Player One: What Is to Become of Us (CBC Massey Lecture)

Player One: What Is to Become of Us (CBC Massey Lecture)

Douglas Coupland

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 0887849687

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


International bestselling author Douglas Coupland delivers a real-time, five-hour story set in an airport cocktail lounge during a global disaster. Five disparate people are trapped inside: Karen, a single mother waiting for her online date; Rick, the down-on-his-luck airport lounge bartender; Luke, a pastor on the run; Rachel, a cool Hitchcock blonde incapable of true human contact; and finally a mysterious voice known as Player One. Slowly, each reveals the truth about themselves while the world as they know it comes to an end.
In the tradition of Kurt Vonnegut and J. G. Ballard, Coupland explores the modern crises of time, human identity, society, religion, and the afterlife. The book asks as many questions as it answers, and readers will leave the story with no doubt that we are in a new phase of existence as a species — and that there is no turning back.

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flying halfway across a continental land mass to meet a man I’ve known only electronically for two weeks, and only visually from two brazenly fraudulent JPEGs? Karen attempts humour: “Looks like we’ve hit the awkward patch pretty quickly.” Warren says, “The awkward patch usually happens a bit later,” then catches himself, saying, “It’s not like this is something I do all the time.” “How many times have you done this?”

what. But now he believes that time has floods, too — it simply isn’t a constant anymore. Twenty thousand dollars in his pockets, and Luke feels like he’s in the flood. Luke asks, “What about you? Single?” “Yes. Irregularities in the insula, cingulate, and inferior frontal parts of the brain make me unable to have what neurotypical people such as you call a ‘relationship.’ I enjoy situations that are familiar to me, and if that means having a person around me,

between his death and the fireball five kilometres away. Terrorists? Oil depot screw-up? Anarchists? Rick, meanwhile, continued to yell to everyone to lie as low as possible, out of view of snipers. He said, “I’ll start the truck and we’ll boot directly out of here.” But when he turned the key, the engine made a sickening I’m-not-going-to-start noise. “Oh God, Pam is right, I’m nothing but a goddam genetic dumpster. I do deserve everything

“I’m sorry, sweetie. It’ll get better.” “I don’t know where my father and sister are.” “I don’t know where my daughter is, but I know she’ll be okay. You can’t worry that way.” Luke came back in. “Here’s the iPhone.” “Hand it to me, Luke.” Karen looked at the iPhone. “My boss has this same model. Why don’t I look at some of your pictures, Max?” “I can’t see them.” “That’s okay. I’ll

living.” “You’re a teenager dressed like Nancy Reagan.” “I’m dressed like a fertile woman of child-bearing age. And judging by your raised voice, you are either angry or telling a joke.” Rachel heads back to the bar and washes her hands with Purell and a bar towel. Bertis says, “This isn’t happening.” “Bertis, can we please discuss white mice?” Rachel says, taking a sip of her Coke. Rick snickers. “Now you

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