Last Plane to Heaven: The Final Collection.
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
Last Plane to Heaven: The Final Collection by Jay Lake
The prolific Lake’s death in 2014, after a long, harrowing, and very public battle with cancer, gives extra weight to these 32 epitaphs. Lake’s command of language is strong and sincere, and his stories of everyday heartaches, filled with secret fears and self-delusion, whisk readers from inner geographies of mind to limitless gulfs of space. Lake’s characters emotionally embody the doomed heroism of Nordic gods sneering at grim fates, finding bittersweet redemption in dark byways of human ignorance. Reality is shattered when an alien controls a hardened mercenary’s dreams in the darkly romantic “Last Plane to Heaven: A Love Story.” Cynical humor greets oblivion in “The Speed of Time.” In surprisingly intelligent space opera (“Permanent Fatal Errors”) and a visit to the City Imperishable (“Promises”), revelations eschew oversentimentality for moral complexity. “Such Bright and Risen Madness in Our Names” injects pathos into the Cthulhu mythos, questioning identity and raising hackles. Malevolent faeries face metaphysical annihilation in a dying young woman’s cancer cells in “Her Fingers Like Whips, Her Eyes Like Razors.” And in “The Cancer Catechism,” Lake discovers faith in the inevitability of death. As he states, “In the end, words are all that survive us”; his fans and friends may find some comfort in the hope that his words will live on forever. (Sept.)
Lake, Jay. Last Plane to Heaven: The Final Collection. Tor. Sept. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9780765377982. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466858473. SF
Posted: 1:21 pm Wed August 27 2014 | Comments(1) |
[writing] Literary rights
Jay left his literary rights to the Lake Family Trust for the benefit of his wife and daughter. His sister Mary Elizabeth Lake is trustee. Please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you have any questions concerning any of his literary works, published, or still in progress.
Posted: 8:47 pm Wed June 18 2014 | Comments(0) |
[aftermath] What comes next
I don’t know how much, if at all, I’ll add to this blog now that Jay is gone. But I will continue blogging what’s up with me in my journey into a life without Jay at my blog: No Loss of Momentum.
I know I’m no substitute for Jay, but feel free to come visit me on my blog, or friend me on Facebook.
Posted: 9:44 pm Tue June 03 2014 | Comments(1) |
[cancer] The end has come
Jay passed this morning, June 1 at 5:45. Lisa and friends were with him. He will be missed.
If you want to make a contribution in Jay’s name, please make it to:
Clayton Memorial Medical Fund
P.O. Box 5703
Portland, Oregon 97228
Posted: 6:52 am Sun June 01 2014 | Comments(121) |
[cancer] Yet another update
The hospice nurse came to visit again yesterday and we talked about the fact that Jay is losing his ability to swallow. Where just a few days ago he could easily take in all the liquid nutrition we’ve been giving him, now he struggles to take in more than a few sips. He does better with water than with other liquids.
Oddly enough, the cough that has been bothering him since after his surgery earlier this year has subsided a bit as the swallowing issue has increased. What that means, I have no idea, but at least he’s a bit more comfortable that way if less comfortable another way. Tiny silver lining.
He’s completely stopped reading email or doing anything else online. That brief window of energy he was having in the morning has closed completely. This means he’s missing the breathtaking memorial that’s going on right now on Facebook. Of course, it also means that he missed the rumors of his passing.
He’s only getting out of his chair for bathroom breaks, but thanks to a friend’s heroic efforts, we now have things set up so he can get onto and off the toilet with more ease.
Thanks to everyone for their unstinting support – it means a great deal, no matter what form it takes.
Posted: 12:43 pm Fri May 30 2014 | Comments(15) |
[cancer] No, Jay is not dead
And anyone who says any different has no idea what they’re talking about.
This will be the place where that sad news will be posted first, so read this blog or check on Jay’s timeline on Facebook or Twitter.
Posted: 8:14 am Thu May 29 2014 | Comments(12) |
[cancer] Things I forgot in my previous post
Two things I meant to say in my previous post today, and just plain forgot.
The first is that while the NIH treatment didn’t work for Jay, the NIH docs did say that the data they got from his participation will be of great help with future patients. So Jay’s other stated goal of this trial was met: SCIENCE! This pleases Jay.
The second is that while we originally stated that there was a second trial that Jay would participate in if the first didn’t work, the reality is that his condition is so poor now that his participation in that trial would be miraculous. He would have to recover to the point of being almost normal again, and given how the tumors have progressed, I think this is highly unlikely. Not impossible, mind you, but not likely. None of us, the NIH docs included, realized just how debilitating the first trial would be for Jay.
Posted: 1:18 pm Sat May 24 2014 | Comments(30) |
[cancer] Well, the news isn’t good
We heard back from the docs at NIH, and the news isn’t good. The treatment is not working, so they’ve released Jay back to the care of his doctors at OHSU.
We are working with his palliative care doc and a team of hospice workers to make Jay as comfortable as possible for as long as he has. We’re still hoping to build up his strength as much as possible, but that’s the most we are trying to accomplish other than comfort.
People have been asking about visiting Jay. All I can say at this point is: we’re working on it. His energy level is extremely low, and visitors drain him terribly. I think it is this right now that is breaking my heart the most, how this most social and gregarious of men has been drained to the point where a simple conversation is exhausting.
Posted: 8:55 am Sat May 24 2014 | Comments(54) |
[cancer] Slightly better news
Jay actually ate something today. It wasn’t much, but in the grand scheme of things, it was huge.
I’m hopeful again that we’re finally seeing a climb out of the rigors of the treatment.
Fingers crossed, everybody, that this is a trend, and not just a blip.
CT scan tomorrow and MRI on Monday, which along with the bloodwork done this past Monday constitutes the next set of scans for NIH. More news on those as I know it.
Posted: 3:35 pm Wed May 14 2014 | Comments(16) |
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