A beautifully told story with colorful characters out of epic tradition, a tight and complex plot, and solid pacing. -- Booklist, starred review of On the Razor's Edge

Great writing, vivid scenarios, and thoughtful commentary ... the stories will linger after the last page is turned. -- Publisher's Weekly, on Captive Dreams

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Having discovered two copies of the novel-in-progress resident on the Machine, I deleted one and emptied the trash.  It turned out I misread the date, and I now have a copy of the file as of Jan 10; nearly a month's work down the memory hole.  There's supposed to be a resident back up somewhere, but I haven't found it yet.  That will teach me to do such things at 11PM

The hard back-up from the auxiliary drive is the aforesaid Jan 10 copy; so it could have been worse: 4000 words instead of 48,000.  It's supposed to back up automatically, but sometimes I forget to unlock the drive.  Okay, a lot of time I forget to unlock the drive. 

Perhaps rewriting from scratch will work out for the best; but I hate the idea of replicating all the en passant research on 1960s Milwaukee.  I had renamed a character, and altered the chapter structure, brought the narrative up through Feb 1967.  Read through on-line copies of the Milwaukee Journal to get the skinny on various background events.  Found specifics on the various chansons de geste, including document numbers and repostitories.  Ach, du lieber Zeit! 

Yes, I know.  I should have been more Christ-like.  Jesus saves. 


  1. Don't worry, someone will write an alternate history tale much like Haldeman's Hemingway Hoax when future generations wonder about the three time Hugo and Nebula award winning author's novel that was lost in a moment of haste. Perhaps The Flynn Folly?

  2. I fill my hard drive with multiple copies of files as each increment becomes a new filename. Finding something on my system would require one of Vinge's programmer-archaeologists.

  3. With the cost of online backups often less than local backups (while being more reliable), they are worth considering.

    "There are 3 simple ways to recover your files from Carbonite:
    1. If you accidentally delete a file or folder...
    It will remain in your backup for 30 days before being deleted from our servers. During this time, you can recover it right from your desktop using the Carbonite application. It’s as easy as finding the file(s) or folder(s) in the list of backed up files and clicking "Restore.""

  4. It might be worth trying to recover the file first. There are several tools for doing that, these sites may help you out:

  5. What @Ignorance said.

    Stop using the machine (which can generate new files, which can overwrite "spare" sectors of the disk which might contain fragments of your novel.

    Try a recovery ASAP.

    Best of luck.

    (And this reminds me: I've made enough changes between v0.1 of my novel (Which is archived on a separate machine) and the current in-progress v0.2 that I should take steps to back it up.)

  6. You're a good man for keeping a sense of humor about it, I felt your pain but laughed at the last line.

    I'd second the recommendation for Carbonite, it's simple to use, automatic and fairly inexpensive. Your backup is saved "in the clouds" online so you'd be backed up even if your whole neighborhood went up in flames.


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