MaxBarry.com
not dead yet

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

Fri 13
May
2005

Retrospective #5: Fear my vigilantes

Max Whoa! That blog about my newest arch-nemesis (why stop at one?), Todd Bunker, got quite a reaction. First a lot of people left comments supporting me, which was really nice and quite touching. I did notice a few said some pretty mean things about Todd… but no, you’re right, he deserved it. Then I saw a bunch of people had stampeded onto the site that hosted Todd’s article to rake him over the coals. And some copied me in on e-mails to Todd, pointing out (in some detail) glaring deficiencies in his character.

Now, I had been thinking about writing a blog about The Worst Review I Ever Got—one that makes Todd Bunker’s seem like drooling praise—but now I’m worried that if I do, people will hunt the guy down, smash his car windows, and kidnap his pets.

So, moving on. For a while there I had a metablog: in late March, a guy called Adam left the comment:

Max Barry has inspired me to start my own blog, and since I don’t have a website, I will start writing on the comments of max barry’s blogs. It will pobably be really boring and have a lot of grammatical errors because I am not a professional writer.

But it wasn’t! I was enthralled with whether Adam would ask Jennifer to the prom, and what would happen to his simmering rivalry with Eric, even if this was all clearly fictional. And damn, he made some good points: why isn’t 2% milk called 98% milk? Unfortunately, Adam seemed to lose enthusiasm in April, and then he stopped posting. So my metablog is no more: I’m back to just a regular blog.

Speaking of comments: a couple of people asked about the apparently redundant “A Novel” that appears on the cover of Company. Well, here’s the answer, straight from my editor:

That’s so bookstore clerks don’t throw the book in with WHO MOVED MY CHEESE?

So there you go. Apparently Doubleday is also debating how exactly to “glaze” the donut on the cover! Although:

the scratch n sniff idea was deemed too expensive

Oh well. You can probably get the same effect by purchasing a real donut and smearing it all over the book. If you really want to, I mean.

Comments

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Rob2Kx (#1125)

Location: Canada
Quote: "Anything for laughs even if it kills you"
Posted: 5124 days ago

First

Rob2Kx (#1125)

Location: Canada
Quote: "Anything for laughs even if it kills you"
Posted: 5124 days ago

Eat that Barry. I'm hot on your heals. While all those Americans sleep cozy in their beds, we share a timezone. I'm like a bad stink. Right on your ass... only seconds behind.

Tim Ashwood (#595)

Location: Sydney
Posted: 5124 days ago

Damn it! Too slow for those slippery Canadians - which must be the only two in that country to by a Maxx Barry book.

And damn the clerks too. "Cheese" books should be called just that - It's not your readers that don't know the difference between a novel and piece of cheese.

Justin Holt (#147)

Location: Rochester, NY
Quote: "www.justinholt.net"
Posted: 5124 days ago

I had thought about commenting over on Clunker's site, you know, the one where he recalls back about being "the best Christmas present ever"'s site, but I refrained. (By the way, who really feels that neglected in adulthood to put a comment like that in your bio page on your professional website?) Looks like a lot of other people did comment though, like Max pointed out. My only problem...what's up with so many people going anonymous, ninja-style? Bunker's enough of an anonymous himself. You should have at least put your name so he could have tracked all of you down and stroked your fame fire.

As for Company...the more I look at the cover, the more it looks like Pac Man with a bullet hole trying to eat the words, 'A Novel'.

Oh well...

too bad about the scratch and sniff thing though. It would have been a big hit amongst the overweight majority of Americans trying to cut back on their Crispy Cremes, but still need that smell fix. It could have been huge, like the nicotine patch for fat asses. Now that would have been marketing...

Mick (#1167)

Location: England
Quote: "Reality is that part of imagination we all agree on."
Posted: 5124 days ago

mmm... dohnut paper...

