Jay Lake: Writer

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[links] Link salad has a mysterious ache in its side

The Science Fiction Author on Trial (NIH trial, that is!) fundraiser made goal. Thank you! We are working on some stretch goals, if you’re interested. Keep an eye out.

A map showing lexical distance (how much similarity there is between vocabularies) among the languages of Europe — Cool…

The Ancient Ghost City of Ani — Haunting photos.

The pending demise of Facebook (and Princeton) — This is hilarious in a very geeky way.

1984 Macintosh vs. Apple iMac: Spec Showdown

Here’s What It Looked Like When Marijuana Was Growing All Over Brooklyn — (Thanks to Lisa Costello.)

6 reasons female nudity can be powerfulA reporter’s question about Lena Dunham’s nudity pointed to a bigger issue: Naked women can threaten the status quo.

Behold, the Kindle of the 16th CenturyJust one of the “various and ingenious machines” of Captain Agostino Ramelli. (Thanks to [info]threeoutside.)

Inside Monopoly’s secret war against the Third Reich “Ask and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find.” Fascinating. (Via David Goldman.)

Workers of the World, Faint! — I got nothing. (Via David Goldman.)

Astrobiology Underground — Deep, hot life.

Biodiversity can flourish on an urban planetFor instance, cities now support 20 percent of the world’s bird species.

Source of water ice on dark side of the Moon revealed?Interplanetary dust regularly showers the Earth and other Solar System bodies.

Rover’s decade on Mars surprises NASA A decade after landing on Mars, the rover Opportunity is still chugging along.

China Installed More Solar Power in 2013 than the US has in its Whole History — Lux fiat, baby.

The Penance of Glenn Beck — He’s a little tiny bit sorry now.

Michigan GOP official: ‘Herd all the Indians’ to Detroit, build a fence and throw in corn

Mike Huckabee and women’s uncontrolled libido, or, Uncle Sugar — This one pretty much speaks for itself. I don’t need to snark.

Why Republicans Keep Calling Women Sluts — A helpful exegesis on Huckabee’s unfortunate remarks.

?otD: Did you see them? It was dark, they were big.


1/25/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 6.0 hours (badly interrupted)
Body movement: n/a (in hospital)
Weight: n/a (in hospital)
Number of FEMA troops on my block inventing polar vortices: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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[links] Link salad wakes up to head for surgery

2013 Book 96: love in the time of metal and flesh[info]talekyn reviews me.

Yesterday, The Internet Solved a 20-year-old Mystery — This is cool and strange. (Snurched from Language Log.)

Sex With Google Glass — Because reasons! Or not… (Via [info]danjite.)

Milk Drinking Still a Mysteryhe mutation for milk-drinking evolved independently in different parts of the world over the last 10,000 years as a result of strong natural selection, but why was it so advantageous?

2013 Continued the Long-Term Warming TrendThe GISS Land-Ocean Temperature Index put 2013 into the top ten warmest years in the global record, even though temperatures in the United States were not much warmer than usual.

The Death Of ExpertiseToday, any assertion of expertise produces an explosion of anger from certain quarters of the American public, who immediately complain that such claims are nothing more than fallacious “appeals to authority,” sure signs of dreadful “elitism,” and an obvious effort to use credentials to stifle the dialogue required by a “real” democracy.

Leaked Records Reveal Offshore Holdings of China’s Elite — (Via [info]danjite.)

The abortion liars club. And one way they wield it. — Thou shalt not bear false witness.

?otD: Cuts like a knife, does it?


1/23/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: n/a (in hospital)
Weight: n/a (in hospital)
Number of FEMA troops on my block inventing polar vortices: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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[cancer] Update on the Science Fiction Author on Trial fundraiser

Science Fiction Author on Trial (NIH trial, that is!)


Thank you very much to everyone who has donated to my fundraiser in support of my costs for the NIH study I am now enrolled in. Thank you as well to everyone who has provided promotion, cross-promotion and signal boost. And finally, thank you so much to those who have donated premiums to the fundraising process.

