JAMES P. BLAYLOCK is a southern California writer whose short stories, novels, and collections have been published around the world. He was one of the literary pioneers of the Steampunk movement, along with Tim Powers and K.W. Jeter, publishing the first domestic Steampunk story, “The Ape-box Affair” in 1978. Blaylock’s Steampunk novel Homunculus won the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award in 1986. His short story “Paper Dragons” won the World Fantasy Award in 1986, “Thirteen Phantasms” in 1997, and his story “Unidentified Objects” was nominated for an O. Henry Award in 1990. Despite his close association with Steampunk, most of his work is contemporary, realistic fantasy set in southern California, typified by books like The Last Coin, The Rainy Season, and Knights of the Cornerstone, which have lead to his being referred to as both a California regional writer and a writer of magical realism.
Jim began teaching composition in 1976, and during the fifteen years that followed he taught both composition and creative writing at several Orange County, California, colleges and universities. For the past twenty years he has taught at Chapman University, where he is a tenured professor, currently directing the graduate and undergraduate creative writing programs. In 2000, he developed the Creative Writing Conservatory at the Orange County School of the Arts, in which Tim Powers is Master Teacher. In 2012 Jim received the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program Teacher Recognition Award in Washington D.C.
When he’s not teaching or writing, Jim spends his time going to the beach, gardening, working on the family home in Orange, California, traveling, and building sets for local community theaters. He has been married to Viki, his high school sweetheart, for more than 40 years. They have two sons, John and Danny, who live variously in New York City and in Orange.
Because elements of Jim’s stories and novels are autobiographical, and because he has written introductions to many of those works, you can get a better idea of his life and activities if you read some of the essays and short pieces elsewhere in this website.