Tea Duelling!

Picture of women tea duelling
Round three of the CONvergence 2014 tea duel

[Ladies and gentlemen, you will see from the picture above, which I took, why I found a professional photographer to take the photos for Geek Culture!]

I first encountered tea duelling at TeslaCon 3 in 2012, and I was immediately hooked. I’m not the only one who loves it; there were 32 participants in what I believe was CONvergence’s first tea duel, and there was a large crowd of onlookers.

The art of tea duelling involves dunking a bisquit into hot tea for five or six seconds — the rules I’ve played under before today specified five seconds, but today the count was to six. Then each competitor tries to be the last to achieve a clean “nom.” If you wait too long (which is often my problem), your wet bisquit will fall apart before you can eat it, resulting in a splash (in your tea), a splatter (on the table or floor), or a “splodge” (on your person). If, however, you eat your bisquit and achieve a clean “nom,” but your competitor successfully eats her bisquit after you, she is the winner of the match.

Today’s match involved five rounds, ending in an intense battle that lasted nearly four minutes! I am proud to say that I actually made it past the first round, but then I came up against Emily, the champion dunker at the 2014 DIODES Steampunk May Day Ball in St. Paul, Minnesota. Emily easily bested me and went on for two more rounds to take fourth place in today’s contest.

Interested in tea duelling? Get a package or two of the approved bisquit (in the United States, that means Pepperidge Farm Chessmen), familiarize yourself with the official rules, grab some friends, brew some tea, and have fun!

Announcing Geek Culture, a coffee-table book

Photo of a man wearing a mask made of Legos.
Ted shows off his Bane mask made of Legos. Photo by Emmerlee Sherman.

Geek Culture, a forthcoming book by author Kate Norlander and photographer Emmerlee Sherman, features interviews with and photos of fascinating people who participate in CONvergence, probably the largest sci-fi and fantasy convention in the United States run solely by volunteers.

Our book is intended for anyone who is interested in the world of sci-fi and fantasy conventions, or “cons.” Whether you are a seasoned attendee of such conventions or are merely curious about what goes on at cons, you will enjoy the stories and pictures that we have brought together to capture the spirit of CONvergence.

In mid-July, I will launch a Kickstarter campaign to make this book a reality. If you’d love to have a copy of Geek Culture and/or to give one to someone you know, Emmerlee and I would appreciate your partnership in our venture. I will update this blog frequently to keep you informed about the book and its progress toward publication. I’ll also post entries about geeky things and fandom just for the fun of it.

Thank you for visiting!