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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.

[cancer] Field notes from Cancerland, eclectic edition

Side Effects

I continue tracking side effects. I now monitor blood pressure daily, as my friend Regorafenib drives that up. I have a nifty iPhone app that records BP, pulse and weight. I’m looking for a poop tracker as well, just haven’t yet sat down and focused on this. We’ve got the overnight sleep issues under control with the combination of Trazodone and Lorazepam, though daytime fatigue and napping needs continued. We’re dealing with unexplained gradual weight loss. (Well, actually its unexplained gradual reduction of food intake, so the weight loss per se is perfectly explicable.) The feet as always trouble me, and my GI has gone back into horrible overdrive.

Financial and Legal Planning

This is going pretty well. We’ve got budgets going forward for me both pre- and post-mortem, and the long-term estate plan in place to provide for [info]the_child and her mother after I pass. My ongoing survival makes planning a little more complex, but there you go. I could have worse problems. I’ve also been consulting with counsel about the intersection between intellectual property income and disability income. We seem to have a plan there as well, but are awaiting some confirmation of the legal opinions rendered thus far. Soon most of this will be off my plate except for some ongoing management and reporting requirements.

Writing and Publishing

I continue to not write. I expect this state of affairs to last the rest of my life, as whenever the current medication fails and I go off it, that will not signal a return to health and full cognitive capacity, but rather an entry to my period of terminal decline. We might yet get lucky with a study drug, but I would be beyond amazed if any other core cancer fighting drug left my brain any more clear than the last five treatment rounds have.

Publishing, on the other hand, is going swimmingly. Several fun and interesting things are happening, and wait to be announced. Some big, some small, some just right. Watch this space for details. Let’s just say I’m happy with the progress.

Travel

Thanks to the generosity of Unnamed Benefactors, both Lisa Costello and I will be at World Fantasy Convention in Brighton next month. I am flying over a week early, and hope to spend a day or two in Paris, otherwise be in London. If you’re a European friend or fan who’d like to see me, watch for announcements about exactly when and where I can be found. Plus at the convention, of course, with Lisa.

Food

In news about which I am inordinately pleased, I will be a french fry tester today for a small regional restaurant chain. I’m not sure how much I’m allowed to say about this, so I may or may not report more after the fact. But for some reason, this seriously tickles my fancy.

Mmmm. French fries.

[links] Link salad moves in mysterious ways

Story Bone — Steve Buchheit riffs on my new career as a psychopomp.

The Telltale Door: 1931 — Edgar Allan Poe’s mother’s house.

BLDG BLOG on books recently received — Interesting stuff, but if both else, click through to see the photo they lead the piece with. Amazing.

Forget Venus and Mars, we’re beginning to understand gender behavior on EarthWe may never know every subtle difference, but gender research is coming a long way.

12 Things Happy People Do Differently — And Why I Started Doing Them

When Will Gene Therapy Come to the U.S.?Several gene therapies are or will soon be in late-stage human trials. One of them could be the first to get FDA approval for sale in the U.S.

A Jewel at the Heart of Quantum PhysicsArtist’s rendering of the amplituhedron, a newly discovered mathematical object resembling a multifaceted jewel in higher dimensions. Encoded in its volume are the most basic features of reality that can be calculated — the probabilities of outcomes of particle interactions. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Strange, unpredictable chemistry at high pressureExtreme pressure has “a completely different atomic table,” vital to understanding space. Some pretty cool skiffy stuff here.

From the Sea, Freedom — Ah, Sealand. (Via [info]threeoutside.)

Freedom of InformationA British newspaper wants to take its aggressive investigations global, but money is running out.

Explaining the New Obamacare Provisions — Remember, kids, according to Your Republican Party, Obamacare is the worst scourge to afflict this nation since the Nazi threat. After all, budget savings and wider access to healthcare is sure a sign of the End Times.

Dr. Carroll explains Obamacare in under 7 minutesThis is clear, concise and even kind of entertaining. Well done.

Ghoul’s Glossary: ShutdownShutdown: n. A maneuver whereby persons elected and paid by the public to do little but pass budgets refuse to do so unless they are permitted to prevent poor children from seeing a doctor.

Better Dead and Red: How the GOP blocked health care for red state AmericansStudy after study has long shown that health care is worst in precisely those states where Republicans poll best. But in their zeal to discredit a president they loathe, GOP leaders across the nation passed up an historic opportunity to bring health insurance and with it, greater financial security and higher standards of living to millions of their own constituents. Are you proud of your Republican party? On the wrong side of history, as always.

