Jay Lake: Writer

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[links] Link salad can’t sell you what you need

TOC: The Mammoth Book of Steampunk Adventures — In which I have a reprint novelette, “Benedice Te”.

Worst Day of the Year Ride Canceled Because of Bad Weather — Ah, Portland. (Via my sister.)

Put a monocle on anything and it looks classy — Mr. Peanut, is that you?

That’s “Heavy”: The Mind-Body-Metaphor Connection — This is fascinating. In English, and several other languages as well, weight is used as metaphor to signify importance. The authors hypothesized that this abstraction can be triggered by concrete experiences of weight, like holding something heavy. They call this “embodied cognition.”

Can tumors be transplanted? — Uh…

Why do Americans spend so much on pharmaceuticals?

The Evidence Piles Up: Antioxidant Supplements Are Bad For You — Ooops. (Via David Goldman.)

Crowdfunding’s Effect on Venerable Nonprofits Raises ConcernWebsites now let people ask for charitable support for their own causes, but some fear that such sites will drain donations from established nonprofits. (Via Dad.)

Plate tectonics set the thermostat for early animal lifeSwitch from snowball to hothouse conditions driven by continental collisions.

Mechanism Important for Photosynthesis was Present in Ancient Microbes 2.5 Billion Years Ago

Earth’s Oldest Land Predators Had ‘Steak Knife’ Teeth

Glimpsing Heat from Alien Technologies

What Noise Does the Electric Car Make? — I was nearly struck by an electric scooter in China, the rider moving fast at night with his headlight off, presumably to conserve battery. Fast and all but noiseless.

Hamline professor’s post on student loan debt goes viral — When I started at the University of Texas at Austin in 1982, tuition and fees for a full 18 semester hour load were about $360. When I graduated in 1986, thanks to conservative-driven cuts in subsidies for higher education, it was well over $2,000 per semester. Costs have soared many times over since then, because we as a society have explicitly chosen to make higher education less and less accessible to each succeeding cohort of youth.

(GOP) Rep. Has Cordial Chat About Whether Obama ‘Should Be Executed’ — This piece is just creepy. Now try imagining the firestorm in Your Liberal Media if a Democratic congressman had had this conversation about Bush or Reagan.

?otD: Did buy it off the shelf? Did you grow it from the seed?


2/8/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (fitful)
Body movement: n/a (post-operative)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block who aren’t descended from monkeys: 0
Currently reading: n/a

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[links] Link salad for a rainy Solstice Saturday

In which our collaborate novel Our Lady of the Islands, written by me and Shannon Page, finds a home

Jade par Jay Lake — A French review of the French translation of my book Green. Some complaints, but I interpret the Google Translate version as generally positive.

Textopornographie: France creates its own word for ‘sexting’ — Of course they did. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Party Down: 100 Years of the Crossword Puzzle

Amazing Shadow Sculptures by Tim Noble and Sue Webster — Wow. (Via Lisa Costello.)

Photos: 2013’s Most Terrifying Weather Disasters

Scientists Send World’s First Text Message Using Vodka — Because reasons!

Algae go in, biocrude oil comes out

Damage suffered by Mars rover Curiosity’s aluminum wheels raise concern

‘Perfect’ Electron Roundness Bruises Supersymmetry

People worried about food poisoning, however, should treat chicken as a hazard in the kitchen.People worried about food poisoning, however, should treat chicken as a hazard in the kitchen. (Via David Goldman.)

New Mexico becomes 17th gay marriage state — Another bigotry domino falls. Another state abandons senseless hatred cloaked in religious privilege in favor of a sane and moral approach to its citizens.

Federal judge strikes down Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage — Wow. I would have bet good money that either Utah or Nebraska would the last stand of religious bigotry in this country when it comes to persecuting gays. This is beyond shocking.

In Striking Down Utah’s Gay Marriage Ban, Judge Gives Scalia Big Bear Hug — Ah, legal trolling.

New Jersey Senate Passes Transgender Birth Certificate BillEarlier this week, The Advocate reported on the status of a bill intended to make the often-difficult and cost-prohibitive process of updating identification documents easier for transgender individuals in New Jersey. This in the state that elected Chris Christie as governor? Wow…

‘Duck Dynasty’: White evangelicals rallying for racism — It makes smug Republican Jesus smile.

