June 1st, 2014 by Darin
Despite what many of us in the SF/F field have known for many months, I guess I still thought it would be a while before I’d make this post, but I learned today that Jay Lake–prolific, hilarious, helpful, creative dynamo–has passed away.
In 2006, I sold my first short story Jay and Deb Layne for Polyphony 6. It was my introduction into the SF/F field, and very literally the beginning of my professional writing career.
And then in 2007, I and two other of my nobody friends decided to start a weird e-zine, Farrago’s Wainscot. We had no money, no notoriety, and nothing but our desire for quality fiction. I reached out to Jay, and he immediately and enthusiastically gave us “Bird of Leaves” for free. And his participation in our endeavor created a snowball effect. Before long, many others we looked up to and admired agreed to send us material, and our do-nothing little ‘zine went on for a wonderful three years, largely (directly) due to that initial generosity.
I’ve never forgotten that kindness. The Wainscot went on to create professional connections for me that played a large role in the sale of my first novel. There is a direct line of causality between what I’m doing now and what Jay did 7-8 years ago.
And then recently, during a brush with cancer of my own, Jay offered support and encouragement, even as his terminal illness took its darkest, final turns.
He was a kind man and a good human. There weren’t many brighter lights you could orient by, both professionally and personally, than Jay. There still aren’t.
As reported at Jay’s website, “if you’d like to make a contribution in Jay’s name, please make it to
Clayton Memorial Medical Fund
P.O. Box 5703
Portland, Oregon 97228″
Ad astra, sir.