Author Caitlin Starling talks writing the Sci-Fi/Horror novel, LAST TO LEAVE THE ROOM
Caitlin Starling is the author of THE DEATH OF JANE LAWRENCE, YELLOW JESSAMINE, and THE LUMINOUS DEAD. Her latest novel, LAST TO LEAVE THE ROOM, is a sci-fi thriller set in the fictional west coast city of San Siroco.
Dr. Tamsin Rivers heads an ambitious and secretive research project for a company called Myrica Dynamics. Most of Tamsin’s work occurs deep underground, in secluded lab nodes hidden around San Siroco.
When her team discovers a disturbing anomaly—the entire city is sinking at initially unnoticeable but alarmingly consistent rate—Tamsin is charged with diagnosing the problem, and approaching city leadership on what to do about it.
But while the rest of the city is drifting downwards at the same rate, Tamsin’s own basement has pushed measurably deeper. And not by sinking, but by stretching, the entire room elongating steadily, while somehow retaining structural and visual integrity.
Tamsin is concerned that her work on the secret project at Myrica might be the cause of all this, but why is the phenomenon different at her house? Her fascination becomes obsession when she returns home to discover a door in the basement wall, where there had not been one before. A door she cannot open, cannot permanently damage, and cannot see beyond.
An increasingly fixated Tamsin creates excuses to work from home, letting her job duties slide as she tests and ponders the door in isolation. But nothing prepares her for when the door finally opens—and a carbon copy of herself walks through to greet her.
LAST TO LEAVE THE ROOM is potent and surreal, horror-inflected science fiction available now from St. Martin’s Press:
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About Caitlin Starling
Caitlin Starling is the nationally bestselling author of The Death of Jane Lawrence, as well as Last to Leave the Room and the Bram Stoker-nominated The Luminous Dead. Her other works include Yellow Jessamine and a Vampire: The Masquerade novella, The Land of Milk and Honey (published in the collection Walk Among Us). Her nonfiction has appeared in Nightmare, Uncanny, and Tor Nightfire. Caitlin also works in narrative design, and has been paid to invent body parts.
Previous Fictitious Conversations with Caitlin Starling
- The Luminous Dead interview
- 10 Points to Slytherin: Why Good Fans Love Evil Characters — San Diego Comic Con Panel
- Vampire: The Masquerade: Walk Among Us interview with Genevieve Gornichec
About Last to Leave the Room
The city of San Siroco is sinking. The basement of Dr. Tamsin Rivers, the arrogant, selfish head of the research team assigned to find the source of the subsidence, is sinking faster. As Tamsin grows obsessed with the distorting dimensions of the room at the bottom of the stairs, she finds a door that didn’t exist before – and one night, it opens to reveal an exact physical copy of her.
This doppelgänger is sweet and biddable where Tamsin is calculating and cruel. It appears fully, terribly human, passing every test Tamsin can devise. But the longer the double exists, the more Tamsin begins to forget pieces of her life, to lose track of time, to grow terrified of the outside world.
As her employer grows increasingly suspicious, Tamsin must try to hold herself together long enough to figure out what her double wants from her, and just where the mysterious door leads…