Some of the ideas discussed in this blog are published in my new book called "The Stonehenge Bluestones" -- available by post and through good bookshops everywhere. Bad bookshops might not have it....
To order, click

Monday, 17 May 2021

Byers Peninsula in focus


I came across a novel the other day -- called "The Killing Ship" and written by two anonymous academics under the pseudonym Simon Beaufort.  It's set on Livingston Island at the western end of the South Shetlands group in west Antarctica, with the Byers Peninsula at the heart of the story.  Well, this is where I was based with three colleagues for a whole month in late 1965 -- so we got to know it rather well after many miles of trudging back and forth across what was essentially a snow-covered landscape in the early summer season.

So I bought the book and read it -- and it was a massive disappointment.  It was obvious from the outset that the authors had not the faintest idea what the environment was like or what the landscape looked like.  And even less idea of what the practicalities of living and working on the peninsula are or were in recent decades.  The book is flagged up as a thriller, but almost every incident was laughably ridiculous, with cardboard characters who elicited no sympathy from the reader, and dialogue that was unbelievably unlike anything that goes on in real life.  The whole thing was simply a catalogue of absurdities.  How on earth did it ever manage to get into print?  One star out of five, if I'm being generous.  The ending was replete with hints of a sequel.  Oh dear -- if it ever does appear, I for one will not be reading it......

Three recent photos of Byers Peninsula, which is now a protected area frequently visited by research scientists and also by tourists.  When we were there, the landscape was completely unaffected by human activity apart from some small traces of sealing activities on the beaches in the 1800's -- one of the celebrated "last great wildernesses".........

See also:

No comments: