Computer (and Other Stuff) Update: It’s Been Found! + ARC Giveaway

So first, the good news: My computer bag — and everything in it, including the computer, books and such — has been found. Turns out I didn’t leave it in the cab, I left it on the floor of the baggage claim at Reagan National Airport. Why did I do that? Because apparently I am a complete moron, that’s why. However, airports are really good these days at collecting up unattended bags.

What makes this kind of awesome (aside from, you know, getting all my stuff back) is how the folks at Reagan National tracked me down: They used one of the Redshirts ARCs from the bag. The ARC doesn’t have my contact information on it, but it does have contact information for my former publicist at Tor — so they called her, and she contacted my current publicist, who sent me an e-mail about it. So there you have it: Being an author finally pays off. As a way of thanking the fellow at Reagan National who thought to contact my publicist, I told him to feel free to take one of the ARCs as a token of my appreciation.

My computer bag will soon be winging its way back to me, and to celebrate that fact, and to commemorate the role of the Redshirts ARC in its return, I am now going to give away two Redshirts ARCs. All you have to do is put a note in this comment thread between this very instant and noon Eastern time, Thursday, May 24, 2012 Wednesday, May 23, 2012. I will then have my daughter and wife randomly select a time between now and then, and the posts closest to those times will win (in case of a tie, the one closest before the time they specify will win). One entry per person, please.

So leave a comment! My computer is coming home! w00t!

1070 Comments on “Computer (and Other Stuff) Update: It’s Been Found! + ARC Giveaway”

  1. I’d love to get my hands on one of the ARC’s. It would honestly be one of my most prized possessions.

  2. Glad to hear that your computer and bag were found safe and sound. It’s nice to hear of someone doing something kind at an airport. I hope the employee enjoys Redshirts!

  3. Congrats! Gives me hope that the woman who accidentally walked off with my partner’s cell phone by grabbing the wrong cart in the grocery store will similarly find a way to return it to him. But he’s not an author (yet)…

  4. Yay for the finding and safe-returning of things! The Reagan International people rock. And you rock, Mr. Scalzi, for giving away free stuff. Looking forward to my copy of Redshirts. ; )

  5. Yay! Congrats on the bag getting back to you. (Although your story acted as a cautionary tale and reminder all the way through my Seattle weekend as I vigilantly policed all our electronic devices on the plane and made sure they were all packed and all bags duly gathered from every taxi. So your moments of panic and sorrow were not in vain.)

  6. The question remains, is your bag o’ swag more or less dangerous, in the long term, than some kind of improvised marketing device?

  7. Would love an ARC! (even though I am going to download the novel {LEGALLY!} today) Who says print is dead? It’s kinda hard having your favorite author sign e-books!

  8. Yay for this! So very awesome! Does this mean that Athena will be getting your new back-up computer? ;-)

  9. In an age when almost every story about airports falls in the the complaining, “what a hassle”, category, it is refreshing to read one with such a happy ending. Almost reads like fiction given that it involved a computer, something that would seem to be on the top of the list of things to quickly snatch at an airport. Kudos to the staff at the airport for being so on top of things and for being good amateur detectives! :)

  10. Does it make me any more likely to win if I offer to ship you Berger Cookies in return?

  11. Congrats. My life now exists almost entirely on my iPad; I’ve externalized so much of my memory and work thinking to it that I’d be lost without it.

  12. I would like a copy of Redshirts because I was truly concerned about your computer. I imagined it was in the possession of a conservative white male and honestly thought it would never return to you. Thank you.

  13. Yay! Glad you got your laptop back. And as it’s my birthday, I would dearly love an ARC to top off the day!

  14. Here’s to the employee at Reagan National, for use of initiative and triggering this giveaway.

    Pleased to hear you’re getting your laptop back too!

  15. Sure. I’d love one of these copies (although, I am planning on buying it anyway, but free is way nicer).. Hi Krissy! Hi Athena!

  16. Especially in an airport as busy as Reagan, it is really wonderful that your laptop bag was recovered without anything missing. What a nice way to restore faith in the kindness of strangers.

  17. This is me trying for a book, and also voicing my approval of found bags.

  18. A happy ending to a lost computer story. I’m almost surprised someone hasn’t created a “Scalzi’s Missing Computer” twitter account detailing its adventures.

  19. So glad your computer is coming home where it belongs. They don’t like feeling abandoned at airports. (Oh, yeah, and I would love one of them there ARC’s, please!)

  20. Wish I could be lucky enough to have missing items found. Can’t wait to read Redshirts and readin it via a free ARC would be even better

  21. I bet the person who found it feared the wraths of the internets (sic). Easier to go through Hades to return it to @Scalzi than to deal with that!

  22. Though I’m buying the audiobook when it comes out, having an ARC to read along with would really help me spell things correctly when I defame the book… er… review the book later. Mwuhahaha.

  23. Yay, that’s great! Just think of how much better you’ll feel when you give me a copy of your new book! :)

  24. Congrats! That is awesome and I’m truly impressed about the customer service. I’d love a copy of an ARC–but definitely buying as gifts, so don’t worry about losing money. W00t, indeed.

  25. Congratulations on getting your stuff back. Lucky they didn’t blow it up.

  26. I was just at a talk about the ways that people can use technology to track down missing laptops/phones/key drives. (For example, there’s this piece of software that will take a picture with the laptop’s camera every time the case is opened…) Love that this was a more analog solution.

  27. I’m very glad you are getting your stuff back John. I think we all know how in love you fell with your new computer last year.

  28. Glad you found your bag. Now I’m hoping for some good luck and hoping my timing is golden.

  29. Good to hear the computer is safe. ARCs are trivial by comparison.

  30. Not everybody in DC is an asshole. It’s just…*puts on sunglasses*…a majority of us.


  31. I am very glad your bag will return home safely. Leave me out of the drawing, I prefer to support my favorite authors by actually buying their books.