Sophie (#891)

Location: Devon
Posted: 5124 days ago

I think the secret to a good book cover is pretty women. Both Syrup and Jen Gov have foxy women on the cover, so I reckon you should continue this trend with Company. Then it would become your trademark and everyone would think of you as the guy with all the hot ladies.
I'd recommend having a good looking lass in a skimpy business suit holding the donut in a suggestive manner, and then people won't care whether the donut is glazed or scratch and sniff. They'll be too busy focusing on the hot lady, so problem solved. The only catch is, if you choose to use this .. you have to dedicate the book to me. I totally have a copyright on the hot woman-donut combination.

Pete (#1273)

Location: Variable
Quote: ""One original thought is worth a thousand mindless quotings""
Posted: 5124 days ago

1) Write the blog about the review, just dont name the reviewer.
2) The major advantage of wiping the cover with a donut as opposed to the more traditional scratch and sniff book cover is that the reader can change the flavour of their book to suit their personal tastes. As the chocolate odor fades, it can be replaced with maple.

Jack (#1194)

Location: UIUC
Quote: "Pants?"
Posted: 5124 days ago

Sophie- And so you're saying that donut isn't sexy and suggestive in its own right?

And then Holt had to bring Pac Man into this...

I need some alone time.

Emily (#609)

Location: New York
Quote: "When in doubt, fuck it. When not in doubt, get in doubt!"
Posted: 5124 days ago

I am curious about this Evil Reviewer... I agree with Pete. Give him anonymity!

The Who Moved My Cheese comment cracked me up. I hope I get a cool editor. ^_^

-Em

Ari (#1107)

Location: somewhere around California
Quote: "Can I be a random member of the moment?"
Posted: 5124 days ago

May I be a leech and make your regular blog a metablog? All my friends use Myspace and mine was deleted. It wasn't as fun as this site anyway. I love writing, but I'm out of practice, and I refuse to crawl back to Myspace and ask for another ugly useless page.

Actually I won't even wait for an answer. I guess I'll just start now.

OverlordBill (#1197)

Location: ~2B, -4B
Posted: 5124 days ago

I could metablog for you. Would you like to know how my day went?

In an effort to cut down on competition, I did other people's work in Java class. If they never learn they can never be a rival right? Well the teacher came over and found out, nosy bitch, but I suppose I still win. They get found out for not doing their own work, and I get shown as so eager to work I do everyone elses. My grade shall grow exponentially until the graphs needed to show it puncture the atmosphere! Excellent.

So then I went to Latin class. I ignored the teacher and read. Surprisingly, she called on me for the first time in a month. I stared at her until she called on someone else.

Then I went to gym and we did physical fitness assessments and I did fifty million bajillion pushups and I got totally ripped and all the hot chicoritas should come to my house and rub my manly muscles and coo things in my ear like, "You are so hot I want to give you all my money."

And then I had biology where I performed three simultaneous disections... WITH MY BARE HANDS! ARRRRRRRR!!!

And then the day petered out with Web Design where we had this really mousy woman as a substitute. I read more.

Then I went to History and my teacher started the day with his normal drum roll on the front desks with a broken badminton racket. Totally sweet.

Then English where we discussed Censorship and doublespeak and stuff. Yeah. English is dull to talk about. I'm going to talk about shape changing robots instead.

An Essay on Robots
By Billiam Bates the Third

Robots are cool. Do you want to know why? It's because some of them change into your every day household objects like cereal bowls. The following is a brief interaction between a shape changing robot and a small boy.

Shape Changing Robot: (Is holding cereal)
Small Boy: Boy howdy! I sure do love cereal!
SCR: (Changes blindingly fast into a robot)
SB: (Is hit in the eye with a piece of cereal) Agh! My eye has been infested with cereal demons!
SCR: You foolish boy! I am a shape changing robot who assumes the form of a cereal bowl! Behold my power! (Fires laser through wall)

And that is how the butterfly got its wings. An Essay by Billiam Bates the Third.

