Player One: Douglas Coupland

Armageddon in a bar in a Toronto airport hotel, a building resembling “the third-best restaurant in the fourth-largest city in Bulgaria”

Preternaturally calm, the main characters muse on faith, love, reality and the meaning of life.

Coupland is often derided as being derivative and predictable. Doesn’t matter. He seldom writes a bad book.

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The Tehran Initiative: Joel Rosenberg

If Rosenberg couldn’t remember the basic tenet of writing (“Show, don’t tell”) he could at least have listened to Madonna (“Papa, Don’t Preach”).

Pity. There’s a good story buried between the “preaching” and “telling.”