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Langue[dot]doc 1305

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  43 ratings  ·  19 reviews
There are people involved. That’s the first mistake.

Scientists were never meant to be part of history. Anything in the past is better studied from the present. It’s safer.

When a team of Australian scientists – and a lone historian –travel back to St-Guilhem-le-Désert in 1305 they discover being impartial, distant and objective just doesn’t work when you’re surrounded by th
Published October 5th 2014 by Smashwords Edition (first published October 4th 2014)
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Sherwood Smith
Polak breaks a lot of writing rules in this leisurely-paced tale of a group of scientists plus one historian taken back in time to the hills outside a small village in Languedoc in 1305. The narrative voice flips between various POVs in short scenes, and sometimes mixes POVs in slyly introduced omniscient. I kept wondering who was writing the story; the why gradually dawned on me, or a possible why, when we reached the end amid (view spoiler).

Jason Franks
Feb 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing

A team of scientists and an historian travel back in time to the year 1305 in the Languedoc region in the south of France. That's pretty much were the similarities between this and every other time travel story begin and end.

This is a character-driven piece about the scientific method and the science of history, rather than an excuse to show modern people interacting with famous personages from ages past or to play authorial tricks with paradox. Langue[dot]doc gives us a realistic portrayal of w
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Briefly: a bunch of mostly-scientists are sent back in time (via a semi-mysterious experimental machine called Timebot) to the year 1305, in the Languedoc region of southern France. They spend nine months mostly doing navel-gazing esoteric research in a cave system on a hill. They mostly strive to stay away from the nearest village and not interact with the locals. They are quite bad at not attracting attention.

This is totally not the time-travel book you're thinking about, nor the one you're ex
Phillip Berrie
This is a time travel story that deals mostly with the characters, both modern and medieval, involved. The history and character of the medieval society struck me as being very plausible, but that's hardly surprising considering the academic credentials of the author who has a PhD in Medieval Studies. I was a little less enamoured by the foibles of the modern characters involved, considering the acknowledged possibility of changing history that the faced.

The story developed well enough, but I wa
Marta Salek
Feb 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It requires talent to take two disparate themes--medieval history and time travel--and marry them convincingly, let alone to create a world that is so beautifully and gracefully ordinary. I enjoy stories with a bit of action, but here is proof that one does not need blood and guts and over-the-top concepts to produce a novel that is so immersive. All you need is the right group of characters, and an author with the skill to slow the world down enough for their reality to become ours.

This is the
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the things I enjoy most about Gillian Polack's books, besides their quirky sense of humour, is how wonderfully she explores the everyday and the ordinary, giving them texture and depth so that they're not ordinary or mundane at all.

In Langue [dot] doc 1305 Polack marries her deep knowledge as a Medievalist to a favourite SF trope – time travel to the days of knights, lords and peasants – and then does her usual magic of transforming the ordinary into the profound.

Artemesia Wormwood (a nam
Jennifer (JC-S)
‘Time for Botty to beam you down into the Middle Ages!’

The plan: to send a team of Australian scientists, together with an historian, back to St-Guilhem-le-Désert in 1305. The scientists will take scientific measurements of the atmosphere, environment and ecology, and study the skies for nine months. They will live in a cave, and they will have no impact on the people or the history.

Dr Artemisia Wormwood is the historian. She’s a late inclusion to the team, and she’s and expert in Anglo-Norman
Felicity Pulman
Dec 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's clear that the author understands the world of academe only too well in this cautionary tale. A time-slip from the present back to 1305 sounds marvellously exciting - until the reality of medieval time intrudes, along with the realisation that the people the scientists are studying are, in fact, people, not specimens.
Artemisia could have told them that but she's just a historian, a ring-in, and therefore supremely unimportant in the overall scheme of things. And although there are rules a
Sue Burke
Sep 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s a simple plan: A university team will travel back in time to 1305 France, hide out in a cave, take scientific measurements of the environment and ecology for nine months, then come back. The members will avoid contact with natives and make no changes in the course of history.