As of my writing this post on Monday morning, we are at almost two-thirds of goal. I cannot express my gratitude enough. These days, my life erodes in so many ways, growing smaller and smaller. At times like this, I am reminded how good my life still is, how large each of you help make it be.

The fundraising site was updated over the weekend with some terrific premiums. Kevin J. Anderson, Prime Books, and Clarkesworld Magazine have made generous donations for contributions at given levels. I’ve put a dozen copies of my private printing of The January Machine, to be awarded by random drawing. I also have something cool forthcoming for all donors at any level, though we’re not quite ready to announce it, and there’s a couple of more really neat things in the pipe as well.

Give a nod to Shlom Ster for pulling this together. And think of me this week, as I literally dedicate myself to science. I’m in for some difficult and painful times in the very near future.

See my original post here for a bit more background on the fundraiser, if you are interested.

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[links] Link salad swears by its pretty floral bonnet

Der verborgene Hof — A review of the German edition of Green. Insofar as I can tell, the reviewer wasn’t too thrilled.

WCMX: Taking Wheelchairs To New Heights — I am boggled. (Thanks to Lis.)

Smoking Is Worse Than You Imagined

Manufacturing OrgansHarvard Bioscience spin-off is stepping up its production of synthetic tracheas to supply clinical trials.

Defying Japan, Rancher Saves Fukushima’s Radioactive Cows — (Thanks to Dad.)

What scientific idea is ready for retirement — This makes for some interesting reading. (Snurched from Scrivener’s Error.)

Is the Universe Made of Math?

Hibernating spacecraft Rosetta to awaken for comet chase

Rising Tide Is a Mystery That Sinks Island Hopes — Weird story about a Caribbean lake. (Thanks to Dad.)

Men with sledgehammers rob crowded Memphis mall — Proving that yes, you don’t need a gun to commit a crime. But how many people were killed with sledgehammers last year?

Whose Economic Recovery Is It?

19 things conservatives insist on comparing to slavery

?otD: How tight are your pants?


1/19/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.75 hours (interrupted)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 239.0
Number of FEMA troops on my block BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI!: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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[books|writing] The January Machine

Back in the 1990s, I wrote my first attempt at a novel. It was called The January Machine. I quote the opening paragraphs of the synopsis I retrofitted some years later…

The year is 2041. Global warming has arrived with a vengeance. Ocean levels are rising, temperature extremes are off the scale, and loss of the ozone layer is destroying entire ecosystems. The United States has fractured under green and Third World backlash, with multiple secessions and a major West Coast earthquake complicating recovery. Meanwhile a prosperous, fascist Poland has risen to world dominance on the ruins of the European Union.

In this setting, human-grade AIs are relatively common, although their application is heavily regulated. In response to draconian AI-control measures, a shadowy AI underground known as the “goldens” seeks civil rights. In addition, time travel, while not possible in 2041, figures into the story from the perspective of the world’s future.

Marcus Sharpton, affiliated with the goldens, stumbles on stolen Polish military data — control codes for the January Machine. The January Machine was a Soviet doomsday project, consisting of several hundred nuclear warheads lining a Mohole, or deep crustal excavation, near a Siberian tectonic plate boundary. When activated, it would create a mega-volcano several hundred times more powerful than the catastrophic eruption of Krakatoa, plunging Earth into a long-term nuclear winter, where superior Soviet arctic warfare capabilities would ensure their military dominance.

I was trying to write a science fiction thriller. I had a lot of fun with it. Frankly, The January Machine is a terrible book from a craft perspective, but there’s a lot of neat ideas and some cool tropes in there, and it’s recognizably a Jay Lake book.

