UK Expo!

Steampunk Short Film Theatre
With several titles from across the internet, the Steampunk Short Film Theatre will be showcasing some of the newest and best steampunk short films created all by fans!. Click here for more information!
Costume Contest
The perfect place for experts and amateurs alike to show off their favorite costume, our costume contest is a fun way to get others to see your hard work. The contest is easy to sign up for and is open to everyone! Click here for more info!
Mysterious Theatre 337
A group of creative and hilarious fans riff a Doctor Who classic in te style of MST3K. Find out more about them and other programming by clicking here!

Hey everyone! Read all about this year's fantasic guests!

William Fliss

William Fliss is the Archivist for the Department of Special Collections and University Archives Raynor Memorial Libraries. He is in charge of the second largest collection of J. R. R. Tolkien manuscripts and materials at Marquette University. He will be talking about this fantastic collection!

The collection of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973), professor of Old and Middle English language and literature at Oxford University, 1925-1959, contains the original manuscripts and multiple working drafts for three of the author's most celebrated books, The Hobbit (1937), Farmer Giles of Ham (1949), and The Lord of the Rings (1954-1955), as well as the original copy of the children's book Mr. Bliss (published in facsimile form in 1982). The collection includes books by and about Tolkien, periodicals produced by Tolkien enthusiasts, audio and video recordings, and a host of published and unpublished materials relating to Tolkien's life and fantasy writings.

Tolkien manuscripts reside at Marquette because of the vision of William B. Ready (1914-1981), director of libraries from 1956 to 1963. Ready was appointed with the understanding that he would aggressively collect material for the newly-constructed Memorial Library. He recognized The Lord of the Rings as a masterpiece soon after its publication, long before the work and its author gained enormous popularity. With administrative approval, Ready approached Tolkien in 1956 through Bertram Rota, a well-known rare book dealer in London. At the time, no other institution had expressed an interest in Tolkien's literary manuscripts. After a relatively brief period of negotiation, an agreement was reached whereby Marquette purchased the manuscripts for 1,500 pounds (or less than $5,000). The first shipment of material arrived in 1957; The Lord of the Rings manuscripts arrived the next year. Tolkien accepted offers to visit and speak at Marquette in both 1957 and 1959, but on each occasion he canceled the anticipated visit due to family concerns. Tolkien's personal and academic papers, as well as his other literary manuscripts (e.g. The Silmarillion and Leaf by Niggle), are at the Bodleian Library of Oxford University.

Steam Century

What is Steam Century? Steam Century is two things, really: it's a friendly organization of steampunk enthusiasts gathered for the purpose of putting on events like live action interactive mysteries and the Darke Carnival. And, it's the world created for those events to take place in.

The People
Steam Century was created by a group of friends in Madison in 2007, making it the first recorded steampunk group in town (as far as we know). And friendship is still the guiding principle of the group—they don't put on events for profit or prestige, but because they enjoy sharing their love of steampunk with the community.

The founder of Steam Century, Kerry Dobbins (now a Professor of History at a prestigious university in Kansas), created Steam Century because she was tired of steampunk events that were little more than "having tea." She realized that steampunk as a genre had a potential for a unique variety of events. The first Steam Century mystery took place at CONvergence in 2008, and additional mysteries have been held at No Brand Con, Daisho Con, Geek.kon, Marscon, and Midway Village Museum. In 2009, Steam Century presented the first Darke Carnival, a steampunk-themed festival of music, belly dancing, sideshow performers, and carnival games.

Today, the Steam Century team includes a wide range of eclectic talents, including actors, costumers, gadgeteers, prop builders, writers, playwrights, and designers. Additional information, including details on how you can become a member, can be found online at and

The World
The world of Steam Century is one in which our history went astray—steam power has been used since the Renaissance, magic is real, and science does not always work in a way that 21st century minds might expect.

Steam Century creates its world as an interactive project. Since the group started in Madison, Wisconsin, they started with the political situation of their home town. In order to create a wide range of narrative possibilities, they wanted to make Wisconsin a nexus of political boundaries. Therefore, Wisconsin in "1905" is the Western frontier of the British Empire (the infamous rebellion of 1776 was put down and is now a distant memory), bordered on the north by New France, to the east by the Native American nation of Tekamthi, and to the south by Elatse (a polyglot nation made up of exiles from the American Revolution, the remains of the Five Nations, as well as French and Spanish immigrants).

Politics do not make up the only differences in the world of Steam Century. Werewolves, vampires, and other mysterious beings prowl the night. Magicians and scientists vie for control of the elements. But Steam Century is not merely a world with good guys and bad guys. Its stories that come from complicated situations in which individuals need to make tough decisions.

Bristol Renaissance

Where Fantasy Rules! Meet cast members of the #1 Renaissance Faire in the country (as published in Renaissance Magazine)! Bristol Renaissance Faire troupe is a community of actors from the Faire that entertain with an Elizabethan flair. Travel back in time to the year 1574 and take a rollicking romp through Elizabethan England!

See their official website!

Photo by Ivan Phillips

Professor Pinkerton Xyloma

Professor Pinkerton Xyloma is a Magician, Musician, Juggler, Break Dancer, Historian, Storyteller, Sideshow performer, and who knows what else! Over the last 10 years he has performed his 10-1 style Circus Vaudeville act all over the world. He is a founding member and ringleader behind Milwaukee's Premiere Variety Show "The Dead Man's Carnival". His art restores the stage to a place where showmanship reigns supreme!

Mysterious Theatre 337

The year was 1996. The upcoming convention was HME/Visions'96, the seventh annual Doctor Who/etc convention in Rosemont, Illinois. The Visions dance had seen dwindling attendance over the past few years, and it was felt that a replacement was needed. I had discussions with Jennifer Adams Kelley about what to do with it; I had been Visions dance DJ since its beginning and was also ready to call it a day. Instead of trying to find ways of changing the dance, I suggested a wholesale replacement with something completely different.

At the time I and my friends Dave Broucek and Rick Kellerman were heavily into Mystery Science Theater 3000. Quite simply, my suggestion was to present a live MST3000-style show using Doctor Who stories as source material. I got the tentative go-ahead and recruited Dave and Rick, as well as Robert Warnock, to help me create and perform the show.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 was the brainchild of Joel Hodgson of Minnesota, an extremely talented creative engine. The show had begun as a local broadcast on KTMA and would eventually become an important award-winning show for Comedy Central and the Sci-Fi Channel. The concept was simple: a man is stranded on an orbiting space station as a part of a sceintific experiment by a mad scientist. He is forced to watch bad movies, and his reactions are observed. To cope with the situation, he builds himself a few robot pals, and together they make fun of the bad movies by cracking wise at them.

© UK Expo 2013