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Darwin's Bastards

by Yann Martel William Gibson Douglas Coupland Zsuzsi Gartner Timothy Taylor

These 23 stories take us on a twisted fun ride into some future times and parallel universes where characters as diverse as a one-legged International Actuarial Forensics specialist, a pharmaceutical guinea pig, and a far-sighted fetus engage in their own games of the survival of the fittest. From a new short story by William Gibson in which a teen disassociated from his body haunts his neighborhood through the decades, to Douglas Coupland's balls-out satire of a slightly futuristic Survivor, to Sheila Heti's meditative romp about beleaguered physicists and Oracle of Delphi-like Blackberrys, Darwin's Bastards is a fast-moving, thought-provoking reading extravaganza.

Generation A

by Douglas Coupland

Generation A is set in the near future in a world where bees are extinct, until five unconnected people from around the world -- in the United States, Canada, France, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka -- are all stung. Their shared experience unites them in ways they never could have imagined. Generation A mirrors Coupland's debut novel, 1991's Generation X. It explores new ways of storytelling in a digital world. Like much of Coupland's writing, it occupies the perplexing hinterland between optimism about the future and everyday apocalyptic paranoia. Imaginative, inventive, and fantastically entertaining, Generation A is his most ambitious work to date.

Girlfriend in a Coma

by Douglas Coupland

On a snowy Friday night in 1979, just hours after making love for the first time, Richard's girlfriend, high school senior Karen Ann McNeil, falls into a coma. Nine months later she gives birth to their daughter, Megan. As Karen sleeps through the next seventeen years, Richard and their circle of friends reside in an emotional purgatory, passing through a variety of careers-modeling, film special effects, medicine, demolition-before finally reuniting on a conspiracy-driven super-natural television series. But real life grows as surreal as their TV show as Richard and his friends await Karen's reawakening . . . and the subsequent apocalypse.

JPod

by Douglas Coupland

A lethal joyride into today's new breed of technogeeks, Coupland's forthcoming novel updates Microserfs for the age of Google.Ethan Jarlewski and five co-workers whose names start with J are bureaucratically marooned in jPod. jPod is a no-escape architectural limbo on the fringes of a massive Vancouver game design company.The six workers daily confront the forces that define our era: global piracy, boneheaded marketing staff, people smuggling, the rise of China, marijuana grow ops, Jeff Probst, and the ashes of the 1990s financial tech dream. jPod's universe is amoral and shameless. The characters are products of their era even as they're creating it. Everybody in Ethan's life inhabits a moral grey zone. Nobody is exempt, not even his seemingly straitlaced parents or Coupland himself, as readers will see.Full of word games, visual jokes and sideways jabs, this book throws a sharp, pointed lawn dart into the heart of contemporary life. jPod is Douglas Coupland at the top of his game.Excerpt from jPod:I slunk into the BoardX meeting where Steve, Gord-O, and staff from the loftiest perches of the food chain were still trying to nail the essence of Jeff the Charismatic Turtle. Prototype turtle sketches were pinned onto a massive cork wall, all of them goofy and teensploitational: sunglasses, baggy pants and (dear God) a terry-cloth sweatband."Does Jeff the Turtle follow players around the entire time they manipulate their third person?""Almost. Like Watson is to Sherlock Holmes.""Can you imagine how annoying that would be?""Maybe the buddy isn't such a good idea."Steve squashed that hope. "It's going to be a buddy. Players will love it.""It's really Poochie-Joins-Itchy-and-Scratchy.""How am I ever going to look somebody who plays Tony Hawk games in the face again?""Isn't our turtle supposed to be a bit more studly?""Turtles aren't studly by nature.""What about the turtle they used in the 1950s to pimp the atomic weapons program? He was kind of studly.""No he wasn't and, besides, he's dead.""What?""Dead. Hanged himself from the side of his posh midtown Manhattan terrarium. Left a note saying he couldn't handle the shame of what he'd done. Wrote it on a piece of Bibb lettuce."From the Hardcover edition.