Mother of the Child has been asking for a while if she can have a printed, bound copy of the manuscript so she can re-read the book. My friend SC offered to do the layout and get the project through a print-on-demand vendor. Thus, I give you The January Machine:

image

As I’m trying to pull together a fund-raiser to help defray the substantial travel and lodging costs associated with my NIH clinical trial, I’m considering putting a few copies of the book in as premiums. I have some to spare, as the POD minimum order requirements were larger than my immediate needs.

It’s kind of fun to see that first effort from the mid-1990s have a print life, even one so small and odd.


Creative Commons License

This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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[links] Link salad wakes up in its own bed

Jay Lake livre son génome — I love the translation of my attribution, The author of the largely unknown Jade…

Neanderthals ‘could speak like us’ — “Ooh-bi-doo, I wan’na be like you / I want to walk like you, talk like you, too…“ Everybody sing!

Dutch masters paintings deconstructed — This is pretty intense.

Will Commercial Space Travel Blast Off in 2014?

Big Dig West — Wow, this is serious stupidity up in Seattle, thanks to WSDOT.

Back in the Pulpit After Losing His Church, and Still Supporting Gay Marriage

Cosmas IndicopleustesCosmas composed his Christian Topography over a number of years, after he had retired to monastic life. He aimed at proving, contrary to prevailing Greek and some Christian theories, that the universe had the same shape as Moses’ tabernacle, that it was in the form of a cube and not a sphere. The earth was a flat, oblong table, 12,000 miles long and 6,000 miles wide, surrounded by ocean beyond which was Paradise, where Adam and Eve had lived (cf. II.43). The whole area was surrounded by high, perpendicular mountains on which the vault of heaven rested. Between heaven and earth lay the firmament, dividing the universe into two stages. God and the just dwelt on the upper level, to which man would be admitted after the Resurrection; on the lower was humanity in this life. And see here. (Thanks, ultimately, to Felix Gilman.)

Noah’s Extremely Bad Animal Husbandry AdviceBy their estimates, 16,000 land animals and birds, including dinosaurs, were on the ark. Uh, yeah. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Heat Wave Stifles AustraliaTemperatures topping 118° F, 48° C, baked eastern Australia during the final days of 2013 and first week of 2014.

Ford Exec: ‘We Know Everyone Who Breaks The Law’ Thanks To Our GPS In Your Car — Apparently there has since been a retraction. Gee, I wonder why. (Snurched from Steve Buchheit.)

Judge in “kids for cash” ruled liable for damage — It’s so rare for people who work in the judicial system to face consequences for misconduct, especially when the victims are essentially helpless and have no real social power. See our nation’s long and shameful history of essential zero consequences for prosecutorial misconduct, for example. This story continues to amaze me.

Freedom to lie[S]ome members of the court are concerned that the anti-abortion zealots are being obstructed from lying. You can’t blame them. Blatant dishonesty is a big part of the forced childbirth movement strategy and at least a handful of justices are undoubtedly fully on board with that tactic. Yeah, that whole Ten Commandment about not bearing false witness? Smug Republican Jesus gives His followers a pass on that one every time.

NJ Democrat lawmaker on traffic scandal: ‘I do think laws have been broken’ — As any Republican can tell you, rumors of a presidential blow job are far, far more politically important than abuse of power for petty political payback a part of a long term pattern of bullying and intimidation.

?otD: Did you walk alone in restless dreams?


1/12/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (extremely fitful)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 240.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block faking evidence for evolution: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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[links] Link salad heads back to the west coast

Bechdel Test Movie List — Huh. I think seven of my ten novels pass the Bechdel test. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

10 abandoned hotels

Blaze ravages ancient Tibetan town

Mmm, vintage coffee

Decline of large carnivores damages ecosystems, experts warnResearchers recently called for an international initiative to conserve large predators in coexistence with people.

Metamaterials could perform calculus with light wavesA properly structured material could convert a light wave to its derivative. Science!

New discovery could be a Thorne-Zytkow object — Astronomical turducken? (Via David Goldman.)