  32. Here is the comment you requested. I can taste the arc goodness already.

    Glad to hear you got your laptop back. Who knows what Scalzi Sekrit Projects might have been leaked onto the interwebs!

  33. Oh, crap, didn’t read the part about the little(r) lady reading this. Uh, can you change that to “thief”?

  34. I read the first four chapters so I think you’re obligated to give me the whole thing for free now. Otherwise it’s just kinda sadistic.

  35. I’m happy to hear that you are getting it all back. I’ve lost a computer at the airport (along with an entire suitcase) and know how lucky you are.

  36. Congrats on the improbable happy ending! Looking forward to the book, whether won or purchased from my local independent. I’ve enjoyed your stuff since way back in the Playstation mag days.

  37. Congratulations on not having your wayward bag detonated under controlled circumstances at the orders of wary Homeland Security officials. Although how awesome would THAT have been?

  38. I’m enjoying the sample chapters in iBooks and I’ve liked your past books, so I’ll have a go at getting an ARC.

  39. Hey, great news! I’m actually kind of surprised that an unattended bag at an international airport didn’t send the TSA folks into full-on terrorism lockdown mode. Nice that they didn’t blow your laptop up with a robot.

    And… er… can those ARCs go to people outside the US? Because if so, count this as me throwing my hat in the ring.

  40. Glad to hear that everything was intact and safely recovered. A good end to the story!

  41. Glad you got your stuff back! Wonder how many redshirts bit the dust accomplishing that feat?

  42. So exciting that they were able to track you down! Yay for good people going the extra mile!

  43. This must have been one of the most famous “lost item” cases in intarweb history. Congrats on the safe recovery of your stuff.

  44. Glad you got your bag back. My cold, dead heart didn’t think you stood a chance of getting it back.

  45. So good to hear stories about people doing the right thing! I think it happens more often than we know, but the internet is great for getting the word out. Glad you get your computer and books back (what would writers do without them!) and I’d love to win an ARC!

  46. An ARC would be lovely, but you know I’ll just buy an ebook version when that comes out if you don’t. Which may not necessarily be the best incentive for you give me one, now that I think about it. :)

  47. Congrats on getting your bag back. But since you have already replaced it, you can give me the Macbook Air, since you don’t need it anymore. :D

  48. I’m making a note here: HUGE SUCCESS. (I just finished reading the today’s transcript.)

  49. Glad to hear your laptop is being returned-any plans for an Incredible Journey/Lassie Come Home movie about your laptop’s epic journey from Wahington D.C. to a tearful reunion with its owner?

  50. Obviously this is the perfect time.

    Glad to hear there are still nice people in this world.

  51. Your new subtitle to Whatever amuses me to no end, and whoo! You got your stuff back!

  52. Glad to hear you got the computer back, and I would love to take an ARC off your hands in celebration. In return, I formally offer to bribe you with Coke Zero if we should meet again at a convention.

  53. You’re lucky you got it back in one piece. In certain regions of the world an unattended bag at an airport will get a bullet in the center to make sure it is safe. Huzzah for the safe return!

  54. I never win this kind of thing, but, you know, whatever.
    Seriously congrats on the recovery – losing electronics nowadays seems tantamount to a partial lobotomy.

  55. Glad you got everything back. Very glad they didn’t do a preventive detonation on it. (There is a fun job: checking out left luggage at airports.).

    Throwing my post in for the arc. Traveling in Europe so no idea which time you’ll use, but c’est la vie.

  56. There is nothing like locating something you thought was lost. Thanks for sharing your happiness with free awesome books!

  57. I’m playing on the Easy setting so this should be no problem for me. (sits back, waits for things to drop out of the sky into his lap)

  58. Enjoyed the sample chapters of Redshirts and would love an ARC.

  59. ME! Me, me, me, me, me, me, me!

    Pick MY time! It’s an excellent time, because it’s right NOW!

    Umm. Except later it’ll be then, before …

    But, it’s NOW, now.

    So, ME. Please?

  60. I would squee so mightily if I won a copy of Redshirts. I’m so looking forward to reading it!

  61. Oh AWESOME, so glad you’re getting the computer back and everything else in the bag!

    And um yeah also, I’d totally like one of those ARCs. ;D

  62. yay John! Now I want to be a rich and famous author so that my lost stuff will find its way home to me.

  63. Wow, there are a lot of comments already! I’d love an ARC; will end up reading it from the library, and waiting to buy it when it comes out in mmpb, budget constraints being what they are…

    That said, I am so very, very glad it was found and is being returned to you. (My life and memory are pretty much contained on my Palm Pilot, what with the cognitive function error/damage crap, so I can understand how irritating it was to not have your laptop with you.)

    Also appreciate the cautionary tale of keeping information backed up. *grin*

  64. An ARC of Redshirts might help me overcome the crippling sense of ennui I feel after finishing_Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded_.

  65. If i say i really, really, really want it would that make it the ARC of the Covet-ant?

  66. I hate losing stuff like that! Where you’re not even conscious you left it. I left my wallet in class once, just set it on the table in front of me, and once class was done I gathered up all my stuff, and left, even though it was sitting right there in plain view.

  67. It’s amazing how once. Get fixated on an idea (like I left the bag in the taxi), we stop considering other possibilities. I’ve even convinced myself that I have e memory of doing something that is later proven I couldn’t have done.

  68. But, what will happen to the poor new laptop you bought? Will it go sad and lonely and unused?

  69. I totally voted for you to get your computer back in the universe karma continuum.

  70. This is also a great illustration on why it’s always best to end relationships (professional or otherwise, but especially professional) on the best possible terms. Imagine the conversation if you’d burned bridges with your former publicist:

    “This is Reagan National Airport. We’re calling about John Scalzi?”
    “Did his plane crash?”
    “Um, no.”
    “Oh. Bored now.” *click*

    Unable to track you down, your laptop bag ends up in that giant warehouse where they keep the Ark of the Covenant and the crashed Area 51 spaceship. Fade to black. Roll credits.

