Dr. Pembroke at the International Steampunk Symposium

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As night fell on Cincinnati, Ohio, the jolly mood of the 2016 International Steampunk Symposium assumed a darker cast. Secreted away in an abandoned panel room, Dr. Pembroke prepared to address his assembled colleagues. The atmosphere of the room, however, seemed to lend itself towards murderous malpractice more than modern medicine.

With two ready patients to put under the knife, Dr. Pembroke rolled up his sleeves and began the demonstration.

In the literal blood and guts which followed, Dr. Pembroke introduced his audience to a mystic form of tumor removal and the not-so-magical practice of trepanning. Bile and brains took the stage in two operations of dubious merit, much to the macabre delight of the spectators. One audience member had the misfortune to cough during the demonstration, and Dr. Pembroke eagerly inquired if the poor soul was ill. Fortunately, all audience members emerged untreated (and unscathed).

The same cannot be said of the patients, however.

A peerless blend of horror and history, the show offered nuggets of fact, illumination of another area’s medical theory, and not a few mad giggles in the face of death.

The room was full to bursting, and we hope to see Dr. Pembroke again at next year’s Symposium – provided, of course, we all remain in good health.


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