chanteuse, and Spooky Polkanista, who has been described as a campy incarnation of Edith Piaf from a parallel universe – the one in which her parents are Jim Morrison, and Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, and her godparents are Lucille Ball and Weird Al.
As a self-proclaimed “Mad Sonictist,” she takes maniacal pleasure in combining previously unrelated musical forms into new, unholy combinations. She vows to leave no genre unadulterated in her quest to create the ultimate Sonic Frankenstein…
She originated the genre of “Gothic Polka”. Her twisted brand of humour hits at the core of daily reality. Being gonged off the premiere season of America’s Got Talent (which is FAKE reality) was irrefutable proof her gifts are wasted on the masses.

Jennifer Dowling of is a graphic designer, performer, photographer, seamstress, but most of all- Dreamer. When she isn’t in the spotlight, she is behind the stage helping out. She has been creating and entertaining for over 18 years. Her work has been showcased internationally on her many websites, but recently most events are in Seattle, WA.


M.K. Hobson was born in Riverside, California, but grew up in Portland, Oregon. She attended the University of Oregon, where she ran Catalyst Films (the campus film society), helped launch The Student Insurgent (a radical progressive ‘zine that’s still being published) and drove night-shift cab in nearby Springfield, Oregon. After graduating with a degree in English and Communications, she moved to Hiroshima, Japan to teach English. Returning to the United States two years later, she purchased The Northwest Neighbor, a community newspaper founded by legendary Portland mayor Bud Clark. She ran the paper for several years before moving on to a career in the field of corporate communications, working with Fortune 500 clients in the fields of retirement and healthcare.
Currently, she is one of the co-hosts of Podcastle, the acclaimed short fiction podcast. She lives in Oregon City, Oregon with her husband and daughter.


The fiend holding the scissors is Kimberly May King, a madwoman for historical fashion in Portland, Oregon. As a very young lady she gravitated toward daring and scandalous pursuits — not one for humble beginnings, her very first sewing project was a custom corset. In the years since, she has further debauched herself by immersion in dressmaking, theatrical costuming, Victorian wardrobe both faithful and fanciful, and ever-more-elaborate corsetry. (I hear she even grinds her own bones — the very thought!)
Rumor has the girl they call Scissorfiend continuing to flout decency by producing everyday apparel, occasional wear, accessories, and handbags for clientele of certain . . . inclinations. Not content to fall only so far, she has even learned the tricks of the milliner’s trade; it is whispered that she will indulge herself for hours over steam, block, and ribbon, abandoning herself unreservedly to obsession and delight.


Jay Lake has been described as one of the rising stars of the science fiction and fantasy genre. Since first appearing on the scene in late 2001, he has seen over 240 short stories published, along with seven novels out, and three more forthcoming over the next few years. His work has received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Booklist, and significant recognition within the science fiction and fantasy field. He has won two of the most prestigious awards in science fiction and been nominated for numerous others.
Lake was born and raised overseas as the son of a United States diplomat. His childhood experiences in Asia, African and Europe have given him a wealth of cultural and geographical detail to draw from when creating exotic settings and strange situations. He has, after all, lived them. His professional career has been in advertising and marketing for the high technology field, which gives Lake a lifetime of exposure to technology issues and trends. Taken together, these go a long way to explaining his choice of writing fields.
Lake is a frequent guest at writing conferences and conventions, where his readings are well attended. He also workshops with newer writers, paying forward all the help and mentoring he has received and continues to benefit from. With his distinctive attire and quirky, improvisational humor, Lake is a familiar figure and a fan favorite all over the West Coast.
He also maintains a blog which has been ranked as a top 25 science fiction blog. There Lake talks about writing, photography, politics, his journey through cancer, his experiences as a parent, as well as posting travelogs of his trips to some unlikely destinations, such as a recent outing to a long-abandoned Titan I missile silo. Lake also regularly posts online reprints of his older work, and a biweekly podcast consisting of recorded readings, panels and interviews conducted during his travels.
Today Jay Lake lives in Portland, Oregon, where he works on multiple writing and editing projects. His 2007 book Mainspringreceived a starred review in Booklist. His 2009 novels are Green [Amazon ] from Tor Books, Madness of Flowers [ Amazon ] from Night Shade Books, and Death of a Starship from MonkeyBrain Books. His short fiction appears regularly in literary and genre markets worldwide. Jay is a winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and a multiple nominee for the Hugo and World Fantasy Awards. Jay can be reached through his Web site at

