Buried Alive single work   short story   science fiction  
Issue Details: First known date: 2004... 2004 Buried Alive
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'Benny visits an archaeological dig on a planet ruled by insects, said to have been raised to sentience with crystals that magnified and focussed the power of their thoughts. His Effulgence Bug XXXLVII has authorised the excavation of the first Bug Emperor's gardens; there is unrest on the fringes of the empire, and Benny soon realises that he's using the dig to compare himself to the first Emperor, glorifying his own achievements and justifying leading his people to war. Benny studies the dig from an outsider's perspective, realises that there must be other structures buried beneath the ancient garden, and proves her claim by using an orbiting satellite to scan the grounds. However, the Bug Emperor's guards then try to kill her, and she's forced to flee into the ancient tombs. The guards wall her up inside, but she finds her way to the central chamber, where she finds the body of the first Bug Emperor -- surrounded by the bodies of his courtiers, who were buried alive with him. Bug XXXLVII must already have known about this unpleasant aspect of history, and if it becomes public, nobody will want to be associated with his new crusade. Benny is transported to safety by a passing Lacaillan ship at Braxiatel's request when the satellite's corporate owners complain to Braxiatel that Benny has used its resources without paying for them. As Benny tries to explain what happened to her, however, the Lacaillans detect a build-up of power in the tombs. The legends of the first Bug Emperor were based in truth; when he buried himself alive, his dormant consciousness was preserved in one of the crystals he'd used to forge his empire. Now that Benny has woken him, he's seen his descendant for himself, and is repulsed by their civilisation, which he regards as weak. The crystals explode, taking out the entire insect city.'

Source: drwhoguide.com (http://www.drwhoguide.com/bs_n10.htm). Sighted: 19/5/11

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y A Life Worth Living : A Short-Story Anthology Simon Guerrier (editor), Maidenhead : Big Finish Productions , 2004 Z1780183 2004 anthology short story science fiction

    'Fourteen brand-new short stories about Bernice Summerfield (some-time adventurer, even-less-time academic) and her extended "family". There's Jason Kane (ex-husband, ex-buccaneer, ex-author of xeno-porn) and Irving Braxiatel (employer, Renaissance Man, sneaky devil). There's Bev, Adrian, Ms Jones and Peter. There's Hass, the new gardener, just arrived from Mars. There's the invasion of new students. And, inevitably, there's the mysteries, murders, mayhem and major weirdness that happen whenever Benny gets out of bed.

    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?

    Soon Benny is up to her eyeballs in strange deaths, sinister cults, peculiar love affairs and a Collection full of people who haven't yet stopped fighting.'

    Source: Big Finish website (http://www.bigfinish.com/Bernice-Summerfield-A-Life-Worth-Living). Sighted: 19/5/11

    Maidenhead : Big Finish Productions , 2004
Last amended 19 May 2011 13:35:00
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