- 01 – The Dead Men Diaries (1)
The ideal introduction to the life of Bernice Summerfield: getting sacrificed to orange pygmies, saving the universe and trying to buy a new frock.
- 02 – The Doomsday Manuscript (1)
Benny finds herself drawn into a web of mystery and intrigue that starts with death and gets more serious at every stage.
- 03 – The Gods of the Underworld (1)
Benny sets out to explore the long-lost temple of the Argian Gods in the hope of finding the fabled Argian Oracle.
- 04 – The Squire’s Crystal (1)
Legend tells of an evil sorceress who used the power of magical crystals to transfer her mind into the bodies of others. Her reign of terror was long and bloody, and her final defeat the cause of great rejoicing. But that’s just a legend. A story told to children. Isn’t it? I mean, it’s ridiculous. It couldn’t have really happened — could it?
- 05 – The Infernal Nexus (1)
Acting on an abstruse tip-off from the renowned paraphysiologist Dr. Rupert Gilhooly (a man who, like, knows a lot of stuff) one Bernice Summerfield has found herself on a probe-ship heading deep into the Problematic Heart of the galaxy — not knowing what, or quite who, she might find.
- 06 – The Glass Prison (1)
Don’t ever annoy the Fifth Axis. They might throw you into the Glass Prison on Deirbhile and then throw away the key.
Once you’re inside, there’s nowhere to hide. They can see your every movement. They control you. You’re going to be watched for the rest of your life, wherever you go, whoever you are. Even if you’re a professor of archaeology. Even if you’re a friend of the famous Irving Braxiatel, and you’ve written several popular coffee-table books.
Even if you’re pregnant. Even if your baby’s due any day now.
- 07 – A Life of Surprises (1)
Professor Bernice Summerfield, interstellar archaeologist, adventurer, romantic and drinker, has had either one very big life or a number of only slightly smaller ones. This anthology contains stories from many times and places across her long career, ranging from the starkly dramatic, through the thrilling, to the hilarious. It links Bernice to her roots, as well as sending her forward into new adventures. And it celebrates a decade of Bernice in print. Cheers!
- 08 – Life During Wartime (1)
The Braxiatel Collection has been occupied by the Fifth Axis and Bernice finds herself caught in the middle of the occupation.
- 09 – The Big Hunt (1)
Benny crashlands on a lifeless planet. Lifeless, that is, except for the robotic animals, big game hunters and ruthless corporate administrators.
- 10 – A Life Worth Living (1)
The war is over. The Braxiatel Collection is back to normal. Better than that, people are all making more of an effort to rebuild, to get on, to re-establish the Collection at the forefront of academic excellence. Benny and Jason are back together. Life is good.
It’s not going to last, is it?
- 11 – A Life in Pieces (1)
Jason Kane is on trial for his life, accused of stealing the legendary Purpura Pawn – and only his friends can save him.
- 12 – The Tree of Life (1)
Benny investigates the mysteries of Tollips World which could hold the secrts of the extinction of humanity.
- 13 – Parallel Lives (1)
When Clarissa Jones disappears there are fears that the security of The Collection may have been compromised.
- 14 – Something Changed (1)
Benny is assigned to babysit a daft experiment. Doggles claims his “history machine” will change everything. And he’s right.
- 15 – Genius Loci (1)
Benny is 21 years old and gets her first big break as an archaeologist on the planet Jaiway where nothing has ever happened. Or has it?
- 16 – Collected Works (0)
Amidst the chaos of visitors from the far future, old friends and new enemies, Bernice Summerfield must keep the doors of The Collection open.
- 17 – Old Friends (0)
Benny Summerfield has run through all time and space to avoid a reunion. But now she must finally uncover her own past.
- 18 – The Two Jasons (1)
Something is astir in the universe. If Benny is to save all she holds dear, she needs all the Jason Kanes she can get!
- 19 – Nobodys Children (0)
In the wake of the Draconian/Mim war, Benny becomes the last hope for the doomed Borogoves.
- 20 – Missing Adventures (0)
Celebrate 15 years of Bernice Summerfield in this exploration of her early life.
- 21 – The Vampire Curse (1)
Three novellas that take place in different periods of Benny’s life and all feature her encounters with vampires.
