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.


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. 

Heather Scott Partington is a writer, teacher, and book critic.
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