April 4th, 2013


[links] Link salad remembers his hat tilted forward, his glasses folded in his vest

A Personal Statement from Iain Banks — Ah, me.

Hugo Nomination Reactions or Why the Fuck is this Controversial? — Cora Buhlert with a roundup.

The Heinlein Maneuver — Bob Heinlein helps out Ted Sturgeon. (Via [info]danjite.)

Calvin and Hobbes on publishing — Hahahah.

In In Defense Of Slave Leia — Hah! I like this, a lot. (Via [info]rekre8.)

To Bully or Not to Bully: Using Shakespeare in Schools to Address Violence

Device Finds Stray Cancer Cells in Patients’ BloodA microfluidic device that captures circulating tumor cells could give doctors a noninvasive way to diagnose and track cancers. Yeah, well, that would be me, wouldn't it?

Quantum encryption keys obtained from a moving planeA technical demonstration shows that an exchange with satellites is possible.

Your Next Smartphone Screen May Be Made of Sapphire — Wait, what? Isn't it diamonds that are forever?

Nature’s Drone, Pretty and Deadly — Mmm. dragonflies.

Shark-Teeth Weapons Show Lost Species in Pacific Islands

Clouds Contributed to Record Greenland Ice Melt — That's science for you. Ideologues such as climate change denialists make up their minds then look for supporting evidence. Science looks for evidence, then keeps looking without ever quite making up its mind.

Sea Ice Max Continues Downward TrendIn September 2012, the ice cap over the Arctic Ocean shrank to its lowest extent on record, about half the size of the average summertime extent from 1979 to 2000. That sea ice minimum continued a long-term trend of diminishing ice cover over the past few decades. It's a damned good thing we have Rush Limbaugh and the Republican Party to keep us straight on the climate change hoax, regardless of those liberally-biased "facts" and "data". Otherwise we might have to do something about this.

Proposal would allow state religion in North Carolina — Illogical, unconstitutional and unpatriotic. Not to mention bad policy. It must be another conservative idea!

Report: States With Weak Gun Laws Suffer Highest Level Of Gun Violence — That would be more of those liberally-biased "facts" and "data", which conflict with the gun culture narrative. Too bad for people like me who don't want to get shot.

Congresswoman Gets Death Threats Over Gun Control Bill — Ah, yes, the rational and measured social conscience of conservatives in the gun culture once more presents itself as a reason why we should listen to those deadly nitwits.

Palin’s SarahPAC Embarrassment: Consultants Are Cashing InThe ex-governor and VP pick railed against political consultants at CPAC. But her latest FEC filings show they took millions of dollars from her in the last election cycle. Luckily for Palin, the "real Americans" who are her resentful, frightened base don't expect intellectual consistency or honesty. That='s one big advantage politicians outside the reality-based community have.

QotD?: Does he seem like the kind of man who beats his horses?

Writing time yesterday: 1.25 hours (reviewing existing material on Original Destiny, Manifest Sin)
Hours slept: 6.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike)
Weight: 244.0
Number of FEMA troops on my block enforcing Agenda 21 by closing down golf courses: 0
Currently reading: Maskerade by Terry Pratchett


[photos] Your Thursday moment of zen

Your Thursday moment of zen.


One of the upstairs bathtubs in the house of my late grandparents Lake, now a B&B in Gainesville, TX. This would be where the infamous "rain of teeth" happened, for those of you who happen to have heard me tell that story. Photo © 2007, 2013, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

Creative Commons License

This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.


[cancer|writing] A curious intersection of cancer and my experience of story

Something's been going for a while in my life, the past two years or more, which has intensified since my cancer took a turn for the much worse this past January. The emotional stresses of cancer have inflected my experience of story.

When I'm watching a movie, reading a book or a piece of short fiction, or even when I am writing a story, I have a lot of trouble with endings. Doesn't matter what the internal context of the ending is: happy, sad, bleak, uplifting, whatever. That moment of satori that comes even at the end of mediocre fiction has become an emotional trigger for me. I tear up at the end of everything. Even songs. Often I start to cry.

It's the fact of the ending.

Prior to the cancer, I could count on the fingers of one hand the number of times in my life a book or movie had made me cry. The first time I read The Left Hand of Darkness is the only one I can recall off the top of my head. But now? Endings. It's all about the endings. Even silly ones.

I suppose this is because I'm so attuned to story. My writer brain processes and parses endings very carefully. We as writers talk a lot about how endings work. The ending should be implicit in the beginning. The ending should provide both resolution and validation. The ending should offer closure. Endings, endings, endings. Without them, we don't have books or stories, we only have narrative fragments.

Cancer has transformed my life from an ongoing narrative fragment to something with a clear-cut and impending ending. In my case, one that is not implicit in the beginning, though I am working hard to provide both resolution and validation, not to mention closure. I have more purpose now that I am on the verge of dying than ever had when I was simply living as if I might go on forever and death was something that happened to other people.

And that influences my experience of story. Truth be told, I'm not terribly happy about this.


[travel|events] Forthcoming travel and event schedule

Mostly just to have it out there, but also to give people who might want to catch up with me the chance to know where I'll be, here's my forthcoming travel and event schedule. As always, this is health permitting, though I should be clear through May regardless. I haven't made plans past June except tentatively for Worldcon due to the significant uncertainly of my cancer status going forward.

April 10th-14thParadise Lost, San Antonio, TX (Instructor emeritus)
Week of April 22ndProbably in Grand Rapids, MI a day or two for Day Jobbery, details TBA
May 2nd-May 6thGaslight Gathering, San Diego, CA (Guest of Honor)
May 17th-May 18thNebula Awards Weekend, San Jose, CA (Nebula Award nominee)
May 19th-May 26thRio Hondo Retreat, Taos Ski Valley, NM
June 1st-June 7thDay Jobbery, Omaha, NE
June 15thJayCon XIII, Portland, OR
June 28th-June 30thLocus Awards, Seattle, WA
August 29th-September 3rdLoneStarCon 3, San Antonio, TX (Hugo Award nominee and Campbell Award co-presenter)

In most of these cases, I'll either be at a public event, or host an open dinner. Watch for announcements.