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|Born||August 3, 1960|
Laguna Beach, California, United States
|Alma mater||University of Oregon|
|Genres||Science fiction, horror, video games|
Marc Laidlaw (born August 3, 1960) is an American writer of science fiction and horror, and a former writer for the video game company Valve. He is most famous for working on Valve's Half-Life series.
Laidlaw was born and raised in Laguna Beach, California. He attended the University of Oregon, where he tried, and was discouraged by, punched 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.
Laidlaw had played computer and arcade games, but was not intrigued until he played Myst (1993). He obsessed over Myst and bought a new computer so that he could play it at his San Francisco home. He wrote The Third Force (1996), a tie-in novel based on the world created by the Gadget computer game. His favorite PC game is Thief: The Dark Project.
Working with game designers led him to feel that he wanted to help design an actual game. He joined Valve while they were developing their first game, Half-Life (1998), and worked on the story and level design. After working on further Half-Life games. He announced his departure from Valve in January 2016, stating the primary reason for his departure was his age, and planned to return to writing original stories. On August 25, 2017, Laidlaw published a short story titled "Epistle 3". Journalists interpreted it as a summary of what could have been the plot for a further Half-Life game. He provided consultation during the development of Half-Life: Alyx (2020). Laidlaw has an amateur radio license and his callsign is WH6FXC.
- Dad's Nuke (1985)
- Neon Lotus (1988), nominated for the 1988 Philip K. Dick Award
- Kalifornia (1993)
- The Orchid Eater (1994)
- The Third Force (1996), Gadget game tie-in
- The 37th Mandala (1996), nominated for the 1997 World Fantasy Award and awarded the 1996 International Horror Guild Award
Laidlaw has also written dozens of short stories.
He has a series of ten short stories about a bard named Gorlen, who has been cursed with a gargoyle hand:
- "Dankden" (October/November 1995, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction)
- "Catamounts" (September 1996, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction)
- "Childrun" (August 2008, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction)
- "Quickstone" (March 2009, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction)
- "Songwood" (January/February 2010, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction)
- "Bemused" (September/October 2013, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction)
- "Rooksnight" (May/June 2014, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction)
- "Catamounts" (Reprint) (August 2013, Lighspeed)
- "Belweather" (September 2013, Lighspeed )
- "Stillborne" (November/December 2017, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction)
- "Weeper" (September/October 2020, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction)
|2006||Half-Life 2: Episode One|
|2007||Half-Life 2: Episode Two|
- Half-Life: Counter-Strike (PC)
- "Valve Software Interview : Marc Laidlaw". Gaming Nexus. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
- Kerr, Chris (January 8, 2016). "Half-Life writer Marc Laidlaw leaves Valve after 18 years". Gamasutra. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
- Machkovech, Sam (2020-07-09). "Valve secrets spill over—including Half-Life 3—in new Steam documentary app". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 2020-07-19. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
- "Original Half-Life Writer Was Very Involved In Half-Life: Alyx". Prima Games. Retrieved 2020-07-25.
- "ULS License - Amateur License - WH6FXC - Laidlaw, Marc". wireless2.fcc.gov. Retrieved 2020-08-04.