Phil Robertson’s America The Duck Dynasty star’s warped vision of civil-rights history feeds his warped view of today’s gay-rights struggle. Ta-Nehisi Coates with some perspective that should shame any white person, regardless of your politics.

Is the “War on Christmas” about Christmas?For these commenters, the so-called War on Christmas is about much more than a competition between religious and secular forces, it’s also about the centrality of whiteness and a defense of “true” Canadianness against an influx of foreign cultures. It is worth considering whether, in general, this debate is really code for racism and anti-immigrant sentiment more generally. I dunno. Do conservatives ever fixate on race and immigration? Seems beneath them, somehow.

“You’re Days Are Numbered”: On Death Threats And Gun RightsSo what do you think about the NRA’s advocacy? Just curious, since their essay resulted in death threats to me, threats of rape to my wife, and threats of abduction and murder of my six-month-old daughter from the people who read the NRA’s column. Personally, I think a little bit less of an organization like the NRA, which incites their members to threaten rape and murder and the abduction of babies. Guns make us all safer. Especially in the hands of patriotic NRA members like these folks. Only liberal pussies like me could possibly doubt that tools designed for human death in the hands of angry, irrational people could possibly be any kind of threat in a society which cheerfully accepts 30,000 gun deaths a year without question.

Military retirees: You betrayed us, CongressMilitary retirees are outraged that Congress will start voting Thursday on a budget deal that trims military pensions, calling the move “an egregious breach of faith.” Actually, the weakening of any pension — city government, union, corporate, Federal, military — is an egregious breach of faith. But one that companies, courts and politicians are all to eager to embrace at any turn, especially when there are investors whose returns must be protected. Of course, that attitude almost certainly makes me a mouth-breathing Socialist. (Via [info]danjite.)

Wyoming Senate race 2014: Liz Cheney husband Phil Perry on vote rolls in 2 states — Imagine if you will for a moment if a Democratic Senate candidate’s spouse were registered to vote in two states. There would be calls in the House for a Federal investigation, and the story would top the cycle of Your Liberal Media for weeks, and the conservative echo chamber for months. But a Republican candidate’s spouse? This dog will be dead by Sunday. Because conservatism is more moral, dammit.

$22.62/Hr: The Minimum Wage if it had Risen Like the Incomes of the 1% — I cannot even bring myself to be sarcastic about this.

Did 17 Illegal Voters in Ohio Steal the 2012 Election?And a great deal of legal work has come up dry in the hunt for the mythical “buses of illegal voters” being spirited in from cities or campuses to stuff the polls. But if you just read Fox, you’ve learned that the voter fraud problem is very real. That’s because conservatives are almost always wrong both on the plain face of the facts, and on the basis their “ideas”. Lying is the only way to make the conservative case. Bearing false witness makes smug Republican Jesus smile, after all, because it’s one of those optional Ten Commandments. (Snurched from John Sapienza.)

?otD: Got your collar turned to the cold and damp?


12/21/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 237.0
Number of FEMA troops on my block falsifying climate change data: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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[sale] “Rock of Ages” to Year’s Best Science Fiction 31

I am pleased to announce that this past week editor Gardner Dozois acquired my novella “Rock of Ages” for Year’s Best Science Fiction 31. The piece original appeared in METAtropolis: Green Space, published by Audible.com and edited by Ken Scholes and myself. It follows on my stories in the first two volumes, and intertwines with Ken’s stories from this volume and the previous one. Oddly, this should be the first print appearance for the novella, as original publication was in an audio format.

As this is one of the last two stories I wrote before chemo and cancer shut down my writing brain for good, I feel an extra bit of pride here. (The other is my collaborative novella with Seanan McGuire, “Hook Agonistes”, in case you’re wondering.)

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[books] A new sale to Tor

I am pleased to announce that editor Beth Meacham of Tor Books has acquired my collection Last Plane to Heaven, via my agent Jennifer Jackson. Given the state of my health, this will almost certainly be my last trade collection of short fiction.

As I can no longer write due to my cancer treatments, the collection is entirely composed of reprints of recent work. Last Plane to Heaven is scheduled for release in the fall of 2014.

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[cancer] Field notes from Cancerland, JayFest edition

JayFest

JayFest is tonight at Powell’s Cedar Hills. Some of the folks arriving today are staying over for JayCon, including J.A. Pitts and [info]fjm. From about lunchtime today until after dinner Sunday it’s going to be one nonstop trip to crazytown around here. Next week will be a dead calm sea by comparison.

