Jay Lake, June 6, 1964 – June 1, 2014

I was away from the internet much of yesterday but news of the passing of my dear friend and talented client, Jay Lake, reached me regardless. I always kept thinking and hoping it would be tomorrow or tomorrow or tomorrow, and never today, that there would be a world with no Jay Lake.

The first time I met Jay Lake was at Worldcon in Toronto in 2003. It sure seems like I’ve known him longer than that. We sat in the lobby of the Fairmont Royal York and talked for a really long time. The first thing he sent me to read was a draft of MAINSPRING. The first cheese he ever bought me was Sottocenere al tartufo. At the time, it was the fanciest cheese I had ever eaten. Last night, in his honor, I bought a cheese I have never tried before.

When it comes to his writing, I hardly know how to talk about it all. So, a few snapshots — I loved his story “America, Such as She Is.” The one that made me cry (on an airplane over the Atlantic) — “Little Pig, Berry Brown and the Hard Moon.” He created amazing worlds in his novels — from the clockwork earth of MAINSPRING to the exotic lands of GREEN and TRIAL OF FLOWERS. There’s a novel he told me about that was called BLACK TULIP that I really hoped he would get to write. He had so many ideas. In one of the first emails I ever wrote him, I said I thought he had a boundless imagination.

The last time I saw Jay Lake was at his home in Portland and at Orycon last November. We had a lovely dinner at Little Bird Bistro for my birthday and I was so pleased he got to try something there he’d never had before. And at another dinner that week I got to try the family recipe for momo’s.

I’m sorry we won’t be making new memories or talking about new stories, and I’ll miss him, but I’m glad for all we got to share over these years. My heart goes out to his family, especially his amazing daughter Bronwyn. Even knowing this was coming, it still arrived too quickly and too suddenly. I hope Jay finds that death really is but the next great adventure…

WFC2007-JayLake

happy release day!

Today is the release day for the new Dresden Files novel SKIN GAME by Jim Butcher!

Butcher (Cold Days) brings back wizard Harry Dresden for his 15th adventure fighting a rogue’s gallery of supernatural villains, but this time in a caper story. Harry has recently taken on the mantle of the Winter Knight, servant to Mab, the Faerie Queen of Air and Darkness, and she has a job for Harry. Mab has a debt to pay to Nicodemus Archleone, Knight of the Blackened Denarius, so she is loaning him Harry’s assistance. As holders of one of Judas’s pieces of silver imbued with a fallen angel, the Knights are very bad news. Worse for Harry is that the job Nicodemus plans is a raid on the vault of Hades, Lord of the Underworld. Dresden is no cream puff himself, but something of an amalgam of his own intelligence and cunning mixed with Harry Potter-like devotion to his friends and the cause of good. VERDICT This is urban fantasy par excellence, with magical action, moral dilemmas, and a wonderful cast. Series fans will love this, and there is enough backstory for newcomers. — Library Journal, Starred Review

winner, ARC of Jim Butcher’s SKIN GAME

Thanks to everyone for participating in the giveaway for the ARC (advance reading copy) of Jim Butcher’s SKIN GAME. It was fun to see what the trailer got people thinking. I’m debating adding up the Michael vs. Bazooka comments to see which one got the most mentions…

And the winner is… Maniah — congratulations!

As an aside, I discovered that our winner once produced a Harry Dresden pony mod — though she tells me she is currently closed to commissions. But she said it was okay to post a picture, so here it is. (click here if you want to see more)

win an ARC of Jim Butcher’s SKIN GAME

Jim Butcher’s SKIN GAME, the latest novel in the Dresden Files series, releases on May 27th. In anticipation, this authorized trailer debuted last week and now I’m giving away an advance reading copy (ARC).

To enter: Post a comment on this entry telling me what you find most intriguing in this trailer.

Only one entry per person. Domestic (US) and international entries accepted. This is for an ARC, not the hardcover edition. Contest starts now and runs until Friday, May 16th, 5pm Eastern (unless Harry doesn’t save the world this time). Winner will be randomly chosen.

happy release day!

Today is the official release day for Valour and Vanity by Mary Robinette Kowal!

After Melody’s wedding, the Ellsworths and Vincents accompany the young couple on their tour of the continent. Jane and Vincent plan to separate from the party and travel to Murano to study with glassblowers there, but their ship is set upon by Barbary corsairs while en route. It is their good fortune that they are not enslaved, but they lose everything to the pirates and arrive in Murano destitute.

Jane and Vincent are helped by a kind local they meet en route, but Vincent is determined to become self-reliant and get their money back, and hatches a plan to do so. But when so many things are not what they seem, even the best laid plans conceal a few pitfalls. The ensuing adventure is a combination of the best parts of magical fantasy and heist novels, set against a glorious Regency backdrop.

Kowal continues her creative Regency-set Glamourist Histories series with a clever, captivating plot that culminates in a magical heist storyline. Before we get there, though, we are treated to a touching examination of a loving marriage under duress and the connections and collaborations these extraordinary partners must create and reaffirm with each other and those around them in order to thrive. Combining history, magic and adventure, the book balances emotional depth with buoyant storytelling. — Kirkus Reviews