Three Questions with Brian Evenson

The author discusses his influences, his work, and the new stories that will emerge from this historic moment in time.

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Are your stories reactive to the world, or are they an escape?
Definitely reactive to the world, but projectively or slantwise: I don’t know that you can always trace the story back to its origin point. I would argue that very little science fiction is purely an escape.

Which science-fiction writers have influenced your work?
Gene Wolfe, Samuel Delany, Ursula K. Le Guin, Theodore Sturgeon.

What kind of stories do you think will emerge from this moment in history?
I think this moment makes acute the failures of our political structure, the need for change, and the fragility of our freedoms. I would guess that much near–science fiction written in response to it will be about extrapolating the possibilities for change or about fully articulating, as a warning, the further possibilities of failure. My work tends to fall in the latter camp.

Explore the complete Science Fiction Special Section in Alta’s Summer 2020 issue. 

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