Jay Lake: Writer

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[links] Link salad has a chrome steel heart

Hugo nominated novella: The Stars Do Not Lie, by Jay Lake — An interesting review.

Emoji Dick; — Lit-choo-a-chur!!! (Via [info]corwynofamber.)

Potosi miners’ language — For those of you interested in using argots, creoles and secret languages in your fiction, this is a must-read.

The Pixar Theory — The Grand Unified theory of Pixar movies. Weird. (Thanks to [info]scarlettina.)

The Top F2P Monetization Tricks — Some pretty deep gaming geekery here. (Via David Goldman.)

Here’s How to Wash Your Hair in Space — Because you might need to know this.

Congressman who used to be a high school English teacher irks GOP by marking their memos with a red pen — Hahahahahah. (Via Scott Frey.)

GOP House members from districts most affected by climate change cast 96% anti-climate votess residents of these often deep red districts struggle to cope with extreme temperatures, they need to know that while the science on climate change is overwhelming, their Congressional representatives are doing their best to make things even worse. It’s hard not to say those conservative voters deserve what they are getting — the deep anti-science, reality-denying bias built into the GOP will come home to roost very, very painfully — but nobody deserves what is going to happen to these people. Not even the intellectually dishonest and willfully ignorant who vote this way.

Jury finds George Zimmerman not guilty — So a white guy chases a black neighbor kid around, picks a fight, shoots his unarmed victim, then successfully pleads self-defense. Yes, this is justice all right. I am ashamed. Ta-Nehisi Coates on this. Slacktivist Fred Clark also has a round-up. This outcome may be legally correct, but it is a moral and ethical disaster.

Undocumented Immigrants In Oregon Paid About $94 Million In Taxes — This is another thing the immigration bigots on the Right never seem to understand. Undocumented immigrants pay a hell of a lot more taxes than any benefits they receive. They’re a net benefit to the economy.

QotD?: Got polish?


7/14/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike)
Weight: 250.6
Number of FEMA troops on my block building mandatory gay marriage halls: 0
Currently reading: Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program by Sharon Salzberg; Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey

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[links] Link salad redacts its title

My Hugo votes 2013, part 1, novellas — Including a tepid review of my nominated novella “The Stars Do Not Lie.”

Tor Books Announces Programming for San Diego Comic-Con 2013 — Including yours truly.

The Mom From ‘The Cat in the Hat’ Finally Speaks — The Man in the Yellow Hat answers. Hahahahaha. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Could Superman Punch Someone Into Space? — Because science! (Via David Goldman.)

The Science of Familiar Strangers: Society’s Hidden Social Network

Volkswagen XL1, wheeling a 262-mpg orb: Motoramic Drives — Wow.

Redesigned Window Stops Sound But Not Air

No Place Like Home GPS Shoes — Just click your heels three times… Really.

One grower’s grapes of wrath — The national raisin reserve? Uh, yeah.

The Unsung Heroes of the Crash Landing in San Francisco

The Real Reason Behind Public Smoking Bans — Hmm. Someone has an ax to grind, methinks.

Big Five personality traits — Huh. I never knew this. I’m pretty far along the axis on all five of these.

Federal judge temporarily blocks new Wisconsin abortion law — That’s right. Can’t have the government coming between you and your doctor! Unless you’re a woman, of course.

The lies Christianists tell themselves — In item 2 of this post, Slacktivist Fred Clark takes on the homophobic lying from conservative Christians about the overturn of DOMA. My Bible says quite clearly, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” I guess that Commandment doesn’t count for Christianists talking about gay people or the government or women’s health.

Report: Bin Laden Wore a Cowboy Hat to “Avoid Detection From Above” — Man, I got nothing.

Insurer Refuses To Cover Gun-Carrying Kansas SchoolsAn insurance company based in Iowa has refused to renew coverage for Kansas schools that permit teachers and staff to carry concealed firearms on campus, the Des Moines Register reported on Sunday. When conservative craze collides with reality. I’m sure there will soon be a ‘Second Amendment fix’ to insurance regulations to put a stop to the anti-American notion that guns make schools less safe. Because free market!

