iNSiDE, a Novel; Dead Spaces: An Invitation to See the Forgotten, a Series of Essays

Gales, Sally (2021) iNSiDE, a Novel; Dead Spaces: An Invitation to See the Forgotten, a Series of Essays. DFA thesis, University of Glasgow.

Due to Embargo and/or Third Party Copyright restrictions, this thesis is not available in this service.


This thesis consists of a completed, young-adult, dystopian, fantasy novel, iNSiDE, and a series of non-fiction essays that focus on ruins, Dead Spaces: An Invitation to See the Forgotten.

The novel centers around Naya Tambor, who has never been Outside. No one in her city has. A study of white and grey, her Indoor city makes up for its lack of color with its unpredictable transformations. Doors disappear. Windows move. Rooms grow and shrink. Naya knows her city inside and out, but she still hasn’t been able to find a place where she belongs.

Despite being raised by soldiers, Naya struggles to complete her training. One last test stands between her and graduation, before she can be assigned a unit – a family. It should have been easy. She knew how to fight and she knew her opponent would be the traitorous, subspecies of human, she had been trained to hate – a Spiravit. What she didn’t know was that her rival, Zayn, would look so human. When her final exam turns into a fight to the death, Naya not only fails to follow through, she breaks the city’s most sacred law.

With only each other to turn to, Naya and Zayn flee to Zayn’s home – a hidden pocket of Outside in the middle of her city. Naya is overwhelmed by the expansiveness of the Outdoors but even more so by the largest concentration of Spiravits she has ever encountered. Still, over time, Naya learns to grow beyond her inherited prejudices as she warms towards Zayn and the other Spiravits. But when one simple mistake tears apart the new future, and family, Naya had started to build, she must decide, once and for all, just how much she is willing to give up in order to belong.

While the novel focuses on a fantastical future, the accompanying essays look to the past. Dead spaces refer to ruins that are forgotten and thus unseen by society and the essays invite readers to journey through Scotland in search of such places. Starting with a look at the history of ruin fascination that eventually culminated in the term Ruin Porn, the essays contextualize and introduce the author’s obsession before travelling to an abandoned railway tunnel and a derelict asylum. Gales’ background in architecture and photography ground her work in reality while a love of fantasy opens these realms to new imaginings.

Dead Spaces is an invitation to see another world, hidden in plain sight within our own.

Item Type: Thesis (DFA)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Ruin, ruination, decay, dead space, place, space, science fiction, fantasy, young adult, novel, fiction, creative non-fiction, essay, Glasgow, Scotland, ruins in Scotland, ruin porn, ruin lust.
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PZ Childrens literature
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Critical Studies
Supervisor's Name: Reeder, Dr. Elizabeth and Cooke, Dr. Carolyn-Jess
Date of Award: 2021
Embargo Date: 19 May 2027
Depositing User: Dr. Sally Gales
Unique ID: glathesis:2021-82198
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 26 May 2021 13:09
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2023 10:42
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.82198

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