Microserfs, published by HarperCollins in 1995, is an epistolary novel by Douglas Coupland. It first appeared in short story form as the cover article for the January 1994 issue of Wired magazine, and was subsequently expanded to full novel length.
Set in the early 1990s, it captures the state of the technology industry before Windows 95, and anticipates the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s.
They are Microserfs six code-crunching computer whizzes who spend upward of sixteen hours a day “coding” and eating “flat” foods (food which, like Kraft singles, can be passed underneath closed doors) as they fearfully scan company e-mail to learn whether the great Bill is going to “flame” one of them.
But now there’s a chance to become innovators instead of cogs in the gargantuan Microsoft machine. The intrepid Microserfs are striking out on their own living together in a shared digital flophouse as they desperately try to cultivate well-rounded lives and find love amid the dislocated, subhuman whir and buzz of their computer-driven world.
It’s starts out young- you try not be different just to survive- you try to be just like everyone else- anonymity becomes reflexive- and then one day you wake up and you’ve become all those other people- the others- the something you aren’t. And you wonder if you can ever be what it is you really are. Or you wonder if it’s too late to find out. Douglas Coupland, Microserfs.
- Douglas Couplan’s 1994 epistolary novel
- The novel is presented in the form of diary entries maintained on a PowerBook by the narrator, Daniel.
- This novel is similar to what emerged a decade later as the blog format.