Additional Book Information
Series: NYRB Classics
Publication Date: September 11, 2018
by David R. Bunch, foreword by Jeff VanderMeer
Great writers do two things at one and the same time: they bring us more fully into the world around us and they open worlds behind that visible, everyday one. They make us profoundly uncomfortable. I still approach these stories with a singular mix of anticipation and apprehension. No writer has ever made me more uncomfortable than David R. Bunch.
A mean treat. I’ve long felt [Bunch] was one of the most undersung and ill-known landmarks in sf...oh what intensity at the focus, what idiosyncrasy, what a one roaring diamond glimpse.
—James Tiptree, Jr., Letter to Ursula K. Le Guin
This collection gives Bunch's cybernetic vision of the future new life for a new generation of science-fiction readers. Almost a half-century after these stories were originally released, the thematic power of Bunch's vision still resonates, the narrative equivalent of a new-metal alloy punch to the gut. A disturbing, stark, and deeply thought-provoking collection of stories chronicling humankind's demise into heartless automatons.
[Bunch’s] lasting influence stems in part from his grandiloquent and oft-absurd narratives, but more directly from his playful and impressionistic language…. A fascinating amalgam of existential reflection, social critique, and a boundless wonder at the foolish extremes to which men will turn in their quest for macho certainty.
Jeff VanderMeer’s perceptive introduction, couched in Bunchian idiom, offers valuable insights. This is a steely view of a robot-dominated future.
Bunch is possibly the most dangerous visionary of all those assembled here.
A writer whose work I admire vastly. And a writer who has, oddly enough, barely received the acclaim due to him.