Welcome back for Part Seven of Interview #100. Here are the answers to the fourth question.
Read Part One here. Current Involvement, Part one
Read Part Two here. Current Involvement, Part two
Read Part Three here. Opportunities, part one
Read Part Four here. Opportunities, part two
Read Part Five here. Changes, part one
Read Part Six here. Changes, part two
What would you like to see happen with steampunk in the next year or two?
Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine: Aside from AMC, HBO, or Netflix turning our books into a series? We would love to see just that—a hit series or film, animated or live action, where the steampunk is out there, front and center.
Jaymee Goh: That seems really short a time period to have any substantial change happen at the scale I am thinking of. I would LIKE for there to be more awareness of other histories beyond the obvious Eurocentric and American-centric stories. I would LIKE for there to be a more international presence in Asian countries that isn’t derived from Victorian forms. But this is not really a thing that could happen in a year or two. The Victorian-centric aesthetic has a great deal of cultural capital and presence across the world.
I would also like for teachers to be able to use steampunk in a resourceful way of engaging students with history: “Go find out what was real and what wasn’t in this alternate timeline!” or “how do you think this machine would work!” or “why is America still settled by white folks; is this realistic in this fantastical world!”
Jean-Christophe Valtat: If it’s not too a harsh thing to say, I would like Steampunk to keep exploring new aspects of the XIXth century culture (and beyond). I am well aware the pleasures of recognition are part and parcel of the experience – they are even the foundation of the genre- but, at some point, there is no harm in taking them somewhere else.
Nick Valentino: As always, I’m not afraid of the mainstream. I want to see a full blown high budget Steampunk movie. I want to see a dedicated steampunk drama television show. I want it to explode across more screens, book covers, and movie theaters across the world. I’m sure that ruffles the feathers of some, but this isn’t an exclusive club. What makes Steampunk great is everyone from any sex, creed, race, culture, or belief can do it and have fun with it. Steampunk’s cultural core is based on equality for all and acceptance of all. no matter how different. At conferences, you’ll see all races, literally all ages and everyone has a smile on their face. And the greatest part is that no one worth their Steampunk stripes is judging them. So I’d like to see more more more of everything from every angle.
Evan Butterfield: I’d like to see steampunkians keep working hard to be unpopular, honestly. I mean, it’s fine to let some of the aesthetic get commercialized and broadly adopted, but it seems to me healthy to keep a little subversiveness in the subculture. The risk of not doing that, of not maintaining at least some piece of steampunk out of the mainstream, is that we’ll witness a “Trek-ification” of steampunk. Now, I’m as big a trekkie as anyone (well, maybe not anyone, but a lot), but what you see there is a “subculture” that was born from, and emulates, a pop-culture entity. In an odd way, I could see the same think inadvertently happening to steampunk: as it becomes more broadly recognized and adopted, our cons and makers will start to be seen not as original sources of creativity, but as reflections of whatever the broader commercial application of steampunk looks like. And that would be sad. Still fun, but not the same.
James Ng: The release of my comic! haha. Though my experience with some “mainstream” production have been bad, I still hope to see Steampunk shown with respect in the media in the near future, so hopefully there will be a new production with good financial backing.
Gail Carriger: The world is ready for a great steampunk TV show or major (well done & popular) motion picture. There have been some shows that edge on steampunk and taken on cult status, but nothing has really broken out yet. But I keep my ear to the production rumor mill in Hollywood and I haven’t heard of anything.
Richard Preston: I’d like to see that BIG steampunk movie/book/etc. take the world by storm. I don’t see it coming, but you never see these things coming. There are so many great human themes in steampunk, themes that are still relevant today, such as industrialization vs. agriculturalism, man vs. machine (jobs), Darwin vs. creationism, etc. It isn’t going to be me, but we need that story that is able to take all the great creative aspects of sci-fi and retro-futurism and bust our world wide open like 2001: A Space Odyssey did. I also think, in the finest Jeff VanderMeer tradition, that steampunk is a perfect weapon to tackle stories about human interference in world ecology, and can be set in the Anthropocene as well as the antipodes.
Diana Pho: It’d be awesome to have Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker to be made into a movie. Or maybe my own airship novel I’m editing could make it big. Who knows? 😉
Join us tomorrow for answers to the next question in Part Eight 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!