Douglas Coupland to publish new novella, ‘Temp,’ in Metro series

Douglas Coupland
Author Douglas Coupland has a new novella out, “Temp,” about the difficulties faced by the current crop of new workers. Credit: Getty

Metro is pleased to announce an exclusive collaboration with celebrated author Douglas Coupland.

His novella, “Temp,” will be running online and in the pages of your daily Metro each weekday from Nov. 4-29. Charlotte Empey, editor-in-chief of Metro Canada, arranged the collaboration, saying that the novella “explores what it means to be young, smart and only temporarily employed, through the eyes of a contemporary cast of characters just trying to carve a place for themselves in an uncertain world.”

When we reached out to the famed Vancouver-based novelist about why he chose Metro to publish his work, he said, “Metro is the tom-toms of the global village. It’s the new face of old media. It reaches millions of people who devour every word and it all ends up being discussed in lunchrooms, meeting rooms and dinner tables around the world.” 

Below, please read Coupland’s letter to readers about “Temp” and his collaboration with your favorite daily newspaper.

In the next four weeks you’ll be reading the daily story of a very likeable character named Shannon. You already know Shannon — everyone knows Shannon; you may well be Shannon. She’s that slightly geeky gal who temps at every office you’ve ever worked at. She’s funny, she’s got her head screwed on right, and most of all, Shannon lives in our collective real world. She lives in the year 2013 and Shannon’s world is changing and mutating as rapidly as yours.

Change: that dreaded word. If only we could have a one-year holiday from change — but that’s not going to happen and we all know it. So then, how do we make the most of life as it’s really lived? How do we cope and find the good stuff amidst the bad stuff? That’s what Shannon’s all about.

But wait. Why Metro? And why me writing about a character named Shannon in Metro? Two reasons. One, I always set my books in what I call ‘the extreme present tense.’ As living creatures, the present moment is all we have. It truly is… it’s freaky and messy and weird, but it’s ours and soon enough the present tense will become the Good Old Days — so enjoy it.

Two, I’m no longer sure if fiction is keeping pace with life and how we live it. I’m a born experimenter and I want to try something new to address this lack. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: As a species we’ve never been smarter, yet we’ve never felt stupider. We live in a world of devices and clouds and economic bubbles. A traditional novel will always be central to human civilization, but I get the impression a new form of storytelling is being called for. I call it dépêche fiction: fast-changing fiction. (Yes, kind of like Dépêche Mode, a band I totally like.) Dépêche fiction is a cappuccino hit. Dépêche fiction is a really awesome Russian dash cam clip. Dépêche fiction is written so that it accumulates in your brain over time, and then, just like alien eggs, it suddenly hatches and makes your brain say, ‘Hey! I’m feeling something tingly and new! And BTW, I’ve overtaken your existence!’

What to expect? Well, it’s not ‘The Office,’ and it’s not a comic strip. ‘Temp’ is something new — and you get to be a part of the experiment. And Metro is the perfect slot for ‘Temp.’ Metro is read by people who are out there in the world living a full-on modern experience. Fiction is about readers being able to say, ‘Wait — that’s how I see the world!’ And I hope that’s what you feel. And now let the eggs hatch.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Deron Williams leads Nets over Raptors in Game…

The Nets traveled to a raucous Air Canada Centre but came out with an important Game 1 victory over the Raptors.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.