Three things I would not be good at

I was just thinking today and realizing that some things people know how to do and I have no idea where to start.

1) Buying drugs. I mean, I am pretty sure I know people who know people.* But if I really wanted to get down and dirty with some illegal substances, I wouldn’t have the foggiest idea where to look, and I’d probably be stupid enough to put it on Facebook- HEY, ANYONE KNOW WHERE I CAN SCORE SOME POT? And then the Durham Police Department will debate whether they want to highly publicize the entrapment of a 40 year old suburban mom who just wants to get high. **

2) Lawyering up. I read the internets, I know that if a police officer wants to talk to you, it’s really best to have a lawyer present. Even if you’re not under arrest. The only problem is how do you find a defense attorney? I mean, on television (and everyone knows that is real) people always talk about their lawyer like their dentist, or even a close friend. Someone whose number they have on hand, and the lawyer is just waiting at the starting line for the gun to go off so they can run to rescue you, briefcase in hand. Only, the only lawyers I’ve worked with have been real estate and estate lawyers. We bought a house and made wills. I don’t think my last will and testament lawyer is going to come running if I get arrested. I interviewed some IP lawyers but I don’t think they count either. ***

3) Baking bread. Although I am aware this is something that can be learned, with practice.


 

*I do not want drugs. This is hypothetical.
**I am aware that this is how the television show Breaking Bad starts out.
***Still hypothetical. I do not need a lawyer.

Women are destroying science fiction. Resistance is useless.

WDSFLightspeed magazine decided last year to do a magazine of SF created entirely by women. Some bigots in the industry believe that we are ruining the genre with our icky fallopian tubes and our breast milk spraying everywhere and should just sit down and shut up. So, we have decided to let their prophecy come to pass. We have decided to completely destroy science fiction.

Guest edited by the amazing Christie Yant, this month’s magazine has many more stories as usual (from Seanan McGuire! Charlie Jane Anders! James Tiptree, Jr! NK Jemisin! Amal El-Mohtar! Nonfic from Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam! And more more more!) , over 180,000 words of content, and twice as many stories podcasted as usual, and that’s where I have the honor of coming in. I am the guest host of this month’s podcasts, taking over from Jim Freund. So if you miss my intros from Escape Pod and Pseudopod, this is where you can find me for a month at least, introducing some amazing stories.

You can find out how to get the magazine – and its unprecedented print copy! – at Lightspeed’s website where you can subscribe, get the podcast, or leave a comment about how icky girls are getting their cooties all over your space ships. But we’re coming.

Resistance is useless Vogon(And I kept waiting for someone to “well, actually” me and say the phrase is “resistance is futile” and then I would point out that I was quoting Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – I love the Vogon guard, who knows exactly what he wants out of life – and not Star Trek, but then no one, did, and my defense went pffffftttt. But I do have this neat image from the classic BBC series.

 

Jay Lake

Jay Lake passed this morning. When I think about him, I remember him as strong, kind, and welcoming. And those seem like mild words, but Jay was the epitome of all three, unlike anyone I’ve ever met.

Jay wouldn’t say he was strong against his cancer, he was the first to say he was angry and frightened. But he was strong in the way that he didn’t hide it, he didn’t deny it, and he was open about what it did to him. He blogged about his cancer, he revealed much of the mystery behind it, and the treatments, and he was totally honest. He never put hope into miracles; he had hope, of course, but when the science told him he was terminal, he accepted it and put his affairs in order making sure his daughter was taken care of. (I had a relative who denied cancer for months and the family scrambled to get things done when the end was obvious. This was difficult.) He even threw his own wake to say good bye to friends last summer.

He also fiercely protected his daughter’s privacy, wanting her life online to be hers, not an extension of him. He blogged about his politics and his atheism with equal strength, never getting shouty and personal, but always presenting his arguments clearly.

Jay was always kind to me, he gave me an interview at my first WorldCon, and always said hello. He always welcomed people into SFF; I heard twice today on Twitter that new(ish) writers said they had met Jay, and he had remembered them the next time they met, even though they didn’t expect him to. Writers meet a lot of people at cons, after all, but Jay would likely remember you.

The day after the Hugo awards last year, he made a point to talk to me and tell me that he was in charge of caring for/keeping track of the Campbell tiara. He told me that, in addition to me winning the award, he was passing that responsibility to me, since he thought I was passionate enough about the award to make sure the tiara tradition continued. I nearly cried right there.

One of the biggest thrills of my life was receiving the Campbell Award from Jay and his daughter, and then getting a picture with them afterward. Jay is well loved and will be missed.

lake_campbell

Jay Lake, me, and Jay’s daughter after the Hugo ceremony – Photo © 2013 James J. Seals, all rights reserved. Reproduced with permission.