Story Sale

In the department of good news what cheers me, [info]seanan_mcguire and I have placed our collaborative novella “Hook Agonistes” with Subterranean Online. Go, us!

Estate Matters

As of yesterday, the house refinance has funded. I’m done with that, at an advantageous interest rate and a reduced cash flow requirement. This week, we have met with the accountant, the financial planner and the attorney about various matters as well. Sometime in the next week or so, I will write out in detail the kinds of planning we’re doing, including whys and wherefores. Just don’t have time right now. And, frankly, it’s overwhelming.

Daye Jobbe

I am in the process of leaving work permanently on disability. I have a lot to say about this, but I believe I shall wait until we’re all the way through the process so I can comment from that perspective. My employer continues to be extraordinarily supportive of me in this process, as does my boss, as well as the members of my work group. This does have some fairly staggering implications in terms of me receiving reduced cash flow from disability insurance while seeing my healthcare costs push up by 350% in shifting to COBRA. Again, more on this later when all the ducks have been enrowed.

Regorafenib Side Effects

My not-so-slow side into debilitation continues apace. I am now wearing cotton gloves almost all the time, including in my sleep. Also thick hiking socks over my silky bamboo socks, to cushion my feet. We have bought a new chair that gives me good elevation of the extremities, as well as a ‘zero gee’ posture to deal with the significant back pain which is emerging as a result of me walking with an odd gait due to the foot pain. I am also experiencing swelling in various body parts, including my feet and my scrotum. (That last is no joy, let me assure you.) The day to day stuff is driving me nuts. Yesterday I almost had a meltdown because I could not uncap a pen. Also, I am getting stupider. I can tell this because my performance at Sudoku has declined noticeably in the past two weeks. I use that as one of my basic cognitive self-checks. I’ve also been making an increasing number of stupid logistical mistakes. And my sleep cycle is very messed up. I woke at 2:15 am this morning, finally giving up at 3:00 am — this on top of a 10:00 pm bedtime. So, yeah…

JayCon

Meanwhile, there’s JayCon XIII on Saturday. I’ll be doing my best to enjoy the heck out of all the fuss and bother. Hope you can make one or more of the events between now and then.

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[sale] Catching up to a couple of things

Apocalypse Ink Productions has bought a book from me on writing process. This is an edited summation of my various process posts from my blog over the years, with some additional new material from me.

My steampunk short story “Grindstone” has been accepted for Airships and Automatons, ed. Charles P. Zaglanis, from White Cat Publications. This is a moody apocalyptic piece set in a literally atmospheric world of floating islands.

I have also sold several reprints, one collaboratively with [info]kenscholes, to Wildside Press.

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[links] Link salad blunders into Sunday

Jay Lake’s Process of Writing Non-Fiction Book Bought

Popular Atomics: Periodic Table Is New Touchstone of Geek Chic Chemical Elements Are All the Rage; ‘Breaking Bad’ and Daniel Radcliffe Attest. (Via David Goldman.)

The Great New England Vampire PanicTwo hundred years after the Salem witch trials, farmers became convinced that their relatives were returning from the grave to feed on the living. More here: Meet the Real-Life Vampires of New England and Abroad (Snurched from Cora Buhlert.)

Top Ten ways Corporate Food is Making us Fat and threatening our Food Supplies — Juan Cole is talking about the producer end, not the fast food end.

Overdue Link Sausages of Confidential OriginScrivener’s Error on a number of interesting political and publishing issues, but most notably the election of judges.

Obama Administration’s Achievements (Thus Far) — Compare this to the GOP’s number one legislative priority, “to make Obama a one term president.” Or 33 votes in the House to repeal Health Care Reform. What has the GOP done for you lately except say “No”? (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Let My People Vote — Sarah Silverman on the Republican fraud of voter id requirements.

Voting Wrongs“I believe that the wrongdoing we are seeing in this election is more menacing even than what went on then. [During] Watergate… the president and his aides attempted to interfere with the nominating process of the opposition party. But the current voting rights issue is even more serious: it’s a coordinated attempt by a political party to fix the result of a presidential election by restricting the opportunities of members of the opposition party’s constituency–most notably blacks–to exercise a Constitutional right. This is the worst thing that has happened to our democratic election system since the late nineteenth century, when legislatures in southern states systematically negated the voting rights blacks had won in the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution.” (Via [info]ulfhirtha.)

