List of publications in the Half-Life and Portal universe
This page contains a list of publications featured in the Half-Life and Portal series: books, magazines, and newspapers. Most are fictional, although a handful are references or Easter eggs alluding to real world publications.
Pre-release and cut content
The real-world book by George Orwell is among the trash in the Half-Life 2 texture
garbage001a_01.vtf, but remains unused in the final game. The texture is based on the New American Library edition published in 1981.
The Third Force
A real-world book by Marc Laidlaw, cut from Half-Life. The texture is based on the spine of the Scribner Paperback Fiction edition published in 1996.
Appears on a junk newspaper model in the Half-Life 2 leak. The headline reads "Dome down date: March 19 or 26".
Black Mesa White Lies
Written by Dr. Jonas Allard and subtitled "The Occult Secrets at the Heart of the World's Most Secretive Research Facility." The front cover features an Eye of Providence, with the eyeball replaced with the Black Mesa logo, depicted between the title of the book and a picture of a mesa.
The back cover reads:
So secretive that all employees must undergo rigorous background checks.
So self-sufficient it has its own sanitation departments and hydro-electric power generator.
Is BMRF an innocent facility engaged in the pursuit of science? Or the invocation of Babylonian prophecy merging quantum and occult math to open an interdimensional portal between our world and another? And once the portal is opened...
...What will come through the other side?
Dr. Jonas Allard is a renowned paranormal researcher, and the author of CERN: Gateway to Babylon."
A copy of this book can be found in the Tanker Yard in Half-Life: Alyx, in the same building the Scientist can be glimpsed. It's located in a small hideout, on a makeshift bed under a pile of other books.
Black Mesa White Lies's model is a reskinned version of the From Here to There in Under a Second model. Its author also appears on a book titled The Singular Mind in Firewatch, the developers of which, Campo Santo, also worked on Half-Life: Alyx.
From Here to There in Under a Second
A book written by Dr. Isaac Kleiner.
The back cover reveals the contents of the book and reads:
"In From Here to There in Under a Second, Dr. Isaac Kleiner brings a new understanding, as well as a compelling thesis, to a subject long considered to be the stuff of science fiction: teleportation. Taking us through the history of this burgeoning and controversial new field in theoretical physics, Kleiner seeks to explain the unexplainable in this thorough, and often thrilling, peek into a potentially transformational new addition to humanity's future.
Praise For From Here to There in Under a Second
Kleiner brings darity and excitement to the realm of the impossible. -Popular Scientist
Dr. Isaac Kleiner is an emeritus faculty member at the MIT Center for Theoretical Physics. He has earned renown for his pioneering contributions to the emerging field of quantum teleportation."
A copy of the book first appears in Eli's Lab in Half-Life 2 as part of a research station bookshelf among other books. It reappears in Half-Life: Alyx as a detailed model that can be found on the starting balcony in Alyx's Hideout.
The Alyx asset was modeled and textured by Olly Moss, based on a photo of a deteriorated book.
Barney Calhoun's locker
Barney Calhoun's locker seen in the Insecurity chapter of Half-Life: Blue Shift includes two books:
- Government Conspiracies
- The Truth About Aliens by RH
The Truth About Aliens also appears in Half-Life: Decay, where it can be found in Gordon Freeman's room in the Level 3 Dormitories.
Eli's Lab bookshelf
The bookshelf in Eli's Lab features a number of books, the following titles of which are legible:
- The Meaning of Lost and Mismatched Socks, a real-world book "edited and illustrated" by Harry S. Robins and "written" by "Dr. Perditus Pedale, M.D., PH.D." (Harry S. Robins under a pseudonym). Published on June 11, 2004.