Rise of the distorporationA mutation in the way companies are financed and managed will change the distribution of the wealth they create. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

American Conservatives, Jewish Law, and Israel’s New Abortion Policy — In which the intellectual and moral consistency of the American Right is proudly on display once again. It’s so nice to know that our nation’s conservative religious leaders would never stoop to political expediency when Biblical principle is at stake. Wait, sorry, the sarcasm bit got stuck on and dialed up to 11. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

How Newsweek’s ‘global cooling’ story got its legsNine paragraphs written for Newsweek in 1975 continue to trump 40 years of climate science. It’s a record that has the author amazed. Conservatives are not interested in evidence, except that which supports their position. Contrary evidence is ignored because of the well-known liberal bias in reality. Meanwhile, science really does change its collective mind about things. That a theory being explored 40 years might have changed since then due to more compelling evidence to the contrary is apparently inconceivable to conservatives. Confidential to GOP in America: that flexibility is a feature, not a bug, in science. There really is no “gotcha” in pointing out that scientists changed their minds about something over time.

?otD: How far will you go today?


1/11/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (fitful)
Body movement: n/a (airport walking to come)
Weight: n/a (traveling, no scale)
Number of FEMA troops on my block faking evidence for evolution: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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[links] Link salad gets punctured

Fantasy Novels — A reader reacts to, among other books, my novel Green. Very much not with the liking. Hilariously snarky, in fact. I highly approve of this review.

Scrivener’s Error is grumpy about (among other things) the SF/F community’s awards nomination process — A topic on which Generalissimo (ret.) Scalzi was opining yesterday.

Historic, Eccentric Wills Go Online

Kraft says Velveeta running low; fans warn of ‘cheesepocalypse’

A Giant Twisting Serpent Skeleton Emerges from the Loire River in France — Oooh. (Via Lisa Costello.)

The Science Behind Ageing Sharks: Study Reveals Great Whites Can Live More Than 70 Years

Will We Find Habitable ‘Super-Earths?’

Search for exomoons turns up fluffy, Earth-sized planetIt’s so fluffy!

No, the Polar Vortex Does Not Disprove Global Warming — Unless you’re blinded by ideology and willful ignorance, of course, in which case the only evidence you’ll accept is negative evidence. Hello, conservative America.

Pastor tries atheism, loses jobs, gains $19,000 — Hmm. I’m not sure this is truly atheism so much as pretending to live as an atheist, but I am still impressed. (Thanks to [info]shsilver.)

Israeli government offers women aged 20 to 33 free abortions — Wonder how that will play on the American Right? (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Ohio police: Man stopped for speeding had 48 bombs — Hmm. A white conservative patriot with a carload of bombs. Heard this story? What if he’d been a Muslim? Think you would have heard about that? (Via Karen Williams.)

Top Christie aide linked to GWB lane-closing controversy — And people think this guy should be president? He makes Sarah Palin’s corrupt political pettiness during her tenure as governor look like Sunday school.

Christie says he was misled on GWB lane closures — If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge to sell you. Christie is infamous for his hardball vindictiveness and generally abusive approach to people he doesn’t agree with. This is a highly documented, long term character flaw. Who could possibly be fooled by his denials now? Well, other than pretty much every conservative voter in the country, of course. Remember kids, character counts… if you’re a Democrat.

?otD: Got apheresis?


1/9/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (fitful)
Body movement: n/a (up too early for hotel gym)
Weight: n/a (traveling, no scale)
Number of FEMA troops on my block faking evidence for evolution: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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[links] Link salad has another one, just like the other one

Hawaiian shirts, indeed — Hahahaha. (Thanks to Scrivener’s Error.)

Why tropical forests have more tree species than US and Canada combined

The Brain, in Exquisite Detail

Want Perfect Pitch? You Might Be Able To Pop A Pill For That — Really? (Thanks to [info]martang.)

The Environmental Disaster You’ve Never Heard OfAlbuquerque’s Kirtland Air Force Base jet fuel spill. Wow… (Thanks to GD.)