Bill Clinton: I don’t know if Hillary will run in ’16 — She must be so tired.

Amid GOP unease, Romney turns eye to swing states

Mitt Romney Is Driving The GOP To Pieces: Countdown Day 46 — America should be so lucky.

Blahs And Browns To Form Scary Legion Of America Doom — Mitt Romney and the soft bigotry of bigotry.

Romney: U.S. ‘middle income’ is $200K to $250K per year — This man is very confused. And he wants to be your president. The U.S. census bureau reported on Thursday that the U.S. median annual household income in 2011 was $50,054 — that is, half of American households make about $50,000 or less.

?otD: What is this Sunday you speak of?


9/23/2012
Writing time yesterday: 0 hours (chemo)
Body movement: 0 hours (chemo)
Hours slept: 12.5 (solid, with napping)
Weight: 234.4
Currently reading: Heartland by Mark Teppo

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[links] Link salad recovers from surgery

Now Begins Operation Jay — Scott Lynch is generous and slightly scary. Thank you.

My short story “Spendthrift” will be in the forthcoming anthology Coins of Chaos

Surviving the World on steampunks

Top Ten Likely Consequences of Muslim anti-US Embassy Riots

Occupy movement turns 1 year old, its effect still hard to defineSince Occupy Wall Street sparked a nationwide movement, no broad tangible result has emerged. To stay relevant, must it involve politicians?

O’Reilly’s Accidental Support For Planned Parenthood Funding — More of that justly famed conservative intellectual consistency.

Kansas Goes Birther: State Board Considers Removing Obama From Ballot — The unswerving conservative commitment to representative democracy, political fairness and intellectual honesty continues.

Obama by the Numbers — Some serious neepery about the metrics of the current presidency.

Joining the Reality-Based Community My old Republican worldview was flawed because it was based upon a small and particularly rosy sliver of reality. To preserve that worldview, I had to believe that people had morally earned their “just” desserts, and I had to ignore those whining liberals who tried to point out that the world didn’t actually work that way. I think this shows why Republicans put so much effort into “creat[ing] our own reality,” into fostering distrust of liberals, experts, scientists, and academics, and why they won’t let a campaign “be dictated by fact-checkers” (as a Romney pollster put it). It explains why study after study shows … that avid consumers of Republican-oriented media are more poorly informed than people who use other news sources or don’t bother to follow the news at all. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Mitt Romney’s Best-Known Mormon Critic Tells it All. One Last Time.

Erasing the Iraq War from Republican Party History — Amazingly enough, most conservatives seem to have forgotten that their party leadership launched a trillion dollar way of choice on knowingly false pretenses. Or else they blame it on Obama. This is akin to thinking that the Bush administration “kept us safe”.

?otD: Cut up much?


9/15/2012
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (surgery)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 7.75 (interrupted)
Weight: 236.6
Currently reading: Heartland by Mark Teppo

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[food|writing] Open dinner in Baltimore, plus a cool foreign rights sale

Last night’s open dinner here in Baltimore was great, good fun. There were fifteen of us, including me and Lisa Costello. @psursi took photos!

Good conversation, though as always with these things it’s a little hard to talk with an entire table at once. Good folks, a few old friends and a bunch of new ones. In more-or-less around the table order, we had John Zaharick, Karlo Yeager, Mark Siegal, [info]curiouseve and [info]duelce, Beth Tanner, Rip, Jeff Young, [info]cypherindigo, Lisa Nohealani Morton and Chris, @psursi and his wife Stephanie, and Deanna Hoak and her daughter. What a great crowd. We talked about some fun stuff, and some serious stuff, and enjoyed semi-Irish pub grub at Ryan’s Daughter.

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Photos © 2012 Peter Sursi and Jeff Young. Used with permission.


In other news, I am pleased to announce that via my agent Jennifer Jackson, Hayakawa Publishing has acquired Japanese magazine rights for my Mainspring novella “Chain of Stars,” which they intend to publish in the November 2012 issue of SF Magazine.

My thanks again to Subterranean Press for giving that story a market home in the first place.

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[sale] “Spendthrift” to Coins of Chaos

I am pleased to announce that my short story “Spendthrift” has been accepted by editor Jennifer Brozek for the forthcoming anthology Coins of Chaos.

Because, really, who doesn’t like WWII Japanese army zombies in New Guinea?

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