David R. Bunch

David Roosevelt Bunch (August 7, 1925 – May 29, 2000) was an American writer of short stories and poetry. He worked mainly in the genres of science fiction, satire, surrealism, and literary fiction. Although prolific and critically acclaimed, Bunch remained obscure throughout his career. He is mainly known for a series of violent, bleak stories set in the cyborg dystopia of Moderan, which collectively form a satire on humanity’s obsession with violence and control.

Personal life

Bunch was born on August 7, 1925 on a farm outside Lowry City, Missouri.[1] He graduated from Central Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science degree, then received a master's degree in English from Washington University in St. Louis.[1] He pursued a Ph.D in English Literature at Washington University and the State University of Iowa, but rather than completing his doctoral dissertation, he shifted to creative writing and studied for two years at the Iowa Writers' Workshop before dropping out.

Bunch worked extensively on farms in the Midwest, taking low-level jobs in diverse industries. He later worked as a cartographer and map-chart editor for the Defense Mapping Agency in St. Louis until he retired in 1973 to pursue full-time freelance writing.[1] He died of a heart attack on May 29, 2000.[2]

Bunch married Phyllis Geraldine Flette[1] and they had two daughters, Phyllis Elaine and Velma Lorraine.[3]

Writing career

According to his long-time proponent Judith Merril,[4] Bunch published over 200 stories and poems prior to his first professional sale, a short story called "Routine Emergency" in the December 1957 edition of If.

He published at least 100 stories in science fiction magazines between 1957 and 1997, and nearly as many in literary magazines. No comprehensive David R. Bunch bibliography is known to exist; Bunch published almost exclusively in little magazines, digest-sized fiction magazines and fanzines, making a complete tally difficult (as the latter, particularly, are poorly indexed, and few indexes cover both the full range of little magazines and their more-commercial peers).

Much of Bunch's recognition comes from his inclusion in Harlan Ellison's defining New Wave anthology Dangerous Visions. Of the 32 writers selected, Bunch was the only one to have two stories included: "Incident in Moderan" and "The Escaping".

His second collection of stories, Bunch!, was nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award in 1993.

The Moderan sequence

Throughout his career, Bunch worked on a group of satirical far-future SF stories set in Moderan, a version of Earth paved over entirely with gray plastic and controlled by perpetually warring cyborg fortresses. Although the society of Moderan seems to project an appearance of personal valor and military perfection, its citizens are ultimately powerless, dominated by their own petty insecurities and hubris.

Forty-six of the Moderan stories were collected in Moderan (1971), linked by a complex frame-story. The collection was not reprinted until 2018 and became a collector's item. Despite its relative rarity, it is cited as a major work of New Wave science fiction [4][5][6] and it influenced cyberpunk.

Bunch continued to write and publish Moderan stories throughout his career. He had longed to see a complete collection of the Moderan sequence published. [7] In 2018, New York Review Books Classics published an updated Moderan collection, including stories not found in the original edition.[8]



  • Moderan, New York, Avon Books, 1971.
  • Bunch!, Cambridge, Broken Mirrors Press, 1993. ISBN 1-880910-00-4


  • We Have a Nervous Job, 1983. Astoria, Oregon, Alba Press, 1983.
  • The Heartacher and the Warehouseman, San Francisco, Anamnesis Press, 2000. ISBN 0-9631203-7-9


  1. ^ a b c d Bunch, David R., The Heartacher and the Warehouseman, "About the Author". Anamnesis Press (2000).
  2. ^ Recent Obituaries of Science Fiction Writers: http://stason.org/TULARC/education-books/sci-fi-sf-written/21-Recent-Obituaries-SF-writers.html
  3. ^ Bunch, David R., dedication to "Bunch!". Broken Mirrors Press (1993).
  4. ^ a b Unjustly Neglected: David R. Bunch: http://mumpsimus.blogspot.com/2004/02/unjustly-neglected-david-r-bunch.html
  5. ^ Brooks Landon, "Science Fiction After 1900: From the Steam Man to the Stars". Routledge (1995).
  6. ^ Aldiss, Brian, "Trillion Year Spree". House of Stratus, 2001.
  7. ^ Email correspondence with Bunch's daughter Phyllis.
  8. ^ https://www.nyrb.com/products/moderan?variant=6835859587124

External links


BeABohema was a science fiction fanzine edited by Frank Lunney of Quakertown, Pennsylvania . It lasted for twenty issues from 1968 to December 1971, and was nominated for the 1970 Hugo Award for Best Fanzine, losing to Richard E. Geis' Science Fiction Review.

