Celebrating New Release with Promotional Pricing

To celebrate today’s release of The Rebel Trap, and to encourage reviews, we are offering to give away 2 signed copies of The Rebel Trap through Goodreads. This giveaway ends October 5th.

In addition, we are offering promotional ebook prices from October 6-17, 2014 for the entire Rebel series on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Lance-Erlick/e/B00C1PKYSA.

Kirkus Reviews called The Rebel Trap “inventive dystopian sci-fi drama” and a “well-thought-out science fiction world” Voices in sixteen-year-old Annabelle Scott’s head aren’t God or signs she’s going mad—yet. Despite being a military recruit, she rebels against her female-dominated régime by not only refusing to kill Morgan, a handsome boy she’s attracted to, but also helping him escape. Auditory implants and contact cameras allow her commander to watch her 24-7. Morgan hacks the implants to ask for help. Annabelle wants to help him yet needs to find the link between an attempted assassination of her adoptive mom, a corrupt police captain, and the geek institute that holds Morgan’s brother without destroying her family or getting killed.

Until October 5, 2014, enter the book giveaway for The Rebel Trap on Goodreads at

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/108485-the-rebel-trap, and then add to your shelves at

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22873354-the-rebel-trap

October 6-17, go to Amazon for promotional ebook pricing at

http://www.amazon.com/Lance-Erlick/e/B00C1PKYSA

Thanks and hope you enjoy,

Lance Erlick

Just Released: Maiden Voyage

Maiden Voyage

Maiden Voyage, a short story about gender and the future of the human race, but also a science fiction thriller, was released July 17. An early reviewer called it “Intriguing, with an interesting plot.”

The all-female Maiden’s Ark left Earth five years ago. A distress signal says Earth is lost, stranding lunar and asteroid colonists. Then someone sabotages the Ark’s vital fertility lab. Security Chief Nina Rekovic must tread carefully between Returners she sympathizes with, the dictatorial captain who strips her of her duties, and an estranged lover who betrays her.

Available now at Amazon.

 

Why Write

I’ve been asked by readers why I write what I do. Many authors get the bug when they read a story and say, “I could do that.” Then they sit down to write and discover it’s not as easy as it looks, at least not to write well.

Like other aspiring writers, I went through the phase of trying to copy the style and ideas of authors I enjoyed. That helped to improve my writing skills, but it didn’t make me a good writer. There’s a spark in good writing that comes from the heart, not from technique. No amount of copying another writer will bring that out.

My first stories were inspired by other stories and events in the world around me, and ranged from thrillers to science fiction, none published. In time I gravitated toward science fiction and “what if” of ideas floating through my head.

The Rebel series grew out of two things. First was my-way-or-highway politics in which there was no middle ground. I wondered what would happen if extremists on both sides got their way. Second was revolutionary fertility research on the verge of allowing anyone to contribute skin cells, have them coaxed into stem cells, and implanted into an egg for fertilization. It’s intended to help infertile couples, but in the hands of extremists, could lead to an all-female society.

These ideas created a new world. Into that world, I considered a male protagonist, but felt a young girl coming to terms with her society would make a more interesting main character. Annabelle was born.

Other stories rattle around inside my head, but I’ll always look at Annabelle as a big inspiration.

Lance Erlick

Rebels Divided—Comments

While Rebels Divided is a sequel to The Rebel Within, it was written as a standalone novel. In fact, it was written before its prequel as near term science fiction with young adult protagonists.

In a nutshell: The first time Geo (19) sees Annabelle (19), they meet as enemies and she doesn’t kill him. That counts for something. After the Second American Civil War, a nation remains divided. Coming from enemy camps, Geo and Annabelle must come together to rescue her sister and gain justice for his pa’s murder. Complicating this, the Federal governor and Outland warlord conclude a secret deal, pledging Annabelle in marriage to the warlord and putting a bounty on Geo. While trying to survive and achieve their goals, the pair must struggle with growing feelings for each other despite being sworn enemies.

As one Amazon reviewer noted: “This is not a book about space travel or jaw-dropping technology. Rather, it centers on the consequences of what happens when men & women fail to “get along.””

Another Amazon reviewer called it: “Nicely paced SF novel with more than a few twists to keep the reader wondering. Fine SF novel.”

Kirkus Reviews called it “An action-packed love story with even more twists and turns than its prequel.” They went on to say: “Followers of the series will be more than happy to find Annabelle Scott just as feisty and zealous as she was when last they saw her.”

Click here to buy.

I hope you enjoy. If you would like to be notified of promotions on my stories, when new stories are available, and occasional writing related comments, click here to sign up for my newsletter.

Lance Erlick

The Rebel Within–Expectations

While developing new stories, this blog has been quiet for a time. Now that we’re working to release a sequel to The Rebel Within and an unrelated short story, we plan a few blog posts to recap the two published stories and provide a sneak preview of the pending new release.