Andrew Mayer has spent sixteen years involved with every facet of game design and production, bringing his unique insight and skills to companies such as Sony, Time/Warner, PlayFirst, Zynga, The Learning Company, 2K Boston, and more.He has been a creative force behind numerous best-selling titles, turning his unique insights in player participation and interaction into highly successful projects spanning a variety of genres and media, including online, television, and retail.As a designer and producer he provided original concepts for the wildly successful “Petz” brand, one of the first true “Social Games.” He also created numerous unique titles based on top brands, including Batman, Scooby-Doo, the Powerpuff girls, Diner Dash, Tonka Toys, Reader Rabbit, Mavis Beacon, and many more.As a writer Andrew has completed numerous short stories and a Steampunk Superhero novel. He also co-wrote the script for THE LEGEND OF ZORRO, which was released for the Wii. In 2008 his short comic “OM NOM NOM”was published by Dark Horse as the first new story for Creepy Magazine in almost 20 years. Expect to see more published work in the near future.Andrew is currently working as a consultant in social games and virtual goods, focused on working with game publishers and developers to help them create successful, original social game titles and integrate effective development, monetization, and community strategies. He has worked with top social game companies including Zynga, Meteor, Mob Science, and Hands On, as well as core game companies such as 2K Boston and EA/Bioware.


Noah Mickens has produced, directed, and starred in five independent circus troupes over the past 10 years (Cicuri Curajul, The 999 Eyes ov Endless Dream, Societas Insomnia, Batty’s Hippodrome, and Wanderlust Circus); as well as directing the new opera Queen of Knives with Eric Stern, a butoh version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Mizu Desierto, and the dark fairytale operetta Bogville with Tiare Tashnick; sitting on the board of directors for 2Gyrlz Performative Arts; serving as booker and promoter of Someday Lounge, Rotture, Branx, The Jasmine Tree, and the Hippodrome Circus Arts Center; performing with the butoh troupe P.A.N., experimental theater group Implied Violence, ritual performance project Soriah, and numerous others; playing percussion with bands such as Nequaquam Vacuum and The Steve MacKay Ensemble; and MC-ing shows from Sinferno Cabaret to The Bite of Oregon. His work has been the subject of innumerable newspaper and magazine articles, television and radio shows, and government investigations. He’ll take you off like a Saturday.

Devon Monk writes the Allie Beckstrom urban fantasy series, the Age of Steam steampunk series, and the occasional short story. She has one husband, two sons, and a dog named Mojo. She lives in Oregon and is surrounded by colorful and numerous family members who mostly live within dinner-calling distance of each other. She has sold over fifty short stories to magazines and anthologies in five different countries, including a Year’s Best Fantasy collection. When not writing, Devon is either knitting strange things, remodeling the house-that-was-once-a-barn, or hosting a family celebration.

Cherie Priest is the author of ten novels, including the steampunk pulp adventures Dreadnought, Clementine, and Boneshaker. Boneshaker was nominated for both the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award; it was a PNBA Award winner, and winner of the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. Cherie also wrote Bloodshot for Bantam Spectra; Fathom and the Eden Moore series from Tor; and three novellas published by Subterranean Press. In addition to all of the above, she is a newly minted member of the Wild Cards Consortium – and her first foray into George R. R. Martin’s superhero universe, Fort Freak (for which she wrote the frame story), will debut in 2011. Cherie’s short stories and nonfiction articles have appeared in such fine publications as Weird Tales, Subterranean Magazine, Publishers Weekly, and the Stoker-nominated anthology Aegri Somnia from Apex. Though she spent most of her life in the southeast, she presently lives in Seattle, Washington, with her husband and a fat black cat.

