Marc Laidlaw

{{Youmayd|the Valve employee|the Black Mesa scientist|Laidlaw}}
{{RWP Infobox
|name=Marc Laidlaw
|image=Marc Laidlaw.jpg
|birth=1960http// Internet Speculative Fiction Database profile
*Video game designer
*Occasional mapperWC mappack
'''Marc Laidlaw''' (born 1960) is an American writer of cyberpunk-oriented science fiction and horror as well as a video game designer at Valve Software. He is perhaps most famous for writing ''WikipediaDad's Nuke|Dad's Nuke'' and ''WikipediaThe 37th Mandala|The 37th Mandala'', and for working on the popular Half-Life universe|''Half-Life'' series.

Laidlaw was born in 1960 and raised in Laguna Beach, California and attended the University of Oregon where he tried, and was discouraged by, punch card computer programming. He wrote short stories and his first novel, ''Dad's Nuke'', was published in 1985. This was followed by several more novels over the next decade, but he worked as a legal secretary in San Francisco for a living.http// Laidlaw, Marc by Franco Ricciardiello (biography in Italian)

Laidlaw had played computer and arcade games, but was not intrigued. It was not until ''WikipediaMyst|Myst'' was released that his perception of these games changed. He was obsessed over ''Myst'' and bought a new computer so that he could play it at his San Francisco home. With his new-found interest, he wrote ''The Third Force'' (1996), a tie-in novel based on the world created for the video game ''Gadget''. His favorite PC game of all time is ''wcthiefThief The Dark Project|Thief The Dark Project''.http// Interview on

Working with game designers led him to feel that he wanted to help design an actual game. He joined Valve July 14, 1997http// Bluesnews while they were developing ''Half-Life'' and worked on the game's story and level design. At Valve, he later worked on the ''Half-Life'''s expansions (even though his precise input is not clearly known) and ''Half-Life 2'' and its episodes. The latter episodes were co-written with the creators of ''Old Man Murray'', Erik Wolpaw and Chet Faliszek, whom he shares an office with at Valve. All three also co-wrote the story for ''Portal''. He states about Wolpaw and Faliszek on his personal blog that "for years, Chet and Erik were legendary figures of mythic status to me. They still are, except now I can throw things over my shoulder and hit them."http// Not So Few Monstrosities  Links

On Valve's official website, his function is described as follows ''"Marc Laidlaw joined Valve in summer''Half-Life 2 Raising the Bar'' 1997, bringing his experience as an author of weird fiction to bear on creating the ''Half-Life'' storyline. He was sole writer on ''Half-Life'' and ''Half-Life 2'', and persists as lead writer for the ''Half-Life 2 Episodes'', although he is now accompanied by an actual literary posse in the form of Chet and Erik. His novels include ''Dad's Nuke'', ''Neon Lotus'', ''Kalifornia'', ''The Orchid Eater'', and the award-winning ''The 37th Mandala'', as well as ''The Third Force'' (a novel set in the world of the surreal Japanese videogame, ''Gadget'')."''http// The Valve team

* ''WikipediaDad's Nuke|Dad's Nuke'' (1985)
* ''Neon Lotus'' (1988) (nominated for the 1988 Philip K. Dick Award)
* ''Kalifornia'' (1993)
* ''The Orchid Eater'' (1994)
* ''WikipediaThe 37th Mandala|The 37th Mandala'' (1996) (nominated for the 1997 World Fantasy Award and awarded the 1996 International Horror Guild Award)
* ''The Third Force A Novel of Gadget'' (1996) (''Gadget'' game tie-in)
*He also writes a series about a bard named Gorlen Vizenfirth
**''Dankden'' (October/November, 1995, Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine)
**''Catamounts'' (September, 1996, Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine)
**''Childrun'' (August, 2008, Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine)
**''Quickstone'' (March, 2009, Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine)
*Laidlaw has also written dozens of short stories.

*His Laidlaw|name appears in ''Half-Life'' as an Easter egg on a Sector C locker. Also, in Gordon Freeman's locker, two actual books by Laidlaw, ''The Orchid Eater'' and ''The 37th Mandala'', can be found. ''The Third Force'' can also be seen seen in the game files, but is not seen in-game.

*Mirroring ''Half-Life'', another book by Laidlaw, ''The Extreme Aggrotato'', can be found in Eli's lab at Black Mesa East, although it is fictional.


==External links==
*http// Not So Few Monstrosities (personal blog)
*http// Twitter profile
*http// LiveJournal profile
*http// - 2012 interview with New Rising Media
*http// Marc Laidlaw - Summary Bibliography
*http// Reading the text Marc Laidlaw - interview on Grinding to Valhalla
*http// Valve's Writers And The Creative Process - interview of Laidlaw and Erik Wolpaw|Wolpaw
*{{YouTube|url=qwKmogDzOCY|text=Marc Laidlaw interview}} (from ''Half-Life Preliminary Findings'')
*{{YouTube|url=y61SMhDBZw0|text=2005 interview about ''Half-Life 2''}}
*http// Interview with Marc Laidlaw - April 5th, 2006
*http// 1998 interview on Gameslice

CategoryValve employees