A Selection of Guests from TempleCon's past...
...to whet your appetite for TempleCon 2013!
Simon Berman is a professional game writer, developer, and social media director. His work has been presented by several notable publishers. Somehow, Mr. Berman has managed to trick a number of people into paying him to write about wizards and zombies for a living. Since 2009 he has worked for Privateer Press in a dual capacity as the Community Coordinator managing Privateer's social media and online community and as a staff writer working on the award-winning WARMACHINE and HORDES miniature combat games, as well as the upcoming Iron Kingdoms Role-Playing Game. His evenings are spent writing for Unhallowed Metropolis, the gas-mask chic role-playing game of Neo-Victorian Horror. He is also working on several as yet unpublished but very weird personal projects. Mr. Berman enjoys the Seattle climate which he claims is conducive to both writing and alcoholism. He has been known to fly 1,500 miles to see Swedish musicians and prefers his beer to be Belgian. He currently resides on Capitol Hill in Seattle with a cat named Chud.
Back by popular demand, Eli August gave four performances at TempleCon 2012 - two in the Rotunda, one at the Neo-Victorian High Tea, and one super-secret unscheduled performance... Doesn't this guy sleep?!
Notably reticent in describing himself for nosy website content writers, Eli instead prefers to let his music do the talking, along with the press:
"Eli August is comparable to a master chef. Adding a plethora of unnecessary ingredients is a refuge for the mediocre. Eli adheres to this same principle in his music, and the result is excellent. The profound imagery of his lyrics merges with outstanding arrangements and fine production for a truly astounding result." - Midnight Calling
“…Eli August’s work is almost gothic with its tones, words, and musical voyage. Let This House Burn Slowly is an extension of the austere work of Eli’s prior EP and goes far in defining our good Mr. August as the modern melancholy musical equivalent of Edgar Allen Poe.” - Doctor Q Steampunk Chronicle
Tempest has performed many times at TempleCon over the past few years, as well as leading several dance workshops at the convention.
Based in Providence, Rhode Island, Tempest pulls from her visual arts background, literary tendencies, and global inspirations to create dance that crosses the boundaries of time and culture. She is the premiere instructor of both Gothic & Steampunk Bellydance in North America, and her extensive work in these genres has helped to define and develop the movements across the world. Her compellingly artful performances exemplify her distinctively theatrical, unique, and expressive style, and are rooted in oriental dance technique with a transcendent approach. Her costume designs have revolutionized the look of modern bellydance, and continue to inspire new and old generations of dancers alike.
In 2011, she created Tapestry Dance Retreat, and in 2012 she is produced Waking Persephone: Dancing Through the Dark & Unusual - both events rooted in Providence, RI. She also leads Museum Quality: Art School for Bellydancers intensives all over the world.
She finds inspiration for her dances in many eras, places, and faces, from ancient cultures and spiritual myths worldwide, to the work of silent film star and original vamp Theda Bara, and turn-of-the-century dance goddess Ruth St. Denis. She is particularly well-known for her Nouveau Noir Dance performances - which transport the audience back in time to the early 20th Century as well as the fantasy realms of Steampunk and Retro-Futurism, and sacred-fusion, ritualistic forms of belly dance. Her devotion to art, creativity and innovation in dance marks her as a stand-out, must-see performer who continues to evolve and set the bar for others in the Fusion Bellydance genres.
-Tempest’s Nouveau Noir Dance: www.darklydramatic.com
-Tempest’s Teapot (Bellydance Blog): darklydramatic.blogspot.com
-The Gothic Bellydance Resource: www.gothicbellydance.com
-Owl*Key*Me Arts: www.owlkeyme.com
-Waking Persephone: www.wakingpersephone.com
Dr. Grymm MC-ed the TempleCon 2012 Ball at the End of the World with the Emperor Justinian, as well as presenting the panel events "Steampunk Art" (also with the Emperor Justinian) and "1000 Steampunk Creations and How to Draw Steampunk Book Panel."
