June 2, 2014
The movie review is going to have to wait, so I can talk about author Jay Lake, who passed away yesterday. This has been coming for a long time, years, since his cancer diagnosis. It doesn’t hurt any less.
I met Jay in 2001, at the World Horror Convention, and we’ve been friends ever since. We were both at the same point in our careers — a couple of stories sold, the struggle as monumental as ever. Our first novels came out around the same time. Jay gave me my first anthology invitation, when he asked me to submit to the first volume of Polyphony. He wrote the forward to my short story collection, Straying From the Path. He gave me some very good advice in a dark spot and talked me off a couple of ledges. I’ve felt really helpless the last couple of years, reading his blog, watching his decline, and not being able to do a damned thing except hope, and tell him I’m thinking of him.
The last time I saw him was in San Antonio for Worldcon. He was sick, on a scooter, but he was there. He said, “I had the weirdest dream about you. You were pregnant, and I couldn’t think of a more un-Carrie thing for you to be doing.” I said, “Yup.” And we had a laugh. And that was that.
I think the very best tribute any of us can give is to go read Jay’s work. I want him to be remembered for his writing, as much as for any of the other things he’ll be remembered for.
This is at JayCon, aka Jay’s birthday party, in 2007. Me, Jay, along with Jen Scholes and Ken Scholes. And there I go crying again. This really sucks.
“Death is a primitive concept. I prefer to think of him as battling evil in another dimension.”
–The Last Starfighter