This is extracted from a Facebook Ask the Author interview on November 29, 2013.
Hi, I’m Lance Erlick, the author of two novels in the Rebel series: The Rebel Within and Rebels Divided. (http://www.amazon.com/Lance-Erlick/e/B00C1PKYSA/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1371212711&sr=1-2-ent). I also have a short story out on Amazon (Watching You) and one on this website (Nature of Emergency).
After years of squeezing writing in between long stretches of earning my keep, I’m now a full time writer. My focus has been young adult science fiction and other stories that take my fancy. I am currently working on a 3rd story in the Rebel series.
Question: If you could write in one fiction universe for the rest of your career, what universe would it be?
Answer: That would be tough. I enjoy a wide range of areas. I guess if I had to choose it would be young adult science fiction as I enjoy the wonder of how young eyes view our changing world.
Question: Lots of stories begin with ‘what if’ what about yours?
Answer: The Rebel series is no exception. It began with the question of what would happen if bleeding-edge fertility research succeeded in allowing non-reproductive cells to fertilize an egg. While a boon to infertile men, it would also allow two women to have a biological child. That could bring a revolution in social mores. What do you think?
Question: Do you write “hard” science fiction, or “soft” science fiction?
I would say more on the soft side. When I read hard science fiction, it often struggles with character and plot. I am more interested in the interaction of character in new situations. I do want there to be a science base, but I don’t dwell on it. For example, I explored fertility research enough to know there’s a chance of developing a process for two women to have a biological child without a man and then used that in my stories without getting into the technical details. It was enough to realize it was a possibility.
Question: There are a number of ways this scenario could go. Does your story follow the line of thinking that men would be seen as superfluous? Fathering is a lot more than being a sperm donor.
Answer: The Rebel society is the result of a 2nd Civil War in which things get twisted to the point radicals take over and create an all-female society. A female-plurality society has existed before. The Mormons had such initially because more women joined their group in the beginning than men and that influenced their polygamous society. After one of the Paraguayan Wars in South America, most of the men were killed and the society had to deal with a heavily female gender mix. I agree there is more to parenting than being an egg/sperm donor, but every new development brings benefits and challenges. Something to consider that influenced the Rebel society is that while women have made great progress over the past 50 years, males now only receive 40% of college degrees in an information society. What will that mean to gender choices in the future?