    It’s all very sad.

  71. What happy news! I’m sort of surprised it didn’t get blown up, though.

    I once lost a bag- empty, but a souvenir from a trip. We couldn’t figure out where it went. Then, roughly three and a half years later, I found it at my daughters’ day care. It had apparently been used to transport something to day care when daughter #1 was a baby, and somehow fallen out of her cubby and gotten mixed with the toys. Three and a half years later, when daughter #2 joined that particular room, I saw the bag in with the toys and reclaimed it. It was such unexpected good luck, it made my week.

    I’m glad you didn’t have to wait that long.

  72. I’d love a copy, but really “Being an author finally pays off.” may be the best line I’ve read in awhile. (Clearly I need to stop reading so much work related stuff.)

  73. John, that’s all kinds of awesome. I’m very happy for you!

  74. “Winging its way back” is my Sinatra tribute band’s name! Glad you found it!

  75. So glad a story like this has a happy ending. Losing stuff is so horrible.

  76. This must have felt good ;)
    (and yes, please enter me in the ARC giveaway ;)

  77. Here’s to responsible people who GIVE things back. As opposed to the guy in my town that stole someone’s ipad (and other assorted things) who was busted when the police and rightfully disgruntled ipad owner used the Find my Ipad app. They tracked down the missing device and LO! the moron who stole it was caught red-handed while using it. Ipad returned, moron arrested.

  78. Congratulations! It must feel awesome to (soon) have your computer back!


  79. I would probably die if I lost my laptop. Also: hit me with one of those ARCs, because the four chapter preview made me want this book so, so badly.

  80. So happy to hear your computer has been found! Restores my faith in……um….airports?

  81. It’s probably a bad idea to insult you about how stupid you were for leaving behind your bag in an airport. If I don’t get the ARC, I will blame it on my own rudeness.

  82. Isn’t leaving a bag unattended some form of massive no-no? I’m surprised the bomb squad didn’t detonate it in place. Glad you’re getting it back.

  83. I’m glad your computer and all assorted items have been found and returned to you. These types of situations rarely turn out like this.

  84. You know, there’s probably a story to be written about the Adventurous Little Laptop that gets lost and has to find its way home. Something sort of halfway between The Brave Little Toaster and Incredible Journey.

  85. Great news. I hope to win if only because my boys (2 x 16 yr old) will enjoy the book as well.

  86. Glad you got everything back. Hate loosing things like that. It seems a piece of your life is gone when you loose your computer.

  87. I once dropped my iPod Classic somewhere in the DC Metro system and filed a lost-property report online. Every single person that I told about it said a version of “you’ll never get that back”, but everyone said they themselves would get it back to the person who lost it, of course. It must be tiring to live surrounded by bad people. I generally assume that people are decent and I do okay. (I did get the iPod back.)

  88. Wow! For someone who left a bag at an airport, you were lucky twice! The finders were a) honest and b) not so paranoid they blew it up, just in case it was a bomb.

    Good news, except no excuse to buy a new tablet, I guess.

  89. Very happy you got your Mac back. I’d love a copy of Redshirts. If you don’t give me one, I’ll just have to buy it.

  90. Glad you got your stuff back. Can I have some of it? Like an ARC copy, maybe?

  91. I hate losing shit. It’s like an itch you can’t scratch. I still mourn a nice hunk of rib eye steak I left behind in a restaurant 22 years ago. I can only imagine losing my MacBook. :( That being said, yay for you getting your stuff back. I loaned my OMW trilogy to my sister-in-law in Texas last month, and it arrived in the mail yesterday. So, yay for me too.

  92. It makes me feel just a little better about the world that someone tracked you down to return your bag. I’m happy you will get your stuff back!

  93. Like a few other commenters, I’m surprised they didn’t blow it up before opening it, since that seems to be the SOP around DC for unattended bags. Lucky save! I would LOVE an ARC.

  94. Dear John,

    Why not let your significant other(s) pick ALL the contest winners?

    Hopefully, they’re open to blatant pandering. You’ve been characteristically unreceptive (or unaware) in the past.

    … you could let Ghlaghghee weigh in on this too. I bet someone (else?) in your house can be bribed with bacon and praise.

  95. I’d love one please. Of course I’m going to buy it anyway – in audiobook form because my boy prefers them to paper and it’s time he reads some @scalzi.

  96. So glad you got everything back! I was hoping everything would work out. Now, here’s hoping for an ARC!

  97. Now’s the day, and now’s the hour!

    I’m glad you got your bag back.

  98. It’s the feel-good story of the day! Glad to hear your laptop is on its way home.

  99. My wife has had similar luck. She’s left her cell phone in airport shuttle vans and an airport restroom and so far had always gotten it back.

  100. Congratulations! A colleague of mine left his computer bag in the trunk of a cab. . .in Beijing. The story of How He Got His Bag Back is a bit longer, a bit more tense, but ultimately as happy-ending-y as yours, I’m pleased to say. Enjoy. Now. . .velcro that bad boy to your arm.

  101. Glad they didn’t just blow it up. A “Redshirts” ARC would be a lovely get well present for my wife, Paula.

  102. Holy mother of pearl, you are a luck person. Great news! Please, please pick me! ::hands waving:: I just pre-ordered Redshirts yesterday but I would LOVE an ARC. I just started collecting books of my favorite authors and I would really love to have this book. By the way, a big congratulations on his Nebula win. I saw the picture of him and @neilhimself. :)). PICK ME, PICK ME PICK. :)))

  103. I’m happy to hear that you soon will be reunited with your laptop!

  104. Feliz, etc. Glad all is well. It would be great to see ‘Red Shirts early!!

  105. Congrats on the good luck of getting your things back. I too want an ARC.

  106. Happy to hear this story has a happy ending. It’s always a bummer when you lose things, and it’s always wonderful when they come back.