What could go wrong?

Even if the team had boasted of the discipline and leadership of a NASA project, a lot could have gone wrong. Instead, the team is made up of bickering and contrarian academics with an active disdain
The blurb makes this sound like a cool concept. I’m not sure how the author managed to make the execution so boring. I kept hoping it would get interesting, but it was just telling, telling, telling, and somehow not even telling anything interesting. It didn’t get better. I abandoned this at chapter 18. The audiobook narrator was also rather uninflected despite a nice accent.
Agnès Denie
Sep 27, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Most important non-complaint is I wanted more of everything. Which is a good thing, really.
Kerryn Olsen
Jun 27, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Have I mentioned how much I love time-travel novels? This does not sanitise the past, and is highly recommended!
Tsana Dolichva
Aug 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Langue[dot]doc 1305 by Gillian Polack is a time-travel novel set mostly in 1305. It basically documents the expedition's stay in 1305 and the contemporaneous goings-on in the town of Languedoc. It is the second novel I've read by the author, the other was Ms Cellophane, which is unconnected.
There are people involved. That's the first mistake.
Scientists were never meant to be part of history. Anything in the past is better studied from the present. It's safer.
When a team of Australian scientists
Maurizio Codogno
[Disclaimer: Ho ricevuto iI libro via il programma Early Reviewer di LibraryThing] Gillian Polack è una medievalista. Come si può parlare di medioevo in un libro? Per esempio si potrebbe fare un romanzo storico. Polack ha invece scelto di mandare un gruppo di ricercatori del prossimo futuro nella Linguadoca del 1305, nel primo esperimento di viaggio a ritroso nel tempo. In teoria i ricercatori dovrebbero tenersi alla larga dalla popolazione locale, per evitare di creare paradossi temporali: inut ...more
Feb 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
A clever and unusual time-travel story. A group of scientists travel back to 1305 with instructions to stay out of sight of the inhabitants of the village they are staying near. Their characters are all such that each of them has a high degree of entitlement and so little respect for the one historian in their group that her warnings are constantly disregarded.
As in any small group in a claustrophobic situation, there are personality clashes and Artemesia, the historian, is made to feel increasi
Lync Lync
Nov 14, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A bunch of scientists and one historian go back in time. They think they can manage not to interact with the people of the time, so they skulk around in a cave and the midden. As with any bunch of people they have baggage. 9 months in close proximity with said baggage. In a time which was far from gentle to outsiders.
As you would expect it sometimes drags a bit (9 months confined to cave would do that), but then someone does something stupid or unkind or very very kind and it gets interesting ag
Patricia Leslie
Jul 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Love Gillian's style of fantasy writing or in this case, I suppose, SciFi. Australian characters,time travel and the French countryside! That makes up a good share of my favourite things to read about. An overall good story that hints of hidden depths especially in regard to the back story of all the characters. I really do want to know more about them. And wanting more is an excellent way to leave your readers ...more
Julanna Hennessy
Mar 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
So what do you get when you mix time travelling scientists, a historian, a discontented knight, a superstitious town and really bad group dynamics?
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Lauren Mitchell
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Jan 06, 2017
Fran Dowd
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Sep 29, 2021
Cathryn Davey
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Apr 25, 2018
Pamela Freeman
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Aug 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Langue[dot]doc is about disquieting relationships in a team environment. The time traveling team in this book consists of research scientists who are narrowly focused on their own study to the exclusion of other team member disciplines. This dysfunctional focus led to the renunciation of certain members of the team as well as to reckless behavior that endangered the entire group.

The Langue[dot]doc team was sent to the Rhone Valley area in Southeast France during the year 1305 using a modern-day
charles brock
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Jan 18, 2015
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May 03, 2015
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Karen Early
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Gillian is a writer and historian, currently living in Canberra, Australia. She intends to count the books in her library soon, when they stop falling on her and otherwise intimidating her.

She was given the 2020 A Bertram Chandler Award for lifetime achievement in science fiction.

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