Couple bring steampunk ball to Cheney Hall

MANCHESTER — A genre of expression best characterized as Victorian science fiction, steampunk has made a home for itself in Manchester, thanks to David and Linda Carlson.

If you can picture what Star Trek would be like if Charles Dickens wrote it, you will begin to get a sense of what steampunk is.

“It’s about creativity,” David says. He’s wearing an embroidered corduroy jacket complemented with a bow tie covered in metal gears, bridging the Victorian world with elements of technology: a perfect steampunk outfit.

Over the last four years, the couple began exploring the hidden world of steampunk by going to conventions and meeting other people who had the same interests. The Carlsons realized that the conventions they were going to were not being optimally run, and decided that they would plan their own.

Thus the Stupid Cupid Steampunk Ball was born.  The ball, which takes take place at Cheney Hall on Hartford Road this Saturday, is the Carlsons’ third Stupid Cupid Ball to date, and it’s getting bigger every year.

The couple hadn’t planned to do more than the original event, but after the first one they realized there was a real demand for steampunk-centric events in Connecticut.

“I guess it was out there enough that people asked if we would do a second one,” Linda says.

It seems that many people find enjoyment in steampunk without knowing its name. David and Linda learned the term when they wanted to take a Victorian-style Christmas card one year, and when they realized their passion had a name it allowed them to become prominent figures in the steampunk community.

They started bringing steampunk to Manchester by getting involved in Imagine Main Street outdoor markets in the summer. Eventually, they held an entire steampunk-themed Imagine Main Street market called Steam Rollin’ last September. Mayor Jay Moran even declared it Steampunk Day.

The name can be misleading for some.

“People are put off by the word ‘punk,’ but its nothing raucous,” David says.  Steam Rollin’ helped to give local people a better idea of what steampunk is, he says.

The Stupid Cupid Ball will feature steampunk artists, fashions, bands, and tea.  There will also be a silent auction to end the night.

Proceeds from the event will go to the Cetacean Society International, a charity that supports whales and dolphins.  David connected with them via Art in the Park in Manchester when they were showcasing a collection of steam train photography, which fits nicely into the steampunk aesthetic.

Unlike steampunk conventions that typically last all day, Stupid Cupid will begin at 5:30 p.m. and run until the silent auction ends around 11 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased at the door for $20 or through Paypal for $15 to Contact David Carlson at for details.

Originally published by the Journal Inquirer .