End Days for the GOPAfter years of sabotaging government and getting away with it, the GOP has finally gone too far. America knows it, and so does the party itself. We should be so lucky. Given how thoroughly Your Liberal Media supports the conservative narrative both directly and through indirect means such as false equivalency, I find this analysis unlikely. There simply won’t be enough honest reporting for most people to understand what the Republicans are doing and have done.

?otD: Is it all right?


9/30/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.25 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 243.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block implementing Kenyan Muslim socialism through stock market growth and economic recovery: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad knows what it’s like to be the sad man behind blue eyes

Jay Lake and the Story a Week Experiment — An interview with me by Catherine Schaff-Stump.

Want to win the JayWake edition of my new book Jay Lake’s Process of Writing? Here are the details

‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’: Can ‘Avengers’ magic make the jump to TV?

How Google Converted Language Translation Into a Problem of Vector Space MathematicsTo translate one language into another, find the linear transformation that maps one to the other. Simple, say a team of Google engineers. Wow, is there a lot of handwavium here.

The Broadcast Clock — (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Full Service: 1937 — A rather amusing photo from Depression-era Georgia by Dorothea Lange.

John William Keedy explores themes of anxiety and varied neuroses in his photography — Wow. (Thanks to Lisa Costello.)

Eagle vs Deer: Rare Images Caught on Camera — Wow. Watch the skies! (Via David Goldman.)
‘Yellow Brick Road’ Leading to Pirate Booty

Mystery Solved: Black Hole Belch Caused Galactic Glowow astronomers discovered signs of a massive, two-million-year-old “burp” at the Milky Way’s core.

How I Got Licensed to Carry a Concealed Gun in 32 States by Barely Trying — (Via [info]danjite.)

Florida attorney general delays execution for fundraiserFlorida Attorney General Pam Bondi has apologized for postponing an execution scheduled for Tuesday to accommodate a campaign fundraiser. The Republican is going ahead with the fundraiser at her waterfront home to kick off her reelection campaign. But she said Monday night that it was a mistake for her office to ask Gov. Rick Scott to delay the execution. The request was granted and the execution, which had been postponed twice before, is now scheduled for Oct. 1. Stay classy, conservative America. It’s what you do best. (Via [info]threeoutside.)

?otD: Are your dreams as empty as my conscience seems to be?


9/25/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.25 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 242.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block violating religious freedom by treating LGBTQ people like human beings: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad was wondering under what circumstances we would use this

METAtropolis: Green Space — The new audiobook is up for pre-release. Check out the cover art and table of contents. Stories from Elizabeth Bear, Tobias S. Buckell, Mary Robinette Kowal, Seanan McGuire, Karl Schroeder, Ken Scholes and me.

Time Travel and Gender — Cora Buhlert with more on this topic.

An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments — Hah! (Via [info]willyumtx.)

Telling My Child of My Cancer — A wonderful piece from Janet Freeman-Daily.

DNA Double Take[S]cientists are finding that it’s quite common for an individual to have multiple genomes. Some people, for example, have groups of cells with mutations that are not found in the rest of the body. Some have genomes that came from other people. (Thanks to my Dad.)

World’s Strangest Vehicles, Part 2Dark Roasted Blend is funny. However, note the blow quote at the top of the article. Heh.

Alien Civilisations: Two Competing Models

Robotic Snakes Could Invade Mars (For Science)

Speaking Very Ill of the Dead

Who Made That Built-In Eraser? — Ah, life’s little details. (Via my Dad.)

If you want to get fit, get fidgetingForget dieting, weight-lifting and all those work-outs – try fidgeting instead. Because, according to new research from the US Mayo Clinic, tiny exercise performed often enough can have as big an effect as rigorous exercise done less frequently. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Intel’s Anthropologist Genevieve Bell Questions the Smart Watch

Why Debunk Climate Change Deniers?[S]adly, the people who deny the reality around them have a very large megaphone, and in some cases have a lot of motivation to use it. Money, power, riling up the electorate, or, perhaps worst of all, pure zealotry. Nothing is as impenetrable as an armor wrought from fervent ideology. Welcome to conservative America, where the facts are only relevant if they’re on the Republican side.