QotD?: Did you notice the mistake?


7/9/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (vacation)
Hours slept: 7.75 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.0 hours (away from home)
Weight: n/a (away from home)
Number of FEMA troops on my block building mandatory gay marriage halls: 0
Currently reading: Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program by Sharon Salzberg; Snuff by Terry Pratchett

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[links] Link salad is the heavy-handed gent who ran amok in Kent

Reading Notes: “The Stars Do Not Lie” — A mixed review of my Hugo- and Nebula-nominated novella.

2013 stories 151 – 159 — A review of, among other things, my short story “The Future by Degrees”, all from Seeds of Change.

The Lovely Mr. Gaiman — A despatch from Friday night’s Clarion West party.

JayWake Registration OpensFile 770 covers the forthcoming terminal festivities.

I Just Can’t Process My Own Death — Ferrett Steinmetz with some serious thinking about mortality.

The Atlantic In Paris–Dispatch #1 — Ta-Nehisi Coats with an admirable meditation on privilege, luck and going to Paris with his family.

Epic Superhero Art in a Traditional Native American Style — (Thanks to [info]corwynofamber.)

Putnam County Sheriff’s Office: 3 men towed, rode 600-lb. aluminum chickenThree men were arrested Wednesday in Putnam County for stealing a 9-foot-tall chicken statue. (Via [info]danjite.)

Zoologger: Hipster toad has weaponised moustache — Because headlines! (Via [info]threeoutside.)

Agriculture arose in many parts of the Fertile Crescent at once

Improving 3-D Printing by Copying NatureBiomimicry could make the technology safer and better.

First look: Google Glass unboxing, setup, and first impressions — I would love to work with Google Glass, but even if I somehow got hold of it, unless they can be configured with prescription lenses, they’re useless to me. I can’t wear contacts, and I can’t go without vision correction.

Astronomers remain puzzled by mysterious intergalactic radio bursts

Climate Scientist Michael Mann Sums Up the Witch Hunt Against HimBut the “enraging” part is still there—that duly-elected public officials would waste so much time, effort, and tax dollars on witch hunts like these is galling, amplified even more so by the import and stakes involved. If this were a real controversy I would enthusiastically support investigations; but the evidence is in, and it’s clear these attacks are without merit and just politically driven. The GOP battlecry: “Millions for pointless political witch hunts to keep our white, male voters angry; not one cent for social services that might benefit likely Democratic voters!”

New Living Word removed from Louisiana Scholarship Program — Huh. Conservative Christians cheating the government on a wholesale basis. Guess those Commandments about theft and false witness don’t apply when there’s public money to be pocketed. It is obvious from their behavior and rhetoric that to many American Christians the Ten Commandments are not nearly so important as God’s inviolate word on homosexuality, for example. No wonder people think us atheists can’t have a moral compass. Not when we lack this kind of moral leadership.

Sound Familiar?Can we think of some Americans who view secular, rational thinking as contrary to God’s Will? Who seem to be in an extended revolt against modernity? Who have a fixed, rigid notion of how society ought to operate, rooted deeply in an imagined Golden Age? Who want to utilize democratic processes to impose a system that brooks no compromise or “relativistic” adjustments to changing circumstances, but instead reflects an order dictated by natural and divine law, and the nation’s “true” character?

Gay Marriage Stirs Rebellion at Synagogue — Sadly, there are religious bigots everywhere. History is leaving them all behind.

Restrictive law could force most Texas abortion clinics to close — Ask any Republican about Obamacare, and they’ll tell you, “Don’t let the government come between me and my doctor.” I’m so glad to see the Texas GOP is upholding this core conservative value.

For Islamists, Dire Lessons on Politics and Power

Venezuela’s Maduro: Unlike US Asylees, Snowden didn’t Blow anything Up, just said ‘This is not Right’

How the Pentagon Papers Came to Be Published by the Beacon Press, Told by Daniel Ellsberg and Others — Oh, how times have changed. (Via David Goldman.)

