Friday, February 09, 2007


Now, treat this is apocryphal, because I'm quoting from memory, but the story goes that by the last 60s, Robert Silverberg had developed a reputation as a pretty gun wordage-for-hire man. If you needed 5000 words of alien invasion story with a twist ending by Tuesday, RS was your man. Critical acclaim wasn't heading his way overmuch, but you know, he was making a living and it was all good.

Then he and his wife went out for dinner one night, and came home to find they didn't have one. A fire had taken the lot, including every piece of work past, present, and future that Silverberg had in his files.

Faced with the loss of his career, Silverberg decided to treat the event as a beginning, rather than an end-- an opportunity to put his mid-level days behind him and write the kind of SF art that he'd been itching for, but had never had the space to try. From that decision came the Silverberg who wrote Thorns, and Tower of Glass, and The Book of Skulls, and well, go ahead and pick your own favourite Silverberg novel of the 70s.

So why am I telling you this? Guess where I've been for the last week. No, go on: guess.

Yup. In Why-didn't-I-back-up-my-hard-drive hell.

Booted up last Friday, ready to roll on all the stuff that needs rolling upon (except Luscious, of course. She's in Brisbane until next weekend. I'll be rolling on her when she gets back) and...... nothing.

No booting. No little Microsoft dooby-doo-doo to welcome me to my desktop. Nowt.

I've lost it all. All my files, all my music, all my writing, all my photos. Everything. The Corpse-Rat King is gone. The 80 or so short stories in progress are gone. The movie script is gone. The final edited draft of Napoleone's Land is gone. 4 years of photography, almost all gone (I've got some of Connor and some of Erin and not a lot of much else). After a week of progressively harder scouring of my disc with no success, my IT people have loaded me up a fresh hard disc, a few basic programs, and what percentage of data they did manage to save.

No, I didn't back up. Yes, I deserve the angst.

I am left with: a previous draft of Napoleone's Land that I discovered while cleaning my office this week. By my best estimates, it's 2 drafts old, minimum. But hey, at least I have it. 6 short stories I had printed out to line edit. Producer Matt's email address.

Onwards and upwards, eh?


Typical: spend a week without a computer, and everybody starts having cool days. So:

Big woohoos to Aiden, who turned 14 on the 2nd. An envelope with a ticket in it doesn't look like much of a present, but a night at the Walking With Dinosaurs Live show next week is as close to the perfect gift as we could have given him. And, you know, we got him God of War as well. I'd ask him whether he likes it, but he's too busy playing to talk.

Of course, now he's 14 we'll have to sit down and have that little talk. It's about time, too. Maybe he'll be able to tell me where babies come from....

Talking of which (oh yeah, baby, they gonna call me Mister Segue!) I'm over many moons to welcome Indigo Winter Lindsay to the circus: 4th daughter of my oldest friend Seanie and his lovely wife Terri, who joined us at 2.30 on the morning of the 8th. Remember: boys are icky, horses smell like poo, and dinosaurs rock! Now go ask Daddy for a trust fund.

Soundtrack: Get Shorty, The Soundtrack
Reading: BPRD- The Universal Machine Mignola, Arcudi & Davis


KarenEMiller said...

Hideous. Just hideous. I am in awe of your fortitude and attitude. Fingers crossed that you rise phoenix-like and triumphant.

Peter said...

As someone's who'se undergone hard-drive crashage in the last couple of months, I feel the pain.

I did find one unexpected source of back-ups in the files left in my sent e-mails folders though. If you're not terribly efficient with the dumping and cleaning out, it's possible to find all sorts things attached to outgoing messages.

Simon Haynes said...

I left a message on Lyn's blog, but if the hard drive spins up I might be able to retrieve data using the partition-reading tools in Linux. I think she said someone was already looking at it, but I'm happy to take a peek if you want me to.

Laura E. Goodin said...

Holy crap, Lee -- my sympathies!

Lee Battersby said...

Agh, well, a fair amount of it is my own fault-- no backing up and all that. Still, the actuality of it is a bitch.

Satima Flavell said...

Nicely understated, Lee. I weep for you.

Imagine me said...

Oh Lee that's dreadful. I hope some other missing bits come back.

Brian G Ross said...

Shit, Lee - what can I say? Sorry to hear that man. I'd be gutted if/when that happens to me. It has been a nightmare of mine (touch wood) for some time. Here's hopin' you get back on your feet soon.

Glori said...

Hi Lee,

Oops! I thought I'd go for the short succint & 'G' rated version of your 'adventure'. Good take on it though.

But dinosaurs are cool - how can they not be! Trying to talk to one who is consumed by new & shiny games to get review on said game - priceless ;) (went through that on Aiden's return from Korea *lol*).

Glad to see you back online & with the world of binary.

writtenwyrdd said...

If you can't get anyone else to fix it, there are rather expensive companies you can find who will recover a lot of the data. A writer friend in the same boat recovered a lot of her work that way.