Unabashed Fanboy is Unabashed: Go Read Jay Lake Now.
I “discovered” Jay Lake in early 2008, when I was really getting back into science fiction and I picked up Rocket Science at the Cleveland Public Library. And while his Mainspring universe trilogy has been on my to-read list for awhile – I’m actually picking up the first book in the series at the library tomorrow – I think the only other Jay Lake story I’ve read is his contribution to Metatropolis, “In the Forests of the Night.”
So, yeah: I’ve read one novel and one short story by the guy, and you can find praise and awards for his fiction all over the place, but I will tell you this: Jay Lake is one of my absolute favorite writers on the freaking planet – wet-eyed embarrassingly, goosebumpingly, throat-lumpingly good – largely because of what he produces on his daily blog.
These days, that means reading a fair amount of seriously pull-no-punches stuff about his cancer and chemotherapy, and honestly, it amazes me and inspires me and puts the occasional invisible squeeze on my lungs.
But seriously – How can you take in something like his giggle-filled day of transformation from long-locked to big-dome-bald and not just be moved and want to holler joy? Or another one of my favorite bits of late: “Tweetsnarking David Lynch’s Dune” in which Lake, “stoned on chemo,” crafts an utterly hilarious Twitter-streamed reaction while watching the 1980s sci-fi epic.
His thoughts on everything from his dreams to politics to writing to religion are just saturated with a ferocity and passion that often get my adrenaline going the way a really good song does when I’m out running. He makes me want to work harder at being a better writer, and whether he realizes it or not, tells me to get off my ass and get it done already.
Even now, part of me is wondering whether I should post this, because it’s so ridiculously fanboy and gushing, but dammit, when someone’s work moves you and gutpunches you in the best sorts of ways, then you just want to thank them and to share it. Go Read Jay Lake Now.