Tracking down a sci fi author
November 11, 2014 9:08 PM   Subscribe

Awhile ago, I read about a science fiction author on Wikipedia. The series was not concluded when the author's notebook fell into a body of water. When he fished it out and saw that his notes for the stories and how they all interlinked had been obliterated, he lost the will to continue on with his stories as he didn't have the patience to try to reconstruct the contents of his notebook. Please help me ID this author as I intended to track his works down, but never got around to it.

I /think/ he was active in the fifties and sixties, but I'm probably wrong about that. About all I remember is that his work involved a series of interconnected stories and novels about some future incarnation of mankind. Thanks!
posted by Fukiyama to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Cordwainer Smith?
posted by the webmistress at 9:36 PM on November 11, 2014 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Key paragraph from the Cordwainer Smith Wiki article, linked by the webmistress:
For years, Cordwainer Smith had a pocket notebook which he had filled with ideas about The Instrumentality and additional stories in the series. But while in a small boat in a lake or bay in the mid 60s, he leaned over the side, and his notebook fell out of his breast pocket into the water, where it was lost forever. Another story claims that he accidentally left the notebook in a restaurant in Rhodes in 1965. With the book gone, he felt empty of ideas, and decided to start a new series which was an allegory of Mid-Eastern politics.
Sources: 1, and a note in his anthology, The Rediscovery of Man.
posted by filthy light thief at 5:36 AM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks! I know him, but I must have totally missed that when previously browsing around. I do that a lot it seems. Thanks, both of you! I must have been discounting him because I read the article about his series rather than the article about him... My brain is funny.
posted by Fukiyama at 6:42 AM on November 12, 2014

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