A Bad Dream — Charlie Stross on the politics of democracy in the contemporary UK. Fascinating.

QotD?: What have you overheard in Mayfair lately?


7/7/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (vacation)
Hours slept: 9.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.0 hours (away from home)
Weight: n/a (away from home)
Number of FEMA troops on my block building mandatory gay marriage halls: 0
Currently reading: Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program by Sharon Salzberg; Snuff by Terry Pratchett

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[awards|events] The 2013 Locus Awards

Yesterday, Lisa Costello and I attended the Locus Awards. It was exhausting for me, and a lot of fun.

Not to bury the lede, my friend Nancy Kress won the Best Novella category where my story “The Stars Do Not Lie” was nominated. So no Locus Award for me. My heartfelt congratulations to Nancy.

Lisa had asked me the night before how the day was going to go. I said, “Well, the Earth rotates at slightly more than 1,000 miles per hour…” This earned me strong disapproval.

How the day actually went was that we started out having breakfast with Janet Freeman-Daily. She is a fellow writer and a fellow Stage IV cancer patient. We had one of those involved medical conversations that is of interest to no one but the principals, until various other people came along and we migrated to a larger table and more benign topics.

We then spent the morning loitering in the book room and the lobby, as I didn’t have the energy to attend the paneling. The book signing happened, wherein I shared a table with the effervescent and always fascinating Ted Kosmatka and was able to visit with about half of Seattle writerdom and fandom, or so it seemed. The banquet occurred thereafter. Claire Eddy had organized an impromptu lunch table with us, Kristine Scalzi, [info]torreybird and some other delightful folks.

Connie Willis cranked up the ceremony with some wit, some erudition, some recognition of folks in the crowd (including me), and much heckling from Nancy Kress. I wound up in the Hawaiian shirt contest, thanks to Stan Robinson, where I tied for third (I think) in the trivia portion. Various small prizes were handed out. We then proceeded to the awards, where Nancy won our shared category. About then I started musing that I’d wished I had thought to offer be an acceptor for some of the nominees, because then I’d get a chance to go up to the podium for a moment, and fondle an award.

Connie read out the award for Best Fantasy Novel, announced the winner was Charlie Stross for The Apocalypse Codex, then announced that accepting for Charlie would be Jay Lake. She caught the look of shocked surprise on my face, and asked if I’d know I was accepting.

Well, yes. Charlie had asked me a month or two ago. Unfortunately, we both forgot to do anything about an acceptance speech. Then I’d forgotten.

I manned up, stumbled to the podium with my cane in hand. There I confessed to having forgotten all about being Charlie’s acceptor. I offered the audience their choice of an extemporaneous acceptance speech or an interpretive dance.

Dancing ensued.

I shall draw the curtain of good taste over any descriptions thereof.

Later there was hanging out in the lobby, then at a bar, then a lovely dinner at the Palace Kitchen with Greg and Astrid Bear, Claire Eddy, John Pitts, Lisa and myself. A tiny bit of partying followed, and more visiting with many friends, then I stumbled back to the hotel to sleep.

That was my big day at the Locus Awards. It was a lot of fun, but like I said, exhausting.

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[events|travel] In Seattle for the Locus Awards

Yesterday was a good day, mostly. Lisa Costello and I laid low in the morning. We then had a very nice lunch with [info]mikigarrison, before visiting with Sonia Lyris that afternoon. Then we were off to the Clarion West Party which was hosted at the Locus Awards venue. We saw a bunch of people there, far too many to name, but it was good to see and be seen.

Back there this morning for breakfast with Janet Freeman-Daily. Then it will be the Locus Awards fun, including the actual awards ceremony. Dinner tonight with J.A. Pitts, and Greg and Astrid Bear.

So it will be a good day today as well. Tomorrow we’re having a working breakfast with John again, doing some literary estate planning, then back home to Portland.

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[events] Went down to the library, fell down on my knees

Actually, I went down to the library and sat in a big comfy chair. But all writers feel a bit like Robert Johnson, somewhere in our stained and tattered little souls.

