keep your distance

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.


Mon 13

Me in the Media

Max As I write this, my intestines are trying to crawl out of my body. They’re very determined. No, no, I don’t want your sympathy. Well, all right, then. Maybe just a blanket. And my feet are kind of sore. You could rub those.

But I’m not writing to let you know of my gastrointestinal issues. That’s just a bonus. I’m writing because I’m doing stuff:

  • Me on Australian TV: I’m a panelist on “Jennifer Byrne Presents: Brave New Worlds,” discussing Utopian/dystopian fiction. This is my first ever TV panel, and the more time that’s passed since it was taped, the surer I’ve become that I was A TOTAL DICK. But I’m hoping they edited those parts out. To find out, tune in to ABC TV at 10pm Tuesday.

  • Me speaking: I’m delivering two talks on “Risk” as part of the PEN Lecture Series, in Sydney (Wed 15th July, with The Chaser’s Julian Morrow) and Canberra (Tue 21st July, with Genevieve Jacobs). This will eventually be available on the web somewhere too, possibly here. Relatedly, here is me being interviewed about the upcoming lecture. Notice how carefully I speak while trying to hold my bowels together. That’s professionalism.


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Machine Man subscriber Alex (#237)

Location: London, England
Quote: "We're today's scrambled creatures, locked in tomorrow's double feature (Bowie)"
Posted: 3691 days ago

Sphincter clenching or not, it was nevertheless a good interview. The boy done good!

Jack (#2443)

Location: Australia, Bendigo
Posted: 3691 days ago

Yeah I saw ads for that last night and I was like "Holy crap, is that Max Barry?!". Too bad I won't be home tomorrow night, guess I'll just have to tape you Max!

Machine Man subscriber Joel Pearson (#2145)

Location: Canberra, Australia
Posted: 3691 days ago

Oh my gosh, Max you're coming to Canberra!

All my Christmas' have come at once! I'll be there will bells on.

@Jack It should be on ABC iview if you don't tape it.

Machine Man subscriber Skippy (#3937)

Location: Melbourne
Posted: 3691 days ago

Max, I have seen you speak on a number of occasions (most recently in 2008 at Ivanhoe library), and I have one observation - you are a wonderful speaker. Passionate about writing and genuinely concerned with the effect it has upon your readers. <aside> You can tell Max is nervous when he takes off his jacket to read, then puts it back on again afterwards. </aside> Looking forward to seeing you with Jennifer. Oh, and no more news about your bowels, okay?

Prue Meehan (#3306)

Location: Australia
Quote: ""I intend to live forever. So far, so good." Steven Wright"
Posted: 3691 days ago

I really enjoyed the interview on risk. Felt like I was in the room just listening to a good conversation. Just watched the film Max and Mary today, which touches on risk in life a lot, very fitting and thought provoking! Prue

Hi (#2614)

Location: California
Quote: "I like to verb words."
Posted: 3691 days ago

Dear Max, I'm writing because this entry has sparked an idea. Also, I secretly want to meet you and listen to an Australian accent for a given length of time. This Fall semester, UC Berkeley (as I don't know how well-known my school is internationally, I'll clarify by saying that it is in California, although I doubt the sheer excess of awesome that the world's #1 public university exudes could possibly be missed) is having an upper division seminar about dystopias. I feel that, sometime between late August and late December, you should visit as a guest speaker to discuss your writing and continue your crusade of total dickingness. Think of the young minds you will shape! Think of the awe and complete adoration you will inspire! Think of the excuse to vacation in California!

Machine Man subscriber David (#1456)

Location: Sydney, Australia
Quote: "Why are the pretty ones always insane?"
Posted: 3690 days ago

I saw the Jennifer Byrne show tonight and you were indeed terrific old bean. Made good points and made them well (well, actually I missed the first 15 mins, but I'm sure you were just as spot on when I wasn't watching you).

jessica (#3063)

Location: austin, tx
Quote: "You can't start a fire worrying about your little world falling apart."
Posted: 3690 days ago

I think that if you were on a crappy reality show like Paris Hilton's My New BFF, then maybe I can see a highly probable possibility of finding yourself in the total dick category....but since that's not the case...i would have to think that you appeared to be charming and engaging. Congrats!!!

Machine Man subscriber Stygian Emperor (#2947)

Location: the Stygian Empire
Quote: "Flesh is a design flaw."
Posted: 3688 days ago

Man, I can not find a video of the “Jennifer Byrne Presents" episode with you. They have every other episode available on their website.

Machine Man subscriber Stygian Emperor (#2947)

Location: the Stygian Empire
Quote: "Flesh is a design flaw."
Posted: 3687 days ago

Okay, solved my own problem. While the website does not have a visible link to the download of the episode, the download is still available but hidden.

MP4 -


I think they just forgot to put the links up on their website. Hope this helps someone other than me.

Machine Man subscriber Stygian Emperor (#2947)

Location: the Stygian Empire
Quote: "Flesh is a design flaw."
Posted: 3687 days ago

Oh, nevermind all that. While that download WAS hidden, the episode does not have Max Barry in it. Just... delete all my comments here or something.

I feel stupid.

J.R. LeMar (#4336)

Location: Somewhere on the North American West Coast
Quote: ""
Posted: 3686 days ago

I just wanted to say that I just bought Jennifer Government a few days ago, & I'm loving it so far. I'm halfway through, and will probably finish it by tomorrow, but I've already gone ahead & ordered Syrup & Company off of Amazon. I'm looking forward to those, too.

Julian (#4343)

Location: NY
Quote: "F_ _K"
Posted: 3683 days ago

Is Syrup still being made into a film? What's the hold up?

something name (#4333)

Posted: 3682 days ago

The cast drank all of the Fu*k. :D

J.R. LeMar (#4336)

Location: Somewhere on the North American West Coast
Quote: ""
Posted: 3682 days ago

I really would like to see a movie, or maybe TV series, based on Jennifer Government.

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