It was known for controversies over such topics as the relationship between the Science Fiction Writers of America and Amazing Stories publisher Ultimate Publishing; and New Wave science fiction.Among the better-known contributors were Dean Koontz, Piers Anthony (who did a column titled "Babble" for a while), Bill Rotsler, Ted White, Philip José Farmer, James Blish, David Gerrold, Sam Moskowitz, Jay Kinney, Terry Carr, David R. Bunch, and a then-obscure fan named "Gene Klein" who would later become famous as Gene Simmons of KISS.

Bunch (surname)

Bunch is a surname.

According to George Fraser Black (The Surnames of Scotland, 1946), it is "a surname peculiar to Perth and neighbourhood, and found in Perth so early as first half of the fifteenth century".

Dangerous Visions

Dangerous Visions is a science fiction short story anthology edited by American writer Harlan Ellison and illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon. It was published in 1967.

A path-breaking collection, Dangerous Visions helped define the New Wave science fiction movement, particularly in its depiction of sex in science fiction. Writer/editor Al Sarrantonio writes how Dangerous Visions "almost single-handedly [...] changed the way readers thought about science fiction."

Contributors to the volume included 20 authors who had won, or would win, a Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, or BSFA award, and 16 with multiple such awards. Ellison introduced the anthology both collectively and individually while authors provided afterwords to their own stories.

Fantastic (magazine)

Fantastic was an American digest-size fantasy and science fiction magazine, published from 1952 to 1980. It was founded by the publishing company Ziff Davis as a fantasy companion to Amazing Stories. Early sales were good, and the company quickly decided to switch Amazing from pulp format to digest, and to cease publication of their other science fiction pulp, Fantastic Adventures. Within a few years sales fell, and Howard Browne, the editor, was forced to switch the focus to science fiction rather than fantasy. Browne lost interest in the magazine as a result and the magazine generally ran poor-quality fiction in the mid-1950s, under Browne and his successor, Paul W. Fairman.

At the end of the 1950s, Cele Goldsmith took over as editor of both Fantastic and Amazing Stories, and quickly invigorated the magazines, bringing in many new writers and making them, in the words of one science fiction historian, the "best-looking and brightest" magazines in the field. Goldsmith helped to nurture the early careers of writers such as Roger Zelazny and Ursula K. Le Guin, but was unable to increase circulation, and in 1965 the magazines were sold to Sol Cohen, who hired Joseph Wrzos as editor and switched to a reprint-only policy. This was financially successful, but brought Cohen into conflict with the newly formed Science Fiction Writers of America. After a turbulent period at the end of the 1960s, Ted White became editor and the reprints were phased out.

White worked hard to make the magazine successful, introducing artwork from artists who had made their names in comics, and working with new authors such as Gordon Eklund. His budget for fiction was low, but he was occasionally able to find good stories from well-known writers that had been rejected by other markets. Circulation continued to decline, however, and in 1978, Cohen sold out his half of the business to his partner, Arthur Bernhard. White resigned shortly afterwards, and was replaced by Elinor Mavor, but within two years Bernhard decided to close down Fantastic, merging it with Amazing Stories, which had always enjoyed a slightly higher circulation.

Felix C. Gotschalk

Felix C. Gotschalk (September 7, 1929 – April 20, 2002) was an American science fiction writer with a distinct, idiosyncratic style, his work marked by energetic exploration of social and sexual taboos. He was also known as Jacques Goudchaux.

List of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction

This is a list of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction works as portrayed in literature, film, television, and, comics.Apocalyptic fiction is a subgenre of science fiction that is concerned with the end of civilization due to a potentially existential catastrophe such as nuclear warfare, pandemic, extraterrestrial attack, impact event, cybernetic revolt, technological singularity, dysgenics, supernatural phenomena, divine judgment, climate change, resource depletion or some other general disaster. Post-apocalyptic fiction is set in a world or civilization after such a disaster. The time frame may be immediately after the catastrophe, focusing on the travails or psychology of survivors, or considerably later, often including the theme that the existence of pre-catastrophe civilization has been forgotten (or mythologized).