- Calabi-Yau Space
- Book apparently written in Chinese, with the last two legible characters of the title being "工学" (Engineering)
- To the Nth Dimension and Back Again
- From Here to There in Under a Second by Kleiner
- Aeronautical Robotics by William C. Wood
- The Extreme Aggrotato by Marc Laidlaw
- Strings, Quarks and Me
- Applied Dynamics
- Advanced Molecular Theory and Speculation
- The Big Book of Big Text by Dayyan Eng (the brother of Dhabih Eng)
Gordon Freeman's locker
Gordon Freeman's locker seen in the Anomalous Materials chapter of Half-Life includes two real-world books, both by Marc Laidlaw:
- The 37th Mandala, published in 1996
- The Orchid Eater, published in 1994
A copy of this magazine appears on a corkboard in Kleiner's Lab in Half-Life 2. The front cover of this issue, subtitled "NEXT LEVEL IN QUANTUM...", features a picture of a younger, full headed brown-haired Isaac Kleiner. Popular Scientist is also mentioned on the back cover of the From Here to There in Under a Second book model seen in Half-Life: Alyx, where it is quoted praising the work of Dr. Isaac Kleiner.
A copy of this magazine appears in Russell's Lab in Half-Life: Alyx. The front cover of this issue, subtitled "THE MIND OF BREEN - How the right man in the right place could save us all.", features a picture of Wallace Breen. On the partially ripped back cover is an advertisement for Chatka vodka. Also visible are fragments of advertisements for 3Dxp and L'orchid on the damaged back few pages.
A Russian-language newspaper that appears in Half-Life: Alyx.
Money & ???
Appears on a newspaper model folded with The Terminal in Half-Life 2. Its name is not fully legible.
The Mesa Times
The Mesa Times is Black Mesa's in-house newspaper. Scientists can be seen reading an issue throughout the start of Half-Life: Blue Shift; one whilst waiting for his laundry to be done in the Living Quarters Outbound chapter, and another sitting at a Black Mesa Transit System platform near Area 3 Security Facilities in the Insecurity chapter. The Mesa Times's nameplate uses the Times New Roman font, created for the British newspaper The Times.
The New York
An issue with the front page article titled "END IS N-" is found on a corkboard in Kleiner's Lab. It is based on real-world The New York Times.
A real-world satirical digital media company and newspaper organization. Issues can be found among destroyed trash can gibs in Half-Life.
An English-language newspaper that appears in Half-Life 2 and Half-Life: Alyx.
An English-language newspaper that appears in Half-Life 2 and Half-Life: Alyx.
Several additional newspaper clippings with missing or illegible nameplates can be seen on corkboards in Kleiner's Lab and Black Mesa East.
The sideboard located in the waiting room of the Robot Rehabilitation and Wellness Center in Robot Repair contains books related to other Valve IPs as an Easter egg:
- Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar
- The Dota 2 comic Tales from the Secret Shop
- Team Fortress 2’s in-universe Saxton Hale comic books:
- Saxton Hale's Mail Storm
- Girl's Adventure Starring Saxton Hale
Magazine read by P-body while sitting in the aforementioned waiting room. Copies of this magazine also appear on a glass coffee desk in the reception hall of the Aperture facility in Aperture Desk Job.
The UP Pioneer Press
Newspaper based in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, USA, where Aperture Science is headquartered. The front page of the issue dated January 6, 1944 is displayed in the Testing Lounge located in the 1950s levels of Test Shaft 09 in the Aperture Science Enrichment Center. It reports the purchase of a salt mine by Cave Johnson, an entrepreneur local to the Upper Peninsula who is "to Bring Science, Industry to Upper Michigan". Under a picture of the mine, Johnson is quoted "The Future is Here, and it's Under the Earth's Crust".
Appears in the Super 8 Interactive Teaser at the beginning of the map. Its name isn't fully legible and only "OURIER TIME" can be read. The featured Morning Edition issue is dated June ?, 1979 and mentions the Ixtoc I oil spill.
- ↑ Olly Moss's tweet on Twitter (April 29, 2020)
- ↑ FWD from Dr. Hal: When Carnosaurs Consume Cowhands!