Marc Laidlaw

Marc Laidlaw

American science fiction writer
Date of Birth: 03.08.1960
Country: USA

  1. Biography of Mark Laidlaw
  2. Early Life and Education
  3. Writing and Career
  4. Awards and Recognition

Biography of Mark Laidlaw

Mark Laidlaw is an American science fiction writer and horror literature author, as well as a game designer at Valve Software. He is best known for his novels "Dad's Nuke" and "The 37th Mandala," as well as his involvement in the creation of the "Half-Life" game series.

Early Life and Education

Laidlaw was born and raised in Laguna Beach, California. He attended the University of Oregon, where he initially explored programming with punch cards. However, he became disillusioned with this profession.

Writing and Career

Over the next ten years, Laidlaw wrote a series of short stories and the novel "Dad's Nuke," which was published in 1995. "Dad's Nuke" is a parody of middle-class life, depicting the absurdity of a family's reclusive existence in a post-nuclear catastrophe era. The novel consists of episodes that reveal the family's seclusion and lead to a conflict with the entire suburban population. The title of the novel refers to a nuclear reactor that the father bought in his futile pursuit of material prosperity compared to his neighbor.

In the following years, Mark Laidlaw wrote several more novels and worked as a legal secretary in San Francisco to make a living. He played computer and arcade games, but it was not until he started playing "Myst" that he became truly obsessed. This led him to purchase a new computer to play at home in San Francisco.

Inspired by his newfound passion, Laidlaw wrote the novel "The Third Force," based on the fictional world created by the computer game "Gadget." His all-time favorite game remains "Thief: The Dark Project." Collaborating with game designers made him realize that he also wanted to be involved in game development.

Laidlaw joined Valve Software while they were developing "Half-Life," where he worked on the game's script and level design. He went on to participate in the creation of add-ons to "Half-Life" and the development of "Half-Life 2."

Awards and Recognition

Laidlaw's novel "The 37th Mandala" received the International Horror Guild Award for Best Novel in 1996 and was nominated for the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel in 1997. In the game "Half-Life," this book is one of two that can be discovered in the personal locker of the protagonist, Gordon Freeman.