Ok. So then I went to Math and we were talking about probability and I proved how by simple ratios and permutations my math teacher's existence was so improbable that she phased out of existence.


I'd say about half of that is true.

Ari (#1107)

Location: somewhere around California
Quote: "Can I be a random member of the moment?"
Posted: 5124 days ago

We had sex education today. Something we've had before: first in fifth grade (I know, young) and then again in seventh (still young, but I guess it's never too early). We actually played "Sex Jeopardy" were we all grouped together in teams. We even had team names. In fact, one girl in particular who is known to be a bit promiscuous decided to name us The Vibrators, and our sex ed speaker said to us, “When you cheer for your team you have to do this—” and performed some weird shaky motion with her whole body. I was ready to learn (or relearn) about the sexual organs and how they work/what they do, etc. This I was not ready for. It creeped me out just a little.

I also found out that “J’ai mal au coeur,” which (according to my French book) means “I’m feeling nauseous,” if it’s translated directly it means “I have bad at the heart” or “I have a heart ache.” But if “J’ai mal au coeur” really does mean that you’re feeling nauseous then that’s a little pitiful. I thought the French language was romantic, but I guess not. How would you say, “You make my heart ache”? It would have to be, “You make me nauseated.”

Queen Eve (#460)

Location: Dimensions at SanguinemDraconis.net
Quote: "Sanity is a gift; given at birth, lessened by maturity, and gone from us by the age of reason. --Kestral Lei"
Posted: 5123 days ago

"J'ai mal au coeur" may have several meanings and the book is discussing one possible. Though I think that -if- it was anything... it would translate to "I am heart sick".

I took 4 years of French in high school and I do not recall the phrase ever being used to discuss general nausea. But I can see it being used informally for heart sick, heart ache, and nauseated (from love or loss of love). The French language has a tendency to be very emotionally expressive as I am sure you will notice in your study.

Matthew (#16)

Location: Columbus, Ohio
Quote: "Unicorn on mountain top. Wind blowing through mane."
Posted: 5123 days ago

I sit next to Adam in our Web Design 2 class when he writes them. I am also depressed that he stopped writing his "blogs".

I will make an effort to get him to write more.

Ari (#1107)

Location: somewhere around California
Quote: "Can I be a random member of the moment?"
Posted: 5123 days ago

Wow, I just realized that a lot of fans are students. That's pretty awesome, I think. But is it a letdown in any way? I'm a sophomore in high school right now. Is there a difference between girls and guys too? I'm a girl if anyone's wondering.

Summer is approaching. I've been talking to my friend in Texas who's already wondering if it's hot here in California. No. Only comfortably warm. I’ve given up on trying to tan my feet. Basically what I've tried doing is sit by the window around 4 in the afternoon where the sun's rays shine in brightest. I sit on my chair and prop my feet up against the windowsill so the sun can…er…kiss them? Except it's really a tedious task and I'm in a very uncomfortable position. I also realized that it's not really worth it. No one is going to approach me and say, "Wow, Ari! Your feet look great! Have you been tanning them?" except for maybe Allison the podiatrist.

Tony Quin (#1310)

Location: Plymouth -urgh
Quote: "Yoga is NAILS"
Posted: 5123 days ago

I'm told that Genesis' (I do hope that's the correct band) first album sold a grand 300 copies or something silly, because it was filed under "religious" because of the name. (Which, I believe, was 'Gabriel' as the singer.)

I also once had a terrifying sex-ed lesson. Some smartarse asked how the penis is erected -we were given a detailed description of what was obviously the teacher's foreplay with his wife. He was over 50 and the image was certainly not an arousing one!

OverlordBill (#1197)

Location: ~2B, -4B
Posted: 5122 days ago

That reminds me of my health days in the middle school. The health teacher there probably saved more lives than a firefighter. If you believe his stories.

