Dishonored And Deus Ex Co-Creator Releases Semi-Autobiographical Novel, Big Jack Is Dead

by Louis Garcia on Apr 09, 2013 at 10:15 AM

Harvey Smith is known for his work on the recent Dishonored title, as well as Deus Ex. Now he can put novelist down on his resume.

His latest work, Big Jack is Dead, is a semi-autobiographical, “Southern Gothic novel that depicts inherited behaviors we cannot escape.”  The story is about Jack Hickman, an antisocial software executive. During a corporate meeting Hickman learns that his father is dead; he committed suicide. Hickman travels home to the Gulf Coast, trying to learn how to cope with unresolved feelings for his dead father – the person he hated the most. 

The book gives insight into how personal demons are turned into power and escape themes in video games.

Smith's novel is available in paperback and digitally on Amazon. You can read an excerpt from the book below, or learn more about Smith in our interview with him about Dishonored.


 I flew to Houston first class. Why not? Your dad only kills himself once. The seat next to me was empty, which was great since I didn’t feel like talking to anyone. So what brings you to Texas?

Slumping back in the seat, I turned my head and pressed my cheek against the cool leather. The plane wobbled and dipped, rattling a tray nearby. Two men across the aisle stopped talking briefly and the seat belt reminder chimed and lit up. We jerked around then hit smooth air, leveling out. An airline attendant passed, offering blankets. I closed my eyes to erase the people around me, cupping a glass of ice in my left hand. The whiskey was gone, but the smell was still strong and the ice cubes still carried the flavor. I struggled to unwind even as the warmth of the drink spread through me.

It would be impossible to relax around my family. They would come up with stunts I couldn’t predict, guided by unknowable winds that resulted in improbable acts.