'Microserfs' author looks at Google generation

In "JPod," Douglas Coupland takes his characteristic skepticism to this year's crop of oppressed tech workers.

Having characterized the 1990s zeitgeist of life at Microsoft in the novel "Microserfs," Canadian author and technophile Douglas Coupland has turned his attention on "Generation Xbox."

"JPod," due to be released in the U.S. on May 15 and in the U.K. on June 5, "updates 'Microserfs' for the age of Google," according to the book's Web site.

"Ethan Jarlewski and five co-workers whose surnames end in 'J' are bureaucratically marooned in JPod. JPod is a no-escape architectural limbo on the fringes of a massive Vancouver game design company," the site explains.

Where "Microserfs" dealt with the struggles of a group of Microsoft employees trying to break free from the staid and clinical existence in the Redmond, Wash., campus and create their own start-up, "JPod" looks at the lives of tech workers today, making their way uncertainly through the global pillaging of intellectual property, the clueless thrashings of boneheaded marketing staff, the rise of China, and the ashes of the 1990s high-tech, high-rolling dream.

Andrew Donoghue of ZDNet UK reported from London.

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