Anthony Cardno has posted the table of contents for his upcoming charity anthology The Many Tortures of Anthony Cardno, the proceeds of which help benefit the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life. This includes a new story by recent Cancer victim, Jay Lake.

Here’s the table of contents…
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Shaking their sullen heads at the fact that June marks the first anniversary of the Three Hoarsemen Podcast, John E. O. Stevens, Fred Kiesche and Jeff Patterson LAUGH at the cruel passage of time and ride out for another adventure. This time around they ask the intrepid Kate Sherrod to take a break from enduring the floods in Wyoming and saddle up with them for a discussion on the works of Octavia Butler.

After that, they give their thoughts on Andy Weir’s The Martian, and scrutinize the truly staggering number of books and comics that have passed their eyes since last they met.

Also, because it’s a cruel summer, the Hoarsemen remember Jay Lake, and discuss Sarah Chorn’s stunning (and heartbreaking) column about what is important when faced with cancer.

1 hr 24 Min. In STEREO!

Listen below…

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RIP: Jay Lake (1964 – 2014)

Sad news, folks…

It looks like Jay Lake lost his long battle with cancer, just a few days short of his 50th birthday.

Jay will be terribly missed by many. I will forever remember how he took the time at Worldcon 2012 (ChiCon) to tell us how the Hugo ceremony worked, or how he touched me with his revealing interview about how he his loved ones are affected by his cancer. Or how he was an inspiration for everyone with his strength, courage and determination. Or how he provided so much enjoyment through his writing. But most of all, I’ll never forget the man, or the sentiment echoed by a room full of people at Worldcon 2013 (LonestarCon) when they shouted in unison, “We love you, Jay.”

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A Worthwhile Fundraiser: Jay Lake’s NIH Trial

Author Jay Lake is undergoing an NIH trial to save his life. A fundraiser has been started by Shlomi Harif to help offset the cost of the treatment and associated costs.

Says Jay:

It must be the season or something. I’m back off to NIH on Tuesday for surgery followed by some extensive and fairly brutal immunotherapy. As recently discussed, this is a very expensive process for me and my family. Not the treatments themselves, which are covered by NIH at no cost to me, but the expense of having my caregivers in Maryland for five weeks while I am being treated. Not to mention the expense already incurred during our two-week visit for enrollment.

Premiums are still being organized. There has been some excellent generosity from various donors, and I’ve put a dozen copies of The January Machine in myself. Hopefully by Monday that will all be up on the fundraising site.

I have very mixed feelings about tapping the generosity of my friends and fans again, but this is where we are. Still fighting for my life, slowly losing, but trying everything we can.

Details on the fundraiser are here.

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Cover & Synopsis: LOVE IN THE TIME OF METAL AND FLESH by Jay Lake

Amazon has the cover art and synopsis of the Jay Lake’s upcoming stand-alone novella Love in the Time of Metal and Flesh, a contemporary dark fantasy about “extreme body modification, murder and childhood innocence”.

Here’s the synopsis:
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LoneStarCon 3 to Feature Author Jay Lake with Film Premiere and Special Exhibit

LoneStarCon 3, the 71st World Science Fiction Convention (“Worldcon”) will be featuring the world premiere of the documentary Lakeside about author Jay Lake’s battle with cancer, as well as a special exhibit based on Jay Lake’s genome.

More info in the following press release…
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[GUEST POST] Richard Derus Talks About His Jay Lake Reading Project

Can you even fathom what depths of depraved humor it takes to plan your own wake-cum-roast, and then invite the entire world to it?
Jay Lake has done precisely that. His cancer has given him the two-minute warning to end all warnings. Many would sit in a corner and cry. Most would stare blankly at walls. But Jay keeps fighting, knowing the end is in sight and working to stave it off, and he planned a gift for the thousands and thousands whose lives he’s enriched: A party. A chance to say goodbye before the ears you want to hear the words go deaf. He called it JayWake.
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Phil Athans tells us that Amazon has posted the cover art and synopsis of the upcoming writers’ guide Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction: How to Create Out-of-This-World Novels and Short Stories by Orson Scott Card, Philip Athans and Jay Lake. Says Phil: “This is a revised and updated edition of Orson Scott Card’s classic how-to book on the art and craft of SF and fantasy, with a new section on the state of the genres by Philip Athans, and a new section on steampunk by author Jay Lake.”

Full disclosure: I was recently interviewed by Phil for the updated State of the Genre chapter.

Here’s the book description:
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Fred Kiesche on Paying it Forward

This is going to be something of a different post than our usual SF Signal news item. I would appreciate it if you give it a read, consider it, and (if you can), please help out.

