Mon 22

Barry vs Doctorow: The Ultimate Smackdown

Writing Forbes is running a special on “The Future,” and a bunch of writers, including me, contributed fiction. The deal was everyone’s story had to be based on this:

It’s the year 2027, and the world is undergoing a global financial crisis. The scene is an American workplace.

I was intrigued by the idea of going head-to-head against other writers. It sounded like a kind of writers’ cage match. I found myself thinking, “All right, Doctorow’s gonna lead with a world controlled by draconian IP law, he won’t be able to resist. But maybe I can counter with the entire American economy being purely about advertising. He’ll never see it coming.”

Possibly no other writers saw it this way. They may have just been concentrating on writing a good story. Suckers.

Anyway, my short story, Springtide, is up now. To read the others, including shorts by Cory Doctorow and Warren Ellis, visit the Forbes Future page and scroll down to “Fiction.”

Forbes has a 90-day exclusive on this piece but after that I’ll post it alongside my other short stories, with formatting that doesn’t suck so much.

In other news, you can now search this site. Little box on the left there. Thanks to Wyatt, who complained about this until I got off my butt and added it.


This is where site members post comments. If you're not a member, you can join here. There are all kinds of benefits, including moral superiority!

Dustin (#2291)

Location: California
Quote: "There's no sense crying over every mistake, you just keep on trying till you run out of cake" - GLaDOS"
Posted: 6029 days ago

That's really good.. you should write an entire book based on that story. I know I'd read it.

Robert (#413)

Location: Los Angeles
Quote: "A positive attitude will not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort."
Posted: 6029 days ago

Cory Doctorow is the man.

towr (#1914)

Location: Netherlands
Posted: 6029 days ago

lol Placing the story in Jakarta and then: "As you said, the world is a country. Legally, this is an American workplace."
Just making sure your story falls inside the parameters eh ;)

Rod McBride (#688)

Location: Gardner, KS
Quote: ""
Posted: 6029 days ago

That's cute. And plausible.

Jeffrey (#2286)

Location: Right here
Quote: "Mathematics is a powerful language. Just look at how mathematicians destroyed the housing market."
Posted: 6029 days ago

Nice. I already want more though. MORE. lol You're so going to win Max.

Justin (#2009)

Location: Halfmoon, NY
Quote: "Max(x) is awesome!"
Posted: 6029 days ago

Do Me Dolls. Fantastic!

Monkeywright (#1732)

Location: Los Angeles, Californi-YARGH!
Quote: ""China is Here?" I don't even know what the hell that means! - PS - visit scenic"
Posted: 6029 days ago

I TOLD you writing was like professional wrestling!

I'm sure mac will bring us the iBraphone soon.

Greg Karber (#1568)

Posted: 6029 days ago

All writers who stand in your way shall fall, Max.

Linnea1928 (#2654)

Location: Rosemount, MN
Posted: 6029 days ago

Excellent story Max!! It was very creative and interesting!!

Lottie (#3093)

Location: Sheffield, UK
Posted: 6029 days ago

The story's great. :D

I'm just curious about the photo. You only ever see rust like that in gangster movies.

Gangsters don't write books.

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: 6029 days ago

great story.
the only thing that would be kinkier would be Bratz, riding My-Little-Pony, while Kid Sister watched on.


Machine Man subscriber Joel Dowlath (#2506)

Location: Trinidad
Quote: "To die is gain"
Posted: 6028 days ago

Isn't the world undergoing a global financial crisis now, though?

Know what I'd like to see? Max Barry vs. Scott Adams.

Kalle (#1278)

Quote: "Sex is herital. If your parents never had it, chanses are you'll never have it either."
Posted: 6028 days ago

Great story, and free! How ironic.

Machine Man subscriber Katie Ellert (#207)

Location: Calgary AB Canada
Quote: "Where's Lola? WHERE'S LOLA?!?!"
Posted: 6028 days ago

So I was going to go on about about how great it was and how it should be a full story, but everyon apparently beat me too it.

So, congratz on being awsome. Great short story.

Mark Tran (#3249)

Location: Canada
Quote: "If you lived here, You'd be home."
Posted: 6028 days ago

Haha, nice'un Max! I completely share your hatred of Bratz dolls as well. I'm only a kid me-self, but I can tell, the kids younger than me are already more than just a smidge more provocative. It's a sad time. Good luck!

Joe (#2270)

Location: Campbell, CA, USA
Quote: "I'm subverting the system from the inside. I think."
Posted: 6028 days ago

Good story, except that as the father of a 9.5 year old daughter, it kind of creeped me out.

austin (#2462)

Location: rhode island
Quote: "hmmm...bleh..."
Posted: 6028 days ago

"And they want more exciting toys. That's what we give them with Do Me Dolls."

Ahahahahahaha. Best. Line. Ever.

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: 6027 days ago

Terrific story, dude. Reminded me of everything I like about... what do you call them? Short shockers, I guess.

Although I'm kinda under the impression that kids are actually becoming mature later and later in life. I mean, think about it: How old was Alexander the Great at the prime of his life? Early twenties? Most of my friends were just about to move out of their parent's place at that age. None of them has conquered any country whatsoever. Yet.

I think the kids of past generations had their good share of screwing around and doing drugs. They just didn't get to post it on YouTube.

One of the oldest written texts known to man (I think it's from Sumer) is concerned with how the young generation is going to ruin everything with their immorality. Hasn't happened yet.

But maybe I'm wrong. I wouldn't mind going down in a Do Me Dolls-related apocalypse. Sounds fun. Throw in some teenage zombies and book me a flight to Jakarta.

Cantrall (#26)

Location: New Orleans
Quote: "Anagrams with my name: Chancellor thirst rap, Anarchist perch troll, Ranch pro at hillcrest, Ill rorschach pattern, Cornstarch hitler pal"
Posted: 6026 days ago

The biggest news here is obviously the search feature. I mean c'mon!

Machine Man subscriber Stygian Emperor (#2947)

Location: the Stygian Empire
Quote: "Flesh is a design flaw."
Posted: 6025 days ago

It's me, Wyatt, and you're welcome for the search feature suggestion.

Your story got me to yell "Holy crap!" more than once, haha. Jeez, your take on the future truly frightens me.

blab (#1632)

Location: The Sandwich Isles
Quote: "Adventure is just poor planning"
Posted: 6020 days ago

What a great story. Ku-ul.

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