Two Takes on the JayWake

Jay Lake arrives at JayWake.

Jay Lake arrives at JayWake. Used under Creative Commons.

Tons of photos of the JayWake on Jay Lake’s Livejournal. As promised, Jay was delivered to his pre-mortem eulogy and roast in a coffin–

JayWake. There were all these people. A coffin. (A very hot, dark, coffin.) Books. Some good food. Friends from Germany, Canada, Connecticut, Texas, Utah, California, Washington, Arizona and elsewhere. A lot of laughter. Some mortification. Deep embarrassment. Profound amusement. Joy. Love. More than I can ever describe, or thank, or return.

Ruth Nestvold’s report Saying goodbye with a laugh: The Jay Lake Wake comes highly recommended by Jay. It provides more narrative, and different photos.

It was amazingly funny and fun, given the fact that the reason for the party was Jay’s diagnosis as terminal. Once enough people had lovingly abused Jay, he got up to have his own say.

The humor left the room for a little while, to be replaced by the seriousness of the situation, which we were all trying to repress, or at least chase away for a couple of hours with a few jokes.

JayWake Registration Opens


JayWake art by Howard Tayler

The JayWake, a pre-mortem celebration of Jay Lake’s life, is scheduled for July 27 in Portland, Oregon. RSVP’s are being taken via e-mail and Facebook, see details here.

This is a time for celebrating Jay’s life, loves, and dark, twisted sense of humor. Bring your stories (hysterical, at Jay’s expense), your tasteless jokes, and any and all expressions gleefully macabre. Come party with the man who has never passed up the chance to poke cancer in the eye and laugh about it.

The event will be at a Holiday Inn. A buffet dinner will be served (and donations taken to defray the expenses of said dinner.) Then the Roast will begin —

Be warned: the jokes and stories contained herein will not only push the boundaries of good taste, they will leapfrog over the boundaries blowing a raspberry. This is not a time to say how Jay touched your life. This is a time to say how Jay touched you inappropriately

T-shirts with a black and white line art version of Howard Tayler’s art above can be ordered by e-mail through the JayWake page.

No, That’s Not Too Much Jay

Jeff Baker has a terrific interview with Jay Lake in The Oregonian. Of course, it’s terrific. Jay makes it that way:

Online and in person, Lake is available, honest and articulate. His sometimes funny, always-frank reports on his medical condition attract tens of thousands of followers to his blogs and Facebook page. He’s been writing publicly about his cancer since the second day and hasn’t backed off as the prognosis has gotten grimmer.

The interview publicized JayFest, held June 8 at Powell’s bookstore in Portland.

There are details of the “Acts of Whimsy” fundraiser that brought in $50,000 for Lake’s medical expenses. And about what he’ll do with the copy of his genome that was made when doctors were hoping to find genes implicated in the cancer that might be affected by other drugs than the ones he was already taking.

“I’m open-sourcing my genome so that scientists and doctors as well as hobbyists and students can have access to a full human genome, which is very difficult to find right now,” he says. “I haven’t been able to help myself very much so maybe I can help some other people.”

Somebody could study that and come up with something that will save the world.

“That’s exactly right. That’s why I want to give it away, so that somebody else can help save the world. If that becomes true then I have triumphed over my disease. Even if I’m not here to know it. My daughter will know. You will know. Everybody will know.”

lake DNAThere’s been a JayCon, a JayFest and there will be a JayWake —  a memorial service and roast to be held while he’s still around to enjoy it, and which he intends to enter being carried in a coffin and pop out at the right moment. The interviewer teases, “Isn’t that a lot of Jay?” But he gets a great answer, because Jay makes it that way:

“Most writers are a neurotic mess, including me if you catch me on the right day, but at the core of it you really have to believe in what you’re thinking and doing to think anyone else (cares). You’re a little bit like the 3-year-old who walks onstage during the church play and says ‘look at me!’ … There’s a level at which I’m perfectly happy to hear my name. It gives me something to be happy about at this time when most things that make me happy are being stripped away, piece by piece, never to return.”

Jay Lake Update

Jay Lake has posted some very discouraging news about his fight with cancer. After relating the medical details he concludes —

This is my terminal diagnosis. We will continue to push as much as possible for further treatment and life extension, but I’m on the last plane out. Just remains to be seen how long the flight is.