Antarctica Sea Ice Hitting Record HighsThe record sea ice doesn’t contradict global warming. Because Antarctic sea ice encircles a frozen continent, the factors controlling its growth are complex, and include winds, warming air temperatures and even the ozone hole. Wind plays a greater role the size of the ice pack than air temperature or ocean currents.

International Politics and the First African American Flight Attendants

Women Can’t Vote in Sistersville

David Vitter’s kamikaze anti-Obamacare crusade gets even weirder — Are you proud of your Republican party?

Oklahoma National Guard reverses stance on same-sex couple benefitsOklahoma now joins Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana as the only states that have publicly said they will limit how and where such couples can register for benefits, despite a recent Pentagon directive. It’s only the law, and military policy: little things which conservatives care passionately about under most non-gay circumstances. Are you still proud of your Republican party?

The US government has betrayed the internet. We need to take it backThe NSA has undermined a fundamental social contract. We engineers built the internet – and now we have to fix it.

Qotd?: Did I say ‘dart gun’?


9/18/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 247.6
Number of FEMA troops on my block closing golf courses for Agenda 21: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad is back in Portland

A reader reacts to Kalimpura — They liked it.

[info]james_nicoll is entertainingly snarky about the Clarkesworld podcast of my story, “Torquing Vacuum”

Launch Pad is on sale — The anthology benefits the Launch Pad workshop, and includes a reprint story from me.

Facebook and Twitter Are Converging The two largest social networks are becoming more similar, as they borrow each other’s features, and search for profit. The social media singularity is on the event horizon. What rough beast slouches towards the NASDAQ?

Most delicious dessert trucks in America

Bremerhaven Photos, Part II: Ships — Some very nice modern and historic ship photos from Cora Buhlert.

Straining Upwards to Hear the Cosmos

Tepco admits to reporting false radiation levels for nearly 2 years at Fukushima — Because reasons! (Via David Goldman.)

The obesity era‘The previous belief of many lay people and health professionals that obesity is simply the result of a lack of willpower and an inability to discipline eating habits is no longer defensible.’. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Fischer: It Is ‘Ignorant, Ignorant, Ignorant’ To Think Human Behavior Can Impact The Climateit is dumb, dumb, dumb; it is stupid, stupid, stupid; it is ignorant, ignorant, ignorant to think that there is anything that man can do to control the climate through human behavior.” If you want to do something about the climate,” Fischer said, “you want to do something about the weather, there is only one thing that we can do to affect climate or affect weather and that is to pray to Yahweh.” Faith certainly doesn’t have to make you stupid, but American Christianity does an excellent job of privileging willful ignorance that would be laughable in any non-faith-based context. Thank God I’m an atheist, given this is how leading Christian voices think and speak. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

US bid to name “Science Laureate” hits snag with climate denialistsConservative lobbying groups freak out, get bipartisan bill pulled. Because being conservative means never having to admit that reality trumps your proudly willful ignorance.

Police Wound Two Women In Shooting Near Times SquareCaught in the line of fire by police officers, two women were shot near crowded Times Square in Manhattan last night. The bystanders were wounded as police struggled to deal with a man who was behaving erratically. Because guns make us all safer. Those two women should be grateful for the Second Amendment rights that ensure that anyone might be carrying a firearm.

Man seeking help after North Carolina car crash shot by policeAn unarmed man who was shot dead after running toward police officers in Charlotte, North Carolina, may have been just trying to get help after crashing his car, police said. Because guns make us all safer. He should be glad he gave his life for your Second Amendment rights. I’m sure every single one of the other 30,000 people killed by firearms every year feels the same way. I know I would be proud to die for your illusion of safety.

Qotd?: Where did you wake up today?


9/15/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 246.6
Number of FEMA troops on my block closing golf courses for Agenda 21: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad will not count the cost

A reader review of my novel Mainspring

A review of my single title novella The Baby Killers

Riddick 3: You Are Not Manly Enough To Read This Review Of This Very Manly Movie — Best movie review EVAR! Go read this just for the review, regardless of whether or not you care about the film.

Google Might Need to Re-Scan Plato’s Laws — Snerk.

Little Rock school district will now make teachers wear underwear — I, um… Uh. So, what do you think the enforcement protocols will be? (Via Ellen Eades.)

Giant first world war gun on the move across southern England this weekBritain’s last surviving railway howitzer, completed too late for WWI, to make slow road journey to Hampshire artillery museum. Mmm, rail guns. (Thanks to BBB.)

