The color blue is the strongest theme. Aurora—a planet with little technology—is very blue. The plants are blue, the animals are blue. Even the people have begun to adapt to the planet, gaining a bluish tint to their skin and hair. The main character, Vivian Skye, hails from Aurora, and she’s desperate to leave its primitive, anti-technology ways far behind. The embodiment of everything many Aurorans fear and hate is quIRK, the station’s supercomputer. To contrast, his favorite color is antiblue. While it’s not a “real” color as far as humans are concerned, it’s used in particle physics to classify quarks and gluons. Antiblue is a tool I used to show the stark contrast between Vivian’s upbringing, and the life she’s made for herself in the stars.
From my own angle, I've always liked the color blue. It’s serene and peaceful, like the sea and the clear sky. I find it to be very meditative—my writing room is painted blue. As for antiblue, particle physics fascinates me; antiblue and quantum chromodynamics entranced me when I read about them in university. But, I caught a lot of flak from family members who insisted that blue is “depressing,” and that my mental health would improve if I simply chose another favorite color. It later occurred to me that antiblue is superior in every way, especially since nobody knows what it is. In a way, writing is like self-therapy for me. I can wrap all the garbage from my past in absurdity and laugh at it.
The other interesting symbol would be Vivian’s flute, a gift from her now-estranged parents. Early in the book, the flute suffers an accident and is crushed. A friend sends her a new flute, but she keeps the old care as a memento. Eventually, she builds a new supercomputer into her old flute box, completing her transition from traditional Auroran life to an act of utter sacrilege. A lot of Sanity Vacuum represents character transformations, both human and otherwise. It could probably be said to be a metaphor for my own life.
To summarize, Sanity Vacuum was as much about leaving my old life behind as it was about sentient supercomputers and blue girls from other planets. It’s about reaching out of your past and refusing to let it define you. It’s about thinking your own thoughts, and being what you want to be—even if others don’t understand, or don’t want to understand you.
Basically, it’s all about me.
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Thea Gregory was born and raised in the small English enclave of Western Quebec, and grew up on a farm. Reading and imagination sustained her through many lonely, isolated years and her first love is science. Her second love is science fiction.
School always came first growing up, and after losing her father at the age of sixteen, she headed out to the big city to peruse her dreams of becoming a physicist at the ripe old age of seventeen. Studying physics opened her mind to the infinite possibilities of the universe, and a deep appreciation for the natural world and its beautiful mathematical representation. As for the degree, it’s still a part-time work in progress.
Later on during her studies, she started having ideas of her own for novels and stories. This simply wouldn’t do, she’d already seen her mother’s thankless quest for an agent and publisher and wanted no part of that nonsense. However, the zombies, aliens and insane supercomputers just wouldn’t get out of her head. In 2011 Thea picked up a pen and began the Zombie Bedtime Stories.
Thea now lives in Montreal with her beloved partner-in-crime, her two cats (Pip & Bonk), his two cats (Zeus & Milo), a vegetable garden, and some assorted houseplants. In her spare time, she likes to pace around the house, hula-hoop, bike, cook, do some yoga and read books that reflect her thirst for the limitless potential of the universe. She also really likes Star Trek and Doctor Who.
Thea’s eventual goal is to leave her cubicle for the more humane confines of a tesseract.
Visit Thea Gregory's website