Kitten Clone

by Douglas Coupland

Douglas Coupland, one of the world's biggest cultural brains, takes an inside look at the global company that keeps us connected, and wonders what all that connectivity is doing to our brains and our sense of ourselves as humans. The incomparable Douglas Coupland reports from inside the corporate offices and science labs of Alcatel-Lucent, a globally influential business whose work is largely unknown to consumers. "Were it to vanish tomorrow," he writes, "our modern world would grind to a halt. The Internet would implode--your Internet would implode." Although his examination of the company is playful and fascinating in its own right, Coupland's account is driven by his thoughtful reflections on the larger cultural and sociological significance of the transformative information technology Alcatel works on: fiber wire, microprocessors, the Internet and mobile technologies. And by a larger meditation about what the Internet is doing to us as it relentlessly colonizes the planet, and our brains. Like Coupland's best work, Kitten Clone is a wildly entertaining yet penetrating encounter with the technological and cultural forces that surround us. And also a surprising and unique exploration of a possible future.From the Trade Paperback edition.

Life After God

by Douglas Coupland

We are the first generation raised without God. We are creatures with strong religious impulses, yet they have nowhere to flow in this world of malls and TV, Kraft dinners and jets. How do we cope with loneliness? Anxiety? The collapse of relationships? How do we reach the quiet, safe layer of our lives? In this compellingly innovative collection of stories, bestselling author Douglas Coupland responds to these themes. Cutting through the hype of modern living to find a rare grace amid our lives, he uncovers a new kind of truth for a culture stuck on fast-forward. A culture seemingly beyond God.

Microserfs

by Douglas Coupland

They are Microserfs-six code-crunching computer whizzes who spend upward of sixteen hours a day "coding" and eating "flat" foods (food which, like Kraft singles, can be passed underneath closed doors) as they fearfully scan company e-mail to learn whether the great Bill is going to "flame" one of them. But now there's a chance to become innovators instead of cogs in the gargantuan Microsoft machine. The intrepid Microserfs are striking out on their own-living together in a shared digital flophouse as they desperately try to cultivate well-rounded lives and find love amid the dislocated, subhuman whir and buzz of their computer-driven world.

Miss Wyoming

by Douglas Coupland

From the bestselling author of Generation X and Microserfs, comes the absurd and tender story of a hard-living movie producer and a former child beauty pageant contender who only find each other by losing themselves. Waking up in an L. A. hospital, John Johnson is amazed that it was the flu and not an overdose of five different drugs mixed with cognac that nearly killed him. As a producer of high-adrenaline action flicks, he's led a decadent and dangerous life, purchasing his way through every conceivable variant of sex. But each variation seems to take him one notch away from a capacity for love, and while movie-making was once a way for him to create worlds of sensation, it now bores him. After his near-death experience, John decides to walk away from his life. Susan Colgate is an unbankable former tv star and child beauty pageant contender. Forced to marry a heavy metal singer in need of a Green Card after her parents squander her sitcom earnings, she becomes the alpha road rat. But when the band's popularity dwindles, the marriage dissolves. Flying back to Los Angeles in Economy, Susan's plane crashes and only she survives. As she walks away from the disaster virtually unscathed, Susan, too, decides to disappear. John and Susan are two souls searching for love across the bizarre, celebrity-obsessed landscape of LA, and are driven, almost fatefully, toward each other. Hilarious, fast-paced and ultimately heart-wrenching, Miss Wyoming is about people who, after throwing off their self-made identities, begin the fearful search for a love that exposes all vulnerabilities.