We get a lot out of the people who work in the genre field. They entertain us with books, they write for the television shows we watch, they write the stories that appear in the movies we watch on the big screen.

Unfortunately, it is not all champagne and roses for these folks. Some do work for a company and get benefits that way. Some do attain enough fame and business to make enough to buy their own benefits.  Most, however, either pay significantly out of their own pockets or depend on the benefits of a spouse or partner (if they live somewhere where benefits are extended) or take a full-time job (on top of the writing) in order to receive benefits.

Personal backstory time: I lost both my father and my father-in-law to debilitating diseases. The cost on my two respective families was significant, not in terms of money (luckily, both had some benefits as part of a retirement package as well as supplemental help), but in terms of personal (mental, spiritual) cost to our families. But, again, we were lucky in that those benefits were there.

As you may have heard from this episode of the SF Signal Podcast, genre author Jay Lake is fighting cancer. It is taking a toll on his physical health, his mental health, his writing ability, and his finances.

The stress does not end there. They must also navigate the dangerous shoals of all the rules and by-laws for these plans. And put up with silly stuff like this.  Click the link.  I’ll wait for you to get back. Done reading that? Does your mind boggle as much as mine? I hope so.

Folks, Jay Lake is facing enough as it is. He really doesn’t need to deal with silly horseshit stuff like this. Let’s all get together and at least give him some peace of mind when it comes to the money end of things. I kicked in $100.00. Could you please hit the “donate” button on his site to help him fight the stupidity of the insurance industry as well as help to pay for what little benefits he gets?

Please get the word out and please consider donating directly –  please see his site here, and hit the “tip jar” link in the upper left hand corner. Jay has given us endless hours of entertainment and education, both through his books and through his panels at conventions, participation in interviews, and courses and seminars.

Let’s pay it forward!

Thank you,
–Fred

UPDATE: There is now a fundraising effort by a number of genre folks to help Jay out. You can win rewards! Tobias S. Buckell will unlock his earliest tale or drink Scotch! Mary Robinette Kowal will put an…interesting…spin on one of her stories! And many more levels all the way up to: Neil Gaiman will perform a cover version of a song from the Magnetic Fields album “69 Love Songs”!

Cover & Synopsis: “Kalimpura ” by Jay Lake

Here is the cover art and synopsis of the upcoming novel Kalimpura by Jay Lake.

Here’s the synopsis:

This sequel to Green and Endurance takes Green back to the city of Kalimpura and the service of the Lily Goddess.

Green is hounded by the gods of Copper Downs and the gods of Kalimpura, who have laid claim to her and her children. She never wanted to be a conduit for the supernatural, but when she killed the Immortal Duke and created the Ox god with the power she released, she came to their notice.

Now she has sworn to retrieve the two girls taken hostage by the Bittern Court, one of Kalimpura’s rival guilds. But the Temple of the Lily Goddess is playing politics with her life.

Book info as per Amazon US:

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (January 29, 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 0765326779
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765326775

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Jay Lake on “The Fathomless Abyss”

Jay Lake lives in Portland, Oregon, where he works on numerous writing and editing projects. His books for 2012 and 2013 include Kalimpura from Tor and Love in the Time of Metal and Flesh from Prime. His short fiction appears regularly in literary and genre markets worldwide. Jay is a winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and a multiple nominee for the Hugo and World Fantasy Awards.

SF Signal had the opportunity to talk with him about shared worlds and The Fathomless Abyss, a shared world anthology featuring stories from Jay, Mike Resnick, Cat Rambo, J.M. McDermott, Mel Odom, Brad Torgersen and Philip Athans. In The Fathomless Abyss, a bottomless pit opens who-knows-when onto who-knows-where, just long enough for new people from a thousand different worlds and a million different times to fall in and join the fight for survival in a place where the slightest misstep means an everlasting fall into eternity. In this world, the laws of physics work against you, there’s no way out, and time means nothing…


CHARLES TAN: Hi Jay! Thanks for agreeing to do the interview. First off, how did you get involved with The Fathomless Abyss series?

JAY LAKE: Pretty simple. I’d worked with series editor Phil Athans on another project about two years before The Fathomless Abyss started. He liked my words and we both enjoyed working together, so when he and Mel Odom cooked up the concept, they invited me in. I’m always up for something new and fun, so in I jumped.
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In episode 151 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester presents the first of many WorldCon interviews. Today, he chats with award winning author Jay Lake.

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In episode 141 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester gathers a pantheon of Steampunk greats to discuss the genre.

