“They’re tricks of the mind, the same neurological smoke-and-mirrors that convinced people throughout the ages that they were being haunted by ghosts, abducted by aliens, hunted by—
—and you wonder whether Sarasti really stayed behind or if he was here all along, waiting for you…” (159).
The use of vampires in a Watt’s science fiction novel was kind of a shock to me. Using vampires alongside the aliens is something completely new and innovative in my mind. In this quote, Siri is talking about Sarsati and the fear that the vampire is just waiting for the right moment to consume Siri and the rest of the crew. I feel like in a lot of ways Siri is trying to convince himself that vampires are just a “trick of the mind” and trying to lure himself into a false sense of security. However, it is clear that he is still terrified of what could possibly happen to him. The fear in the crew was apparent from the time they awoke and Sarsati’s coffin was empty. It makes the crew as well as me as a reader feel like, “what the hell was he doing while everyone else was asleep?”. It had to be hard and extremely suspicious to everyone on board to wake up, and find that some of their crew had been replaced and then on top of it their captain is a freaking vampire. That’s enough to make anyone lose their minds, and on top of the crew were already somewhat mentally unstable and experiencing hallucinations.