  107. Yay for the recovery of your stuff! I’d be even happier if you’d continued to call the place National (as I’m sure I remember your doing the other day) instead of Reagan National, but one can’t have everything. Here is my entry, in any case. :-)

  108. Oh no, I fly a lot and am always terrified I’m going to leave my laptop or some other bag somewhere in an airport, I’m sorry it happened to you and am glad to hear it’s on your way safely. I always have cards from my blog in my bag, so hopefully that will help me out if ever it does get mislaid!

  109. Rah Rah Rah!! You got your stuff!
    P.S. I’ve always preferred Reagan National to Dulles:)

  110. I’m glad your bag and computer was found! The twitter suspense was palpable for a while there. Also glad that a reasonable human being with kindly inclinations found it and made the effort to contact you. Bonus. I believe you’re now obliged to pay it forward and I’ll be interested to see how that pans out. I don’t need the freebie, because I’m guaranteed to buy Redshirts when it goes to softcover anyway. Give it to someone good, though.

  111. Rejoice with me! My computer that was lost is now found! Stupid prodigal computer.

  112. And now the Acer netbook will be left out, all sad and lonely. Let’s hope he’s not planning on bricking your MBA :)

  113. I’m a bad follower, John. I just can’t find the time to read your blog every day, or even month for that matter. Sorry ’bout that. But I do buy your books, so you’ve got that going for you.

    After reading your post about Easy Mode though, I’ll try harder.

    Very glad you got your stuff back. I almost had a similar experience while putting my clothes back on after becoming closer to my fellow man (TSA). I was 10 steps away and doing the “have I got all my stuff in my pockets mini-Macarena” when I hit an empty pocket and immediately felt the blood drain from my head. Had I been pickpocketed? Did someone grab my bin from the belt? OMFG, I need that stuff!

    I then endured 10 minutes of interrogation and lecturing by the TSA. “Why did you leave that sitting there?” “Prove that’s yours.” “Do you care that you’re slowing our process down?”

    Anyway, I can completely understand leaving something behind at an airport. When you’ve got to practically disrobe and sort 5 piles of carry-on things into 4 different bins, things happen.

  114. I left a camcorder in a Beijing taxi once — wish I could’ve had your luck in getting it back! But if I win an ARC, I’ll consider it an even trade.

  115. Gratz on getting the stuff back!
    And +1 for the folks who worked to get it back to you.

    /crosses finger for winning the ARC.

  116. Good news: Your computer is winging its way home to you.

    Equally good news: Now you have an Acer netbook that you can experiment with. Perhaps you could try to put Linux on it, or Android, or Chrome OS, or something really exotic.

  117. Yay for found computers! What will you do with your temporary gadgets, then?

  118. And they didn’t even shut down the terminal for a “suspicious unattended package”

  119. You’re lucky they didn’t blow it up for being a “suspicious package”, John!

  120. Congrats in getting your stuff back! It’s amazing! I used to travel a lot and always feared losing stuff like that.

  121. I’d love a new read, and a John Scalzi book would be a great way to do that.

    Yes, I’m sucking up.

  122. So glad you got your stuff back, and an awesome reward for the guy who tracked you down.

  123. Yay! I almost left my watch behind at security once.

    The TSA agent scolded me about it, not caring that I was traveling alone with a cat. For the record, one must remove the cat from his carrier and hold it while the carrier goes thru the x-ray machine, praying that he doesn’t freak out and bolt and ruin one’s travel plans. I’m so sorry I forgot about my watch, TSA dude.

  124. Coincidentally, Wednesday is the day in my laundry cycle that I wear my red shirt.

  125. John, sir, dear host, puh-leeze do not encourage the use of “Reagan” when referring to Washington National Airport. Even The Washington Post,* which was the most influential purveyor of the “Reagan National” style (starting soon after the renaming in early 1998), uses merely “National” on second reference.

    *As mentioned in one of my replies last year, the Post’s “Reagan National” style can best be understood as the Post’s way of kissing Newt Gingrich’s butt when he was Speaker. Specifically, the House version of the bill had dropped the “Washington” entirely, which was retained in the Senate version and was ultimately preserved in the bill that reached President Clinton’s desk. That is, the use of “Reagan National” is tantamount to saying that the House version may as well have prevailed, and plays right into the hands of the political successors of Gingrich.

  126. I would love an ARC.

    And what a relief, that they’re returning your stuff. Losing my laptop is up there on the list of worst nightmares.

  127. Congrats on getting your stuff back. And thanks for the opportunity for another chance at Redshirts.

  128. Glad to hear you got all your things back. Reminds me of the time my wife got her wallet back when the woman who found it called our dentist’s office (the dentist’s business card being the only phone number in the wallet).

    Looking forward to reading the new book :)

  129. Congratulations on the findination and the imminent returnifying of your stuff! (Hey Athena and Krissy! Over here!)

  130. I’ll be seeing John in Lansing next month, and it would sure be nice to have an ARC for him to sign!

  131. I’ve already pre-ordered a copy of “Redshirts”, so I don’t NEED a copy, but boy-oh-boy would I still love to win an ARC.

  132. WOW! I love how you give stuff away so creatively – it makes not winning . . . almost like winning (except without the winning!)

  133. “[A]irports are really good these days at collecting up unattended bags.”

    I’m kind of surprised they don’t just remotely blow them up.

  134. Congratulations on the return of your computer! Our long, national nightmare is over!

  135. Love it when awesome people go the extra mile for customer service! Can’t wait for Red Shirts!

  136. Ooh…memeME…I want an ARC of Redshirts…pick me, pick me…I’m asking you with my brain!

  137. So glad you are getting your stuff back !
    And I shall keep my fingers crossed that I might get lucky with an ARC

  138. Many happy returns! (Much happy return?) Anyway, glad your lappy is back, and I’d love an ARC.

  139. Glad your bag and contents are returning to you, rather than suffering the traditional fate of a red shirt. “Well done” to the person who figured out to contact your publicist, your generosity to them, and of course, to us. Good karma makes the world such a better place.

