Resilience Review

Regina Shen is a woman living in world that bans books and artifacts from before the Great Collapse.

I have to say when I began reading Regina Shen: Resilience I was not sure that I would truly enjoy it because I felt like the book was based on a concept that had been done before by other authors. However as I read more and more of the book I discovered just how wrong I was. This book may be based on a similar concept, but the book is far from ordinary. The plot of the novel keeps moving in sort of zig-zag which keeps the reader guessing about what is going to happen next. The author does a truly amazing job with stringing each chapter together and with character creation. I truly loved Regina Shen she is a character that just keep picking herself back up and trying again. I enjoyed the fact that she was a strong female lead character and her eidetic memory allowed her to learn and understand faster than other characters. Her enjoyment of books is something I could truly understand and appreciate. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for new take on an old concept.



Extract: Facebook Ask The Author

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. ( 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?

Black Friday Promo

In conjunction with the Genre Underground’s #ReadInTheDark2013, I will be offering a Black Friday promotion on The Rebel Within ebook at Kindle, discounted to $.99. Tell your friends and neighbors to stock up while they can. Also, as part of the Black Friday experience, I will be featured on Facebook’s “Ask the Author” event from 4-5PM ET (3-4PM CT). Come keep me company.

Author Interview: Hugh Howey

(By Lance Erlick)

I met Hugh Howey at Chicon7 in Chicago in 2012 and again in at Lonestarcon3 in San Antonio this year. Being that I was on the fence between traditional publishing and self-publishing, I was intrigued by his story. He had already published the Molly Fyde series with some success, but found an audience with a short story called Wool. When that story caught reader interest, he expanded the story into a full length novel by the same name and then other stories in the same universe. What began as a self-published story has now been picked up in print form by a major publisher, though Hugh retains the ebook rights. You can catch him at He agreed to answer a few questions for our audience:

What was the source of the silo idea?
I’m sure it had multiple sources, but the main genesis of the world of Wool came from 24-hour news. I wondered what it does to us to have our view of the world filtered through such a negative lens. Does that impact our degree of optimism and hope? Are those who want to fight for a better world heroes? Or are they dangerous?

What research did you do for the Wool series?
The research came from my life experiences and all my reading, especially non-fiction. I drew from my time as a yacht captain, an engineer, a world traveler, a roofer, an electrician, and a student of history. As in the life I have lived, I probably got more wrong than I got right.

What similar stories do you have planned?
Most of the stories I have planned are vastly different. I want to write across all the genres. I want the process to remain fresh and exciting. I do have another post-apocalyptic series planned, but it takes place in a very distant future and leans a little more toward fantasy.

What is unique about your Molly Fyde stories that make them stand out for you?
I like to think of that series as Pixar in book form. There’s an adventure story for all ages on the surface, but astute readers will catch all the deeper meanings sprinkled throughout. I credit Swift’s GULLIVER’S TRAVELS for inspiring me to view storytelling in this way.

How do you feel about other authors writing in your silo world?
I’m flattered by it. I think it’s wild that I’ve written about a world and others want to join in. I see fan fiction as a form of literary jazz. Someone hears a new beat they like, and they want to riff off of it. They want to jump on stage and join in or perform their own rendition. I completely support this. My hope is that these writers will delight my readership and draw them over to their own works, introduce them to more great stories. I know writers who are making a decent wage from their fan fiction, and as someone who knows how difficult it is to get paid for your art, nothing makes me happier.

Thanks, Hugh, for your thoughts.

Lance Erlick

Nature of Emergency

(by Lance Erlick)

They come without warning.

Wendy wakes. By grayish light from her bedroom window, she sees she’s surrounded by ants. Their sting is beyond annoying. They cover her arms and legs, over and under her sheets, on the walls, and even the ceiling. She brushes ants from her arms and her face, but they keep coming. She looks longingly at her bedroom door. It, too, is covered. She realizes the grayness is from trails of ants crossing her window, blocking the new day. Carefully, she reaches for her trusty landline and dials 911. She waits seven rings.

A soft, sugary Voice answers: What is the nature of your Emergency?

Wendy: I’m surrounded by ants. They’re stinging me all over.

Voice: I need your name, ma’am.

Wendy: Can’t you just send someone over. Please, hurry.

Voice: Your name, ma’am.

Wendy: Wendy Williams. Now hurry.

Voice: I need your social security number, ma’am.

Wendy: You don’t need a social security number to send help. Now hurry.

Voice: Getting upset won’t bring help, ma’am. Your social security number, please.

Wendy: Why do you need a social security number to send help?

Voice: The volume of calls, ma’am. We need to verify that you are who you say you are. This will only take a minute.

Wendy: I don’t think I have that long.

Voice: Then please provide your social security number.

Wendy: I want to speak with your supervisor.

There is a click and a tinny voice answers: Your name, ma’am.

Wendy: I already gave that. Wendy Williams.

Voice 2: Your social security number, ma’am.

Feeling desperate, Wendy gives it. Now can you send someone?

Voice: Please verify your address, ma’am.

Wendy: Don’t you have that from the phone records?

Voice: Ma’am, do you want help?

Wendy provides the address. Now how will you send help? They’re swarming me and outside my window.

Voice: We’ll move as quickly as we can, ma’am.

Wendy: Please hurry.

The phone goes dead. Ants continue to bite as Wendy tries to find a safe haven. She tip-toes across her bedroom, opens the door and finds ants covering every surface in the hallway.

#  #  #

The call center is quiet. Three operators on the floor covered with ants have stopped thrashing. A phone buzzes. After seven rings, a sweet Voice answers: What is the nature of your Emergency?

The caller sounds desperate: Please hurry.