Yesterday evening was the monthly book group at Milwaukie Ledding Library. We discussed my multiple award nominated novella, “The Stars Do Not Lie“, as well as my novel Green and some of my other work. It wasn’t a group of SF/F fans (with one or two exceptions), but it was absolutely a group of literature fans. Also, some of my family came: Lisa Costello, (step)Mom, Dad, [info]lillypond (a/k/a my sister), and [info]the_child her own self.

It was a lot of fun. I’m normally talking either to writers, fans or educational audiences. General readers have a different take than those demographics. This was very q/a driven — I wasn’t lecturing or instructing — and reflected the opinions and experience of this long-established book club. I fielded questions about the creative process, publishing, and steampunk, as well as getting into specifics about “The Stars Do Not Lie”, Green and Mainspring. Not to mention a bit of autobiographical discussion. [info]the_child offered some commentary, and at one point Dad got drawn into the discussion as well.

We ran about 30 minutes overtime, which seemed just fine with everybody there. It was fun for me, a very on-the-ground form of immediacy in interacting with my ultimate audience: the reader.

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[links] Link salad watches a basketball game or two

2013 Hugo picks: novellas — Interesting and highly negative review of my novella “The Stars Do Not Lie.” Among other things, the reader’s interpretation of the racial angle in the story is almost diametrically opposed to my intention. (To me, that’s the interesting bit: analysis of that sort of failure on my part to effectively communicate can be highly instructive.) Which is fine, because as I always says, the story belongs to the reader.

Oregonian To Drop Daily Newspaper Delivery — A sign of the times.

Do You Really Want to Know Your Future? A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast — About genetic testing for health risks.

Summer solstice 2013: Google celebrates the longest day of the year

Found at Auction: The Unseen Photographs of a Legend that Never Was — I’ve posted links to this story before, but the narrative has progressed. This is so cool. (Via Lisa Costello.)

3-D Map of Human Brain Gives Unprecedented Detail — The photo with this article is more than a little strange.

The Science of Why We Don’t Believe ScienceHow our brains fool us on climate, creationism, and the vaccine-autism link. Willful ignorance is a pretty simple explanation, too.

Undoing Shoulder and Knee Obsession in Mormon Kids — This post is another example of why I am fascinated by the blog Feminist Mormon Housewives. What it documents is the intellectual train wreck of an otherwise sensible, intelligent person trying to reconcile their firm grasp of objective reality with some of the bizarre and pointless strictures of faith. One of the biggest reasons I’m an atheist is I’m not willing to compromise my intellectual honesty like this.

The lies of Exodus were a bearing wall for evangelicalismEvangelicals’ treatment of LGBT people could only be defended by the false claim that such people were making a “lifestyle choice” — that they were willful sinners choosing sin who therefore deserved to be shunned, deserved to be denied full participation in the church, deserved to be denied full legal equality and civil rights. Without that lie, all that remains is transparent malice, a naked refusal to love our neighbors, and an unseemly eagerness to puff ourselves up by stomping down on those we can outnumber and overpower.

Are Socially Responsible Businesses Bad for Society? — I am not buying this. Sounds like conservative apologia wrapped in a college degree. I mean, look how well “industry self-regulation” has ever worked out. And for-profit companies don’t take a view any longer than the current quarterly results, not if they’re publicly traded. If nothing else, the history of climate change denialism, which is essentially the result of a phenomenally effective corporate lobbying campaign, gives the big lie to this thesis.

Rep. Diaz-Balart (R-FL) speaks Spanish at Tea Party rally and is heckled “learn English!” — What else do you expect from a party whose entire political philosophy is based on generating more angry white men?

Bush-Era NSA Whistleblower Makes Most Explosive Allegations Yet About True Extent of Gov’t Surveillance — (Thanks to David Goldman.)

QotD?: Did you shoot? Did you score?


