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3.81  ·  Rating details ·  144 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Come to Moderan...

Moderan is one of the most startingly original, provocative & fascinating future worlds in all of science fiction.

In Moderan, men are made mostly of metal. They retain strips of flesh to contain their humanity. They live in Strongholds. They prowl the war rooms of their Strongholds and plan wars.

Quite a world, Moderan. Come visit. The war is about to
Mass Market Paperback, 1st, #V2403, 240 pages
Published May 1971 by Avon Books
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3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  144 ratings  ·  29 reviews

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Glenn Russell
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Moderan is back!

Moderan, the SF world of the future populated by men that are a combination flesh and futuristic metal forever seeking war, conquest and total domination. And the great war of Moderan is now underway. This New York Review Books edition of David R. Bunch’s classic is made available to readers starting today, the first time since its original publication back in 1971.

Moderan men live in Srongholds. Moderan men live and breathe war - if they are not at war, Moderan men are forever
Spencer Orey
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At first, I thought this was just overblown, campy sf writing. Now I think it's incredible.

The stories are often more like dystopian poetry pieces or meditations, set in a world where everything has been destroyed by nuclear holocaust and the survivors have become immortal endlessly warring bro robots.

There's a tremendous sense of humor to this terribly bleak book, and even in the worst things it portrays and lampoons, it made me laugh while still really getting at something important each time.
Noah Wareness
Jul 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
David R. Bunch was behind the densest, most poetic science fiction that's ever been written, and probably the darkest and bitterest too. If you're interested in fringe writers who demonstrate paths that the mainstream never encountered, Bunch is yours to lose. There's nothing like his work in literature anywhere.

Moderan is a loosely braided novel-in-stories about people who have cut off their flesh to add electronics, paved the entire earth in gray plastic and reduced their culture to a drive f
Harry Lang
Mar 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Possibly the most imaginative fiction I've ever read. Humanity survives ecological disaster by covering the world in plastic and converting themselves to cyborgs, maintaining the tiniest possible scraps of flesh in order to remain "human." Bunch firmly establishes his own insane world of cybernetic stronghold masters and fills it with astute observations on human nature. The flowing poetic prose is a challenge at first; it's a code that you have to crack but the effort pays off. Should be regard ...more
Erik Graff
Jul 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: sf/poetry fans & feminists
Recommended to Erik by: James Koehnline
Shelves: sf
This is a gem of a work by a little known, underappreciated science fiction writer and poet who wrote with an attention to language rare in the genre. I read the thing on the recommendation of my roommate decades ago, but the mere thought of it brings the cadences back to mind with clarity and force. This might be a book, one of the only books, to bring pimply-geek sf fans to poetry.

Ostensibly, there's nothing lyrical about the interlocked cyborg stories constituting this collection. The themes
Apr 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
From the late 1950's through the early 1970's David R. Bunch's Moderan stories appeared sporadically, mostly in AMAZING and FANTASTIC magazines, before being collected in this nice little volume. More stories appeared for years afterwards, but unfortunately an updated or comprehensive edition never was published. Bunch was known as an excellent poet, and his careful choice of words create poignant scenes and situations. It's not a fast or easy read, but is an enriching and satisfying example of ...more
Gabrielle Squailia
Mar 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Certain of these stories - strange, lyrical, violent - are among my very favorites. The least of them are hardly there at all.
The Great Dan Marino
Dec 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Cons: obscure (the writing, not just the physical book, which is hard to find), static, occasionally too allegorically neat. Pros: prose is its own breed, at first childish and near gibberish and then, you slowly realize, near masterful. No one, NO ONE, writes like this mufucka. Vision = unrelenting and gonzo-awesome and simultaneously hilarious and chilling and moving. Best stories/chapters in here = some of the best fiction I've ever read. Must dig up more from this guy, he's almost disappeare ...more
Rob Friedman
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
excellent... wish it was available in digital format. I first read the 2 stories in Dangerous Visions... then found the paperback. It was disjointed, uniquely different, and written like someone was talking to you. And somewhere I still have it. I consider it one of the best collections I ever read.
Daniel Polansky
A kaleidoscopic chronicle of a post-human future, in which robot warlords fight endlessly over a plastic landscape. This is more Brave New World than Heinlein, short stories largely free of an overarching narrative, ferocious satire of capitalism, imperialism, etc. It’s held together with this really buoyant, peculiar style of prose, with our robot-warlord antihero speaking in this clipped, imbecilic vernacular. It probably would stand stronger at about 200 pages instead of 350, but it’s still u ...more
Mar 18, 2013 rated it liked it
-Hay cosas que no son nada populares, pero tienen su pequeño grupo de admiradores que las adoran hasta límites insospechados-.

Género. Ciencia-Ficción.

