Science fiction author Jay Lake

Jay Lake passed this morning, June 1 at 5:45 in the presence of family — and surrounded by the best wishes of a large portion of the science fiction community.  He was 50.

He wrote prolifically and in many formats – nine novels as well as hundreds of shorter form pieces for Postscripts, Realms of Fantasy, Interzone, Strange Horizons, Asimov’s Science Fiction, Nemonymous, and the Mammoth Book of Best New Horror. He was an editor for the “Polyphony” anthology series from Wheatland Press, and was also a contributor to the Internet Review of Science Fiction.

Lake’s illness started in his colon but progressed into his lungs and liver, resisting multiple treatment courses. The documentary Lakeside — A Year With Jay Lake following the course of his struggle had an in-progress screening at the 2013 Worldcon and will be released this year.

A fundraiser by fellow writers and fans, Acts of Whimsy raised money not for another specific treatment, but instead for Jay’s genome to be mapped.

Lake said to Jeff Baker of The Oregonian, “I’m open-sourcing my genome so that scientists and doctors as well as hobbyists and students can have access to a full human genome, which is very difficult to find right now … I haven’t been able to help myself very much so maybe I can help some other people.”

Somebody could study that and come up with something that will save the world.

“That’s exactly right. That’s why I want to give it away, so that somebody else can help save the world. If that becomes true then I have triumphed over my disease. Even if I’m not here to know it. My daughter will know. You will know. Everybody will know.”

Memorial contributions may be donated to Clayton Memorial Medical Fund c/o OSFCI P.O. Box 5703 Portland, Oregon 97228.

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Lisa M.A. Winters

Lisa M.A. Winters