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MIND MELD: Has Space Opera Lost Its Luster?

[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

Late last year, after John Ottinger wrote a passionate review of John C. Wright’s Count to a Trillion, he was asked by Tor Books publicist Cassandra Ammerman on twitter about why, in his opinion, Space Opera, hadn’t gone more mainstream, like steampunk? (her words.) The question made sense: since Steampunk was The Next Big Thing a few years ago and apparently still hasn’t begun to lose its (steam) power, should science fiction writers and readers worry about its predominance as a subgenre in detriment of Space Opera, even with many new novels fresh in the market?

So, we asked this week’s panelists…

Q: With the growing success of Steampunk in recent years, is Space Opera losing its appeal as a subgenre?

Here’s what they said…

Mary Turzillo
Mary Turzillo‘s Nebula winner, “Mars Is No Place for Children,” and her novel An Old-Fashioned Martian Girl, (Analog) have been selected as recreational reading on the International Space Station. Her work has appeared in Electric Velocipede, Asimov’s, Weird Tales, Cat Tales, Space and Time, The Vampire Archives, Goblin Fruit, New Verse News, Strange Horizons, and F&SF. Her Nebula finalist, “Pride,” appears in Tails of Wonder and Mystery.

How could anybody think space opera was losing its appeal when we have such stellar practitioners as Iain Banks, Walter Jon Williams, and Lois McMaster Bujold? What I like is that space opera is a big pie-in-the-face to the mundane science fiction movement. Space opera just outright says, so what, it’s unrealistic, it violates the laws of physics, but it’s heart-racingly imaginative (Ooooh, that Culture), so get used to it. And every time I sit down to a really great space opera (a good place to start is that gorgeungous anthology, edited by Kathryn Cramer and David Hartwell, THE SPACE OPERA RENAISSANCE), I feel that I’m going back to my fannish roots — this is how SF started. Think big. Think romantic!

But steampunk is an alluring contender: Tobias Buckell does both genres with all kinds of sparkle. But think of Cheri Priest and even Cory Doctorow. The one appeal steampunk has is the visual: there are whole catalogs featuring steampunk clothing (The Pyramid Collection). Last time I went to my optometrist, I was just so dismayed that he didn’t have any goggles with funny gears on the side. Soon everybody will be wanting steampunk sunglasses. And then there are movies like HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE and HUGO. This isn’t all that new, really; a very stylish 90’s TV show, THE ADVENTURES OF BRISCO COUNTY, JR. is an early contender. Oh, heck, let’s even go back to WILD, WILD WEST. How many fans watched that and said to themselves, “Well, what is this all about? Western? SF?”

As for me, why do I have to choose? I’ll take both, thank you very much, by the bushel! Read the rest of this entry

MIND MELD: The Best Aliens in Science Fiction

Aliens are a classic trope dating back to the earliest days of science fiction, so we asked this year’s panelists this question:

Q: What are some of the best aliens in science fiction? What makes them superior to other extraterrestrial creations?

Here’s what they said…

Tobias S. Buckell
Tobias S. Buckell is a Caribbean-born speculative fiction writer who grew up in Grenada, the British Virgin Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He has published stories in various magazines and anthologies. His novels include Crystal Rain, Sly Mongoose, Ragamuffin, and Halo: The Cole Protocol. He also has a short story collection titled Tides from the New Worlds.

I always thought the alien in The Thing was great, because at its heart, it deviated from the ‘actors with bumps on their forehead’ sort of approach you get in movies so much. A parasite, with some intelligence (it builds that spaceship out of spare parts), it really is quite a fun stretch that you don’t see too much of. It never communicates (language is already such a gulf between us, let alone something truly alien). You get a strong sense out of that movie that you’ve encountered something truly alien.

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REVIEW SUMMARY: An enjoyable blend of alternate history stories that offer a wide range of topics and styles.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: An anthology of 11 alternate history stories.

MY REVIEW:

PROS: Lucius Shepard’s excellent story, occupying 30% of the book, was the anthology’s centerpiece; Robert Charles Wilson’s story was also excellent; six other worthwhile stories.

CONS: Three stories were mediocre or worse – two of which were more literary experiment than fiction.

BOTTOM LINE: An enjoyable assortment of alternate history stories.

Alternate history is a sub-genre that continues to intrigue and surprise me. Long-feared because of the natural association with history – and the painful reminder of boring, force-fed history classes – it wasn’t until I started reading alternate history short fiction that I came to realize this need not be the case. What I found was that, in some cases, the fictional accounts of real-life events actually prompted research on a topic – quite the opposite reaction I had in school.