    I’d love to win an Advance Reader’s Copy of /Red Shirts, of course.

  140. Congratulations on the safe return of your bag! I can’t wait to read Redshirts.

  141. so all you need to do to get a legal ARC copy is to steal Mr. Scalzi’s computer bag, return it, then win the ensuing contest? sounds like a plan. John better watch his computer bag.

  142. So glad they didn’t go all DHS and blow your laptop bag to smithereens for being in an airport unattended.

  143. Congratulations! Lucky they didn’t explode your bag before sending it back…

  144. Congrats! It’s always extra-great when you find something that you’ve already written off as lost.

    Also, note posted and fingers crossed!

  145. So if you were giving out an ark of Redshirts it would be kinda tragic, but an ARC of Redshirts is awesome!

  146. That is an amazingly good story. Likely only matched by the amazingly good story that is Redshirts.

  147. Yay for the laptop return! Yay for the ARCs! Yay Super Scalzi! (Am I cheering too much?)

  148. That’s great that you found your stuff. And as someone who unfortunately has to fly in a couple weeks I’m taking your tale as a cautionary example. And I would love to have an ARC for you to sign when you’re in MN this summer.

  149. Excellent news! I just got a new laptop, and leaving it somewhere like that ranks high on my Things I Shouldn’t Really Worry About But Do Anyway list. Glad to hear that it’s back.

  150. You mean the person at the lost & found desk wasn’t already a fan of your writing? Anyway, hoping to get that ARC.

  151. You’re really lucky, John. I was at BWI earlier this year and left my jacket on a chair in the terminal, which happened to have my iPod with 80g of audiobooks on it in the pocket. I realized as as soon as I started to board the plane. I turned around, and my jacket was gone. Nobody at BWI had seen it.

  152. Huzzah for “Scalizi’s MacBook Air – The Return!” Now give me a book why don’t you? :)

  153. Twas brilig and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe. All mimsy were the borogoves and the mome raths outgrabe.

  154. Considering that an unattended bag in the airport usually provokes a response similar to the that of the sock in Monsters Inc. you are very lucky to get it back. It is even more amazing that someone made an effort to track you down. Not that a copy of your book is not a great thing, but really. You just got back a thousand dollar computer. Throw the guy a C-note at least.

  155. I think I actually breathed a sigh of relief when I read the subject line to this post! So glad your bag and all the contents were returned!

  156. Yay for things that are found and returned and yay for honest people willing to put a bit of effort into finding you! I’ve had a couple such experiences myself and it does restore a tiny bit of faith in the human race.

  157. so cool you got your stuff back :-) can i please have the ARC (notice the magic word ;-) )

  158. That truly is a miracle – left my ugly but special sweater at the airport and never got it back – though someone probably just threw it in the garbage it was that ugly

  159. That’s very good news! Both for you (you’ve found the bag, etc.) and for us (give-away!!) :)

  160. I first thought it was odd that they did that, because how would they know you’re the author? But then I remembered that you wrote that you had your name all over your stuff and even I would’ve made that connection. I feel silly now. *coughs*
    Btw, I’m a bookseller, so I get to read ARC all the time which is awesome and made me discover tons of books I’d never had touched otherwise. While I love living in my country, the only downside is that I can’t get any english ARCs. Owing at least one would be great. *gg*

  161. Can’t help feeling you’re lucky they didn’t decide it was a bomb, and blow it up. :-)

  162. It is heartwarming that an airline worker went to do much effort. I am so happy for you.

  163. Impressed that your computer was returned, and even more impressed that it was still in usable condition – not disrupted by an bomb squad water jet.

  164. Hey! What an excellent development & congrats on your (hopefully) low-pain retrieval.

  165. Congratulations! How nice to hear something lost actually being returned in one piece. :)

  166. How lucky that they didn’t hose it down or smoosh it or throw it off a tall building!

  167. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  168. As much as I want a Redshirts arc (and let there be no doubt: I really, really want one), I’m equally happy your bag was found. I work for an airline, and our baggage folks are some unsung heroes doing everything they can to reunite lost possessions with their owners. Let’s face it, we only travel with the items we truly need. When those items are lost, it hurts. Glad you’re getting it back!

  169. now is the time selected. i have waited long for this moment, and victory is mine!

  170. I can’t reserve a copy at the library ahead of time, so here’s hopin!

  171. This is my entry. There are many entries, but this is mine. :)

    Glad you got your stuff back. There ARE good folks in the world! :)

  172. ‘grats on the bag! I’ll take an ARC, but I’ll probably be buying it via B&N ebook as well, so you won’t lose any money. *That’s* the kind of service you get when you deal with SFF fans!

  173. Consider this a comment worth of consideration of free stuff. Glad the bag showed up!

  174. My bologna has a first name, it’s H-O-M-E-R.
    My bologna has a second name, it’s…H-O-M-E-R!

  175. i want this but as i am leaving for the Galapgos in the morning, ARCs are not appropriate. i plan on paying a fortune for internet on the release date so i can read it to a blue footed boobie.

  176. Wonderful! I’m so glad you have your things back, and that you can let go of any leftover disappointment in humanity over it. And now you have a backup laptop! Or, given how quickly they age, an excellent incentive to offer for some future niftiness. Win/win.

  177. Good news! About the computer and ARCs. Sign me up for one of those bad boys.

  178. I would love to get a copy! I’m reading the first four chapters from Amazon and can’t wait to find out what happens afterward!

  179. Yay! And I’d love one of the ARCs.

    You’re not an idiot. You were fuddled and distracted by the very fuddling and distraction atmosphere of baggage claim.

  180. Oh! I don’t know what to write! But congratulations on getting your things back!
    I’m sure little Air appreciates getting back home.

