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Jay Lake
Lake in 2004
Lake in 2004
Born Joseph Edward Lake, Jr.
(1964-06-06)June 6, 1964
Died June 1, 2014(2014-06-01) (aged 49)
Portland, Oregon, United States
Occupation Writer, product manager
Nationality American
Period Early 21st century
Genre Science fiction, fantasy
Notable awards Campbell Award for Best New Writer (2004)

Joseph Edward "Jay" Lake, Jr. (June 6, 1964 – June 1, 2014) was an American science fiction and fantasy writer. In 2003 he was a quarterly first-place winner in the Writers of the Future contest. In 2004 he won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in Science Fiction. He lived in Portland, Oregon, and worked as a product manager for a voice services company.

Lake's writings appeared in numerous publications, including Postscripts, Realms of Fantasy, Interzone, Strange Horizons, Asimov's Science Fiction, Nemonymous, and the Mammoth Book of Best New Horror. He was an editor for the "Polyphony" anthology series from Wheatland Press, and was also a contributor to The Internet Review of Science Fiction.

Personal life

Lake was born in Taipei, Taiwan; he was the eldest of three children born to Joseph Edward Lake (a U.S. foreign service officer serving in Taiwan at the time). As a child he lived in Nigeria; Dahomey (now called Benin); Canada; Washington, DC; and returned to Taiwan for a number of years when his father was posted there a second time. He attended high school at Choate Rosemary Hall (in Connecticut) and later graduated from the University of Texas in 1986.

Lake publicly revealed his advanced case of colon cancer. He was diagnosed in April 2008, and it then "progressed from a single tumor to metastatic disease affecting the lung and liver, recurring after multiple surgeries and chemotherapy courses." He used crowd funding through YouCaring to pay for whole genome sequencing, towards the "small possibility that the results of such a test...may suggest a treatment path." Lake died of the illness on June 1, 2014, just five days before his 50th birthday.

Lake is the subject of a documentary called Lakeside – A Year With Jay Lake by Waterloo Productions. The film, which follows Lake's fight against cancer, had a special work-in-progress screening August 30, 2013, at the World Science Fiction Convention in San Antonio. As of May 2014, it is in post-production and is scheduled to premier at Sasquan in Spokane Washington during the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention on August 21, 2015.

His posthumously published collection Last Plane to Heaven was honored with the 2015 Endeavour Award.

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