Dr. Grymm is the Author of "1000 Steampunk Creations” by Quarry Books as well as “How to Draw Steampunk,” by Walter Foster books. Most recently he can be seen on BBC America, CBS Sunday Morning, PBS, The New York Times, and HGTV’s Selling New York. He is also featured in the documentary I AM STEAMPUNK, the Independent films Steam Driven and Adventures in Science, and as one of the Art Designers behind the upcoming film Jesus Hates Zombies.
Dr. Grymm Laboratories currently provides custom designs of props and creatures for film production companies across the US. Dr. Grymm's custom contraptions and sculptures have been seen in Steampunk exhibits including the Steampunk Exhibit held at the Oxford University History of Science Museum in 2010 and the Form and Function Exhibit held at the Charles River Museum 2012, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, and the Historic Hudson Valley.
Together with his business partner and wife, Allison DeBlasio, (Mrs. Grymm), Dr. Grymm hosts the annual Steampunk Bizarre Exhibit located in Hartford CT, which recently completed its third year at The Mark Twain House and Museum and is working on Plans for the 4th Annual Exhibit “Salvaged Beauty” with Redfield Design. Dr. Grymm Laboratories also coordinated the 2012 Steampunk City in Waltham, MA with the Charles River Museum of Industry.
For more information visit Dr. Grymm at: www.DrGrymmLaboratories.net
Frenchy and the Punk
Euro-American Duo Frenchy and the Punk joyfully blends foot-stompin' folk, cabaret, world music, French chanson, and 80s punk, with steampunk flair, vaudeville charm, pixie spirit, and a sophisticated grace like few bands can. Their live show fuses raucous live guitar looping, cheeky ballads sung in English and French, danceable old-world inspired melodies and thunderous tribal-march-style drum instrumentals. In 2012 they released their fifth full length CD and continued their extensive touring schedule. Their music has been played on WeTV, the Travel Channel, MTV and Oprah and on the reality show NY INK on TLC. Visit them at the website
Professor Mark P. Donnelly
Professor Mark P. Donnelly (S.S.S./ E.A.A./ B.F.H.S./ S.W.A.S.H.) has been studying armed combat in various incarnations for roughly 27 years.
One of the founding fathers of the British Federation of Historical Swordplay (BFHS), he founded the Society for the Study of Swordsmanship (S.S.S.), and created the Edenhill Academy of Arms.
Prof. Donnelly is also the auteur of both the Tontine and of S.W.A.S.H.-UK (Symposium on the Western Arts of Swordsmanship through History) which he has organised and hosted on behalf of the BFHS for the last several years.
Prof. Donnelly has instructed at major national and international events such as: F.I.S.A.S. in Verbania, Italy; H.E.M.A.C. at Dijon in France; A.E.E.M.A. in Madrid; A.R.G.O. in Prague; as well as many others. He has lectured on and demonstrated historical combat in the US at Hampton House, Johns Hopkins University, H.A.C.C, Amherst College, and Fort McHenry, and runs classes for K.A.D.S. – The Keystone Academy of Dueling and Swordsmanship.
He is a life-time research associate with Her Majesties Royal Armouries as well as with The Tower of London and with the National Maritime museum at Greenwich. He is additionally an experienced stage combatant and licensed fight director.
Mr. Donnelly writes and produces historical documentaries for: Discovery Channel Networks; History Channel International; National Geographic; PBS; BBC; and several other international affiliates.
He is also the author and/or co-author of over a dozen books currently in print.