While The Rebel Within has received eight great reviews on Amazon, I’d like to respond to expectations and misconceptions. The story is near term science fiction with a young adult protagonist that explores gender in a potentially new age. It’s a first book in a series that soon will have three novels. As such, one Amazon reviewer referred to it as an “exciting set-up for a potentially interesting dystopian YA series.” After noting that she was looking for more story in this novel, this reviewer went on to say: “As with most YA series, the first book has the task of setting the scene for a story that must span several volumes.” Fair enough. The Rebel Within does have more setup than its two sequels, which are much more action-oriented. I hope you will check them out.

The Rebel Within: Annabelle (16) lives in a world where men are exiled, quarantined or forced to fight to the death to train the military elite. The first boy Annabelle has ever met just escaped prison. As a cop intern, she’s expected to capture him. Instead, she risks everything to help the boy, even while, in order to avoid exile, she’s forced into the elite military that took her parents.

In response to some reader comments:

Yes, there’s violence in The Rebel Within, but only what’s relevant to the storyline: Annabelle is forced to join the military unit that took her parents. One Amazon reviewer said that: “Even though there is fair amount of violence in the book, it should be acceptable reading for teens, and is sure to result in a good discussion in school or library environment.”

No, Annabelle’s military training is not a traditional 2014 American basic training because her society has different values and constraints than ours.

Yes, The Rebel Within is told in present-tense narration, which was a conscious choice. The two sequels are told in past tense, which made more sense for those stories. But my early reviewers believed The Rebel Within worked best in present tense. One Goodreads reviewer notes: “I should not have allowed that dislike to delay my reading this novel. After a few pages, I didn’t care about tense, and after a few more, I didn’t even really notice.”

Yes, in a world without men, there will be … lesbians. It would be one aspect of such a society. No, there is no graphic sex because that’s not relevant to the story line.

Then there were the positive reviews: “Over all, it was really enjoyable, and a thought-provoking read.” (Amazon reviewer)

“This was an exciting, very well-written read which kept my attention right to the end.” (Amazon and Goodreads reviewer)

“Belle herself is an interesting enough protagonist – she has a snarky, sarcastic wit that colors her narration, and it’s clear that she’s no fan of the world that has developed since her birth.” (Amazon and Goodreads reviewer).

Click here to buy.

I hope you enjoy. If you would like to be notified of promotions on my stories, when new stories are available, and occasional writing related comments, click here to sign up for my newsletter.

Lance Erlick

Rebels Divided—Great Review

“This is not a novel to be missed!” “shows the strength and willpower of young individuals, which is something I find quite lacking in today’s time.” “I loved Geo’s character; he has a heart to match Annabelle” “I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a third book!” 

These are excerpts from a great review posted on Girl of 1000 Wonders. Check it out.

Maiden’s Egg

(Short story by Lance Erlick)

The decision to run an all-female crew and passenger list on the generation voyage to planet Genrad-26B4 had been acrimonious. At least that’s what I find in the ship’s historical records. Corporate bosses and government officials who wanted a part of this great adventure fought against gender restrictions that kept them off Eve’s Retreat, our home these past two centuries. In the end, when you’re footing the bill, as CEO Rene Clement had done, you can bend the rules.

After scientists confirmed that Genrad-26B4 showed conditions similar to primitive Earth down to a breathable atmosphere, Clement wasted no time in building a generation ship and assembling the right mix of crew and passengers. She felt it important that the community be harmonious since they and their descendants would be together during the two century trip, and then on the planet creating a new civilization. She envisioned a world without the poverty and war that plagued Earth.

She contended her experience as a bio-genetic entrepreneur made her uniquely qualified to guide this mission. She also believed the fertility process she helped to create, which allows two women to have children without the need for a man, provided a unique opportunity. Take skin cells from one woman, trick them into becoming stem cells, and then implant half of that DNA into another woman’s egg. It was a complex, but straightforward process, one her company had performed millions of times.

Rene Clement took every care to fine tune the makeup of her crew and passengers. She believed an all-female population would provide two benefits to a new colony. First, if all the women were fertile, her fertility clinic, where I worked, would allow them to maximize offspring, with the greatest genetic diversity given our fixed population of one thousand.

She had a less subtle reason for an all-female ship. Just before scientists confirmed Genrad-26B4, she had caught her husband of ten years having an affair with another woman. To make matters worse, that other woman was her sister, and it had been going on behind Rene’s back for ten years. There was no way she would have a man on her ship.

Despite the betrayal, the divorce had been acrimonious. She wanted to move on. He tried to squeeze every cent he could from her before he went away. He did go away—heart attack in bed with Rene’s sister. Well, there was some justice in the universe.

Rene Clement believed an all-female ship would eliminate gender conflict and make a more harmonious trip. Those who signed on, including my great-great-great-grandmother, agreed to abide by Captain Clement’s rules, which would accrue to any offspring, including me.

Despite the contract, some of those who signed onto this voyage had expressed their doubts, and had been “released.” I had few complaints about the arrangement. I hadn’t known another world than this ship and so I didn’t know what I might be missing. I guessed that had been part of the insight and wisdom of then CEO Rene Clement, and now our Captain in her sixth bio-regeneration, something that only works for her.

For generations, our fertility process worked as expected. Now, as we approach planet Genrad-26B4, it’s my job to bring the bad news to one who doesn’t accept negatives. Our DNA, and more specifically the telomeres that control our DNA, has deteriorated generation by generation.

We have finally reached our destination, but we will be the last generation, except for Captain Clement, who can live on, alone.

The Teen Rebel

(by Lance Erlick)

History is full of youthful rebels who took up causes when faced with uncertain futures in the world they were about to enter.

In 1832, after the death of a popular leader, Parisian students rebelled against what they saw as repressive conditions in France and the establishment of the monarchy of Louis-Philippe. In the 1960s American students rebelled in reaction to racial practices and the Vietnam War. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 altered government policy with regards to race, but society in general was slow to change, giving hope to some and uncertainty to others. In the case of Vietnam, as the war dragged on, it became increasingly unpopular because the government couldn’t justify the cost in American lives.

Teen rebellion is often a reaction to uncertainty about their futures. In the case of the 1832 Paris revolt, it came from the loss of a popular leader and anxiety over what they could expect from the new monarchist government. In the case of the 1960s, there was radical change coming in racial policies as a result of the Civil Rights act, the riots of the 1960s, and an opening up of interracial communication as a result of the number of African-Americans who served in Vietnam.

On top of this was the gray cloud of the military draft. A young man could be drafted at any time with limited notice, making it difficult to plan his life. There were student deferments, but that only delayed the draft until the young man gradated and wanted to start a job. Then he had the prospect of military service in an unpopular war.
President Nixon quieted much of the dissent against the war when he changed the draft to be predictable with his annual draft lottery. After each lottery, most young men were confident they would not be drafted while others knew for sure they would be. This removed the doubt as to their future and many young men who were relieved of the draft moved on with their lives.

It is interesting to note that during the longest wars in U.S. history (Afghanistan/Iraq) there was none of the protests from the 1960s. This is likely due to the all-volunteer military in which those who chose not to serve didn’t have to. There was none of the uncertainty from the 1960s since they were not personally affected.

Teen rebellion has also been a reaction against the traditions and practices of a previous generation that for the young have outlived whatever purpose may have been intended. Thus, today we wrestle with issues of gender and sexual orientation that young people are more accepting of than their predecessors. Tradition has held that polygamy and homosexuality are wrong because they threaten family values and yet both existed for thousands of years during which families thrived.

What is interesting is that while we have always had the rebel as a thorn in the side of our traditions, the majority of people throughout history just wanted to be left alone. It was so during the French Revolution despite the terrible conditions under King Louis XVI and during the American Revolution. We tend to forget that the Second Continental Congress in 1775-76 was convened to address grievances with England and in the process they declared American independence. The Constitutional Convention was convened in 1787 to modify the decentralized Articles of Confederation and instead developed a new federal Constitution.

For my novel The Rebel Within, Annabelle’s rebelliousness is in reaction to losing her parents to a government crackdown, and against her government’s policy of oppressing males. Her society challenges the traditional male-dominated world around us. I intended this reversal to let people experience things from a slightly different perspective and I believe I’ve done this without being heavy-handed about it.
The world Annabelle lives in has become a strict, conformist one in order to enforce an injustice—the expulsion and abuse of boys. In order to maintain the New Harmony, the government and social structure demonizes males and forces young girls into military service, much like the American draft in the 1960s.

Annabelle rebels because she feels out of step with her society. She has a gut level remembrance of being torn from her birth mother by government forces. Overcompensating, her adoptive mom, whom she loves, confides too much about her son, Geo, who had to flee to the Outland with his dad. That creates a hunger in Annabelle to meet this boy and boys in general, and to experience something different than her society allows.

For my novel Rebels Divided, Annabelle’s rebelliousness continues with the added pressure of an unacceptable forced marriage. This novel introduces Geo, who rebels against a different society as a neighbor to Annabelle’s. Geo lives in a world that promotes rugged individualism and yet his entire society is controlled by a powerful and ruthless thane. His pa strives to keep Geo out of the thane’s Rangers. Geo rebels against his pa in order to become a man, and then against the Thane for attacking his family.

Free ebook copy of The Rebel Within

Hi,
I need your help. In exchange for honest reviews, I am giving away free ebook copies of The Rebel Within through Story Cartel (http://storycartel.com/books/581/the-rebel-within/) over the next 20 days. There is also a raffle for those who read and review.
Thanks,
Lance Erlick