May 4th, 2011


[links] Link salad gets ready to fly home to the West Coast, briefly

Subterranean Press quoting Gardner Dozois saying nice things about my novelette "A Long Walk Home"

Daring to be Imperfect by Robert V. S. Redick — This turned up in the Twitters yesterday, though I don't now recall who posted the link. Some great thoughts about craft, inspiration and perfection in genre fiction.

Feynman on Light — Via art guru James Gurney.

Nuclear Everything!Dark Roasted Blend with a review of the future that (thankfully) never was. My favorite bit of nuclear madness ever still has to be Project Orion. A launch vehicle propelled by external nuclear explosions. What could possibly go wrong!?

Hearts Beat as One in a Daring Ritual — (Thanks to my Dad.)

Why do Americans still dislike atheists? — My answer: because people who can't trust themselves without an external moral authority can't imagine trusting someone who doesn't require such.

Sexist Activists Are Sexist — The link between anti-abortion activism and rank sexism.

The Persistence of Conspiracy Theories — As recently noted to [info]ericjamesstone in an email, leftie conspiracy theories and delusions (Truthism, antivaxxers) don't get embedded in the mainstream media or the backbone of leftie politics. Rightie conspiracy theories and delusions (Birtherism, evolution denial), on the other hand, have become dominant themes in both the media and politics.

FBI Lies to Federal Court — Just in case you were feeling all warm and safe about the national security state.

Top Ten Myths about Bin Laden's Death

Pax bin Ladenis no more"The command-and-control paranoia that we see in this administration is antithetical to everything that we understand about freedom in our country," Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) declared on the Senate floor. Yo, Jimbo. You remember a little thing called 'the Bush administration'? Unitary executive? No? I didn't think so. Most Republicans have already happily forgotten that one. Look! George Soros!

?otD: Ever gotten the enhanced pat down? Would you like to?

Writing time yesterday: 2.0 hours (revisions to Kalimpura)
Body movement: 40 minute urban walk (the Vegas Strip)
Hours slept: 7.25 hours (solid)
Weight: n/a
Currently reading: Nifft the Lean by Michael Shea


[conventions|awards] Hosting the Hugos

Now it can be told...

Yesterday afternoon, Renovation, the 69th World Science Fiction Convention, announced that Ken Scholes and I will be Masters of Ceremony for the Hugo awards.

I am beyond thrilled about this, and very excited to share the honor with my great good friend [info]kenscholes. It'll be like Milk and Cheese go Hollywood!

If you're already planning to be at Reno this August, be sure to put the Hugo Awards ceremony on your schedule. If you haven't made plans yet, hopefully this will put you over the top.

I hope to see every one of you there.

For those wondering about my health, Renovation falls about four weeks after my liver surgery, and just before I resume my chemotherapy regimen. And yes, my oncologists and I planned it this way on purpose, for this very reason.


[cancer] Becoming the invisible man

Illness is a strange thing. You slowly, or sometimes rapidly, fade from view.

I think this is a combination of attempts at consideration on some people's part, and a reluctance on the part of others to confront the misfortunes that can happen to any of us at any time.

In the couple of years leading up to my initial onset of cancer in 2008, I'd been pretty busy with GoH slots, toastmastering, being an instructor at conferences and otherwise building a sidebar to my writing career as an event headliner. With all due modesty, I think I'm pretty good at it. I'm not even remotely afraid of public speaking, I approach it with a crackling energy, and I'm quite capable of getting a thousand people to sing advertising jingles or do the hokey-pokey. Not to mention bringing my deep love of the field and all you wondrous, quarrelsome people in it. Yes, even those of you who don't love me back.

Give me a live mic and I'm dangerous.

But since 2008, my invitations have dropped off then dried up, as my illness came back and came back again. I have heard both directly and indirectly, "Well, we considered asking Jay, but we knew he was sick so we didn't want to bother him." Which is incredibly frustrating.

Last year, while recuperating from lung surgery, undergoing six months of chemotherapy, experiencing both liver surgery and the recuperation from that, and a seismic shift in my personal life, I still made it to New Zealand's national convention, WorldCon in Melbourne, several regional conventions in the Pacific Northwest, and wrote a quarter million words of first draft fiction. Not to mention selling almost two dozen pieces of short fiction to markets ranging from Subterranean Online to Realms of Fantasy to

I ask you, does that sound like someone who can't participate in the field?

Yet still, I have found myself becoming more and more invisible.

It is absolutely true that with cancer and its discontents, there are periods of time when I cannot travel, or, frankly, even leave my house. But those aren't all the time by any stretch of the imagination. For my part, I'd much rather be asked and decline or defer an invitation after discussion, than be dropped from consideration in the first place.

This is why I am so very thrilled that the Renovation convention committee was thoughtful and generous in extending their invitation to me to be one of the masters of ceremony for this year's Hugo Awards. They inquired about my availability, we had a frank discussion of my health issues and treatment timelines, and I was able to accept the invitation with great joy and pleasure.

It's not just Renovation. Among others, Surrey International Writers' Conference and Viable Paradise have both been incredibly generous and supportive of my health issues. As have many, many of my colleagues, friends and fans. But this gesture of inviting me to be one of the Hugo masters of ceremony is an incredibly public way of saying, "yes, you are still one of us".

Because I will not be invisible. Neither should anyone else you know or know of who's battling illness, injury, depression, ageing — any of the things that bring us down.

One of the hardest things about cancer is the sense of fading away. I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to Renovation and everyone else who has been so supportive for remembering me, and valuing me, even in the face of this terrible illness.