Leanna Renee Hieber
Award winning, bestselling author, actress, and playwright Leanna Renee Hieber graduated with a BFA in Theatre, a focus in the Victorian Era, and a scholarship to study in London. She adapted works of 19th Century literature for the stage and her one-act plays such as Favorite Lady have been produced around the country. Her debut novel, The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, first in her Strangely Beautiful series, landed on Barnes & Noble's bestseller lists, won two 2010 Prism Awards (Best Fantasy, Best First Book), and has been optioned for adaptation into a musical theatre production currently in development. Foreign rights have been sold to Poland and Thailand. DARKER STILL: A Novel of Magic Most Foul, Leanna's Gothic Historical Paranormal series for teens (Sourcebooks), hit the Kid's/YA INDIE NEXT LIST as a recommended title by the American Booksellers Association and was featured in Seventeen and Pixie Magazine. Foreign rights have been sold to China (Complex translation, via Taiwan) and Turkey. Leanna's short fiction has been featured in anthologies Candle In the Attic Window and the upcoming Willful Impropriety: Tales of Society and Scandal and the upcoming Queen Victoria's Book of Spells: A Collection of Gaslight Fantasy (TOR). A member of performers unions AEA, AFTRA, and SAG, Leanna works often in film and television. When not writing or on set, she's a devotee of ghost stories and Goth clubs, adventuring about her adopted hometown of New York City, where she resides with her real-life hero and their beloved rescued lab rabbit. Visit her at http://leannareneehieber.com; she tweets at http://twitter.com/leannarenee
What do Lovecraft-inspired instrumentals, electric violin, bowed guitar, Rush/Tool-like arrangements and powerful female vocals have in common? They're all in Hemlok! Sometimes, all in the same song...
Hemlok grew into a dark, proggy musical tempest that is equal parts instrumental adventure and dramatic vocal performance. Based in and around Providence, RI they've recently signed to NH-based Transit Music/Nova Records and completed their sophomore effort, "A Cautionary Tale" for a 2012 release. Hemlok tends to craft songs epic not only in music but also lyrics (Songs such as "Hey Hester", "Cybernaut", and "Toad (The Tale of Hop-Frog)" aren't really about break-ups....). Their performances push boundaries as well; they will be joined at Templecon by a frequent collaborator: Ms. Jamie Lee Fury, whose Bellydancing has enhanced many Hemlok perfomances.
Joining TempleCon as part of the Privateer Press contingent is Ed Bourelle, who shed some light on the arcane process of game design during the Privateer Press panel.
Ed Bourelle picked up his first miniature at the age of seven and has been playing and creating tabletop games and RPGs ever since. With a background in graphic design, art direction, and illustration, Ed has worked on and led creative teams at design agencies, a software company, and a Fortune 500 telecommunications company. Ed started his own game company in 2001 and began working full-time as a freelance artist and writer in the tabletop games industry. During that time he worked as both a volunteer and freelancer for Privateer Press.
Ed accepted a job with Privateer Press in early 2009 and now oversees the creative team behind WARMACHINE, HORDES, Bodgers, Monsterpocalypse, and more. His work day consists of planning and critiquing new model concepts, concept art, illustration, graphic design, and miniature sculpts. Somewhere in there he finds time to help move work forward on new products, games, and initiatives with the Privateer Press development and marketing teams.
Psyche Corporation played during the Apparel for the Apocalypse Fashion Show at TempleCon 2012. According to the band:
"Psyche Corp. is a dark fairytale cyberpunk band named after a dream manufacture group from a future where widespread neural implants have allowed people to jack their nerve endings directly into the internet and download dreams. Songs deal in dystopian themes as well as the surreal psychological landscapes of sleeping minds. The musical style spans genres; a recent song has mixed tribal singing with classical piano while embedding poliovirus DNA into its percussion.
The upcoming album also features a mini series of songs based on codes and patterns such as the Fibonacci sequence, Morse code, bar code (2 of 5 interleaved), spelling out phone numbers, spelling out words, aforementioned poliovirus DNA, and other codes/puzzles embedded within the song structure as musical elements. We're unabashedly geeky here at Psyche Corp."
