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

7 responses to “Jay Lake, June 6, 1964 – June 1, 2014

  1. Karen Junker

    I was a friend of Jay’s and the organizer of many writing workshops where he taught. I know you must feel this loss deeply — my condolences to you and to his family and many friends.

  2. Reblogged this on Shelley Adina and commented:
    Sincere condolences to Jay’s family and friends. The grandeur of his imagination was staggering and he will be missed.

  3. Very sorry for your loss. I only met Jay in person once at ArmadilloCon, though I read his blog for the past few years. He’s going to be missed by so many people.

  4. He was a phenomenal person and writer.

  5. He was my friend. And I will miss him.

  6. I wish I had heard this last night. We would have had a moment of silence, of commemoration at the NYRSF reading in NYC.
    Deep regrets here. We had numerous online conversations. He was a great correspondent.

  7. So sorry to hear of Jay’s passing. I enjoyed his stories, and admired him for his courage to continue writing and living fiercely despite anything and everything. His essay “Jumping Off the Cliff, Looking for Water on the Way Down” is an inspiration to me. Wishing him new adventures in the great beyond. May his friends, family and fans continue to find comfort in the legacy of his words.

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