Event announcement: Antwerp Convention

Antwerp Convention 4

It’s nearly time for the already fourth edition of one of the best (possibly THE best) geek conventions in Europe: Antwerp Convention, on Sunday, April 27!

Like previous years the convention is held at the, very easy to reach by both car and public transport, Antwerp Expo. Unlike previous years, the convention will now be spread over two halls instead of just the one.

Now why go to Antwerp Convention whilst there are so many geek/popular culture conventions out there?
Well it’s quite simple, this con combines the best of Sci-fi, Horror and Fantasy as well with everything else geeky such as manga, anime, J-culture, cosplay, guests, shopping, gaming, you name it!
There’s lazer tag, competitions, exhibits, demonstrations: plenty of things to do and see aside from eat and shop!
Unlike many conventions of it’s kind, it’s truly a day by and for geeks of ALL fandoms, and the friendly atmosphere and general good cheer remains unsurpassed.
And all of this for the very reasonable price of € 10 in pre-sale and € 12 at the door.

Guests this year include Jeremy Bulloch, David Warner, Charles Martinet (the voice of classic gaming brothers Mario & Luigi, who is a super nice guy, I met him at Japan Expo Belgium and I can recommend going to say hi to him to everyone!), Colin Baker (of Sixth Doctor from Doctor Who fame!), Lee Garbett, Jock and _many_ more from both Belgium and abroad!

And that’s not all! Traditionally this is the Belgian convention (and in this field one of the top in Europe too when it comes to non-steampunk specific cons) that traditionally not only caters to steampunks really well, but that is attended by large groups of steampunks. So it’s also an ideal opportunity to meet up and get acquainted by others in the movement as well as enjoy a brilliant day out!

A small note for those that like to take photos/ or have photos of their outfits taken: when the weather is nice you can go outside in the nearby yards and take pretty nice photos there as well. Plus the organisation let us know earlier that this year there will be photo backdrops especially for this purpose! So you’ll be sure to leave with a decent photos!

Book review: “Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Einstein’s Daughter”

Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Einstein's Daughter

There are a great many deal of authors picking up on Sherlock Holmes these days, taking Sir Arthur Conan Doyle‘s well-loved characters and weaving their own tales starring them.
Tim Symonds gives his Sherlockian stories a twist by adding real historical characters in every installment, for his third book in this series, Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Einstein’s Daughter, our favourite sleuth investigates a matter in the background of Albert Einstein.
The answer to the question “Who is Lieserl” may very well hold the future of the young physisist in the balance.

Whilst the book starts off a little slow, and takes a while to reach speed, it’s definitely worth to set through reading because once it’s started, it’ll keep you interested.
It really is a very enjoyable and entertaining story, taking Holmes and Watson outside of London into various parts of Europe, all the while dealing with both old enemies on their trail.
I won’t say much more about it, as I don’t wish to spoil it for those that haven’t read it it.

The author stays true to the original personalities of the characters, as well introducing new characters, even historical figures, in a realistic way so it doesn’t disturb the story.
I also like how he has provided end notes, explaining characters, historical facts and other tidbits, which may prove to be a great help to those that are unfamiliar with the universe of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the particular time they are set in.
This, as well as the list of the Conan Doyle stories referred to, makes for a nice touch.

Whilst this isn’t the best Sherlockian series out there, it is definitely a good one, and well worth reading. Whilst it isn’t necessary to have read the first two books by the author (Sherlock Holmes and the Dead Boer at Scotney Castle and Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Bulgarian Codex), it will help you understand the small references made to them. The same goes for the original tales by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Event review: Coalescaremonium

TElombre, Master of Ceremony at Coalescaremonium, Radiant Darkness.

TElombre, Master of Ceremony at Coalescaremonium, Radiant Darkness.

Event: Coalescaremonium, Radiant Darkness
When: Saturday, March 29 2014
What: Grandioso Gothic Happening
Where: La Bouche à Oreille, Etterbeek, Belgium
Website

On Saturday the 29th of March the second edition of Belgium’s large scale Gothic event: Coalescaremonium, Radiant Darkness.

Coalescaremonium is a nearly 24 hours long Gothic themed happening spread over two locations.
From 3pm to 2am the main event takes place in the converted monastery in Etterbeek (next to Brussels) known as La Bouche à Oreille. Followed by an afterparty at La Porte Noire in the heart of Brussels itself, lasting ‘till 6am.

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Book Review: Skyskipper (The Ballad of Bailey Jo)

Cover of Skyskipper (The Ballad of Bailey Jo)

Cover of Skyskipper (The Ballad of Bailey Jo)

Today we have Lexa Roi Clarke’s steampunk novel, Skyskipper (The Ballad of Bailey Jo).

The story takes place in a fictional nineteenth century world. Lonely orphan Bailey Jo (no last name) makes a living as a transporter. Whether it’s people or contraband, she’ll deliver it for you. At the novel’s outset, she makes a rather rough landing in the town of Wellington while transporting a group of people there in her airship Draggle. The passengers angrily disembark and Bailey Jo proceeds to steal a part she needs to fix the dirigible. She soon runs into a street performer named Ollie Arkwright who greatly upsets her by pretending to destroy her most cherished possession. Infuriated, she leaves but is soon accosted by a group of thugs. Fortunately, Ollie shows up to save her with a large (fake) gun. She thanks him by offering to transport him somewhere. Ultimately, though, her dream is to find the mythical floating city of Landover.

Ollie decides to come along for the ride. Unfortunately, for reasons Bailey Jo is reluctant to divulge, she’s become the quarry of a powerful figure known only as the Professor. The Professor sends Jackdaws — mechanical birdlike assassins — after her. The pair goes from place to place, dodging the Jackdaws and meeting all sorts of colorful characters in their quest for answers. Just who is the Professor, and why is he, or she, so interested in Bailey Jo? How does Ollie’s father fit into all this? What happened to Bailey Jo’s sister? And is Bailey Jo really who she claims to be?

This is a very worthwhile read. It’s well written and features a veritable rogue’s gallery of characters. Most of them have embraced mechanization of their bodies, so they’ll definitely keep your interest. I also quite enjoyed the action sequences. Lexa Roi Clarke really has a flair for cinematic scenes. Even though it’s just a novel, I felt like I was watching a movie. Any time you can say that about a book, you know you’ve got one worth reading.

Normally I have a complaint or two about the novels I read, but not this one. It’s just that good.

In short: I can easily recommend Skyskipper (The Ballad of Bailey Jo).