Apocalypse is a Greek word referring to the end of the world. Apocalypticism is the religious belief that there will be an apocalypse, a term which originally referred to a revelation of God's will, but now usually refers to belief that the world will come to an end very soon, even within one's own lifetime.Apocalyptic fiction does not portray catastrophes, or disasters, or near-disasters that do not result in apocalypse. A threat of an apocalypse does not make a piece of fiction apocalyptic. For example, Armageddon and Deep Impact are considered disaster films and not apocalyptic fiction because, although earth and/or human-kind are terribly threatened, in the end they manage to avoid destruction. Apocalyptic fiction is not the same as fiction that provides visions of a dystopian future. George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, for example, is dystopian fiction, not apocalyptic fiction.

List of poets from the United States

The poets listed below were either born in the United States or else published much of their poetry while living in that country.



List of short stories by David R. Bunch

This list combines material found in several bibliographies of science fiction writer David R. Bunch. It should not be considered exhaustive, because no definitive Bunch bibliography is known to exist.

New Dimensions IV

New Dimensions IV is an anthology of original science fiction short stories edited by Robert Silverberg, the fourth in a series of twelve. It was first published in paperback by Signet/New American Library in October 1974.The book collects ten novellas, novelettes and short stories by various science fiction authors.

New Wave science fiction

The New Wave is a movement in science fiction produced in the 1960s and 1970s and characterized by a high degree of experimentation, both in form and in content, a "literary" or artistic sensibility, and a focus on "soft" as opposed to hard science. New Wave writers often saw themselves as part of the modernist tradition and sometimes mocked the traditions of pulp science fiction, which some of them regarded as stodgy, adolescent and poorly written.

Perihelion Science Fiction

Perihelion Science Fiction is an American online science fiction magazine specializing in hard science fiction. The first issue was published November 12, 2012, and it has maintained a regular monthly update schedule since. Perihelion has published fiction by authors such as Joseph Green, Ken Liu, Lela E. Buis, Aliya Whiteley, and Steve Stanton, including articles by National Press Club member John A. McCormick and comic strips by Christopher Baldwin and John Waltrip. Sam Bellotto Jr., is the editor and publisher. Eric M. Jones is the associate editor. Perihelion Science Fiction pays semi-professional rates for fiction.

Philip K. Dick Award

The Philip K. Dick Award is a science fiction award given annually at Norwescon and sponsored by the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society and (since 2005) the Philip K. Dick Trust. Named after science fiction and fantasy writer Philip K. Dick, it has been awarded since 1983, the year after his death. It is awarded to the best original paperback published each year in the US.The award was founded by Thomas Disch with assistance from David G. Hartwell, Paul S. Williams, and Charles N. Brown. As of 2016, it is administered by Gordon Van Gelder. Past administrators include Algis Budrys, David G. Hartwell, and David Alexander Smith.

Protostars (book)

Protostars is an anthology of science fiction short stories edited by David Gerrold and Stephen Goldin. It was first published in paperback by Ballantine Books in October 1971, and has been reprinted a number of times since.

The book collects sixteen novelettes and short stories by various science fiction authors, including a few by the editors, with an introduction by Gerrold.

Robots (Asimov anthology)

Robots is an anthology of science fiction short stories edited by Isaac Asimov, Martin H. Greenberg and Charles G. Waugh as the ninth volume in their Isaac Asimov's Wonderful Worlds of Science Fiction series. It was first published in paperback by Signet/New American Library in April 1989. The first British edition was issued in paperback by Robinson in 1989.The book collects seventeen novelettes and short stories by various science fiction authors, together with an introduction by Asimov.

The Year's Best S-F 11th Annual Edition (Judith Merril anthology)

The Year's Best S-F 11th Annual Edition is a science fiction anthology edited by Judith Merril first published in 1966.

Virginia Kidd

Virginia Kidd (June 2, 1921 – January 11, 2003) was an American literary agent, writer and editor, who worked in particular in science fiction and related fields. She represented science fiction American authors such as Ursula K. Le Guin, R.A. Lafferty, Anne McCaffrey, Judith Merril, and Gene Wolfe. Wolfe modeled Ann Schindler, a character in his 1990 novel Castleview, in large part on Kidd.

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