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Beyond Cyberdrome 2008

Steam-powered Sparky

By Alex Holden and SMS.

The time has come for us to announce Beyond Cyberdrome's theme for 2008. "Hang on a minute," I hear you shout. "What happened to Eastercon 2007 and the James Bond theme?" The full story is a bit too complicated to get into here and involves a moon base, a modified Black Arrow rocket and Brookside, but suffice it to say that we managed to put together an alternative event in 2007, and in a Beyond Cyberdrome first we filmed it and posted it on the net right after the con. You can watch it here.

Back to 2008. We felt it was time for us to try a new direction - something with more scope for imagination, creativity, and general silliness. Something constructive rather than destructive. Something optimistic, forward-looking, and futuristic. Something to showcase the wonderful, brilliant, bizarre inventions that will make life worth living in that far-distant future of the year 2008. Beyond Cyberdrome is proud to present: The Great Crystal Cyberdrome Exhibition.

The Crystal Cyberdrome

We propose to exhibit a collection of inventions that never were and past visions of the world of today. Clockwork computers and steam servants. Mechanical monstrosities and electrical entertainments. Retro-futurism at its finest. And we need YOU to provide the exhibits for us. Bring along models of difference-engine controlled vacuum cleaners and cast iron lunar shuttles. Coal-fired jet engines and atomic monorail carriages. Don't worry if your construction ability doesn't live up to your imagination - the models don't need to be fully functional (though we will be very impressed if they are).

Electric Roller-skates Clockwork Shaving Machine

In addition to the pre-built exhibits we hope you will bring along, we will also be running an ongoing workshop at the con. This will be a little different to previous Beyond Cyberdrome SCRAP workshops in that instead of several people working on their own individual robots, we will be collaborating to produce a single exhibit: the Beyond Cyberdrome City of the Future. This is to be a diorama showing a retro-futuristic vision of a modern city in the year 2008. It will of course feature the ubiquitous monorails and Zeppelin mooring stations on skyscrapers. It will also incorporate a model of the London Heathrow Interplanetary Spaceport, and a familiar hotel next to it, which just happens to be hosting a convention of some sort...

New London in the Future

If you bring an exhibit, please let us know early in the con so that we can plan how we are going to arrange the exhibits and present them. You will have the opportunity, if you wish to do so, to stand up and demonstrate your invention. If presentation is not your cup of tea, simply provide us with a short written description instead and we will introduce it for you.

There will be judging, and prizes will be awarded for the best entries in various classes (which we will probably make up on the day), as well as the traditional Victor Cyberneticus and Most Brilliantly Engineered for the overall winners. If you really can't build a model to save your life, the judges may be persuaded to allow you to enter an artist's impression of your invention instead, though this is technically a violation of the 1997 Virtual Penalty Law, intended to discourage people from entering Imaginary Robots. Why not discuss it with them over a bribe, er, I mean drink, in the bar?

The Noble British SF Fan takes leave of his senses

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