Other Earths edited by Nick Gevers and Jay Lake is an anthology of short fiction that presents 11 diverse alternate history stories. The diversity is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the reader is exposed to various authors and styles that broaden reading horizons; on the other there are likely to be some stories that are your cup of tea.

That is a truism for most anthologies, and so it is here. Of the three stories that worked the least, one was hindered by writing style and the other two felt like literary experiments. That said, two other stories were quite excellent: Robert Charles Wilson’s “This Peaceable Land, or, The Unbearable Vision of Harriet Beacher Stowe” and “Dog-Earred Paperback of My Life” by Lucius Shepard. The latter of these is a novella occupying thirty percent of the entire anthology. This weighed heavily of the overall enjoyment of the anthology, which offered 6 other worthwhile stories.

Individual story reviews follow…

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Short fiction anthologies come in many flavors: some contain original fiction and some are comprised of reprints; they can be themed or non-themed; they may restrict themselves to a certain sub-genre of speculative fiction… But one thing they all have in common is that it’s Editors that put them together.

This week, we asked a handful of Editors the following question:

Q: Can you describe what goes on behind the scenes – from conception to publication — when creating a short fiction anthology?

Read on to see their illuminating responses…

(See also Part 2 and Part 3)

Jeff VanderMeer
World Fantasy Award winner Jeff VanderMeer grew up in the Fiji Islands and has had fiction published in over 20 countries. His books, including the bestselling City of Saints & Madmen, have made the year’s best lists of Publishers Weekly, LA Weekly, Amazon, the San Francisco Chronicle, and many more. He reviews books for, among others, the New York Times Book Review, the Washington Post Book World, and the Barnes & Noble Review, as well as being a regular columnist for the Omnivoracious book blog. Current projects include Booklife: Strategies and Survival Tips for the 21st-Century Writer, the noir fantasy novel Finch, and the forthcoming definitive Steampunk Bible from Abrams Books. He maintains a blog at http://www.jeffvandermeer.com.

This is a tough question, because almost every anthology I’ve done with Ann or by myself or with someone else has been different from the others. Even Steampunk and New Weird involved completely different methodologies–in the case of the former, we were trying to identify iconic stories and in the case of the latter we were mapping/documenting the legitimacy of a “movement” that I’d been around to witness the inception of. Our current project, Last Drink Bird Head, is a flash fiction antho for literacy charities with over 80 contributors. Fast Ships, Black Sails was a straightforward commercial pirate story anthology. The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases played around with the whole idea of what’s fiction versus nonfiction and indirectly charted the life of its titular character. The Leviathan anthologies focused on surreal and proto-New Weird or post-New Wave fiction, but each with a different theme and focus. Album Zutique was unabashed Decadent and Surrealist-inspired fiction. Being guest editors for Best American Fantasy was another kind of challenge, because we’d never done a year’s best before, and that carries with it a different set of responsibilities. Our upcoming Clarion charity anthology, The Leonardo Variations, is both an anthology of fiction and a teaching anthology that, through its stories and nonfiction in the back, should be of great use to beginning writers. That poses its own challenges. I guess the point is, behind the scenes each of these books has gone through a different process, both in terms of its creation and in terms of the process of preparation. This keeps things fresh and interesting–I’m not particularly interested in repeating myself with regard to books, whether my own fiction or the anthologies I create with Ann, and I don’t think Ann is, either.

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SF Tidbits for 9/15/09

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SF Tidbits for 8/26/09

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INTERVIEW: Jay Lake

[Editor’s Note: A while back, SF Signal published a Mind Meld feature on Tomorrow’s Big Genre Stars. Patrick at Stomping on Yeti has been profiling these writers and has agreed to cross-post them here.]

In this week’s entry in Keeping An Eye On we have yet another author who needs no introduction. Jay Lake, who can write fiction faster than most people can read it, was one of the most commonly suggested authors SF Signal’s Genre Watchlist. I’m guessing anyone who didn’t name him assumed he was too prominent to qualify. Like many of his fellow Watchlisters, Jay Lake won the Campbell Award for Best New Writer; his award coming back in 2004. Since then, he has published several novels (most recently Green), a number of collections, edited a dozen anthologies, and written countless short stories. I’m not kidding about this, look at his bibliography, there are at least 200 stories there. I’m not counting that. It goes without saying that more than a few of these works have been reprinted in anthologies such as Jonathan Strahan’s The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year and several editions of Gardner Dozois’s The Year’s Best Science Fiction.

Click through for the interview itself…

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