Lights from the automated system blink on autopilot.

Character Interview Annabelle

(by Lance Erlick)

Q: Annabelle, now that you’ve survived this ordeal, where would you most like to go for a vacation getaway, anywhere in the world?

A: Is that on or off the record?

Q: Okay, off the record. No strings attached.

A: If you could grant me any wish of a place to go with no consequences, I would choose a prison.

Q: After what you’ve been through, why in the world would you choose that?

A: That’s where they sent my birth mother when I was three. I can’t give you a specific prison or city, because they won’t tell me where they sent her.

Q: I’m afraid I can’t grant that.

A: I didn’t think so. Well, then I’ve never been to the Great Smoky Mountains even though they’re only 25 miles away. They’re in the forbidden Outlands. I know it carries a lot of personal risk, but I would really like to experience the untamed beauty of the lands.

Q: So you would put yourself in harm’s way to experience what is essentially a national park?

A: It’s much more than that. It represents all that’s forbidden in my society: boys, the ability to go places without being watched, and to experience things that are forbidden.

Q: They’re forbidden for your own good.

A: Shouldn’t I be able to decide for myself.

Q: So, with the opportunity to go anywhere in the world, you would only venture some 25 miles east into the woods.

A: Right now, I can’t think of any place I’d rather be than home in Knoxville with my family surrounded by beautiful hills and the river.

Footnote: Few may know that Knoxville was caught in middle of the first American Civil War. The city supported the South, while the surrounding areas supported the North. It makes the perfect backdrop for a Second Civil War.

Review Loves The Rebel Within

(by Amanda from TheEclecticBookworm)
I truly loved the main character. She is strong, intelligent. She has a heart. She knows that her society isn’t the utopia it is portrayed to be. She has an unquenched thirst for justice and determination to match.
See more at

Liberty vs. Security

(by Lance Erlick)

It seems throughout human history there has been a tug-of-war between liberty and security. At times people sacrificed their liberties in exchange for promises of security to live their day-to-day lives. In ways, this was the bargain individuals made when they became serfs to the land under some medieval lord, often after a natural or man-made catastrophe put fear into their lives. At other times, we have fought to the death for our liberties, as our forefathers did here in America and elsewhere. The pendulum swings back and forth at different times, and at different paces for different people. And yet a perfect balance is never found.

Then there are those who demand their own liberties while denying other people theirs, typically because the ‘others’ are different. This was the case of slavery in its many forms going all the way back to the earliest recordings of human history. We see it today in various groups demanding their rights and liberties while standing by or actively denying the rights of others. And yet, when our neighbor’s house burns, is it wise to stand by and wait to see if it boils over to our own?

Humans have yet to find a path that avoids the swing of liberty vs. security. Perhaps it will continue to elude us, for this struggle is rather like the struggle of life itself, a constant rebalancing between shortage and excess in order to survive.

I have tried to capture some of this tug-of-war in my Rebel series: The Rebel Within & Rebels Divided.

Windy City Reviews: The Rebel Within

(Reviewed by Serena Wadhwa)

In this dystopian YA novel, Annabelle is a typical 16-year-old girl living a not-so-typical adolescent life. Taking place after the Second American Civil War, the books describes how Annabelle lives in a world where everything is monitored to enforce harmony, where uniformity thrives, and being different has consequences. Losing her parents at the age of three, Annabelle is later adopted by a woman whom she respectfully calls “Mom.” Mom, a state senator, fights for girls and women to have opportunities in the government-controlled world. “Mechs”—female warriors who are trained to protect the state, enforce harmony, and capture fugitive males—are also the ones who destroyed Annabelle’s family. Males are viewed as the enemy in this female-dominant world. Yet Annabelle struggles with common issues for individuals her age: doing what’s right by the society she lives in versus doing what’s right for her, as well as trying to understand the physical and emotional reactions she experiences when she sees a boy. Erlick gives the reader a view of what it is like for Annabelle to live in a world where male connections are forbidden and people disappear if they are not promoting “harmony.” Yet Annabelle yearns for some independence, some freedom, and to know who she really is.

“No telling who might post my thoughts. Soc-net police are on the lookout for any backlash against the Federal Union.” In Erlick’s America, privacy is a thing of the past, but for Annabelle, it’s something she wants to fight for: the right to be independent, to think for herself, and to pursue her own dreams.

Annabelle also vigilantly tries to find her biological mother, despite the consequences of getting caught: “ …rows of metal desks have virtual computers, where I’ve tried to access information on Dorothy Montgomery, my birth mother. It’s not that Mom hasn’t been good to me; she has. I don’t like the Federal Union forbidding me from finding by birth mother. The desks can’t access out-of-state records without going through a department filter. That would ID my search and land me in another prison far away. “

Erlick does a good job of bringing the characters to life, vividly bringing to the reader the ways in which Annabelle overcomes obstacles and distractions in following her passion and discovering her mission. Annabelle is a believable adolescent fighting for what she believes in: “I speed to school. This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever done, yet it feels right. All I have to do is get Janine to go home with Mom and tell them I have to return Brooks’ car. What could go wrong?“

Dara is another lively adolescent who uses her size and power to get her way. When she and Annabelle end up fighting a Mech battle against each other, readers will find themselves unable to put the last chapters down, as Erlick weaves a few surprising twists into the story.

“Red and blue uniforms circle around. With every ounce of strength I hit and kick. Anger, not just at Dara, but Surroc, the Union, Voss, Hernandez. Everyone tells me what to do, who to be, how to behave. The union took my parents, grabbed that boy, hunts Morgan. Dara hurt Janine. “

If you like action, suspense, and vivid characters, look no further. In fact, after finishing the book, I asked if there was a sequel to the story.