Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Literary Collections Canadian

Bit Rot

by (author) Douglas Coupland

Random House of Canada
Initial publish date
Jun 2017
Canadian, Media Studies, Essays
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2016
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2017
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


Douglas Coupland's Bit Rot is a gem of the digital age, exploring the different ways 20th-century notions of the future are being shredded. Reading Bit Rot feels a lot like binge-watching Netflix . . . you can't stop with just one.

"Bit rot" is a term used in digital archiving to describe the way digital files can spontaneously and quickly decompose. As Coupland writes, "Bit rot also describes the way my brain has been feeling since 2000, as I shed older and weaker neurons and connections and enhance new and unexpected ones."

Bit Rot explores the ways humanity tries to make sense of our shifting consciousness. Coupland, just like the Internet, mixes forms to achieve his ends. Short fiction is interspersed with essays on all aspects of modern life.The result is addictively satisfying for Coupland's legion of fans hungry for his observations about our world. For almost three decades, his unique pattern recognition has powered his fiction—and his phrase-making. Every page of Bit Rot is full of wit, surprise and delight.

About the author


Douglas Coupland was born on a Canadian NATO base in Germany and raised in Vancouver, where he still resides. Among his best-selling novels are Generation X, Shampoo Planet, Polaroids From The Dead, Microserfs, Miss Wyoming, Hey Nostradamus! and Eleanor Rigby, altogether in print in some 40 countries. Coupland also exhibits his sculpture in galleries around the world, indulging in design experiments that include everything from launching collections of furniture to futurological consulting for Stephen Spielberg.


Douglas Coupland's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Bit Rot offers priceless insights. . . . Few people are better [than Coupland] at explaining the ramifications of the digital era.” —BBC Culture

“An eclectic and thought-provoking collection of ephemera from Coupland. . . . This substantial collection of more than sixty-five stories and essays reveals the breadth and depth of Coupland’s writing. . . . A surprisingly personal meander around the mind of Generation X’s elder statesman.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Coupland’s collection is—like much of his work—a unique appraisal of modern culture, addressing technology, religion, death, violence, love and the environment. . . . Bit Rot sits somewhere between a string of TED talks and a three-hour binge of “recommended for you” Netflix choices. . . . If, indeed, it is possible to distill the writer’s eclectic collection, woven throughout the book is one main theme: the precarious dichotomy between the organic and the technological.” —The Georgia Straight

“While societal shifts are one of the main concerns of the collection, some of the stronger pieces in Bit Rot are defiantly personal. . . . Other pieces . . . create a dizzying moment of dislocation: as you start reading a piece, you are unsure whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, whether it can be ‘trusted’ or not. It’s an unsettling moment, a recurring and unavoidable dialectic over the nature of authority and ‘authority,’ the sort of intellectual jamming in which Coupland excels. . . . [Coupland is] a writer, thinker and artist utterly perfect of and for his time.” —National Post
“Fans of Coupland’s cheeky, time-mashing, brand-conscious prose will find this book a rollicking read with just enough doses of the surreal.” —Quill & Quire

“His approach to the world has always been one that inspired thoughtful engagement with ideas. In this way, Bit Rot highlights something we see very rarely in our culture, the act of creatively questioning.” —Geek Dad (blog)


“Coupland is one of the country’s most prominent, prolific and popular artists.” —The Province

“There are few authors who could be called the voice of a generation, but the tag fits Douglas Coupland—not only because he literally wrote the book Generation X, but for the way his prose oozes the irony and dark humor that define his peer group.” —Salon

“Douglas Coupland is Canada’s official Cool Guy. . . . It’s a fortunate thing that one of our culture’s closest and most versatile observers is also one of its exemplars.” —Metro News

“Unremittingly famous for defining a generation, Douglas Coupland is, himself, a creative whirl.” —The New York Times

Other titles by