Most of them went along the lines of rushing into a burning (building/car wreck) and pulling disabled children out of harms way. The children were (unable to reach the exit fast enough/were told to wait by a nonfunctioning elevator/mentally handicapped and didn't know to leave). And then he must have had some strange obsession with his mother, because he always told stories of how his mother was having trouble with something and he came to rescue.

Freaky little bald man that he was.

Duncan (#1311)

Location: Arizona Nova
Quote: "Death to Todd Bunker"
Posted: 5122 days ago

So, tell us Max: do you like having this scary army of crack net-minions willing to blam anyone who blams you, at a moment's notice? You're so lucky - I want one too! By the way, JG is awesome - got it for my birthday and read it in a couple days. But yes, as soon as I read Todd Bunker's crap I blasted both reviews. I hope hes attacked by a bunch of angry weasels... with rocket launchers. Yeah, rocket launchers! It would be so pretty...

Machine Man subscriber Craig Barron (#1276)

Location: Leeds, UK.
Quote: "“Trust Elizabeth to get upset over a donut.”"
Posted: 5122 days ago

What an ass he is, good God!
But like a few of us have said, at least he has increased traffic from his little out burst!


I bet he has a really small ding dong! Too
/runs away laughing like a school girl

Pete (#1273)

Location: Variable
Quote: ""One original thought is worth a thousand mindless quotings""
Posted: 5121 days ago

I would just like to say how glad I am that we appear to have left the traumatic reliving of sex education behind us.

I always wanted to be a minion.

Machine Man subscriber Adam (#24)

Location: Morristown, Indiana
Quote: "Why do I blog? Simple, because Max Barry blogs."
Posted: 5121 days ago

Mon. 16 May 2005

VICTORY IS MINE!

There is a reason why I stopped blogging, but I won't go into too many details. I didn't pay my booky(I don't know how to spell booky) so he broke both my legs. I did not have access to a computer or free healthcare for I don't live in Canada because Canada is too cold ,and I am only 17.

More importantly Jennifer did not go to prom with me due to my broken legs and the fact that I like to read books by Raymond E Feist.

Today just might be the greatest day in my entire life other than my legs being broken and Jennifer not taking me to prom. It fed my already huge ego. Now I can brag to all of my friends that Max Barry mention me in his blog although most of my friends don't know of max.

I am currently in my ceramics class and my teacher is hassling me about not working, but as soon as I heard from my friends that Max mentioned me in his blog, I had to check it out. I assumed that no one read my blogs, but now I know.

Also, if anyone else tries to steal my idea of blogging off max barry's blogs, I will kill them.


P.S. Boo-yah grandma!

Adam

Machine Man subscriber Adam (#24)

Location: Morristown, Indiana
Quote: "Why do I blog? Simple, because Max Barry blogs."
Posted: 5121 days ago

About five minutes after the last blog

This just in

there is a woman sitting next to me. I am freaking out.


Adam

syrup6 (#1224)

Location: Arkansas
Quote: ""Truth always rests with the minority, and the minority is always stronger than the majority, because the minority is generally formed by those who really have an opinion" - Kierkegaard"
Posted: 5121 days ago

That's really got to be the most random lot of comments I've read in a LONG time.

*knuckles crack* so, who is this "other" critic?

Machine Man subscriber Adam (#24)

Location: Morristown, Indiana
Quote: "Why do I blog? Simple, because Max Barry blogs."
Posted: 5121 days ago

Mon. May 16 2005

OverlordBill is my new blogging nemisis. Max has a nemisis; Therefore, I need one.
You will pay overlordbill.
You will pay...


Adam

Tony Quin (#1310)

Location: Plymouth -urgh
Quote: "Yoga is NAILS"
Posted: 5121 days ago

"Also, if anyone else tries to steal my idea of blogging off max barry's blogs, I will kill them.


P.S. Boo-yah grandma!

Adam"

Well, I'm going to annoy you then.