Phyllis Irene Radford, aka P.R. Frost, aka C.F. Bentley, has been writing stories ever since she figured out what a pencil was for. A member of an endangered species, a native Oregonian who lives in Oregon, she and her husband make their home in Welches, Oregon, where deer, bears, coyotes, hawks, owls, and woodpeckers feed regularly on their back deck.A museum trained historian, Irene has spent many hours prowling pioneer cemeteries deepening her connections to the past. Raised in a military family, she grew up all over the US and learned early on that books are friends that don’t get left behind with a move. Her interests and reading range from ancient history, to spiritual meditations, to space stations, and a whole lot in between.Her signal corps brother has launched several communications satellites on the shuttle. Watching those launches got her hooked on the ideal of humans reaching out into the universe.Phyl has edited or co-edited several of BVC’s anthologies, including the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund benefit book Breaking Waves and the Shadow Conspiracy steampunk books. Please visit her BVC Bookshelf for more about her and her work, and to read her free short stories and flash fiction.


As a professor of natural philosophy, presenter of experimental conjuring, and exhibitor of legerdemain, Professor DR Schreiber evokes the spirit of early magical performances. His audiences experience illusion and mystery in the same way that 18th, 19th, and early 20th century aristocrats, nobles and elite would have seen it, in their home, mansion, or estate with a private demonstration. Professor DR Schreiber brings parlor magic back into parlors.
Professor DR Schreiber is Danny Schreiber, a Portland, OR-based magic historian, performer, and teacher for young magicians. He is the Vice President of the Portland Assembly of Society of American Magicians, a member of the Portland Society of Magicians and the Academy of Magical Arts (Magic Castle), as well as a certified mentor for the Society of Young Magicians, Salem and Portland chapters. Schreiber uses his long career in television producing and years of working as a cast member at Disneyland to enhance the all around entertainment experience for his audiences.


Kevin Steil, the Airship Ambassador, is a one-man information clearinghouse about all things steampunk. His website and Twitter feed are a constantly-updating directory of global steampunk happenings, and his in-depth event reportage, editorials, and interviews cement his position as steampunk’s cultural curator.


San Francisco’s Unwoman, also known as Erica Mulkey, creates darkly beautiful music, a powerful collage of vocals, cello, and electronics. Matthew Heilman of writes, “Her style ranges from a kind of experimental trip hop to swirling darkwave atmosphere with just enough static and noise to give it that extra technical punch.”
In July 2005 Unwoman published
Wildness & Artifice, a wholly original double-CD featuring a full disc of material in a similar vein to her debut Knowledge Scars, plus a bonus acoustic piano-vocal CD. At the end of 2007 Unwoman released Blossoms, an utterly gorgeous album featuring original electro-acoustic works on the first half, and acoustic (mostly cello-vocal) compositions based on poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay on the second half. In 2008, struck with a rush of inspiration, Unwoman composed the six-song Trouble EP. Then in the Fall of 2009, Unwoman released The Keys as a 15-track download plus antique key. Unwoman has just finished a full-length album, Casualties featuring 16 songs, all written after Blossoms was released.
In April 2009 Erica toured with
Voltaire as part of his Skeletal Orchestra. Prior to that she performed inRasputina at Convergence 12 in New Orleans and in part of their June 2006 US tour, in which she also opened solo. She currently plays cello with Stripmall Architecture (formerly Halou), Eliza Rickman, andVernian Process, and has also shared the stage with Abney Park, HUMANWINE, Attrition, Jill Tracy,Falling You, and improvised aural alchemy with Paul Mercer’s The Ghosts Project. She often performs solo, with or without laptop accompaniment, in the Bay Area and all over North America, appearing at festivals and conventions for steampunks, sci-fi fans, vampires, anarchists, goths, and anyone else.

