David R. Bunch’s Cybernetic Moderan Stories Acquired by New York Review of Books Classics

New York Review of Books Classics has acquired World rights to David R. Bunch’s out-of-print collection MODERAN, for publication in 2017. The deal was made by Jeff VanderMeer through VanderMeer Creative, acting on behalf of the Bunch estate, and the acquiring editor is Sara Kramer. Bunch’s highly original Moderan stories were prized by such iconic editors as Judith Merril, Harlan Ellison, and Cele Goldsmith. The stories were sometimes controversial with readers and published in both genre and literary magazines from the 1950s through 1970s.

In the Moderan universe, half-organic cybernetic human beings try to survive in a dystopian future in which the Earth has been mostly mined out and asphalted over. These hard-edged yet lyrical stories—as if Philip K. Dick had collaborated with e.e. cummings—are more topical today than when written in what they have to say about our relationship to the environment and each other.

“I’m very happy that my father’s legacy will live on with a new generation of readers and with such a prestigious publishing house,” said Phyllis Deckert, Bunch’s daughter. “We hope it signals a resurgence of interest in my father’s work in general.”

“It’s rare that a writer comes recommended to you as ‘singular,’ ‘mind-blowing,’ a ‘neglected master’ and lives up to the hype,” said editor Sara Kramer. “But that’s just what happened in the case of David R. Bunch. Suffice to say we at NYRB Classics are pretty excited to have a part in introducing him and his Moderan stories to the wider world.”

Both the estate and VanderMeer Creative also are grateful to Matthew Cheney for his efforts in writing about Bunch online and in being an advocate for the reprinting of his works.

For more information or to contact the estate, please email [email protected]

For information on foreign language rights, please contact NYRB Classics.

4 comments on “David R. Bunch’s Cybernetic Moderan Stories Acquired by New York Review of Books Classics

  1. Robert Cook says:

    This is WONDERFUL news! I remember seeing David Bunch’s byline often in AMAZING and FANTASTIC Magazines in the late 60s and into the 70s, when I bought the magazine regularly, mostly for Ted White’s editorials. I did read some of the stories and novels published in the magazines, (including Brian Aldiss’ FRANKENSTEIN UNBOUND and White’s own brilliant BY FURIES POSSESSED). My dad was a science fiction fan and he had older issues of the magazines, also with David Bunch stories in them. However, I never read the Bunch stories. Some years ago, I bought a copy of the Avon MODERAN book at a science fiction convention, as I had heard good things about it from a friend. I put it on my bookshelf. A few years later, at another science fiction convention, I found another copy of the book, autographed by Bunch! I bought that and put that on my shelf. Still more years later, I found a copy at a sidewalk book seller in NYC, and I bought that. More time passed, then FINALLY I read the book. It blew my mind! It is a work of singular genius, (a word thrown around far too much). I found a copy of the indie-published BUNCH! on Amazon and bought that. I have hoped a book collecting the complete stories of David R. Bunch would one day be published. I know this is not that, but I’m thrilled a new edition of the book will be published, hopefully with at least some new stories and on better paper with better binding. Hoorah!!

  2. Robert Cook says:

    This is WONDERFUL news! I remember seeing David Bunch’s byline often in AMAZING and FANTASTIC Magazines in the late 60s and into the 70s, when I bought the magazine regularly, mostly for Ted White’s editorials. I did read some of the stories and novels published in the magazines, (including Brian Aldiss’ FRANKENSTEIN UNBOUND and White’s own brilliant BY FURIES POSSESSED). My dad was a science fiction fan and he had older issues of the magazines, also with David Bunch stories in them. However, I never read the Bunch stories. Some years ago, I bought a copy of the Avon MODERAN book at a science fiction convention, as I had heard good things about it from a friend. I put it on my bookshelf. A few years later, at another science fiction convention, I found another copy of the book, autographed by Bunch! I bought that and put that on my shelf. Still more years later, I found a copy at a sidewalk book seller in NYC, and I bought that. More time passed, then FINALLY I read the book. It blew my mind! It is a work of singular genius, (a word thrown around far too much). I found a copy of the indie-published BUNCH! on Amazon and bought that. I have hoped a book collecting the complete stories of David R. Bunch would one day be published. I know this is not that, but I’m thrilled a new edition of the book will be published, hopefully with at least some new stories and on better paper with better binding. Hoorah!!

  3. Raymond Lakner says:

    This is wonderful news.

    Years ago I used to ask scifi readers if they had ever read “Ender’s Game” or “Moderan.” Evey now and then their eyes would light up and they would say “You’ve read Enders Game! Wow!” But nobody I know ever even heard of Moderan.

    The Ender’s Game movie was decent, except for the bullshit soft and fuzzy invented ending.

    Would that I could legally write the screenplay.

  4. Raymond Lakner says:

    Addendum: Would that I could legally write the screenplay for Moderan.

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