no relation

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.


Sat 07

The critics speaketh

Jennifer Government Early reviews! The first couple are in and now available in the Reviews section. I’ll add more here as they come in.

In film news, Scott Burns has been hired to write the screenplay. Scott recently adapted another book for Steven Soderbergh, Kurt Eichenwald’s The Informant: A True Story. So I’m guessing the man can write. He’s also something of a legend in the advertising world, with credits including the “Got Milk?” campaign. That won’t go astray with Jennifer Government. The corporate advertising experience, I mean. I have enough milk.


Syrup Displaying impeccable timing (with Jennifer Government just six weeks away), Viking (USA) has decided to take Syrup out of print. They’ve even deleted it from their online catalog, so it’s like it never existed. This means unless a bookstore has Syrup on the shelf, they probably can’t get it.

Thanks to those people who have written in about their Herculean struggles to find a copy. It seems that Amazon are out, but Barnes & has a few left; apart from that, your best bet is probably picking one up second-hand.

In the long-term, there are two possibilities: either I convince Viking to crank up the presses again, or I get the rights back and find a publisher who will. Since I’m now with Doubleday, this might even work out pretty well.

Tue 12

We have a mole

Jennifer Government Two sites, Ain’t It Cool News and Cool Happenings Under Development, have published the Jennifer Government blurb, which I reckon they must have cribbed from an advance reader copy. This may or may not be the blurb that appears on the final jacket. But that’s okay, because AICN quotes someone who says the book is “simply awesome.” Oh yeah!

Tue 08

Audio Jen

Jennifer Government Today I received the script for an audio version of Jennifer Government. Yes, that’s right: if you like to read books without moving your eyes, your prayers have been answered! It’s an abridged version, which as far as I can work out means you get the whole plot but nothing but the plot. This may or may not be a good thing, depending on what you think of my writing.

I won’t be reading it myself. Trust me, this is a good thing. You don’t want to spend four hours figuring out my accent, no matter how sexy and authoritative I sound. And frankly, it’s not that sexy and authoritative. So to hear me in person, you need to turn up at one of my bookstore readings next year. Or else get hold of my home phone number and make prank calls. But don’t do that.

Thu 01


Jennifer Government I know, I know: the orange web site looked so attractive, too. But the cover is green. So now the site is, too.

The book now has an official on-sale date (in the US, at least): 21 January, 2003. That means you can mark it on your calendar and cross off each day it gets closer. When people ask why you’re so happy, say, “Why, because it’s only 173 more sleeps until Jennifer Government, of course!” That’s what I’m doing, at least.

Chat with Max

Syrup The Aus Readers Group, a new internet book club, is kicking off with Syrup. So if you’ve ever wanted to debate whether Scat is the quintessential modern man or just an idiot, now’s your chance.

It’s also your opportunity to harass me about how long Jennifer Government’s taking, because at some point I’ll be joining the chat room.

Wed 19

Houston, we have a cover

Jennifer Government We have a book cover! We also have a film director and a screenwriter, but that has to stay under wraps for now. Details to come, honest.

Also, old editions of the Jennifer Government newsletter are now available in the Extras section. But you won’t need them! You’ve already signed up for the mailing list, right?

Fri 01

Ooh, pretty

Syrup Yes! It’s a site redesign! Now there’s a new book (Jennifer Government) coming, I decided it was time to update.

There are also some new Author Notes in Syrup Extras for those of you who like to marvel at how I ever managed to finish a novel with thought processes like these.

Welcome to Jen

Jennifer Government The final draft is done, so from here on in it’s just proof-reading, typesetting, and sucking up to magazine editors. Before too long we should start tossing around a few possible covers — if you’re interested in getting an advance look, check out the Extras section.

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