Welcome back for Part Four of Interview #100. Here is the second half of the answers to the second question.
Read Part One here. Current Involvement, Part one
Read Part Two here. Current Involvement, Part two
Read Part Three here. Opportunities, part one
What opportunities, steampunk or not, have come your way because of your involvement and work in steampunk?
James Ng: Well, like I said so many years ago in my initial interview with you. I have always been fascinated by steampunk visuals and my interest in Chinese history inspired me to create my series. But I actually didn’t know the term “steampunk” until I posted my work online. But since my involvement with steampunk, my career became tied closely with the term. I’ve received many steampunk commissions and invitations from conventions and art shows. It has brought me to Korea, California, New York, London, Moscow, Italy and many other places.
Recently I am taking part in “Mechanical Wonders” group show in Vancouver BC, and also working on 2 steampunk illustration commissions as well as a steampunk themed beer label design.
Gail Carriger: This is a hard question for me to answer as I owe my whole career to steampunk. So… everything?
Richard Preston: Well, it was my steampunk series that got me my first literary agent and my first publisher deal, so obviously it has opened a lot of big doors for me. It also got me involved with Jeff VanderMeer, the author of the Southern Reach series, and he is a wonderful guy who has helped my career along, on top of him being a magnificent writer. I’ve also met a lot of great people in the steampunk world due to the smaller cons, including Tayliss Forge and a whole bunch of writers, and they have all been awfully nice.
Diana Pho: Well, I could say that steampunk helped get my current job as an editor, because it if weren’t for my involvement for Tor.com’s steampunk blogging events, I don’t think I would’ve landed in Editorial. And the best part is making the jump from being a creator of artworks to becoming a facilitator of others’ steampunk (and SFF) works! I’m in a position to see the fiction I want to see come out into the world; Steeplejack and A Dead Djinn in Cairo are just two examples of the type of diverse stories I want to support.
Additionally, though I decided not to go the PhD route, my academic studies has been an exciting journey that has helped me get in touch with many fellow geek academics over the years. I’m still interested in academia — particularly digital humanities and media studies — and neither would’ve been on my radar if it wasn’t for the interdisciplinary nature of steampunk and the wide variety of intellectuals it draws in.
And, not the least, I’ve met some of my closest friends through steampunk (including you, Ambassador! 😉 The community has helped me during times in my life where I left the lowest; it has been a chosen family when I felt estranged from my birth one.
Mike Perschon: I would say just about everything I’ve done in academia since 2010 is because of my involvement and work in steampunk. I’ve not had to work hard to get publications – they come my way. Even this book opportunity fell into my lap, so to speak. Being one of the only people on the planet taking steampunk seriously has been very, very good for my career.
Join us tomorrow for answers to the next question in Part Five of Interview #100!
Thanks to everyone who has participated:
Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine, read the first interview here.
Evan Butterfield, read the first interview here.
Gail Carriger, read the first interview here.
Jaymee Goh, read the first interview here.
James Ng, read the first interview here.
Mike Perschon, read the first interview here.
Diana Pho, read the first interview here.
Richard Preston, read the first interview here.
Lev AC Rosen, read the first interview here.
Arthur Slade, read the first interview here.
Nick Valentino, read the first interview here.
Jean-Christophe Valtat, read the first interview here.
Thanks for all of your support and encouragement!