Ay-leen the Peacemaker
Ay-leen the Peacemaker is the founding editor of the science fiction & fantasy award-winning blog Beyond Victoriana,which focuses on multicultural steampunk and retrofuturism. Ay-leen is involved with the steampunk communities in the New York metro area and New England, and has traveled the country as a convention speaker and general rabble-rouser. Her published work will be included in the fashion anthology Fashion Talks from SUNY Press in 2012 and the anthology for Steampunk Magazine (Issues #1-7). She has been interviewed about steampunk and its evolving subculture for various science fiction and pop culture websites and for the books The Steampunk Bible (Abrams Image, May 2011) and Steampunk: Reloaded (Tachyon Publications, 2010). Ay-leen also blogs for Tor.com and is currently a graduate student at New York University.
Mr. Saturday & Sixpence
Mr. Saturday & Sixpence are this universe's prime space-time bending vaudevillian gentlemen-for-hire, at your service! No other high-caliber masters of their art can claim to include the finest mentalist in 16 dimensions and a charismatic mime wanted in 13 of those 16 dimensions, along with a merry enterprise comprised of quite the wacky cast of characters!
Saturday & Sixpence are entertainers extraordinaire with a high improv flair when not on one of their fantastic (and assuredly foolish) adventures, enjoying the adoration of the crowds, gaining energy from their applause, laughter, and if need be, outright confusion.ic mime wanted in 13 of those 16 dimensions, along with a merry enterprise comprised of quite the wacky cast of characters!
When in this space-time quadrant, they attend conventions for jolts and jollies, head up the San Antonio Neo-Victorian Association, and for some strange reason, can usually be found in the Texas vicinity. They also happen to be the con-men behind AetherFest, Texas' first Steampunk convention in San Antonio, TX, and they do put on one hell of a convention!
Lyle Lowery of Privateer Press grew up on a steady diet of miniatures and board games. It was WWII fighter planes that first piqued his hobby interest, but model planes gave way to miniature soldiers because those were models you could play with. Lyle spent much of the past two decades painting and commanding miniature armies, but his passion for games doesn't stop there. He also proudly boasts a collection of nearly 200 board games.
Lyle is the marketing manager for Privateer Press. In his role, he oversees the marketing department's talented and dedicated staff. Having joined the crew in October 2011, Lyle is new to the company, but he is no stranger to WARMACHINE and HORDES. He has been playing since the early days of Mk I.
One of several Privateer Press staff who presented during the Privateer Press panel at TempleCon 2012, Lyle made the trek out from Seattle to TempleCon for the first time in 2012. Let's hope someone warned him about what he was in for... o.O
Nic Vega builds monsters, the better to destroy them. When not experimenting on obscure and archaic spirits or dreaming up fresh atrocities for the world of Unhallowed Metropolis, she can be found in her laboratory, working tirelessly to circumvent the coming Plague.
Author CJ Henderson is the creator of the Piers Knight supernatural investigator series, the Teddy London occult detective series, and many more, including the upcoming Ministry of Extraordinary Weapons from Dark Quest Books. Writer of over 70 books and/or novels, producer of hundreds and hundreds of short stories and comics, typist who spewed forth thousands of non-fiction pieces, this tireless lunatic will once more be dragging his ancient, feeble body from its stagnant den to wander the halls of our great show like the specter of a bygone age... which, essentially, is what he is. To learn more about this brooding organ-grinder of a man, drop in at www.cjhenderson.com to read free short stories, peruse his FAQ, or merely to leave cryptic messages for him at "contact us." It makes him feel loved.
A perennial favorite at TempleCon, CJ can be found vending in our Vendors' Hall, holding forth at his annual Writer's Workshop, or testing gamers' sanity at his annual Call of Cthulhu game.
Jason Soles is the lead developer of Privateer Press' award-winning WARMACHINE and HORDES miniature combat games. His off hours are spent sculpting, writing, and plotting fresh adventures with his lovely companion. Among his most successful nightside endeavors, Soles is the co-creator of the Unhallowed Metropolis, the gas mask chic role-playing game of Neo-Victorian horror. Soles has a keen interest in history, travel, and rare spirits.