There should have been soft breezes scented with entrancing perfumes, the soothing warmth of a golden sun, lakes of wine and mountains of grain, trees adorned with fruit and bud and flower, shrubs bearing a profusion of glittering gems. Herbs and spices to provide freedom from pain, a return to youthful zest, an end of aging and decay. Salves and ointments and natural fungi to cure all physical ills. . .
For this was Earth, that planet of legend, the paradise for which all yearned and hungered to find. The world of joy and beauty and riches beyond the wildest dreams.
Instead Earl Dumarest found a landscape of unremitting hostility. Could this really be the fabled home world for which he had spent his entire life searching . . . ?
(First published 2008)