Like so many other fans I’m hoping the new course of treatment will be effective and beneficial for as long as possible.

Donations Needed for Jay Lake Auction


Jay Lake

Jay Lake will be one of the convention guests of honor at Gaslight Gathering, May 3-5 in San Diego. They are holding an auction to help him with his fight against cancer and are looking for donations.

If you’re an author, artist, editor, collector or anyone else who has good items to donate to the cause, please send them to:

Jay Lake Auction
c/o Val and Ron Ontell
4557 Rueda Drive
San Diego, CA 92124

Time is short, so they would appreciate receiving donations by April 25. 

[Thanks to Val Ontell for the story.]

Lake Wins Dalmas Award

Jay Lake will be presented the 2010 John W. Dalmas Award during opening ceremonies at RadCon.

“The award,” announced the committee, “is [in] recognition of Jay Lake’s gift of himself to not only RadCon, but fandom in general.”

RadCon will be held February 12-14 in Pasco, WA. The guests of honor are Dean Wesley Smith, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Ellen Datlow, Gay Haldeman, Tim Kirk, Rick Sternbach, and Larry Niven.

A Dramatic Change

Understandably, Steve Feldberg of is “ecstatically pleased” about the Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form) Hugo nomination for his company’s audiobook METAtropolis. It’s the first audiobook ever nominated, ending the decades-long shutout of audio works in general from the Hugos.

The last audio work up for the Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo, in 1979, was BBC Radio 4’s production of Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Hitchhiker’s Guide finished second to the movie Superman.

Several record albums received nominations in the Seventies: two in 1971, Don’t Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers by The Firesign Theater, and Blows Against the Empire by Jefferson Starship. Later, nominations went to I Think We’re All Bozos on This Bus by The Firesign Theater (1972) and Blood!: The Life and Future Times of Jack the Ripper by Robert Bloch and Harlan Ellison (1978).

Another non-movie/tv work nominated in the Seventies was Phil Foglio’s 1976 cartoon slide show The Capture, which was accompanied by live narration and audience participation.

Every nominee after Hitchhiker’s Guide for the next 25 years came from film or TV. The division of the Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo category into Long and Short Form, effectively doubling the number of works nominated every year, did little to broaden the types of media represented in the award. What finally interrupted the long-lived movie/tv monopoly was the “Prix Victor Hugo Awards Ceremony (Opening Speech and Framing Sequences)” performed by Paul McAuley and Kim Newman at Interaction, the 2005 Worldcon, which made the final ballot in 2006. It also has the distinction of being the first live stage performance ever nominated.

No audio work has ever won a Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo. If that should happen in 2009 they’ll need a katyusha load of rockets for the writers — John Scalzi, Tobias Buckell, Jay Lake, Elizabeth Bear and Karl Schroeder, and narrators — Battlestar Galactica stars Michael Hogan, Alessandro Juliani and Kandyse McClure, plus Stefan Rudnicki and Scott Brick. Congratulations,!

METAtropolis Released by


“A veritable Murderer’s Row of great writers” is what’s Steve Feldberg calls the array of sf talent who collaborated on METAtropolis.

The project features five interconnected novellas written exclusively for downloadable audio, Jay Lake’s “In the Forests of the Night,” Tobias Bucknell’s “Stochasti-city,” Elizabeth Bear’s “The Red in the Sky Is Our Blood,” John Scalzi’s “Utere Nihil non Extra Quiritaionem Suis,” and Karl Schroder’s “To Hie From Far Cilenia.”

The team created a near future world where big cities are dying, dead or transformed; where the once-thriving suburbs are now the treacherous Wilds; where those who live for technology battle those who would rather die than embrace it. It is a world of zero-footprint cities, virtual nations and armed camps of eco-survivalists.

“It’s not just the standard-issue Jetsons future,” said author and project editor Scalzi. “It’s the idea that cities would be something like interstitial nationsl, where the people of Detroit or Portland might have more in common with the people in Hong Kong or Johannesburg than with the people right down the road.”

The first story can be downloaded free.

A press release appears after the jump.

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