Note: This post is very hard for me to read, or repost. However, it’s probably the post that has stuck with me in a very profound and personal way over the years. Every single time I read it, I end up crying. I don’t think I’ve ever made it through without tears.
Jay Lake passed from cancer on June 1, 2014, which also happened to be a day or two after I learned that I had, in fact, not beaten my cancer, but it was back and I’d have to do more treatments. His death was horrible for his family, for the genre community, for everyone who ever read his books, or loved him, or come in contact with him. In a lot of ways, his death was incredibly hard on me because cancer just sucks, and when someone you know, even in a sort of remote way, dies from a disease you’re fighting, it’s personal and it’s emotional, and its awful. It’s a sharp edged knife twisting right in your heart. Now I’m writing this, officially in remission since December 18, 2015, after a five year battle and three recurrences, and he’s not. It’s unfair, and that’s really the nature of cancer. It’s unfair. It’s horrible. It’s a thief.
I could write more about this, but I wrote enough here.
He wrote me this post in 2012. Here I was, a small book reviewer trying to start up a month long feature on disabilities in the genre. I remember having very, very little hope of him actually agreeing to write anything for me, much less take my email to him seriously. And I felt pretty guilty for bothering someone who was sick with my desires to have him write anything for me. When he wrote me back, I was amazed. When he agreed to write something for my little month long feature, I was over the moon. With most people who write guest posts for my various disability-related projects, I leave the subject matter mostly to them, and I let them pitch me ideas. With Jay Lake I was specific. I wanted him to talk about how cancer impacts his writing, and I was moved beyond words when he agreed to do so.
If you ask me today, “What are some of the coolest things that have happened in your six years reviewing in the genre?” – Getting this post from Jay Lake is solidly in the top three.
Jay Lake passed on June 1, 2014, a loss keenly felt by everyone who ever came in contact with him. I’m profoundly glad he wrote me this post. He was an incredible man, and he left his mark not just upon me, but on the world.
The following was first posted on Bookworm Blues on May 11, 2012.