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…