  181. I’m delighted to hear you’re getting your bag back! Hooray for good endings!

  182. Glad to hear you got everything back.

    Think I’ll press Post Comment .. No

  183. I’m really happy and amazed you got your stuff back. Wow, you must have done something really good to promote that much positive Karma. I’d love an arc. :)

  184. Yes, please? =) Glad to hear you got your bag back. Yay for honest people! Perhaps there could be a future movie in the works…the heart-wrenching story of a wayward bag, alone in the midst of strangers, making an epic cross-country journey to be reunited with its adoring owner…wait, that’s already been done with adorable animals. Never mind.

  185. Who says there are no honest people in the World any longer? Cheers to the Reagan Airport workers.

  186. Good to hear you got your stuff back. Finally an airport employee I can support.

  187. I once left my glasses on a table in Scotland. They were mailed back to me in California.

  188. Glad you got your stuff back, and that the TSA didn’t take it for something more sinister than a laptop and some books.

    I doubt it will happen, but here’s hoping I get an ARC! ;-)

  189. I’m looking forward to listening to Wil Wheaton read it in audiobook form, but why should I turn down the opportunity for a physical copy?

  190. Always picked last on the gym team. Maybe not this time since there’s no physical exertion involved??

  191. Is the contest open to Canadians? ‘Cause if it isn’t, I’m not leaving this comment. ;)

  192. Redshirts ARC! Gimme gimme! And props to all non-strip-search-performing airport employees. That’s got to be one of the most dehumanizing places to work for people in customer service.

  193. Left my purse in a NYC cab when I was 18 & whoever found it boxed it up, Insured it, and mailed it to me in Connecticut. Considering that the insurance must have cost more than the two bucks in the purse, it made me go all Blanche Dubois & is a fond memory. Always lovely to encounter kindness and honesty.

  194. glad you found it. Would adore to have an ARC, but will purchase dead-tree version soon enough anyway!

  195. I’ll comment to win, woot! Always nice when the stuff comes home.

  196. I guess the airport using ARCs and your former publicist’s information is an argument in favor of traditional publishing, huh?

  197. Glad to hear your computer’s coming back; I’ve done similar bone-headedness myself, so I know how it feels – both to lose it, and to get it back :)

  198. Wonderful! I’m impressed — I would have thought in today’s security-conscious age, they would’ve disposed of it out-of-hand rather than looking through it to return it to the owner. Congrats on getting it back.

  199. I’ve never (yet) left a bag anywhere, but I’m hell on umbrellas and hats. None of which ever come back to me… So congrats on the return of your stuff, and thank you in advance for the ARC (she said hopefully).

  200. Insert witty comment here about security opening bags instead of blowing them to smithereens.

  201. First of all, congratulations on your things being found!

    And of course I too would love to receive an ARC!

  202. Nice to hear of your happy ending. But more importantly, I want a Redshirts ARC.

  203. There IS still good in the world! Here’s hoping your good fortune is mine as well.

  204. Now you’re going to have to take back all those bad things you said about the DC cabbies

  205. Hoping for random day/time luck! My other JS books are on loan to neighbor college boy.

  206. I’m surprised (but relieved) that they just didn’t blow up your computer bag. More and more these days, it seems to be the ‘normal’ reaction to unattended bags. Oh, and yes, please, for a Redshirts ARC! :)

  207. Happy news. Glad you got it back. Did the security person indicate there was any drama over the found bag? I was in an airport where a left-bag was reported. Security cleared the entire gate area….until a passenger traveling with a group (Asian – not fluent & missed the page) came out of the bathroom to discover her luggage had caused a stir.

  208. When I am overlord, all the ARCs will belong to me. Until such day, I must humble myself and enter this contest.

    (Manners indicate that I should offer platitudes and/or niceties about the impending return or your lost items. Consider that done.)

  209. I’m pretty impressed that the airport managed to find your bag still with all your stuff in it. That’s pretty awesome. And I’m here for an ARC, thought not for me, but instead as a gift for my sister.

  210. (I’m wondering what would have happened to the bag had it been left behind in my local airport… Tel Aviv Ben-Gurion airport, where security is always the first thought…)

  211. Homeward bound! It really is impossible for us to keep track of all of our stuff all of the time. When I attain my superpower I will be able to find any lost object.

  212. As someone who once lost an entire camera bag (equipment, undeveloped photos) simply by leaving it someone in Boston Logan back in 1998, I’m relieved you had a happier ending. (And that the airport didn’t simply blow up the bag!)

  213. Glad it came back! Poor little Mac! Consider taping a business card in your bag in the future

  214. WooT. glad to hear it. That sounds like something I would do but mine would’v been blown up by the TSA and stranded several thousand people for hours if not days.

  215. congrats, definitely know how that feels. Got my purse back like that once, kinda, sort of…

    (And yeah, glad you got you stuff back. Lost a bag on the way back from China once. Was a nightmare till I got it back. It had my sword in it>.< sadness.)

  217. Nice to hear that this story had a happy ending. And I can think of the perfect epilogue: me winning a Redshirts ARC. Thanks.

  218. Congrats on the airport staff actually being competent. The last time I lost my luggage on a trip it took them 7 days of a 14 day vacation to get my bags to me.

  219. Oh, man, I am so profoundly happy for you! We all thought, after a week, it was irretrievably gone!

  220. Luckily you didn’t leave your computer bag at Charles de Gaulle. We were all locked inside after the airport gendarmes recovered a small, abandoned valise and blew the thing up. Ka-boom. Toast. Or, more accurately, crumbs.

  221. silly computer went on an adventure and is now ready to come home. probably missed the cats.

