Brian Evenson writes wry, unsettling tales of people up against inexplicable, awful, weird circumstances. Secret police and unmovable bureaucrats take the place of ghosts and vampires, generally. Anyway, whatever his other virtues, Evenson can write a damn fine first sentence or two. Consider:
"For some days now, I have felt myself to be pursued by my second ex-wife. At first I believed the pursuer to be my third ex-wife, and perhaps for a time the two of them were working together--for all I know, they may still be." - From "A Pursuit" in Fugue State.
"I have been ordered to write an honest accounting of how I became a Midwestern Jesus and the subsequent disastrous events thereby accruing, events for which, I am willing to admit, I am at least partly to blame."
From "An Accounting" in Fugue State.
"In retrospect, it was easy for her to see it had been a mistake to have sex with a mime." - From "Invisible Box" in Fugue State.
"On the night of 12 October, I was compelled for reasons I still find quite difficult to explain to kill one Alfons Kuylers, esteemed dealer in imported goods of a specialty nature, my mentor, my master in the art of philosophical paradox, my tutor in all things theological." - From "Alfons Kuylers" in Fugue State.
"Life without father began some few weeks before he actually died, at the moment when he started encasing his head in orange plastic mesh held shut with twine. He did this because, so he claimed, it helped him." - From "Life without Father" in Fugue State.
"Years later, she was still calling her sister, trying to understand what exactly had happened." - From "Younger" in Fugue State
"Bernt began to suspect the trip would turn strange when, on the outskirts of Reno, he entered a convenience store that had one of its six aisles completely dedicated to jerky." - From "Past Reno" in A Collapse of Horses.