Focus On Authors Presents: Bernice Summerfield

Professor 
	Summerfield in the field

So who is Professor Bernice Summerfield? Having started her career in the military, she quickly changed to archeology. And, as most archeologists do, she published several books on the trade. What sets Professor Summerfield apart from all the others is that people actually read her books. She's the layman's archeologist.

Bernice Summerfield is not only an author of great prowess, but she features in several adventure novels. Her tales (both in books and in audio) are collectively called The New Adventures and the first 50 or so also featured a mysterious alien who went by the pseudonym, "The Doctor." There are several scholars who believe that she is the author of these tomes, but most other people think this is impossible - she'd never have the time to write all those books and be an archeologist. Most distressing are the scholars who contend that Professor Summerfield is not only not an archeologist, but that she's merely the invention of British author, Paul Cornell, author of the first novel about Professor Summerfield.

Focus On: will review the life of Bernice Summerfield as depicted in these books and audio adventures. This is intended to be a continuous project, so please stop back from time to time. For more in depth articles, check out the Doctor Who Ratings Guide.

Love and War by Paul Cornell (ISBN: 0 426 20385 2)
Bernice Summerfield (Benny to her friends) celebrates her 30th birthday on Heaven and meets a mysterious stranger called "The Doctor." Alas, this is no romance for Benny (though there is romance aplenty in this novel) but the start of the greatest adventure she could possibly imagine. It turns out the Doctor is really a time traveler and has just lost his traveling companion, Ace. (No, she doesn't die, just gets fed up with his games.) After Heaven turns to Hell, it's up to the Doctor to sort things out.
     A great start to Bernice's New Adventures. Even with the Doctor acting like a right bastard, her rapport with him shows this will be a great pairing. A-

Transit by Ben Aaronovitch (ISBN: 0 426 20384 4)
After the hellish time on Heaven, the Doctor and his new companion, Benny, could really use a relaxing vacation. Unfortunately, this doesn't happen. Instead, Benny's whisked away on solar system-wide transit system and taken over by some alien being. And the Doctor's met up with the great great great great (etc) grand-daughter of his old friend Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. Kadiatu Lethbridge-Stewart is quite the chip off the old block, with some recombinant genetics thrown in for good measure. Can the Doctor save Benny and the solar system?
     Oh dear, that makes it sound like Benny's now relagated to the role of damsel in distress. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Even though she's only been introduced to the reader (and the author, for that matter) she manages to continue with her strengths from the first book. She's smart, feisty, fashionable, and a great shot. The NA's manage to get two great books in a row since their start (which started before Bernice came along). A

The Highest Science by Gareth Roberts (ISBN: 0 426 20377 1)

     

The Pit by Neil Penswick (ISBN: 0 426 20378 X)

     

Deceit Peter Darvill-Evans 0 426 20387 9 Lucifer Rising Andy Lane & Jim Mortimore 0 426 20388 7 White Darkness David McIntee 0 426 20395 X Shadowmind Christopher Bulis 0 426 20394 1 Birthright Nigel Robinson 0 426 20393 3 Blood Heat Jim Mortimore 0 426 20399 2 The Dimension Riders Daniel Blythe 0 426 20397 6 The Left-Handed Hummingbird Kate Orman 0 426 20404 2 Conundrum Steve Lyons 0 426 20408 5 No Future Paul Cornell 0 426 20409 3 Tragedy Day Gareth Roberts 0 426 20410 7 Legacy Gary Russell 0 426 20412 3 Theatre of War Justin Richards 0 426 20414 X All-Consuming Fire Andy Lane 0 426 20415 8 Blood Harvest Terrance Dicks 0 426 20417 4 Strange England Simon Messingham 0 426 20419 0 First Frontier David McIntee 0 426 20421 2 St. Anthony's Fire Mark Gatiss 0 426 20423 9 Falls the Shadows Daniel O'Mahony 0 426 20427 1 Parasite Jim Mortimore 0 426 20425 5 Warlock Andrew Cartmel 0 426 20433 6 Set Piece Kate Orman 0 426 20436 0 Infinite Requiem Daniel Blythe 0 426 20437 9 Sanctuary David McIntee 0 426 20439 5 Human Nature Paul Cornell 0 426 20443 3 Original Sin Andy Lane 0 426 20444 1 Sky Pirates! Dave Stone 0 426 20446 8 Zamper Gareth Roberts 0 426 20450 6 Toy Soldiers Paul Leonard 0 426 20452 2 Head Games Steve Lyons 0 426 20454 9 The Also People Ben Aaronovitch 0 426 20456 5 Shakedown Terrance Dicks 0 426 20459 X Just War Lance Parkin 0 426 20463 8 Warchild Andrew Cartmel 0 426 20464 6 Sleepy Kate Orman 0 426 20465 4 Death and Diplomacy Dave Stone 0 426 20468 9 Happy Endings Paul Cornell 0 426 20470 0 Return of the Living Dad Kate Orman 0 426 20482 4 So Vile A Sin Ben Aaronovitch & Kate Orman 0 426 20484 0 The Dying Days Lance Parkin 0 426 20504 9 Oh No It Isn't! Paul Cornell 0 426 20507 3 Dragon's Wrath Justin Richards 0 426 20508 1 Beyond the Sun Matt Jones 0 426 20511 1 Ship of Fools Dave Stone 0 426 20510 3 Down Lawrence Miles 0 426 20512 X Deadfall Gary Russell 0 426 20513 8 Ghost Devices Simon Bucher-Jones 0 426 20514 6 Mean Streets Terrance Dicks 0 426 20519 7 Tempest Chistopher Bulis 0 426 20523 5 Walking to Babylon Kate Orman 0 426 20521 9 Oblivion Dave Stone 0 426 20522 7 The Medusa Effect Justin Richards 0 426 20524 3 Dry Pilgrimage Paul Leonard & Nick Walters 0 426 20525 1 The Sword of Forever Jim Mortimore 0 426 20526 X Another Girl, Another Planet Martin Day & Len Beech 0 426 20528 6 Beige Planet Mars Lance Parkin & Mark Clapham 0 426 20529 4 Where Angels Fear Rebecca Levene & Simon Winstone 0 426 20530 8 The Mary Sue Extrusion Dave Stone 0 426 20531 6 Dead Romance Lawrence Miles 0 426 20532 4 Tears of the Oracle Justin Richards 0 426 20533 2 Return to the Fractured Planet Dave Stone 0 426 20534 0 The Joy Device Justin Richards 0 426 20535 9 Twilight of the Gods Mark Clapham & Jon de Burgh Miller 0 426 20536 7

Focus On: Authors is © ACME, Page Fillers, Inc. and Trina L. Short: 2002
Trowel Background is © Trina L. Short: 2002
Bernice Summerfield drawing by Lee Sullivan.
This page created on September 13, 1997: Last updated on April 21, 2002.