Walking to Babylon is the tenth Virgin Bernice Summerfield New Adventures novel. It features Bernice Summerfield and the People. It was the third novel to be adapted by Big Finish Productions into a full cast audio story, which was released in November 1998.
Publisher's summary Edit
"I'm scared of letting all these people down. Like the whole human race. At least if I get blown up as well, they can say I died heroically. Assuming I ever existed at all."
When Bernice Summerfield visits the People — an incredibly advanced civilisation living in a Dyson Sphere — she discovers that even in utopia, they still have their problems.
An illegal time travel experiment threatens a war which could destroy them all. Rather than risk it, the People and their ultra-powerful computer, God, are prepared to eradicate the source of the problem — the ancient city of Babylon. But such action would involve the death of a quarter of a million human beings, and do incalculable damage to Earth's history.
Babylon — and the human race — have one hope. Benny returns to the cradle of civilisation to try and stop the interference. She has just one week to prevent a catastrophe that could mean she will never be born. Her only assistance comes from a Victorian linguist who has stumbled across the experiment himself. But he's no help at all — even though he has a power neither of them suspects.
Chapter Titles Edit
- An Invitation from God
- In Too Deep
- Basket Chase
- The Party's Over
- Past Shock
- The Evening After the Afternoon Before
- Head Above Water
- The Shortest-Lived Profession
- The Plan
- Rain and Snow
- Walking On Home
to be added
- Bernice Summerfield
- John Lafayette
- Ninan (High Princess)
- Several Interest Groups are mentioned, including the Obscure and Unlikely Civilisations Interest Group, the Abnormal Psychology Interest Group, the Weird Aviation Interest Group, the Seriously Primitive Societies Interest Group, the Apathy Interest Group, the Wilderness Gardening Interest Group, the Temporal Interest Group, the Interpersonal Dynamics Interest Group, the Weapons Development Interest Group, the Primitive Cooking Interest Group, the Freak Accidents Interest Group, the Ke Chedani Interest Group, the Immortality Through Not Pissing Off God Interest Group, the Solar Mechanics Interest Group, the Creative Writing Interest Group, and the Celibacy Interest Group.
- Cin-ta!x is a spokesperson for the Temporal Interest Group.
- God speaks through Benny's porter Joseph.
- Clarence collects Benny from St Oscar's.
- Ninan, a High Princess, loved to hear of her guests' travels, but could never leave her temple.
- WiRgo!xu is a veteran of the People's war with "them".
- !Ci!ci-tel is a veteran of the People's war with "them". He is aged to death by temporal energy stored in John Lafayette.
- !qu-!qu-tala is a drone accompanying !Ci!ci-tel and WiRgo!xu. The drone is also a veteran of the war.
- Bernice mentions the planet Jalkejai.
Time travel Edit
- The People can't develop time travel because of their treaty with the Time Lords.
- John Lafayette is a time sensitive and thus was able to walk the Time Path.
- Temporal Flexibility is the ability to store up potential temporal energy (as a result of some forms of time travel).
- The Path is an unstable temporal path leading back to ancient Babylon.
- The People decide to send back a Singularity Bomb to shut down the path, which would also destroy Babylon.
- This novel was adapted into an audio story by Big Finish Productions by Jacqueline Rayner. (see AUDIO: Walking to Babylon)
- The People first appeared in PROSE: The Also People.
- Benny agreed to become an agent of the People in PROSE: Oh No It Isn't!.
- The People make a deal regarding time travel in PROSE: Dead Romance.
- Benny tells the story of her solo dig on Capella Four. This was first mentioned in PROSE: Parasite and expanded upon in PROSE: Steal from the World.
- The Discontinuity Guide to: Walking to Babylon at The Whoniverse
- The Cloister Library: Walking to Babylon