Saturday, May 4, 2019

Caitlin Starling

Caitlin Starling is a writer and spreadsheet-wrangler who lives near Portland, Oregon. Equipped with an anthropology degree and an unhealthy interest in the dark and macabre, she writes horror-tinged speculative fiction of all flavors. Her first novel, The Luminous Dead, tells the story of a caver on a foreign planet who finds herself trapped, with only her wits and the unreliable voice on her radio to help her back to the surface.

Recently I asked Starling about what she was reading. Her reply:
I just finished Kameron Hurley’s (frankly astounding) The Light Brigade. It’s about the horrors of war and capitalism, the malleability of perception, time, and causality, and (ultimately) hope for a better future. It is brutal and incisive and glorious and painful, and I want everybody who is able to read it to give it a try.

Other recent delights:

The Wicker King by Kayla Ancrum - a YA novel about friendships and love so tight and under such challenging circumstances that they can become symbiotic to the worst (and best) degree. It’s told by way of microfiction, each chapter its own mini-thesis.

The Outside by Ada Hoffmann - This isn’t out yet (it releases from Angry Robot on June 18), but you should absolutely preorder it. It’s got everything I could ever ask for: cosmic horror, artificial divinity, and a deep exploration of the nature of individuality and the soul.

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins - This book! This book! I don’t want to tell you too much (it’s best experienced with no expectations), but just know that it is life-changingly incredible and very, very weird. I still wake up in the middle of the night staring up at the ceiling and going, Wow, that book happened. (It is pretty violent, though, and a particular warning if you’re squeamish about pet death).

Finally, if you’ve read my book The Luminous Dead and are itching for more caving and danger, but in a more nonfictional form, I can’t recommend The Blind Descent by James M. Tabor enough. It’s accessible and full of highly distressing cave facts (for instance: did you know supercaves can have hurricane force winds, and that those winds can be the first sign that a cave is massive?), and covers expeditions in North America and eastern Europe to find the deepest cave in the world.

On the horizon, I have another Kameron Hurley book (The Stars Are Legion), G. Willow Wilson’s Alif the Unseen, and Rivers Solomon’s An Unkindness of Ghosts, along with several memoirs and nonfiction books I have waiting on the shelves.
Visit Caitlin Starling's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Luminous Dead.

--Marshal Zeringue