When fantasy author Neil Gaiman was looking for the earliest version of a Ray Bradbury short story, he turned to the Ray Bradbury Center at the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. It was Jordan Brinker-Saigaonkar, an intern at the center, who answered Gaiman’s email.
Gaiman was looking for “The Homecoming” which appeared in October Country, published in 1955. Brinker was then assisted by Bradbury Center Director, Dr. Jonathan Eller, in copy-editing this piece.
The mission of the Bradbury Center is to document and preserve the works of the renowned science fiction and fantasy writer Ray Bradbury, and to provide public access to its large collection of his works.
Brinker was raised in the small town of Virginia, Illinois. She went to Ball State University and got a BA in English Studies before coming to IUPUI. She is in the second year of her master’s degree program in English, with a certificate in editing. She graduates in June!
Brinker is an avowed Bradbury fan. She recently read Becoming Ray Bradbury — a biography of the author’s early years — by The Center’s director, Dr. Jonathan Eller. The first Bradbury story Brinker recalls reading is “A Sound of Thunder” which she read in the 7th grade. In the story, a man goes back in time and changes the future by accidentally stepping on a butterfly.
“He was the first person that thought about the idea of the butterfly effect; how going back in time could change just one small thing and then change the entire future,” Brinker said.
In addition to copy-editing, Brinker has also helped organize the museum’s collection of manuscripts and is in charge of their social media.
Social media is a big part of her job as communications manager at the IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute (IAHI), where one of the biggest projects is the Anthropocene Household project. One of the project’s goals is to conduct lead testing in Indianapolis neighborhoods.
She also has been able to develop an appreciation of the Indianapolis art scene through making contacts with the IAHI’s nonprofit partners such as Indiana Humanities.
“My time at the IAHI has really helped me get in touch with the Indianapolis Arts scene in a way that I never would have expected. It’s been fantastic! And my time working communications at the IAHI helped me land my new gig as head social media person at the Bradbury. I’m sad to be leaving the IAHI in a few weeks, but I’m excited for the future and appreciate all the skills that I’ve learned here.”