Poop, there it is: New test for exotic civet coffee — Hmm. Looks like shit. Smells like shit. Tastes like shit. Good thing we didn’t brew up a cup of it.

Inside the Battle Over a Strip-Mine CemeteryA mine, a family cemetery, and a struggle over heritage and jobs.

In South Africa, a Deadly New Drug Is Made With HIV MedicationsNyaope — “crack with a sickening twist” — combines heroin, detergents, and ARVs into a lethal cocktail that’s ravaging the country’s townships. Sigh. And then there’s the concept of an “austerity drug”. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Does torture work well as an interrogation technique? — (Via David Goldman.)

Qotd?: Would you like fries with that?


9/8/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.0 hours (interrupted)
Body movement: 30 minutes (stationary bike)
Weight: 245.0
Number of FEMA troops on my block closing golf courses for Agenda 21: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad sails the wine dark sea

My standalone novella, Love in the Time of Metal and Flesh is out now from Prime Books — The Publisher’s Weekly review, which includes this statement: “The writing is graceful and sometimes even poetic, but the subject matter, which tests the bounds of the word “explicit,” will limit the novella’s audience.”

Adventures of the League of S.T.E.A.M. Season Three — Check this out. My good buddies in the League of S.T.E.A.M. are fundraising to film season three of their Web series. Think Victorian ghostbusters. Hilarious good fun, and terrific steampunk.

Alaska feline mayor Stubbs the cat suffers dog attack

5 Ways Smithsonian Uses 3-D Scanning to Open Up HistoryWhat happens when 3-D scanning is unleashed on America’s attic?

British university posts exclusive photo scans of space exploration artifacts400-megapixel hand-drawn map of the Moon’s surface? Check.

The Scarecrow might just get his wish: Scientists try to grow a brain — Huh. There may yet be hope for the GOP congressional delegation.

Jersey pensioners get letter asking if they still exist — Because reasons! (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

A Data Broker Offers a Peek Behind the Curtain — How big is your data? (Via my Dad.)

How Mechanical Turkers Crowdsourced a Huge Lexicon of Links Between Words and EmotionSentiment analysis on the social web depends on how a person’s state of mind is expressed in words. Now a new database of the links between words and emotions could provide a better foundation for this kind of analysis.

Making ‘Too Big To Fail’ Banks Help Poor Borrowers — As if. American culture always privileges capital over consumers. (Via [info]danjite.)

Jesus Is Not At All Like ThatSlacktivist Fred Clark speaks truth to the Christianist bigots who dominate the public face of the American faith community.

Syrian and Middle Eastern Christians Condemn US Strike Plans — Mooslims, damn it. They’re all Mooooooslims. Only white, Bible believing Americans are true Christians: ask any conservative.

Defying Pentagon, Texas National Guard Refuses To Process Benefits For Gay Couples — Stay classy, conservative America. It’s what you do best. And keep on going with your principled dedication to the rule of law.

Qotd?: Do tiny purple fishes run laughing through your fingers?


9/5/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minutes (stationary bike)
Weight: 245.0
Number of FEMA troops on my block closing gold courses for Agenda 21: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[personal|cancer] My bucket list

In light of my recent, widely read post titled “Special dying person wisdom” [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ], a friend asked about my bucket list. The funny thing is, I don’t really have one.

In the course of my life I have walked on the Great Wall of China, climbed down into an ancient Greek tomb, seen a lion cub nursery with the sun rising over the shoulder of Kilimanjaro, sat with baby seals, and done a thousand other fascinating things. (I feel like Roy Batty at the end of Bladerunner, talking like this.) I’ve visited about forty countries on five continents. I’ve set foot in all fifty U.S. states. I’ve eaten fabulous meals, loved glorious women, written books and stories that stirred at least a few people, spent long nights talking with close friends, and just of late, edged ever closer to the face of death while still drawing breath.

The things I still wish I could do? i.e., my bucket list? A few personal experiences I don’t care to detail here. Some small things I likely won’t be able to do: see all three movies of The Hobbit. Some large things I likely won’t be able to do: watch [info]the_child graduate from high school, see what she does with her life. Visit some places I know I’ll never get to now: Antarctica, South America, the Middle East, India. A few places I might yet get to: the United Kingdom, for example. And some things I’ll never do, even if I live to be a hundred: go into outer space, voyage to the bottom of the sea.