  222. Go go smart people doing their jobs!
    (and actually a pretty darn good idea about checking the ARC)

    Oh, and I think your wife and/or daughter should seriously consider the benefits of 5:12 PM of Tuesday the 22 of May…but that’s just me…

  223. I’m thrilled your computer and everything was returned. Almost as thrilled as I would be to get an ARC copy of Redshirts. Plus this gives me an opportunity to pass on one of my favorite packing tips:

    Take one of the many adhesive address labels that you probably have sheets and sheets of laying around. Stick it on a small piece of notepaper. Write your phone number on that paper. Stick it inside one of those snack-sized ziploc bags. Now stuff that baggie in one of the pockets of your travel bag and never take it out. Repeat for every piece of carry on and checked luggage. Voila! Instant identification inside all of your bags.

  224. Trying to see how many comments it takes to destroy WordPress? Well, I’m always happy to help stress test, anyway.

  225. Congratulations on the return of stuff and I hope I’m as lucky with this comment. :)

  226. Wow! Congratulations, Scalzi. I’m really glad that airport security didn’t send in a drone and blow up your bag. That would have sucked, possibly worse than disappearing it in a cab.

  227. Congratulations on the found computer! I’m always losing things, so I know what a relief it is when you actually get them back/find them.

  228. No “US residents only” hidden away somewhere in that post? No? … Yay!

  229. So, they emailed you to say they’d found your lost computer? On which you likely check email? Hmmm. (Yes, I know you probably check mail on your phone too, but still…)
    Glad you got it back & I would love an ARC. I was so mad at myself for not wearing my Redshirts tee to the LA Times Festival of Books. I also left the huge can of whipped cream in the frig that morning. sigh. Probably shouldn’t have stayed up so late reading…

  230. getting your stuff back is cool, not as cool as giving me a book, but still cool.

  231. Is this my lucky minute?
    Seriously though; I am glad you got your stuff back. It’s nice to know there’s honest people about.

  232. When I missed my flight at Reagan airport a few years back, one of the security guards was very helpful, way more helpful than the airline agent.

  233. It’s *scary* how tied to our devices our lives have become. The relief has got to feel so good…

  234. Great story! Congrats on getting it back. Makes me feel good about the human race. Like we maybe have a chance after all.

  235. Fantastic! How awesome to get your stuff back! thanks to someone’s detecting skillz!

  236. I am glad you are getting your computer and your computer bag back as well.

  237. My whole family would be insanely jealous if I got to read this before them.

  238. Congrats on getting your stuff back plus a cool story as a bonus. In unrelated news: me me me!

  239. This is a note, inserted before the deadline. Now that I’ve inserted this note and therefore will be in the running for my Redshirts ARC, I want to know can I insert many, many notes to up my odds?

  240. So glad your bag was found! That could have been a disaster. Regardless if I get a Redshirts or not, thanks! It’s a great blog.

  241. Glad to hear you got your stuff back! And thanks for spreading the goodness.

  242. An airport which finds bags instead of losing them? I suspect they are playing a joke on you.

  243. Nice story—although if I had found your bag you may well have gotten a ransom note of pasted together letters torn from magazines demanding the sequel to The Android’s Dream!

  244. I’ll take an ARC! I just discovered you thanks to a friend’s recommendation. I haven’t even finished Old Man’s War yet, but you’re definitely going on my list of great authors.

  245. Yes, I would like an ARC of Redshirts, and yay! for the return of your bag.

  246. Just another reason I liked National Airport better than Dulles when I was living in DC!

  247. I’m glad you got your bag back; I thought there was a pretty decent chance you would. and there are a LOT of comments in this thread.

  248. That is an amazingly awesome story! Kudos to the staff at Reagan National for their detective work; way cool to see someone go out of their way to get your bag back to you.

    Can’t wait for Redshirts–ARC or no ARC!

  249. An ARC from one of my favourite authors (and one of the proffession’s outstanding role-models) would be peachy. Just sayin’

  250. That’s great news about getting your stuff back. On a side note I have been listening to Heinlein’s Starship Troopers on audio since I read an article of yours on Heinlein. Also so I can read Old mans war afterwards. I also read your Redshirts excerpt and I cannot wait for the book to come out. Cheers

  251. I’m glad this story had a happy ending! And wow, there are a ton of comments now.

  252. Congrats on the great luggage karma and being reunited with your stuff.

  253. Alas. Now future generations will never sigh over that lost Scalzi book, the only copy being on the unrecovered laptop. (Why no backup? The moron excuse is as good as any.) No one will say it was your best book EVER. No comparisons will be made with the saga of Hemingway’s lost manuscripts. But there hope. If you can lose your laptop once you can do it again. Next time don’t tell anyone you got it back.

  254. Sounds better than Hartsfields (ATL) services! Grats on the returned computer.

  255. Comment! Looking forward to reading the book (for which I am first in the reserve line at the library).

  256. I’m glad you got it back before the bomb squad had to blow up the “Suspicious Package.”

  257. I was sure the bag, itself, was destined to be a Redshirt, and never return from your Away Mission.

  258. it was cool of you to give the guy at reagan nat’l an arc. i’m sure all he’d gotten until then was yelled at….

  259. Glad the lost bag story has a happy ending!

    Speaking of endings, I’m ready to read the rest of Red Shirts. Woo – read those first four chapters again the other night and once again – BAM – where’s the rest of the story? Want!

    Thank you for being a prolific writer.

  260. 670-odd and counting comments. I guess I’m not the only person wishing for a free star trek, er, Sclazi book. Good on ya that your stuff got found.

  261. Excellent! Our cleverly-disguised-as-a-laptop agent has now successfully infiltrated the home of the most powerful man in the worl…what? What do you mean? He’s the President! Of what? Wtf is a SFWA? Wait, why does this keep writing everything I say? Stupid compu…

  262. That’s awesome about getting your stuff back! And hey, thanks for the giveaway!

  263. I want this so I can taunt all of my friends who have to wait for the book.

  264. I am pleased for you. What are you planning on doing with the extra new computer?

  265. Having lost computer stuff while traveling, I’m very glad you got yours back. Having flown into Reagan National somewhere around 300 times, (don’t ask…) I’m not surprised as the staff there have always been consistently great to me.

    So, for the ARC, I’m all in.

