The award-winning Brian Evenson is one of the world’s best writers of unclassifiable, strange fiction—the kinds of stories and novels that cross genres and ignore boundaries. He’s won the O. Henry Prize and is the director of Brown University’s Literary Arts Program. As B.K. Evenson, he has the street cred of having written both an >Aliens novel and a Dead Space novel.
In his original fiction, Evenson can be sparingly lyrical and Kafkaesque in one scene, and brutal and direct in the next. His last novel, Last Days, featured a noir structure and weird cults. It was a harrowing and unforgettable experience. His latest, Immobility, is a science fiction thriller set on a post-collapse Earth. It features the paralyzed character Horkai, who is revived by a surviving community and sent on an odd quest that may affect the future of the planet. The scenes in the novel of subsistence and ruin, of sacrifice and of the surreal are classic Evenson, and Immobility in its intimacy with the characters at times feels, in a good way, like a three-act play. Ritual, in Immobility, unlike in Last Days, is a necessity—the rituals necessary to survive in such a bleak future.
I wrote a blurb for Immobility before it was even written, because it began life as a hypothetical book. If that sounds puzzling, you’ll be pleased to find the answers you’re seeking in the interview below. Omni caught up with Evenson in late February to talk about this upcoming release.