Although I’ve never physically met Jay Lake, he is someone I’ve known online for a long while – maybe six years or so. I made his acquaintance by way of mutual friend, the wildly talented writer Jeff VanderMeer, and I liked him right away. The Jay I “know” has an impish sense of humor, and always has time for other people. He’s generous to a fault and loves surprising people. I once mentioned online a GIANT stuffed octopus that caught my eye on Amazon.com. A day or two went by and…well…the octopus arrived. My mysterious benefactor? The winking, smiling Jay Lake – a man somewhere between Santa Claus and “The Dude” from The Big Lebowski. Jay Lake abides, man.
That’s the Jay Lake I know.
There’s another Jay Lake, though. The Jay Lake readers know: The masterful writer of rich, exotic and sometimes erotic, fantasy fiction. The author of Green, Endurance and Kalimpura, three books about a strong-willed slave girl who becomes a master assassin. They’re inspired by Lake’s daughter, Bronwyn. He’s a good dad. Did I mention that?
The Jay Lake we know – you and I, our respective Jays…the writer, the joker, the dad – is in trouble. Our Jay Lake has been in a fight with cancer for years. It has been an on and off struggle, and one that he’s bested every time. Now it has come back, and it’s going to be a hard, hard fight. Jay’s doctors say that he has an eight percent chance of surviving. Think about that. About what it means. A daughter he may not see grow into a woman. All the books he may not get to write. The friends and family and fans left behind. Has it sunk in?
A group of filmmakers – Waterloo Productions – have been hard at work on Lakeside, a documentary about Jay. They followed him for one s0lid year from birthday to birthday, from celebration to sickness and uncertainty. Now they need a little more money to finish the job. This is an important project and one that should see the light of day. Jay’s stories are remarkable. Doesn’t his own remarkable story deserve to be shared? Can you help? Click here to check out their Kickstarter page. Watch the trailer below.