Sun
Jun 1 2014 10:25am

Remembering Jay Lake, 1964-2014

We are extremely saddened to report that Jay Lake has passed away at the age of 49, after a long battle with colon cancer. Lake was born in Taiwan on June 6, 1964, and was raised there and in Nigeria. He graduated from the University of Texas in 1986. He began writing early in life, and he published over 300 short stories and nine novels, with more forthcoming. Lake set his tales in a variety of different universes, and his most recent series, taking place in the world of Green, saw the release of its latest installment, Kalimpura, in 2013. Lake was also working on novels set in the Sunspin Universe, the first of which is called Calamity of So Long a Life—stories set in this universe have previously appeared in Clarkesworld Magazine, Subterranean Online, and elsewhere.

Among Lake's numerous honors were a quarterly first prize in the Writers of the Future contest in 2003 and the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in Science Fiction in 2004. His writing has appeared in many publications, including Interzone, Strange Horizons, Asimov's Science Fiction, and the Mammoth Book of Best New Horror. He was an editor for the “Polyphony” anthology series from Wheatland Press, and was also a contributor to the Internet Review of Science Fiction. Lake's final collection, The Last Plane to Heaven, an anthology featuring thirty of his short stories, will be available September 2014.

In addition to writing, Lake worked as a product manager for a voice services company while living with his family in Portland, Oregon. He was also the subject of a documentary called Lakeside – A Year With Jay Lake, which follows Lake's fight against cancer, and had a special screening at the World Science Fiction Convention in San Antonio in 2013. The film is currently in post-production with a release scheduled for 2014. Lake approached his illness with the same fierce determination as he did his writing career, blogging about the experience, and finding ways to express what was happening to him with humor and courage, in order to demystify the experience for others. As his health worsened, his partner Lisa continued the blog, posting regular updates on his treatment; our thoughts go out to her, and to his family.

Lake has long been a beloved member of the Tor family; we join with the legions of friends, fans, supporters, and well-wishers in the SFF community and beyond who mourn his passing today. We will miss him terribly, but take comfort in the fact that Jay's humor, wit,  intelligence, indomitable spirit and vitality will live on in the worlds he created and in the courage and the hope he's given to others over the course of his long struggle.

16 comments
Stephanie Pierce
3. Stephanie Pierce
That gentleman was insightful & intensely energetic about those things which interested him. He took the time and the effort to provide that energy to others to help their own battles. His creativity and passion for the creative were huge.

Jay Lake tore apart a manuscript, making it possible to put it back together beautiful, powerful, tight. He took 9 flights of stairs to help me to understand where to find the gem in the heart of my favorite story. He organized, he rallied, he taught, & he served.

I am so very sorry to hear about our loss of him.
Stephanie Pierce
4. Yasmine Galenorn
Oh Jay, gonna miss you, guy. You fought so damned hard. *raises glass through tears* Tear up the other side, dude.
Stephanie Pierce
5. Vince Docherty
Sad to hear about Jay's death, and condolences to his friends and family.

He was joint MC, with Ken Scholes, of the 2011 Hugo Award Ceremony in Reno, where I was administrator, and he was great to work with.

There are some photos of Jay at the Ceremony here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mark_shallcross/sets/72157627445115773/
Colin Bell
6. SchuylerH
It's hard to know what to say: too many talented authors have left us far too soon. I hope that what has been gained from his NIH trial will go on to benefit many more people and, of course, that his stories will live on.
Stephanie Pierce
7. DaBeej
The first piece of his I'd ever read was "Black Heart, White Mourning" in the collection of post-apocalyptic stories in Grants Pass. It was a great story. I am so sorry to not be able to read future stories from him.

My condolences to his family and friends.
James Goetsch
8. Jedikalos
My condolences to his family and all who knew him. I will miss him as a fan of his wonderful writing and fierce courage in the face of death.
Stephanie Pierce
9. Dratz
I thought I was prepared. We never are.
Steven Halter
10. stevenhalter
This is really unfortunate. My condolences.
Angela Korra'ti
11. annathepiper
Many condolences to Jay's loved ones, friends, and fans. :(
Ed Dravecky
12. dravecky
(string of weapons-grade profanity elided)

Jay will be missed, but at least we have that part of his soul which he committed to paper.
Sidsel Pedersen
13. macthekat
Jay Lake will be missed. My thoughts are with his family and friends
Stephanie Pierce
14. Michael Coorlim
I met Jay on a Worldcon Panel in 2012. I didn't know him well, but he was an amazing guy, with a great sense of humor about... well... everything.
Stephanie Pierce
15. ces
Of all the photoes you have of Jay, you could at least have picked one of him doing what he did so often - smiling.

Shame on you.

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