Douglas Coupland is good at creating bizarre situations that happen to characters that seem very real. In Hey Nostradamus!, Coupland gives you a story that requires readers to think about things beyond the events currently unfolding on the pages in front of them.
The story focuses on a fictional act of gun violence. The massacre in the book is not based on real events (so far as I can tell). The reader knows that the events in the book did not really happen. Despite this, the story is terrifying in many ways because gun violence is something that keeps happening, over and over again, all across America.