6/21/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (once again my day got eaten by logistics)
Hours slept: 6.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike)
Weight: 250.8 (!)
Number of FEMA troops on my block installing Islamic footwashing sinks: 0
Currently reading: Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program by Sharon Salzberg; I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett

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[cancer] Being there, at the Nebulas

So, the Nebs. I’m still processing a lot, specifically in the context of my cancer journey. I can’t shake the feeling that I’m going on my farewell tour these days. Which is essentially true, barring some extremely unexpected developments. Even if I hang on past the current prognosis, I’ll either be wrapped in the misery of treatment or I’ll be wrapped in the misery of my terminal decline. I don’t expect to travel again much if ever after this summer. That means that while it’s reasonably possible I’ll still be alive at the time of next year’s Nebula Awards Weekend, it’s highly improbable I could attend.

Everyone who knows me knows this, too.

I received an amazing amount of well wishing. Almost all of it was delivered tactfully. I got to have worthwhile conversations with most of the people present whom I know personally. I got to see a lot of a few people, and a little of a lot of people. I had hella fun, as did my family and friends. But all of those memories are overlain by sadness.

At least I lived long enough to go as one of the nominees. This is something I’m quite proud of. And it was very gratifying to be able to give Aliette de Bodard her well-earned short story Nebula.

But beyond that rather pointless melancholy, I can’t yet tell you what it means. I can only tell you I was present, at this time my life.

Sometimes that’s enough.

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[conventions|photos] My day two of the Nebula Awards Weekend

Yesterday was my second and final day at the Nebula Awards weekend. Not to bury the lede, the award in my ballot category of Best Novella went to the excellent Nancy Kress for After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall.

My parents and [info]the_child were there, along with my Aunt B— and Uncle L— from Texas.

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Dad and Mom

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Jersey Girl, Dad, Me, Mom

There was a comic convention going on next door, so some crossover happened.

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These are not the SF writers you are looking for

Still we had fun.

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Me and Jersey Girl, who’d never attended an SF event before

And though I did not win, I got to give away the Best Short Story Nebula to a charmingly shocked Aliette de Bodard.

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I’ll post more later about the emotional experience of this weekend, and how it has intersected with my illness. For now, suffice to say I had an amazingly good time. My family was pretty happy to be there. My thanks to chair Dave Gallaher, SFWA President John Scalzi, and everyone who worked so hard to make this all come together as fantastically well as it did.


Photos © 2013 N. Schaadt and others. All rights reserved, reproduced with permission. As usual, more at the Flickr set.

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[conventions|photos] My day one of the Nebula Awards Weekend

Yesterday, Jersey Girl in Portland flew down to San Jose. We ran into Richard Lovett on the plane, and shared a cab to the convention hotel. Once there, the afternoon became a blur of old friends and new that I couldn’t possibly do a sane job of listing. At the author signing, I was seated between John Scalzi and Joe Haldeman, with Connie Willis and Stephen Gould on the far end, safely out of range from me. Signing was busy and a lot of fun

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DNA transfer between myself and John Scalzi

After the signing, Jersey Girl and I went to dinner with C.E. Petit, Catherine Shaffer, and the Locus crew, led by the indomitable Liza Trombi, along with Francesca Myman, Tim Pratt and Heather Shaw.

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DNA transfer between myself and Francesca Myman of Locus while Catherine Shaffer looks on approvingly in the background

Post-dinner, we hit the reception at which the Nebula nominee certificates and pins are handed out, along with drinks and photography. It was fun to stand with Aliette de Bodard, Ken Liu and Lawrence Schoen. We were only missing Nancy Kress. And I am in awe of both Aliette and Ken for their across the board strength on the award ballots this year.

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(Most of) the Best Novella ballot lining up to be photographed for the later restraining order

Eventually I retired early for a crappy night’s sleep.

Today my parents show up, as does my aunt and uncle, as does [info]the_child. My profound thanks to Crystal Black for making her trip possible. Plus a ton more friends.

Tomorrow, I am off to Rio Hondo at the crack of doom.


Photos © 2013 N. Schaadt. All rights reserved, reproduced with permission. As usual, more at the Flickr set.

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