  266. So happy to hear you got your stuff back! :) I promise to freak out in the same fashion as Kristen Bell seeing a sloth if only you would only send me one of those ARC’s.

  267. Looks as though things have slowed down enough to somewhat increase the odds..

  268. Glad to hear that being an author finally paid off. Of course I would have thought that the whole mortgage and food thing would count as ‘paying off’ but hey it is the little perks in life that really matter.

  269. I want the arc!!! I need the arc!!! And I recognised that the fuzzy was a fuzzy in ur twitter pic!!!!! I deserve the arc!!!!! Ur books rock!!!!! PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAASSEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

  270. This sort of thing makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. So would a copy of Redshirts!

  271. Would love Redshirts! I also had a similar event with leaving a couple valuable items in an airport restaurant. And yes the airport tracked me down and I got my stuff back.

  272. I wonder if airport security thought of your bag as a threat to national security. Good thing they investigate the contents first!

  273. Glad to hear the good news John, and very much looking forward to the book release.

  274. How is 7:00 pm Central?

    Of course I never win anything.

    And on top of that, I’ve been hiked-up on medicine after some terrible muscle spasms yesterday putting on a polo shirt. Who would have thought so?

  275. Scalzi: However, airports are really good these days at collecting up unattended bags.

    Luckily your bag wasn’t making weird noises because you left the computer on and it was beeping about low battery or something. The cops might have put it in a blast bin and set off some C4 on top of it.

  276. A hundred years ago, you couldn’t have left a computer in an airport. It would have been a book at a train station, and it would have taken months to track you down via the U.S. Mail.

  277. …Possibly you would have left a three-volume novel in a handbag in the train station. (With a baby named Ernest in it.)

    (Also: Pick me, pick me!)

  278. Congratulations on getting your stuff back. Even if you have replaced a lot of the more urgent needs, it’s still a good thing to have the originals back.

  279. Had a pocketknife confiscated once by airport security… But the guy later mailed it to my house. Sometimes it’s nice to have our faith in each other restored.

  280. By leaving your bag in the terminal, did you create a Possible Terrorist Scare?

    OK, now that I’ve insulted you: please pick this comment.

  281. Entering the contest! Would be nice if the mobile version of the website didn’t automatically capitalise the first letter of the email address field.

  282. Woo! and Hoo!
    Now that you’re getting your Mac back, I could take the Acer off your hands… :)
    Sure hope I chose to post this at the right time… :)

  283. You must have very good karma to get your computer bag back. Congrats!! Thanks for chance to get ARC.

  284. I shall defy all odds and be declared the victor! Or one of them anyway.


  285. Glad to hear that your bag is coming home. Would love to have one of the ARC’s — might even send it to my Dad after I devoured myself.

    Good on ya, John!


  286. A Redshirts ARC would be awsome. Glad to hear you got your stuff back. Also glad to not hear about Reagan being shutdown for an unattended bag!

  287. Congrats on getting your stuff back! It’s a shame that nowadays it seems like a surprise when something nice happens…

  288. I think you’re just luck they didn’t detonate the bag on the spot… also, there’s not many book shops in my part of the world that sell your work, so a win for me would awesome :^)

  289. Now seems as good a time as any to say “Yay! You got your compy back!” So, without further ado: Yay! You got your compy back!

  290. Yay for airport employees (and how often do you get to say that?)! Hope I can get an ARC even if I didn’t do something cool like track you down from just a copy of it.

  291. Time is money, never more prophetic than right NOW being the right time to win.

  292. A friend of mine recommended you. Told me I should be reading your blog and your books. She was right. I’m late joining your fanbase, but I’m here now. I’m really looking forward to Worldcon and sincerely hope you win that Hugo. You should because I was thinking of voting for you at least once or twice. Yeah, I used to live in Chicago. How did you guess?

  293. No time like the present. Except for all the other times but we don’t talk about them. Splitters….

  294. Congratulations. It’s awesome someone took the time to find you and it must be really nice to have your stuff back.

  295. Better luck than I had the last time we lost something in the airport. I’m glad someone honest, and diligent found your computer.

  296. On the one hand, the story would’ve been funnier/more-interesting if they’d found your bag, then blew it up as a threat to national security.

    On the other hand, the funnier and more interesting version would still cost you all the stuff in your bag, so I’m glad that the story involved ARC sleuthing and not explosions.

  297. I’m so happy for you, John! I’ve been hoping you would get your stuff back.

  298. See, I told you you would send me a copy before it’s over. I mean let’s face it, why wouldn’t the lovely ladies choose this time? I mean it’s just obvious, isn’t it?

  299. I love stories like this! It’s awesome to see people being trustworthy!

  300. That’s a pretty great roundabout way to get your stuff back.

  301. I did not expect this story to have a happy ending. Glad to see I was wrong.

  302. Glad you got your stuff back. I’d really feel sick if I left my computer somewhere.

  303. I’m glad you’re getting your stuff back. I’d miss the Macbook Air too….

  304. When laptops and bookbags go missing
    they’re met with much booing and hissing;
    when news gets around
    that the stuff has been found,
    it’s met with rejoicing (and kissing!)

    (Couldn’t resist. Glad the stuff showed!)

  305. We once had someone visiting us who’d accidentally grabbed the wrong laptop off the X-ray conveyer belt coming through security. There were no identifying marks on the laptop, and it was password-protected, but we managed to get into the filesystem using a Linux boot CD (that trick won’t work with MacBook Airs, I’m afraid), and then found a resume in the Documents folder that had the owner’s name and contact information.

    The owner, meanwhile. had picked up our visitors laptop off the belt and turned it into airport security, who were keeping it nice and safe. Our visitor arranged to pick it up, and give the misapprehended laptop back to its owner, upon landing from their return flight home.

    I’m glad you got your stuff back as well.

  306. YAY!!! I was unrealistically sad about the loss of the Mac Air. Made me want to give my Mac Pro a little hug.