I popped along to the Second Surrey Steampunk Convivial, held at The Royal Oak in New Malden, today. As well as catching up with the likes of Mr Kit Cox and Herr Doktor, I got to meet Archimedes the Robot Parrot for the first time.
In case you're wondering (and you've read Pax Britannia: Time's Arrow already), yes, Archimedes is based upon Gustav Lumière's invention as he appears in the book.
He bent down and retrieved something that had rolled under the desk.
It was the golden parrot. It was still attached to its perch but it was badly dented, having been partially crushed.
Ulysses peered into the automaton bird’s glittering crystal eyes.
“Could this be repaired, do you think?” he asked. “I mean, I don’t know how much you know about electronics and audiology–”
“Enough,” she said, taking the broken object from him.
“What was it?” Ulysses asked. “His pet or something?”
Cadence shot him a scolding glance. “Archimedes is a state-of-the-art automaton.”
“Yes, what of it? Uncle Gustav liked the company.”
“Well, when you start naming the state-of-the-art automaton that you keep around your apartment for company, it’s what we call a pet.”
Archimedes has been fabricated by the talented Herr Doktor himself, and caused quite a stir at the Convivial.
If you're going to the Sci-Fi Weekender (1-3 March) then you too will be able to meet Archimedes, and pick up a copy of Time's Arrow while you're about it. :-)