Global-warming-truthers, Donald Trump, Fox use record cold to `disprove` climate change“I think these scientists are laughing from their lavish laboratories and their vacations up at the arctic, and their nice boats that are well-equipped.” How do you even have rational engagement with stupidity this deep? Or willful ignorance this vile? Either way, there is no middle ground to speak of. It’s like arguing orbital mechanics with Flat Earthers.

Yes, the pope is still Catholic, despite what you heard — What I hear is not a liberal or a reformer. What I hear is a man who is calling for the Catholic Church to be humane and loving, rather than judgmental and punitive. It’s probably too much to hope for, at least here in the US given the makeup of the American bishops, but it’s a nice return to something at least vaguely resembling actual Biblical values, which I even as an atheist strongly prefer over the gospel of smug Republican Jesus.

Tripoli Residents Protest as 80,000 Rare Books in Lebanon Torched by Salafis — Another very good reason for being an atheist, given that this is the kind of conduct faith drives people to.

I Corrected a Misinformed Conservative About Obamacare. What Happened Next Will Neither Surprise You Nor Restore Your Faith in Humanity — Being a conservative these days means explicitly rejecting an evidence-based worldview in favor of ideological conviction. So there is no surprise at all that presenting a conservative with evidence that they are wrong will have no effect. It merely feeds their self-valorizing sense of injustice.

About that Country you Destroyed: A Letter to George W. Bush — It ain’t My Pet Goat, so this will be over Dubya’s head, but even if he could read it, he wouldn’t. More’s the pity.

GOP Memo Coaches Members To Show Empathy Toward Unemployed — Ah, the inherent compassion of conservatism.

Would the ‘first conservative’ recognize today’s right?

America’s real problem: Too much bipartisanship — Not how I would have thought to put it, but this article makes some interesting points. Another way to phrase the headline would have been “America’s real problem: Too much conservative consensus, not enough progressive values”, as all the examples given fit that bill nicely.

How the NSA Threatens National Security Our choice isn’t between a digital world where the agency can eavesdrop and one where it cannot; our choice is between a digital world that is vulnerable to any attacker and one that is secure for all users.

?otD: Is it espresso love?


1/8/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: n/a (traveling, no scale)
Number of FEMA troops on my block faking evidence for evolution: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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[publishing|repost] 2013 bibliography for award consideration

I may have missed one or two things, but here is my 2013 fiction bibliography, for your information, and by request, for award consideration. As my illness slows me down, this grows ever thinner of course. I will amend this list as needed.

Novels

Kalimpura, Tor Books, 2013 — Book three of the Green trilogy

Novellas

Hook Agonistes”, with Seanan McGuire, Subterranean Online, Fall, 2013 — A collaborative story of future human enslavement and an unlikely messiah

Love in the Time of Metal and Flesh, Prime Books — Horror or contemporary dark fantasy, depending on your perspective

“Rock of Ages”, METAtropolis: Green Space, ed. Jay Lake and Ken Scholes, Audible.com — Selected by editor Gardner Dozois for Year’s Best Science Fiction 31

Novelettes

“You Will Attend Until Beauty Awakens”, Clockwork Fairy Tales, ed. Stephen L. Antczak and James C. Bassett, ROC — A retelling of “Sleeping Beauty”

A Stranger Comes to Kalimpura”, Subterranean Online, Spring, 2013 — A Green story set long after the events of the novels

Short Stories

“King of the Kingless”, Hex in the City, ed. Kerrie L. Hughes, Fiction River — One of my Portland wizards stories

“Spendthrift”, Coins of Chaos, ed. Jennifer Brozek, EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing — WWII and zombies in New Guinea

“Monsters in the Mountains at the Edge of the World”, That Is Not Dead: Historical Lovecraft, ed. Darrell Schweitzer, PS Publishing — Romans vs Chinese vs Cthulhoid horrors in ancient Samarkand

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