I have been talking with Traveler, well know as the creator of EuroSteamCon, about Steampunk, EuroSteamCon and his recent visit to Barcelona (Spain). What did he said about us? Let’s read the entire interview right here, right now.
—First of all, here’s a quite introduction. Who is Traveler?
Traveler is me, I only use this alias on the blog now for historic reasons, you might say. Daily Steampunk started out as a blog to document my travels as a steampunk. Travelling is a hobby and major interest of mine. The person behind “Traveler” is just me, a regular family man with a day job and an interest in nerdy and weird stuff, one part is steampunk, and another is Cthulhu Mythos. I do not have anything like a steampunk persona, actually. My nom de plum, Marcus R. Gilman is actually a Cthulhu Mythos in-joke and “Gilman” is also much easier to pronounce than my actual family name “Rauchfuss”.
—Why is steampunk important to you? And why is the steampunk community important to you, too? Why are you so active in the community, creating what you do?
Steampunk has grown on me, my relationship with steampunk is
almost symbiotic by now, no, it is not that extreme, yet. To begin with, I just enjoyed the look and feel of the scene and the music. Over time, I encountered so many great people. I was involved in the goth and metal scene before, but not to any degree as deep as now with steampunk. I have also never encountered such a diverse selection of excellent, friendly, creative and lovely people before. Wherever I turn, there are people ready to talk, invent, organise, contribute; it is the positive interaction with those people that motivates me to do what I do, apart from me really enjoying what I do. For me, steampunk has turned out to be my personal perpetual motion machine of sorts. I am putting work into my blog and other projects, but I am also getting so much feedback, love and interaction with great people and this makes it more than worth it.
In short, I am active because I love what I am doing and others actually love it, too, and sharing the love is just great!
—Why do you create ESC?
The honest answer is really dull: I had a conversation on twitter with Lavie Tidhar (author of the Bookman series of steampunk novels) and he said: Europe needs a big steampunk convention, so I said: OK, I see what I can do.
—Before ESC, did you imagine that ESC would become so great? How do you feel about it? How did it affected, changed, enhanced your view of the world, the people in it, and your place in all of that?
I honestly never expected it to become this big, at least not in this short time. EuroSteamCon has thus far only happened twice and we already had several thousand participants.
ESC showed once more what a creative and dynamic bunch steampunks are, getting parties of various size going, some of theme on zero budget. It also showed their willingness to work together. All I did was coordinate stuff online. I am a bit said, though that the idea did not catch on that well in my two home countries, Germany and the UK, but at least we had some smaller events in the UK.
—How has steampunk, and the community, affected you personally?
Well, it occupies a great deal of my spare time, drives my creativity and sometimes even infringes on family life, but otherwise I hope it left me the same guy I always was ;-)
—If you could package it as a gift and give it to others, what is your personal best, happiest, favourite moment in your involvement in steampunk?
There are two:
One: Getting a literature award for Alex Jahnke's and my book “Kurz & Geek: Steampunk”.
Two: Stepping outside the Estación del Nord in Barcelona just before doors opened for ESC 2013 and seeing the number of people waiting in line. I literally had to fight tears.
—After the first ESC you were very impressed with the community in Spain and the party in Madrid. So, you decided to come here in the second ESC, to Barcelona. And you are now working on Mallorca as the HQ for the third ESC. Why are you so impressed with Spain? And, after your visit to Barcelona, what is your impression? How do you feel about the experience?
Actually, as it looks now (and this may change) the event on Mallorca will be independent but I will still be involved.
And Spain in general: I was just blown away by the enthusiasm of the people and I cannot thank everybody involved all over Spain enough for what they did. To me, Spain is the beating heart of European Steampunk, the life is there!
To Barcelona in particular: I had the great pleasure to meet some of the friendliest, nicest and loveliest people ever and I will do my best to go there again, either in relation with steampunk or just as a family trip.
—Thanks for your help and your words. Is there something more you want to say?
I would just like to give a big hug and shout-out to all my friends, everybody I worked and collaborated with in the last five years and I hope there will be many more years for us all to do awesome stuff together.
Next day: Multicultural Steampunk (with Steampunk World, Beyond Victoriana and Steampunk India).