From Beth Meacham, Senior Editor at Tor Books, on the acquisition of this short story:
Several days before Jay Lake’s death on June 1st, I was talking to Ken about his unfinished novel, science fiction, the universe and related subjects. He said he’d just run across the third of the stories about Jay that he’d written for Jay’s birthday parties. He wondered if I wanted to read it. I said “sure!” It was funny and loving and contained much of the essence of Jay.
And then three days later, Jay died, just five days before his 50th birthday. No party this year. I asked Ken what he thought about having Tor.com publish the birthday story, which has never before seen print. Somehow, it seems like a good idea. Jay would walk an extra ten miles uphill to get a good laugh, and there’s no reason not to honor that in his passing. Here’s Ken’s own description of how the story emerged into existence: