All my life I’ve had a rich imagination. Vivid scenes just pop into my head. I’ve enlarged a few of them into short stories that I posted onto a now defunct web site. My stories had as many reads as submissions by a lot of other authors. This is the first time it just grew and grew into a complete novel (a full 130 pages).
I pictured a beautiful and compassionate princess (Agatha) whose medieval land is being ravaged by an evil sorcerer. Her fairy godmother, inspired by the fairy godmother in the 1950 Walt Disney cartoon “Cinderella,” comes to her. She says that the sorcerer will be destroyed only if Princess Agatha identifies her handsome prince incognito in the crowd on her first try and makes love to him. Just kissing is not enough. But Agatha must be correct the first time. She will not have a second chance.
Love prevails, but you’ll have to read the story to learn how she identified him. Here my egalitarian spirit took over. Unlike other fairytale princesses who disappear into a pampered obscurity, Agatha asserts her right to rule as an enlightened queen. She kicks out the wealthy aristocratic establishment and with the advice of talented commoners devises radical politics to achieve prosperity for all of her people. I have the gall to suggest that the methods invented by Queen Agatha in the middle ages to achieve prosperity for all will also work in the 21st century. I invite you, dear reader, to decide whether to accept or reject my outrageous claim.
In the mythical, medieval land of Xana, Queen Julia ruled as a typical aristocratic monarch in a country whose great wealth was concentrated among the privileged few. Her daughter, Princess Agatha, was the champion of the commoners. The evil sorcerer Magi comes to Xana to kill Queen Julia and ravage aristocrats and commoners alike. Princess Agatha alone is spared, for she is protected by her fairy godmother. Now the beautiful heiress has two challenges, first to rid Xana of Magi and then to lift all the commoners from poverty into prosperity. To achieve her first goal she must identify her handsome prince incognito in the crowd on her first try. She won’t have a second chance. To achieve her second she must invent and use radical political schemes even if not all her people approve.
Elias was an important member of the Queen Agatha’s council of advisers, perhaps second in the whole country behind the queen. The queen caught him embezzling royal funds.
Elias was shaken to his very core by Queen Agatha’s response. He expected a reprimand and perhaps a mild fine, but instead, she brought him before a huge crowd assembled below the palace balcony and publicly humiliated him. She proclaimed, “Twice you came to me, not to serve our people but to enrich yourself. You will apologize and give back to the people everything you have as atonement and compensation.”
Elias cried out to the people of Xana. “I have done wrong. I have taken that which I did not earn. I am sorry. I will return it all to you. I promise never again to violate my queen’s trust.”
“You will give everything you have to the people,” announced Agatha. “You will give all your land, your property, your possessions, and even your clothes. You will keep only the clothes you are now wearing. Everything you have will be sold at auction. I shall use the money to find more teachers. They will teach arithmetic to all the people of Xana so that they understand contracts. No one can shortchange them again as you have done.”
“Everything but the clothes I am wearing?” whimpered Elias.
“Everything,” responded Queen Agatha, as Elias was led away, crying. “You leave in disgrace. May you one day regain your honor with service, humility, frugality, and generosity to your people.” Agatha repeated, “And generosity.”
All the wealth that he had accumulated in a lifetime disappeared in a flash.
Sam Cunningham is a small college physics teacher. He knows from personal experience with his pupils that through nurturing nearly all young people can become productive citizens. It is an overwhelming tragedy that so many poor children are not given this nurturing. Their personal loss, and the loss to their country of their productive ability, is a catastrophe. As a scientist he understands that critical thinking and the ability to follow where the evidence leads are the only reliable ways to understand the real world. Away from work he leaves the real world of hard evidence to read science fiction and fantasy. His favorite childhood movie was the Walt Disney 1950 cartoon of Cinderella, and he greatly admires strong women. Sam brings together all of these ingredients in this story of a princess who becomes a wise and inspired queen with a personal mission to achieve productivity, prosperity, and happiness for all of her people.
Be sure to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here.