First published in 2466, Down Among the Dead Men was Professor Bernice Summerfield's first published book. It detailed the young archaeologist's experiences excavating an Ice Warrior site at Mare Sirenum on Mars. (PROSE: Theatre of War, The Dying Days) Though it was a best seller, and was a great help to her in obtaining employment at St Oscar's University on Dellah, Benny sometimes had mixed feelings about it — describing it, at one point, as a book that "everyone bought, but no one read." (PROSE: Oh No It Isn't!) Other readers were kinder: St Oscar's student Theo Tamlyn thought it was "one of the few readable textbooks he'd encountered". (PROSE: Dry Pilgrimage)
A revised edition was published in 2593 by St Oscar's University Press, Dellah. (PROSE: Walking to Babylon) This revised edition was called Down Among the Dead Men Again. (PROSE: Seeing I, AUDIO: Buried Treasures)
After the novel became a best-seller, Benny's publishers wanted her to write a sequel. She kept on putting it off, for instance by spending her time writing an essay entitled "Devil Gate Drive: The Influence of The Descent of Inanna on Twentieth-Century Popular Culture". (PROSE: Walking to Babylon)
First detailed in Theatre of War, the initial date of publishing was given as 2466. This was at odds with Paul Cornell's established backstory for Bernice Summerfield, placing her date of birth as 21st June 2472 (and thereby dating Love and War, her first appearance, 21st - 23rd June 2502). However, as the document detailing Benny's early life - included in Cornell's initial pitch to Peter Darvill-Evans - was not immediately accessible to other writers, many subsequent novels muddied the water concerning her native time period until the matter was cleared up in Just War, placing Benny's date of birth as 21st June 2540 (in order to better fit Love and War into the time period of the Human-Draconian conflict as explored in Frontier in Space).
Despite this obvious contradiction, the publishing date of 2466 has been quoted many times in the Bernice Summerfield series, most notably in the Welcome to the Braxiatel Collection section at the beginning of novels and anthologies, and remains unexplained to this day.