So, yeah. Not so much with the bucket list, simply because I’ve been filling my bucket all my life. If anything, my bucket list is to keep on living. I’ve been lucky and beyond lucky. Even now, not-so-slowly dying, most days I still remember my luck and privilege, and am grateful for them.

I have seen the world, after all, and it is us.

[links] Link salad says, “No kill I.”

Ninth Jay Lake Pre-Mortem Read-a-thonShelf Inflicted with a really good review of Kalimpura, my third Green novel.

How Changing The Way You Think About Death Can Transform The Way You Live — (Via Erika Beseda-Allen.)

Fruit Flies Aid Efforts to Develop Personalized Cancer Treatments — Because bugs! (Thanks to David Goldman.)

A Light Bridge to Nearby Stars — A must-read for SF writers. Wow.

Lightning Farm — Oh, cool.

Archeologists Discover Poison Ring From Fourteenth Century; Used to Commit High-Profile Murders

C.I.A. Acknowledges Area 51 Exists, but What About Those Little Green Men? — (Thanks to Dad.)

Letters of last resort — Wow. The options are… strange. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Shrinking Arctic Ice Will Lead to Ice-Free Summers — Those pesky “facts” and “data”. Reality as usual is biased against the conservative position.

A Conservative Catholic Now Backs Same-Sex Marriage — Just goes to show that even a religious bigot can accidentally hit on a morally just position once in a while.

NSA abuses include Stalking ex-Girlfriends — Remember, citizens. The innocent have nothing to fear.

The Real, Terrifying Reason Why British Authorities Detained David MirandaThe scariest explanation of all? That the NSA and GCHQ are just showing they don’t want to be messed with. We as a nation have long since lost our moral authority, its tattered post-Reagan remnants traded away by Bush for a mess of pottage, and never redeemed as promised by Obama. ([info]danjite.)

QotD?: What is your phaser set on?


8/24/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours stationary bike
Weight: 245.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block vaccinating children to spread autism: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad limps into the weekend

Green, by Jay Lake — A tepid review.

Review: The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirtieth Annual Collection, Gardner Dozois, ed. — Includes a nice capsule review of my multiple award-nominated novella, “The Stars Do Not Lie”.

Short Story Review Roundup: February – July 2013 — A round-up that includes a positive short review of my short story “The Speed of Time”.

Harvey Dunn on “Art for Art’s Sake”Art writing guru James Gurney on a topic which often stirs younger and newer writers to heated passion. And sometimes jaded old writers as well.

1960s KFC Commercial Is The Stuff Of Nightmares

Judge says Chubby Checker can pursue lawsuit against HP over penis-measuring app — Um… (Via [info]danjite.)

These Microscopic Balls Protect Insects From Their Own Waste — This is pretty cool nano engineering from nature. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Teleportation: Behind the Science of Quantum Computing

How to Catch a Liar on the InternetTechnology makes it easier than ever to play fast and loose with the truth—but easier than ever to get caught.

Witness to a Hanging: California’s Haunted Trees — (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

El Al Goes The Extra Miles to Bring Cancer-Stricken Girl to Camp Simcha — (Via @deirdresm.)

Mouth bacteria may trigger bowel cancer — Hoo boy. (Thanks to David Shanahan.)

Bugger: Maybe the real state secret is that spies aren’t very good at their jobs and don’t know much about the world — Odd stories about MI5. (Thanks to David Goldman.)

Surprise! There are no quick solutions to our climate problemsA focus on reducing short-lived greenhouse gas emissions only takes you so far. Gee. Ya think?

Oregon Supreme Court Upholds Portland’s Loaded Weapons Ban — A few courts in America are still sane. A few places in America still don’t want to be free-fire Second Amendment kill zones. I’m very glad I live in one of them.

Obama: GOP trying to ‘gum up’ ACA — The Republican hatred of the ACA is a combination of their irrational hatred of all things Obama (remember, the basics of the ACA were a Clinton-era GOP proposal) and their dread fear of the impact of the ACA’s eventual success on their political fortunes. I’m afraid that in this, as in so much of the rest of American culture, a minority of angry, misinformed conservatives will have the power to ruin a good thing for the rest of us.

QotD?: Got feet?


8/17/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike)
Weight: 245.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block forcing conservatives to enroll in Obamacare: 0
Currently reading: Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program by Sharon Salzberg