Lo que nos cuenta. Un miembro del pueblo del Sueño de la Tierra de la Esencia encuentra unas grabaciones procedentes del pasado, relatos de cuando el mundo se llamaba Moderan y estaba poblado por seres mecánicos, en parte metal y en parte carne (excepto unos pocos habitantes, de carne y hueso, que vivían en Rumboviejo). Esta es la transcripción de
Stephen Douglas Rowland
Bunch was not celebrated much during his lifetime, but this is a clearly prescient collection of short fiction based around his world, Moderan. Modern is covered in plastic, with a vapor shield, where men replace their organic skin parts with metal. Both a commentary on toxic masculinity and environmental concerns, Moderan is a great example of a complete world full of strange and funny vignettes of this bizarre world. There are quite a few contemporary examples, it's like Terminator meets Tetsu ...more
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
The influence this book has had on science fiction I feel is rather clear, but unfortunately it didn't have the timelessness I hoped it would have.
Ross Scott-Buccleuch
Feb 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ji-list, sci-fi
Thanks to Justin Isis for the recommendation.
Peter Landau
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Someone championed the New York Book Review’s reissue of MODERAN by David R. Bunch. They said it was the best thing since sliced bread or some such mysterious comparison to a just so-so invention. But it’s science-fiction, so I was curious, and weird science-fiction at that, where a post-apocalyptic world (are there any others nowadays?) is ruled by men who have given up most of their flesh for new-metal machinery and engage in constant warfare over a world covered in plastic. These short storie ...more
Keith Hock
Mar 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Alarmingly prescient, as I always (but, I guess, really shouldn't) find Futurism. It suffers from the normal 70s science fiction curse of silly-sounding technology names and a weirdly stilted tone (c.f. Philip K. Dick). The universe lacks a little bit of consistency, which I would probably find more forgivable if I had read these piecemeal as individual short stories instead of all at once in one big collection, something that always makes me expect a more coherent through-line than short storie ...more
Jonathan Hawpe
NYRB has really found a lost gem in this one! Obscure even in their time (1960s/70s) and long out-of-print, David Bunch's interlinked Moderan stories present a startling, grim, bordering on absurdist future world of hyper-gendered society, fields paved in plastic, bodies merged with metal, and endless pointless warfare, all written in a gnarly poetic language that immerses the reader in the mind of a "Moderan man". This is Literary science fiction of the highest order, for readers that appreciat ...more
Ethan Ward
Oct 15, 2018 rated it liked it
i really enjoyed the overall tone and style, as well as the message behind it, but the repetitiveness of the stories got to me over time. most have a very similar premise - stronghold 10 sees someone unexpected on the horizon - and not many stick out as remarkable from that premise. when they do, they are excellent, which makes me think that perhaps some of the stories didn't need to be included.
Harrison Phinney
Bunch’s Moderan is a zany and horrifying place. The language of unending warfare, Joys, and hatred is all his own, and helps to immerse you in his world-building. These stories were written over 30 years, and yet the tone is consistent. A very worthwhile trip into a new-metal mirror version of humanity’s past, present, and quite possibly, future.
Jan 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Wildly inventive stories told in equally outlandish language. Since these stories were written, and published over time, there is some repetition that makes this a collection better dipped into rather than read all the way through.
Rudi Dewilde
I didn't enjoy Moderan that much. Maybe I had too high expectations. The ideas are great. The humour isn't so bad, but I think the writing hasn't aged that great. Overall, it's a little woolly: too much describing, not much happening.
Dan'l Danehy-oakes
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite books of all time. A new edition has, after nearly fifty years, been released. Read it.
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Still remarkable on a second reading.
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The weird cadence and made-up lingo was exhilarating at first, but around the halfway mark I just couldn't take it any more.
Jan 03, 2019 rated it liked it
6/10. Sólo he leído este del autor, Flojo. Lo tengo en EDHASA Nebulae.
The Master
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a novel written by a Cyberman.
Dawid Łaziński
How this book has probably been summarized many times “With the advancement of technology, encroaching pollution and deterioration of climate, some people decide to substitute more and more parts of their body with artificial ones. By gaining superior strength and intellect power they dominate Earth becoming a warrior class that spends the abundance of their free time waging highly regulated and ritual wars between each other.”

That may even be true. But if you count on coherent story of a downtr
Jon W.
rated it really liked it
Dec 10, 2018
Jeff Clark
rated it it was amazing
Sep 25, 2018
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NYRB Classics: Moderan, by David R. Bunch 1 5 Dec 06, 2018 12:28PM  
  • The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe
  • The Stories of J.F. Powers
  • Beyond Apollo
  • Store of the Worlds: The Stories of Robert Sheckley
  • From These Ashes: The Complete Short SF of Fredric Brown
  • Quest of the Three Worlds
  • Classic Crimes
  • Other Men's Daughters
  • The Devil Is Dead
  • A Way of Life, Like Any Other
  • Faulkner Reader
  • Corrigan
  • The Alteration
  • Brother Assassin (Berserker, #2)
  • The Farm in the Green Mountains
  • Fancies and Goodnights
  • Memoirs of Hecate County
  • The Fox in the Attic (The Human Predicament, #1)
David Roosevelt Bunch (1920–2000) was born in rural western Missouri. After serving as an army corporal during World War II, he worked toward a PhD in English literature at Washington University in St. Louis and then transferred to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he studied for two years before dropping out. He married Phyllis Flette in 1951 and they had two daughters, Phyllis and Velma. While w ...more
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