has hidden shallows

Max Barry wrote the novels Syrup, Jennifer Government, Company, Machine Man, and Lexicon. He also created the game NationStates and once found a sock full of pennies.


Wed 23

I’m just sayin’

Jennifer Government A riot outside a shoe store as customers fight each other for limited-edition Nike sneakers worth $1,000 a pair? Who’d a thunk it?


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Machine Man subscriber Max

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Quote: "I'm my number one fan!"
Posted: 4173 days ago

Thanks to Adam J. O'Donnell for sending me the article!

Scott (#354)

Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Quote: "Max Barry tastes like awesome"
Posted: 4173 days ago

Next step. World Domination... Scott Nike though. That doesn't sound too bad.

Justin Holt (#147)

Location: Rochester, NY
Quote: ""
Posted: 4173 days ago

That would have been some great publicity if the reporter would have mentioned Jennifer Government in the article...

Machine Man subscriber Bushra (#36)

Location: Fremont, California
Quote: ""
Posted: 4173 days ago

I think someone at Nike read Jennifer Government as a 'How-To' book for their business. Make them pay you!

Carina (#1033)

Posted: 4173 days ago

"Sneakerheads"? No kidding--"sneakerheads"??

Those poor sad pathetic people.

Medopine (#1089)

Location: Michigan
Quote: "War is peace"
Posted: 4173 days ago

Jennifer Government was the first thing I thought of when I read this today - way too surreal.

Seppuku (Dont call me Chris) (#1056)

Location: Maryland
Quote: "I may have failed you as your hero, but I will triumph as your conquerer."
Posted: 4173 days ago


That's freaking scary.

Cogitation (#836)

Location: New York City
Quote: "Think about it for a moment."
Posted: 4173 days ago

"I think someone at Nike read Jennifer Government as a 'How-To' book for their business. Make them pay you!" --Bushra

If Nike starts shooting people, then wouldn't Max's getting paid for the idea make him an accomplice? :p

Goobergunch (#606)

Location: Pennsylvania
Quote: "IVMB?"
Posted: 4173 days ago

Maybe this scheme could work if intellectual property law is more strongly internationally enforced than, uh, murder laws? ;P

TuesdayHeights (#1090)

Location: Lancaster, Pa. (USA)
Quote: "I can resist everything except temptation."
Posted: 4173 days ago

Wow. What a trip... and I always knew truth was stranger than fiction.

Kevin Gamin (#762)

Location: Medina, Ohio, USA
Quote: ""Give me all you've got then crescendo!!!""
Posted: 4173 days ago

They weren't even Air Jordans. I would think MJ would be pissed.

shabooty (#637)

Location: D.C./V.A/M.D.
Quote: "I will shake your foundation. I will shake the f**cking rafters. Nobody'll be the same -Danny Bonaduce ....& go visit my blog @:"
Posted: 4173 days ago

That shoe better have a replica of Mariah Carey's vagina inside it (NY motif) for me to go through all of THAT trouble...

EM3 USN (#821)

Location: navstanorva (naval station norfolk, norfolk, va)
Posted: 4173 days ago

hmm... so life is imataiting art for once

Loki (#1015)

Location: Maryland
Quote: "I (heart) XY"
Posted: 4173 days ago

creepy spooky

John Morris (#346)

Location: Penn Valley
Quote: "to be or not to be"
Posted: 4172 days ago


Since you predicted that Nike would try to sell a shoe for marketing and general evilness. Do you have any predictions for the Oscars or some college basketballs games? I’m in college and I really need beer money.


Machine Man subscriber Bushra (#36)

Location: Fremont, California
Quote: ""
Posted: 4172 days ago

Cogitation, point well made. I humbly withdraw my suggestion :)

Matthew (#16)

Location: Columbus, Ohio
Quote: "Unicorn on mountain top. Wind blowing through mane."
Posted: 4172 days ago

Max Barry > Jules Verne.

Dan (#579)

Location: Shanghai, China
Quote: ""Scio me nihil scire.""
Posted: 4172 days ago

Dawg;; Dats S000 co0l! No seriously, it is. Like a euphemism.. well sort of

Dinko Hristov (#1065)

Location: Darwin, Australia
Quote: """No one is fool enough to choose War over Peace. In Peace sons bury fathers, but in War fathers bury sons."- Herodotus"
Posted: 4171 days ago

Now that's just scary, Max. What's next? The people from Nike's Marketing Department popping those poor fools off in order to resell the sneakers at an even higher price??? The power of Marketing. Long Live Capitalism! Oh Yay!!

The Voice of Reason (#1103)

Location: Earth
Posted: 4171 days ago

Now, I don't want to burst everybody's bubble, but this is nothing new. Ever since the Michael Jordans came out in the 1980s, this whole sneaker thing has been going why is everybody acting like Max is some sort of prophet? Taking items from the (old) news and fashioning a story around it isn't creative genius, people. Does anybody remember those insufferable Beanie Babies? Their whole marketing plan was based on this limited release stuff. 15 years ago. Sure, Max knows a lot about marketing - I would hope so, he got a degree in it. But pointing out the obvious is not much of a trick. It's not even good fiction writing.

It's more like shooting fish in a barrel.

Machine Man subscriber Max

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Quote: "I'm my number one fan!"
Posted: 4171 days ago

Death to the unbeliever!

Scott (#354)

Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Quote: "Max Barry tastes like awesome"
Posted: 4171 days ago

Burn him! Burn him! He's a witch!

Matthew (#1108)

Location: Midwest USA
Quote: "Please don't tell my boss I'm on the Internet."
Posted: 4170 days ago

That's amazing.

Max, you should be milking these stories. Every time this kind of thing happens you should jump in front of a camera at one of those morning shows and scream "I told you so!"

Yenzo (#829)

Location: Secret underwater pyramid base in the Pacific
Quote: "In order to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe (Carl Sagan)"
Posted: 4169 days ago

Remember that guy who saw a plan about a really big ship that was about to be built and called Titanic and then he wrote a novel about how that ship rams an iceberg and everybody dies?

That's a true story and every now and then you see it on some kind of "Believe it or not" show.

This post has some kind of point, but I must've forgotten it...

J.R. Floriani (#758)

Location: Las Vegas, NV
Quote: "Did you ever walk into a room and forget why you walked in? I think that's how dogs spend their lives."
Posted: 4167 days ago

You know Max, I couldn't help but think to myself after reading Nike's "ingenious" marketing plan that it REALLY was a great plan. I guess they figure people get beat up everyday, why not get paid for it? Curious to find out if they made any official statement about the incident.

Super (#600)

Location: The Netherlands
Quote: "I'm not deaf I'm just ignoring you!"
Posted: 4164 days ago

Dear Max,

Thanks again for this great idea. Obviously we had to wait a moment before really brining your marketing ideas into practice. Now, we finally took the risk and went for it, and as you've seen, we selling like hell. Do you have anything new for the new upcoming sneaker line?

Hope to hear from you soon,
Signed, John Nike.

Ps, are there any of these splendid ideas in Company?

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