Diana Vick is vice chair, creative director, and co-founder of Steamcon, one of the largest steampunk conventions held thus far. For the past several years, she has been speaking on the topic of steampunk at many conventions across the country, beginning with the infamous “guerilla steampunk panel” that she instigated at Dragoncon in Atlanta. She has been interviewed by Women’s Wear Daily Fast, and Seattle Metropolitan Magazine, and appeared on King Five News. She has written many articles and guest blogs on the subject of steampunk and has many more in the works. She has a few short stories and serials in the works as well. One of her steampunk costumes took grand prize in the masquerade at Orycon in 2009. Even her art has taken a decidedly steampunk direction lately and you can find examples of this on her Zazzle site at To find more of her art, costumes and articles, you may go to
European Cabaret! Vintage Americana! Balkan Belly Dance! Neo-Classical Opera! Old World Yiddish Theater! Welcome to the six-piece, Portland, Oregon-based Vagabond Opera.
Based in the Pacific Northwest, yet encompassing the world, Vagabond Opera delivers passionate offerings of Bohemian cabaret. Paris hot Jazz, gut bucket swing, Tangos, Ukrainian folk-punk ballads, Klezmer and vigorous originals meet a world of riverboat gambling queens, Turkish belly dancers, and the enigmatic Marlene Dietrich. Weaving elements of Kurt Weil, Duke Ellington and Edith Piaf with absurdist flair, theatrics and an old world mood, Vagabond Opera presents the new wave of opera–lusty (trained) voices singing in 15 languages and presenting a cabaret of rich musical phrasing, sparkling lyrics and indomitable stage presence, all played with exuberance, skill and a gritty Vagabond edge. This is Opera liberated and reinvented for everyone.
The band’s lineup features trained operatic tenor and soprano vocals, accordion, tenor and alto saxophones, cello, stand-up bass, drums, and, when the mood is right, a burlesque hoola-hooping fire performer.
Vagabond Opera has been featured in Jazziz Magazine, shared stages and players with The Decembrists, Pink Martini, Al Franken and the Oregon Symphony. Vagabond opera has two full length albums.


Artists have dabbled in Steampunk’s Scientific Romance, Neo-Victorian and Gothic Horror themes throughout the history of modern music, but none of them were created with the express intent of creating Steampunk music . . . until the year 2003. Enter Vernian Process, the San Francisco-based progenitor of the Steampunk music scene – inspiring a cadre of artists worldwide to find musical expression through retrofuturism. The band’s moniker is inspired by the forefather of Steampunk himself: science fiction author Jules Verne. By fusing sounds and styles spanning over two centuries with the themes of an alternate Victorian timeline,” Vernian Process musically captures the surreal and gritty essence of Steampunk culture. Their latest album, Behold the Machine (released October 1, 2010), has already sold hundreds of copies to an audience spanning the globe from the United States and the UK to Russia and Australia.


The ways of the Circus are older than the nightclubs, older than the banks, older than the cities. These most ancient of performative traditions have always existed just slightly to the left of the Mundane World. Now, at the first flickering of the 21st Century, our piebald clan is shedding its skin and remaking itself in the funhouse mirror image of The Second Great Depression.
To aid and abet this glorious rebirth, Wanderlust has established itself as the premiere circus operation in The City of Roses, helmed by Noah Mickens and Nick “The Creature” Harbar. Acrobats, aerialists, hand balancers, stilt dancers, trick ropers, jugglers and jazz-bos, crooners and clowns – these arts are our chosen creed, our map through the wilderness.
Ours is the story of an immortal carnie family blessed and cursed to live forever on The Endless Road. The logic of dreams pervades the action onstage and the lives of the characters backstage, and from those artifices to the True World of performer and audience.
2011 marks the further refinement of this fabulist fairytale revue into a pair of new forms. In both cases our new-broke trail leads Wanderlust Circus to a more complete synthesis with music – one embracing the breakneck madcappery of the 1920s novelty bands, one laying its root deep in the ecstatic ghetto of the Dubstep Massive.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, beloved Cousins of the Spirit. Wanderlust will persist in presenting countless shows of all sizes and styles, in any room we may squeeze ourselves into, for any audience with eyes to see. We will not rest until the whole of the world has been entertained.

NOTE: This post is a slightly altered re-print of a post in the blog of
Wanderlust Circus at this URL:

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