Documentary about SF writer Jay Lake seeks crowdfunding

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.




  1. I’ll never forget the first time I got to have an involved conversation with Jay. It was Sunday morning at a Worldcon (I forget which), and we crossed paths in the lobby. We ended up joining him breakfast at the hotel restaurant, a pretty significant hit to our at the time very constrained finances (we had subsisted on free or very cheap consuite food for most of the weekend). 
    But Jay would hear none of it, and refused to let us split the cost, insisting that since he was in a more stable financial position, he would pick up the tab.

    I don’t think it was a big deal for Jay. It sure isn’t a big deal for me to pay for someone’s meal, now that I’m more financially secure. But picking up the tab for someone you barely know? It made an impression. I’ve tried to “pay it forward” as much as possible since that encounter.

    Thank you for the life lesson, Jay.

  2. Jay is one of my heroes.  Reading his blog, the daily updates about the progress of his disease, have been heartbreaking.  

    But you missed the best part.  Jay’s three tumors are named “Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld.”  Sadly, there’s also the possibility that he’s got a fourth, tentatively named “Ashcroft.”   Reading his fight with the disease has been more revelatory than anything else I’ve read in years.

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