…and it’s away! Saturday saw the second and final launch date for Airship Shape & Bristol Fashion, which now sails out into the world. Bon Voyage, old girl.
It was a… unique event, and an evening of firsts. The Folk House Cafe laid on a spread of cucumber sandwiches and superlative cake (I especially enjoyed the tiny coconut things), and folk turned up in their finery to eat it. We had the artwork from the anthology on display (unfortunately we had to tuck it out of the way, so you can get a better idea of it on Andy’s DeviantArt site.)
John Hawkes-Reed talks robot elephants
The first divertissement came from John Hawkes-Reed, who gave us a world exclusive on an alternate history par excellence, of which you can read the transcript here: Hacking the Jaquard-7: the development of the steam-powered elephant automaton, complete with demonstrations of coding via organ-roll, and photographs telling of failed experiments therein.
We then had adaptations of two stories from Airship Shape; ‘Brass and Bone’ by Joanne Hall, adapted by Deborah Walker, and ‘Artifice Perdu’ by Pete Sutton, adapted by Pete and me.
Ken Shinn, Myfanwy Rodman, Des Fischer & Jo Hall performing ‘Brass and Bone’
Ken Shinn again, Duncan Thow, Scott Lewis, Claire Hutt & Pete Sutton performing ‘Artifice Perdu’
Cheryl gets cheese
Jo and I wanted to thank Cheryl for prompting us to do a steampunk anthology, and for going through unspeakable torment figuring out how to get Wizard’s Tower’s first ever print book into shops and through letter boxes everywhere. I was going to get a bouquet of flowers, but Jo suggested a bouquet of cheeses, and that seemed to go down pretty well. Cheryl has links to more info about the cheese on her write-up of the evening, if you’re into that type of thing.
Half of Cauda Pavonis (people’s heads kept getting in the way)
Pat Hawkes-Reed’s octopus cake
Next up were Cauda Pavonis, a local goth band who left their uber-drums at home and did their first ever semi-acoustic ‘unplugged’ style gig. It fit into the evening perfectly, with dramatic songs about Weyland Smithy and the carnivale noire.
The cake at this stage took a turn for the weird, courtesy of Pat Hawkes-Reed:
Heike Harding-Reyland as Queenie Green
Finally, we awarded the prize for the best representation of a character from Airship Shape. Honourable mentions go to just about everyone; so many people dressed up and they all looked glorious. There could only be one winner though, and a signed copy of Eugene Byrne’s Unbuilt Bristol went to Heike Harding-Reyland for her Queenie Green outfit. Many thanks to Eugene for so kindly donating the book, and for supporting the anthology with his incredible expertise on Bristol history. Well done to Heike for a truly amazing costume. I’ll leave you with Heike, her budding fern people, and a few other pictures of the revellers. Thank you all for coming, and making it such a fabulous night.
Scott Lewis as ‘Airship Shape’
Kolonel Mustard as ‘Bristol Fashion’