"Today, I got up after 13:00 after knocking my alarm off the bed-side table. I had Ryvita for breakfast with tea, went into town where I proceeded to buy a jockstrap, box and some food. (Fish, because my usual diet of bacon made me ill over the weekend after the fridge failed...)"

I have a question -how do you wear the box? I haven't worn one for 8 years, and I'm only wearing one reluctantly now (they're so uncomfortable). The problem is the last one I had had a seperate pouch for the box, while this one doesn't. I have the box on underneath the strap right now, which works, but it seems like one good punch will knock it away, taking my privates with it! Help!

The Internet, upper case because it as an entity is deliberately being a right pain atm, is not helping -instead of giving me information on this strangely shaped strap, the search engines all seem to churn out gay erotic stories and psychologist's reports! (Or sites telling cricketers to wear boxes and in one case someone talking about keeping crickets in cricket boxes, which made me do a double take!)

Tony Quin (#1310)

Location: Plymouth -urgh
Quote: "Yoga is NAILS"
Posted: 5121 days ago

I have an update!

Wearing the box under both my pants and the strap is a little more stable, but still...

In other news you can get girls in jockstraps too! Still doesn't help me, but, (to quote one site)

"getting turned on by hot women wearing jockstraps, Speedos, and other types of male undergarments most definitely doesn’t make you gay".

Well, that's a relief.

Machine Man subscriber Adam (#24)

Location: Morristown, Indiana
Quote: "Why do I blog? Simple, because Max Barry blogs."
Posted: 5121 days ago

Thu. may 16 2005

I HAVE BECOME WHAT I'VE ALWAYS HATED/UTTER DISAPPOINTMENT!

First of all, I never intended to make this comments board a message board in which I communicate with another human, but I feel that I must talk about my utter disappointment in the other people making comments on here. I started my blog to show how I really feel/make a bunch of crap up, but now other people are putting blogs on here. Tony Quin and Overlordbill have very boring lives and no one wants to read about them. They are also terrible writers and uninteresting.

I am both sad and excited that max mentioned me in his blog, but at what cost...

On a completely irrelevant subject, I just wet myself.
I should probably put on a new pair of pants, but I don't think I will. I mean, I wet myself because I was too lazy to go to the bathroom, and why should I stop being lazy now and go put some new pants on. A normal uninteresting person like Tony Quin would not have this type of integrity...

(sigh)...

Pandas are really cute...

...

Will I ever stop...

...

No...

Adam

OverlordBill (#1197)

Location: ~2B, -4B
Posted: 5121 days ago

Sorry for encroaching on your territory Adam. Please accept this box filled with delicious candy treats. They are most definitely not poison. Please also accept this bottle of poison, which most definitely is poison. Please do not confuse the two as that would be very bad.

I just realized. Max Barry reminds me of Maddox. Except without the piratey goodness. This is all very much reminiscent of Maddox v M.A.M..

Machine Man subscriber Adam (#24)

Location: Morristown, Indiana
Quote: "Why do I blog? Simple, because Max Barry blogs."
Posted: 5121 days ago

Well, I guess I will just kill my self...
Hand over the poison


Goodbye beautiful world and Max

Adam

Machine Man subscriber Adam (#24)

Location: Morristown, Indiana
Quote: "Why do I blog? Simple, because Max Barry blogs."
Posted: 5121 days ago

I deserve death for destroying max's and turning it into a bunch of stupid posts

This pudding is delicious.

Tony Quin (#1310)

Location: Plymouth -urgh
Quote: "Yoga is NAILS"
Posted: 5121 days ago

What? No! I really do want an answer to my question!

Ari (#1107)

Location: somewhere around California
Quote: "Can I be a random member of the moment?"
Posted: 5121 days ago

"Also, if anyone else tries to steal my idea of blogging off max barry's blogs, I will kill them."