Miss Wyoming

by Douglas Coupland

From the bestselling author of Generation X and Microserfs, comes the absurd and tender story of a hard-living movie producer and a former child beauty pageant contender who only find each other by losing themselves.Waking up in an L.A. hospital, John Johnson is amazed that it was the flu and not an overdose of five different drugs mixed with cognac that nearly killed him. As a producer of high-adrenaline action flicks, he's led a decadent and dangerous life, purchasing his way through every conceivable variant of sex. But each variation seems to take him one notch away from a capacity for love, and while movie-making was once a way for him to create worlds of sensation, it now bores him. After his near-death experience, John decides to walk away from his life.Susan Colgate is an unbankable former tv star and child beauty pageant contender. Forced to marry a heavy metal singer in need of a Green Card after her parents squander her sitcom earnings, she becomes the alpha road rat. But when the band's popularity dwindles, the marriage dissolves. Flying back to Los Angeles in Economy, Susan's plane crashes and only she survives. As she walks away from the disaster virtually unscathed, Susan, too, decides to disappear.John and Susan are two souls searching for love across the bizarre, celebrity-obsessed landscape of LA, and are driven, almost fatefully, toward each other. Hilarious, fast-paced and ultimately heart-wrenching, Miss Wyoming is about people who, after throwing off their self-made identities, begin the fearful search for a love that exposes all vulnerabilities.From the Trade Paperback edition.

Polaroids from the Dead

by Douglas Coupland

Douglas Coupland takes his sparkling literary talent in a new direction with this crackling collection of takes on life and death in North America -- from his sweeping portrait of Grateful Dead culture to the deaths of Kurt Cobain, Marilyn Monroe and the middle class. For years, Coupland's razor-sharp insights into what it means to be human in an age of technology have garnered the highest praise from fans and critics alike. At last, Coupland has assembled a wide variety of stories and personal "postcards" about pivotal people and places that have defined our modern lives. Polaroids from the Dead is a skillful combination of stories, fact and fiction -- keen outtakes on life in the late 20th century, exploring the recent past and a society obsessed with celebrity, crime and death. Princess Diana, Nicole Brown Simpson and Madonna are but some of the people scrutinized.

Shampoo Planet

by Douglas Coupland

Shampoo Planet is the rich and dazzling point where two worlds collide -- those of 1960s parents and their 1990s offspring, "Global Teens."

Worst. Person. Ever.

by Douglas Coupland

Douglas Coupland's gloriously filthy, side-splittingly funny and unforgettable new novel, his first full-length work of fiction in four years.Worst. Person. Ever. is a deeply unworthy book about a dreadful human being with absolutely no redeeming social value. Raymond Gunt, in the words of the author, "is a living, walking, talking, hot steaming pile of pure id." He's a B-unit cameraman who enters an amusing downward failure spiral that takes him from London to Los Angeles and then on to an obscure island in the Pacific where a major American TV network is shooting a Survivor-style reality show. Along the way, Gunt suffers multiple comas and unjust imprisonment, is forced to reenact the "Angry Dance" from the movie Billy Elliot and finds himself at the centre of a nuclear war. We also meet Raymond's upwardly failing sidekick, Neal, as well as Raymond's ex-wife, Fiona, herself "an atomic bomb of pain." Even though he really puts the "anti" in anti-hero, you may find Raymond Gunt an oddly likeable character.

Worst. Person. Ever.

by Douglas Coupland

A razor-sharp portrait of a morally bankrupt and gleefully wicked modern man, Worst. Person. Ever. is Douglas Coupland's gloriously filthy, side-splittingly funny and unforgettable new novel. Meet Raymond Gunt. A decent chap who tries to do the right thing. Or, to put it another way, the worst person ever: a foul-mouthed, misanthropic cameraman, trailing creditors, ex-wives and unhappy homeless people in his wake. Men dislike him, women flee from him. Worst. Person. Ever. is a deeply unworthy book about a dreadful human being with absolutely no redeeming social value. Gunt, in the words of the author, "is a living, walking, talking, hot steaming pile of pure id. " He's a B-unit cameraman who enters an amusing downward failure spiral that takes him from London to Los Angeles and then on to an obscure island in the Pacific where a major American TV network is shooting a Survivor-style reality show. Along the way, Gunt suffers multiple comas and unjust imprisonment, is forced to re-enact the 'Angry Dance' from the movie Billy Elliot and finds himself at the centre of a nuclear war. We also meet Raymond's upwardly failing sidekick, Neal, as well as Raymond's ex-wife, Fiona, herself 'an atomic bomb of pain'. Even though he really puts the 'anti' in anti-hero, you may find Raymond Gunt an oddly likeable character.

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