Yesterday, my friend and editor/publisher Steve Feldberg of Audible.com sent me this:
As some of you may remember, METAtropolis: Cascadia won the Audie award last spring for Best Original Work. The follow-on volume to the John Scalzi-edited METAtropolis, this was edited by me, and contains the warm prose stylings of Elizabeth Bear, Tobias Buckell, Mary Robinette Kowal, Ken Scholes, and Karl Schroeder, as well as myself.
So this is pretty darned neat. I hadn’t realized I’d eventually be getting a gorgeous doodad for my brag shelf. And such a gorgeous doodad it is, albeit hard to photograph. Also a nice little bit of ego boo, as well as additional incentive to finish the first draft of “Rock of Ages”, my METAtropolis: Green Space story in progress. (Which, yes, I should be able to put the wrap on this coming week.)
This also makes me reflective. Thanks to my illness, my career as it has been constituted is effectively over. None of my books ever caught fire enough to keep me on the upward growth trajectory required to maintain shelf space in trade publishing these days. Cancer has kept me too sick to do a redirect in a timely fashion. My ability to write more books — in any genre or sub-genre ‐ is significantly at risk, given my treatment courses and life expectancy. More to the point, my ability to deliver them in a contracted, timely fashion is significantly at risk.
At this point, unless I make a full recovery from cancer and can take half a dozen years to make a serious run at a restart, the writing career I’d dreamed of and was at least somewhat on track for a serious attempt at is gone. I’m not finished, not by any stretch. I’ll continue to at least produce short fiction until I’m too sick to do even that. I have books in my head, some of which may get written collaboratively. And I’ve already done a hell of a lot. Six novels from Tor, four independent novels, more short stories than I can count, dozens of Year’s Best appearances. Won the Campbell Award. Won the Audie Award. Been nominated for a boatload of stuff from the topline down. Hosted both the Hugo Awards and the World Fantasy Awards. (If I could toastmaster the Nebulas, that would be the trifecta.)
It’s really hard to complain. I regret nothing, except for the future that is being stolen from me week by week, month by month, cell by cell.
I want to live. I want to watch my daughter grow up. I want to write more and be read. Those things are slowly becoming too much to ask.
Still, I am proud of myself and what I’ve accomplished. Thank you, Steve Feldberg and Audible.com, for sending me this bit of memory.
Photo © 2012, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.
This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.