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he writes books

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.

Blog

Thu 22
Feb
2007

walkthrough reqd pls thx

Max Pleased FinMy daughter has started to want things. Until now she has only needed things. Here is the difference:

Scenario A: Fin Needs Something
Fin: “Mmmrrraaaaaa.”
Me: “It must be lunch time. Let’s get you some food.”

Scenario B: Fin Wants Something
Fin: “Book? Book?”
Me: “No book, it’s time for lunch.”
Fin: “Book? Book? Book?”
Me: “No, honey.”
Fin: “Book? Book? Book? Book? Book? Book? Book? Book?”

For a while now I have thought of raising Fin like a video game. You start off with fairly simple tasks to accomplish, to help you get a hang of the basic controls. Thereafter you encounter obstacles of steadily increasing difficulty.

The only real difference is that if you fail a level, you don’t get to go back and try it again. Instead, all of that level’s monsters follow you to the next one. Oh, and you get no power-ups.

Here are the levels I think I’ve completed so far:

Level 1: Don’t Drop Me
Level 2: Keep Me Warm But Not Too Warm
Level 3: Guess Why I’m Crying
Level 4: I Did A Poo In My Pants
Level 5: Food
Level 6: Try To Make Me Sleep
Level 7: Guess What I Just Put In My Mouth
Level 8: I Have Noticed That You Do What I Want When I Cry
Level 9: Biting Is Fun
Level 10: Am I Sick?
Level 11: I Can Reach Your Valuables
Level 12: But I Don’t Want To Wear Pants
Level 13: I Can Climb On Things To Reach Your Valuables
Level 14: No
Level 15: My Education Depends On You Signing Me Up To A Good School’s Waiting List A Year Ago

Some future levels I’m expecting:

  • Why Don’t I Have A Penis?
  • But Mom Said I Could
  • I Want A Pony
  • All The Other Girls Have Pierced Belly Buttons
  • Boys Are Cute
  • I Should Look Like The Girls In The Magazines
  • My Boyfriend Has A Car

Then of course there are the optional bonus levels, such as I’ve Decided To Go Backpacking Through Thailand, and Dad This Is My Life Partner Susan.

I think I need to read some more strategy guides before then. I believe they are called “parenting books.”

Fri 09
Feb
2007

My Brilliant Publicity Schedule

Company It’s a big couple of months for my books. Here’s what they’re up to:

  • USA & Canada

    The paperback is out March 13, and I tour two weeks later. The early word is that I’m headed to Los Angeles, Denver, Milwaukee, Madison, Chicago, Austin, Phoenix, and San Francisco. So the result of that polite discussion seems to be that Phoenix beat out Dallas, Milwaukee supplanted Boston, and LA and Madison combined to defeat Ann Arbor. I’m not saying that necessarily reflects on the inherent worth of those places. But you could certainly read it that way.

    The dates and places should be confirmed shortly, and I’ll post ‘em here.

    Also in the US & Canada, an audio version of Syrup has been released. I wonder if that’s some kind of record, a publisher coming out with an audio version nearly eight years after the book. No, probably not. In fact it wouldn’t even be close. I don’t know why I brought that up.

  • Australia & New Zealand

    I’ve spent most of the last year moaning about my publishing troubles in Australia. Because it really grates on me that in my home country I am near-completely unknown, while in the US I am near-completely unknown, but not quite so much. This has nothing to do with wanting recognition for my artistic achievements, you understand. It’s about impressing chicks. But now I have a publisher, Scribe, and they’ve been crazy busy organizing publicity ahead of the March 5th publication. Seriously, you want your publisher to be enthusiastic, but this is almost beyond that. Just today, they’ve sent me… let me check… eleven emails. I have conversations with them that go like this:

    Scribe: “Wow. Company. It’s such a great book.”
    Me: “Thanks.”
    Scribe: “I mean, seriously. I own ten copies. Not for publicity purposes. For myself.”
    Me: “Oh, that’s… keen.”
    Scribe: “Sometimes at night, I take off all my clothes and rub myself with the pages.”

    Well it wouldn’t surprise me. Anyway, the result is I’m doing a lot of Aussie media and book readings and festivals. Here’s what I have details for so far: the Como Writers Festival in Melbourne on the 17th and 18th of February, a Sydney book reading hosted by supercool comedian Wil Anderson on Friday March 16, the Sydney Writers Festival in May, and the Melbourne Writers Festival in August.

  • The Netherlands

    The Dutch Company paperback is out in March, and the publisher has produced this incredibly slick Zephyr Holdings website. It’s got desktop wallpapers and email-your-friends cartoons and everything. I have no idea what they’re about, because they’re in Dutch. But I bet they’re frickin’ hilarious.

    Unfortunately I suspect that this means Company needs to sell about a million copies or Uniboek will collapse under the weight of its outlandish web design expenditure. But fingers crossed.

    They also seem to be re-publishing Jennifer Government under the title Logoland, and synchronizing the cover with Company’s. I love synchronized covers. They make me feel collectible.

  • United Kingdom

    Still bugger all. Sorry.

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