One of the best times I ever had as a panelist at a sci fi con was a few years ago at Foolscap when I was sitting between Peter David and Jay Lake discussing Archetypes and Stock Characters (Quick side note: one of the things I love about the sci fi con community in general and Foolscap in particular is that extremely small-time writers like myself get to work with award-winning authors like Peter and Jay).
I had been on panels with Jay before. He was great at pulling the audience into the conversation. He always seemed to know obscure but interesting information about the topic at hand. And he always made you laugh.
I had seen Peter on panels. His enthusiasm and insanely fast wit were invigorating.
Being on a panel with both of them? It was as if one moment I was attending my favorite relaxicon, then I blinked and found myself waterskiing in the middle of the ocean, except it wasn’t a boat pulling me, it was a pair of fighter jets.
Fortunately it was a topic I was passionate about, so I jumped in and tried to keep up. And as I said, it was one of my favorite hours ever at a con.
Unfortunately, currently, both Peter and Jay are struggling against serious medical conditions.
Jay has been fighting cancer for nearly five years. He’s survived multiple surgeries and is undergoing his fourth round of chemotherapy. Doctors have nearly exhausted all conventional treatment options, and now Jay’s only hope of living long enough to see his daughter graduate from high school is an experimental one. Click here for details about the experimental procedure. You may also donate to help with Jay’s medical treatment at that page.
Peter suffered a stroke in December while on vacation with his family. While he has medical insurance, there are always co-pays and other uncovered expenses. His family is not asking for donations, but rather suggest that people who want to help can purchase some of his (very reasonably priced) ebooks. Read this post for more information on how to help.
Happy endings are never guaranteed, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try for them.