You're so territorial. Also I think it's spelled "bookie." Also having your legs cut off because you forgot to pay him only makes it your fault.

Max doesn't remind me of Maddox at all. Maddox hates everything, and Max doesn't.

I got absolutely no sleep last night because I spent too much time overthinking useless answers to useless questions.

Q: What would you do if your face were torn off in a horrible accident?

The only option I could think of was killing myself out of misery, although I brought this up to a friend of mine, and she said plastic surgery would be the way to go. Bit if your face was completely torn off then you wouldn't be able to move it. It would be expressionless the whole entire time. Still, it was much better than my option, which I spent hours brooding over. Now I'm afraid that since I've said it, I'll wind up being in some terrible car accident and the result will be horrible. So maybe I'll try to take headshots of myself from every possible angle so the surgeons can remake a face for me if something like that ever happens.
__

Also I'm sorry if the comments section has turned into a blog-for-all section. In that case I'll comment about Max's original blog:

I really like the "A Novel" on the books. When I read Syrup my bookworm friends thought I was being silly because the book was very little. They're used to reading books > 500 pages. But once they saw the "A Novel" printed on the front they nodded their heads in approval. I thought that was really funny, considering the books they read would only be comprehendible to people who started reading War and Peace when they were six years old. My friends are very academically intelligent, but it was just cute that they were fooled by two simple words.

Erik Yeargan (#1173)

Posted: 5120 days ago

Hi Max(x),

How's the script going for Syrup?

I am an entertainment lawyer and producer so don't hesistate to contact me if your current deal goes stale (this happens occasionally).

Please reply to let me know that you have received my message.

Cheers,
Erik Yeargan
Group Locomotion
eyeargan@locomotionfilms.com

Ari (#1107)

Location: somewhere around California
Quote: "Can I be a random member of the moment?"
Posted: 5120 days ago

Hahahaha! I just went to the nadamucho site again to see if there were any new comments, and I found this:

"Note: Due to anonymous violent threats against the author, comments have been suspended."

Pete (#1273)

Location: Variable
Quote: ""One original thought is worth a thousand mindless quotings""
Posted: 5119 days ago

The more I read of Max's Blogs, the more sure I am that he owns a nice, shiny, red, swingline stapler............

Pete Clamiston Nessi (#927)

Location: Chicago
Quote: "04dana14na"
Posted: 5119 days ago

Blog = lose

Max Barry = win

Max Barry + blog = good

Max Barry's fans + blog = bad

I could stomach Adam's because I liked how it seemed as if nobody actually paid attention to them, they weren't very long, and nor were they completely truthful. Any more of this meta-blog-madness and I'm going to need some of that poison-pudding.

Machine Man subscriber Adam (#24)

Location: Morristown, Indiana
Quote: "Why do I blog? Simple, because Max Barry blogs."
Posted: 5119 days ago

I agree 100%.

Tony Quin (#1310)

Location: Plymouth -urgh
Quote: "Yoga is NAILS"
Posted: 5118 days ago

All I asked for was advice on a new box...

Jjuulliiaann (#1111)

Location: New York
Quote: "Religion is the Opium of the People --Karl Marx"
Posted: 5107 days ago

How is the "A Novel" on the cover redundant? Am I missing something?

Jjuulliiaann (#1111)

Location: New York
Quote: "Religion is the Opium of the People --Karl Marx"
Posted: 5106 days ago

On Todd's blog:
"Note: Due to anonymous violent threats against the author, comments have been suspended."
...
"Sorry, Comments are not available for this article."

Hahahahahaha [evil laughter [DISCLAIMER: THOSE THREATS WERE, UH, NOT MADE BY ME.]]

Mr. Anonymous (#1356)

Location: Anonymous, Anonymous
Quote: "Anonymity is key to survival."
Posted: 5105 days ago

That's too bad; I was hoping to ask a make an anonymous threat against Bunker (not that I'd make any other kind).

Comments are now closed for this post.

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