Jay Lake -- friend, science fiction writer, dad -- has cancer. It's gone into remission, it's recurred. His prognosis isn't good. He's working with a documentary team to produce a film about his life, his work, his family, and his cancer. It started as a triumphant movie about how he beat the disease, and now it's a nailbiter about his recurrence. Taking the time to make this is an extraordinarily generous thing for Jay to do with his very precious time. The filmmakers and Jay are crowdfunding the continued production on Kickstarter, seeking $18,600 to finish filming and post-production.
Then, as we were filming, life happened. It started with a call that Jay's mom, Sarah, needed to be rushed to the emergency room. She was suffering symptoms that mirrored Jay's initial presentation of colon cancer.
The entire production changed tone as we were reminded that these are real people and that life doesn't always follow the script.
Jay's fear and guilt, as if he had somehow doomed his mother to a fate like his, was raw and emotional.After that incident, the energy of the film changed. We could all sense that there was more bad news to come before we would finish filming.
In August, the devastating news came. Jay's cancer had returned and three aggressive tumors were devouring his liver.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.