It is a time far into the future. Mars has been terraformed and colonized by Earth, but civilization reached a point of collapse, subsiding into a kind medieval period not unlike what we know as the Middle Ages, the period between the collapse of the Western Roman Empire and the rise of the nation-states in Europe.
Alistair, a farmer in a feudal domain called Garibaldi Manor and ruled by Lord Gareth , is in love with Lynessa. Then he learns that she has the skin ailment known as “the curse,” and is to be banished. The curse begins as a skin ailment (not unlike leprosy) and eventually ends in death. Alastair and his older friend Waleran are allowed to take Lynessa to the camp of the banished. There they hear of a possible cure, and eventually are allowed to undertake the quest to find it.
Adam David Collings’s short fantasy novel Lynessa’s Curse is a standalone story that is part of a collection of related stories published as Medieval Mars. It’s a good introduction to the collection – the story is intriguing and fast-paced, the narrative filled with details of what a terraformed Mars (and its various peoples and animals, including giant lizards that spew acid and flying reptiles) is like. Fantasy requires a suspension of belief, but when well done offers a riveting story, which is what Lynessa’s Curse is.
|Adam David Collings|
Collings, who lives in Tasmania, Australia, is a writer of speculative fiction. He says he draws his inspiration from his “over-active imagination, life experiences, and faith.” He also hosts a YouTube channel, Stories with Adam Collings, where he gives full rein to his storytelling and related activities.
The goal of the quest by Alastair and Waleran is technologies of Old Earth, left behind and now hidden in a place “where the three rivers converge.” The place turns out to be guarded by the lizards and a people hostile to outsiders. But Alastair, a farmer with virtually no fighting experience, is determined to save Lynessa. It is his transformation that’s at the heart of Lynessa’s Curse.
Illustration: the artwork for Medieval Mars.