- 22 – Secret Histories (1)
In a broken down church on an isolated planet, Bernice discovers more than she bargained for on her latest excavation. An old crime is uncovered, and Bernice is asked to find out what she can about the culprits. The long-dead victims are surprisingly talkative but they ask for something in return… stories.
- 23 – Present Danger (0)
When the entire galaxy finds itself under attack, Bernice Summerfield and her various friends and colleagues are scattered across space, doing what they can for the war effort.
- 24 – The Weather on Versimmon (0)
Inveigled into a survey of botanical art on Versimmon, Bernice is disappointed to get bogged down in an unseasonal cold spell – and to discover that Ruth has some radical ideas about how the living archive should be managed.
Why is a hailstorm bringing back memories of a war two generations gone? Where are Versimmon’s first animals appearing from? And who can Bernice trust on a planet full of budding artists?
As the forest world is bombarded by ice and the collection’s guards start disappearing, the archaeologists find themselves getting back to their roots and branching out into local politics. All the time, the weather on Versimmon is changing, and its inhabitants will find that revolutionary times demand revolutionary works of art…
- 25 – The Slender-Fingered Cats of Bubastis (0)
It wasn’t true that you could see the Cats from space. It was impossible, a ridiculous idea that wouldn’t stand up to even the slightest examination.
And yet there were people on Bubastis who believed it…
Most archaeologists – including Professor Bernice Summerfield – know only two facts about Bubastis: one is that its cheerless swamps are home to five giant stone Cats, whose ancient origins are shrouded in mystery; the other that it has more bugs and beetles than anyone should ever have to deal with.
So when Bernice, Ruth and Jack arrive on the planet to search for a missing girl, they are unprepared for what they will find. Like the insectoid villagers with a decidedly squeamish attitude to mammals. Or the archaeological expedition made up of over-sexed students. Or the alarmingly unprofessional Neon Tsara…
To make matters worse, Jack suddenly finds himself on the wrong side of the law and Ruth has brain-ache from ingesting forbidden historical knowledge. Worse still, Bernice has promised to write a book of poetry that’s due to be published in a week… and she can’t think of anything to rhyme with ‘Bubastis.’
- 26 – Filthy Lucre (0)
Money makes the world go round, as can a few too many strong drinks. But when Benny, in a fit of sobriety, agrees to do a pre-Advent favour for Irving Braxiatel, little does she suspect that a bit of corporate schmoozing with a fast food magnate is going to lead her into the biggest spin she’s experienced for a very long time.
In a whistle-stop tour of frontier planets, she encounters mysterious burials, guns and swords, legs and claws, lost treasure, mortal combat, conspiracy, stomach-churning posh nosh and a little man called Perkin.
Oh, and love and war, again.
Meanwhile, Jack has to tackle possibly the most irritating computer virus ever created, and Ruth must clamber through the bowels of a crashed ship with ‘The Man With The Vulpine Tattoo’.
And this was supposed to be the holiday season?
- 27 – Adorable Illusion (0)
Hope this finds you. Goodness only knows how. But these things have a way of working out. Sometimes.
Look, I’m on this huuuuge dreadnought ship with Jack, lost in space. And it’s got a hole in the middle. I mean, who builds a ship with a hole in it? Well, presumably someone did.
Not that I’m surprised – the Robot pilot’s a drunk, the doctor’s a vet and the cook is a Madras (literally – the guy making our dinner is a living curry) and the priest is a born-again atheist. I ask you – how do I get into these situations? No, no don’t answer that.
Anyway, the hole in the ship is getting larger, I have to get the passengers (ie prisoners) from one end to the other, and it’s about to crash into a living sun (don’t ask).
People are disappearing into the hole, and then coming back. But different. Not quite so nice (and they were no bundles of fun to start with).
Oh yes, and then there’s the monsters. They were locked up. Then they weren’t. Which Jack says is my fault. Which may be true. And they want to eat us.
Quite why they call this ship The Adorable is, frankly, beyond me.
Anyway, assuming I survive monsters, holes, criminals and a walking curry, hope to see you soon.
aka Professor Bernice Summerfield
aka Prisoner 442
Damn. Forgot to mention the “I’m here ‘cos I murdered someone” bit…