Resilience (Regina Shen – 1) by Lance Erlick
Abrupt climate change melted ice caps and flooded coasts. Regina Shen is an outcast condemned to live on the seaward side of barrier walls. A hurricane threatens to destroy Regina’s world, tearing her from sister, mom, and home.
The World Federation’s notorious Department of Antiquities polices barrier walls and suppresses knowledge from the past. Regina thrives on salvage from sunken cities, including illegal print books from before the Federation. With photographic memory, she defies Antiquities by reading books not available in the Federation. Antiquities claims Regina has unique DNA that could single-handedly stop human extinction. It’s too bad she doesn’t trust them enough to barter fairly, let alone with her life.
As the storm worsens, Antiquities and their allies doggedly pursue Regina. Does she have the resilience to survive the storm and avoid capture while hunting for family?
He was raised by a roaming aerospace engineer, growing up in various parts of the United States and Europe, as well as traveling through Asia. He took to stories as his anchor, including the works of Asimov, Bradbury, and Heinlein, and has been writing since age eleven.
Growing up, he was inspired by his father’s engineering work on cutting-edge aerospace projects to look to the future.
In an ideal world, Lance would find time loops where he could step out for a week at a time to read and write. Then he would return to the moment he left, without life getting in the way. Of course, since everyone would have the same ability, he suspects life would still sneak in.
Lance is also the author of short stories and novelettes.
Global warming has destroyed the ice caps leaving the world sunk in water. In this new world women have taken over and changed all religion to focus around GODs, the Grand Old Dames. The dames are in struggle for who rules the existing world. But in their world, their systems are breaking down. There are no men and the girls created are made in labs. There is a break down in the genetic material and weakened the new children so they don’t survive.
Regina Shen is a child in the marshes outside the walls of the country. Thought of as nothing more than swamp rats, the people in this world salvage the old sunken cities for materials to sell. Regina and her mother survive by salvaging. But Regina also has the opportunity of an education with pre-collapsed education. When a hurricane strikes Regina, her mother and her sister try to find higher ground to survive when her mother abandons the girls. Then a Department of Antiquities woman is trying to find Regina and her sister because they may have the genetics to fix the world. Regina and her sister get separated. Regina is racing against time, traps, the Department of Antiquities police and other dangers to try and save her sister and herself from the new flooded world.
This was a great book. Regina seems to have the odds stacked against her. Thankfully she has the chance to get a bit of education. Mo Mere also teaches her about what the world was like before the GODs. But the most important thing to her is her family. When her mother abandons her to the storm it really bothers Regina. When her sister is taken, Regina goes after her and plans to rescue her. But this is not an easy path since there is danger at every step. But she doesn’t let that stop her. Although it does get her into trouble a couple times rushing in without looking around.
This is a great start to the series. The setting was perfect, I could just see people trying to survive in swamps after being dumped out of the countries walls. I admit that Regina pining over her mother did get a little irritating since her mother has clearly been gone more and more lately. I do have to remind myself that she is a young girl and this is the ultimate betrayal.
I do like the story and am eager to read Vigilance to see if she does rescue her sister.
I received Resilience for free from iRead Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
WRITING A FEMALE PROTAGONIST (crossing gender) by Lance Erlick
Why did I choose a female protagonist and what got me to think I could pull it off?
Growing up, I was surrounded by strong women and often by the absence of men. At one point, I did a one-and-a-half-year stint in a Catholic military boarding school run by Catholic sisters.
As a reader, I’ve often experienced getting into various characters’ heads, both male and female. When I was getting ready to write The Rebel Within, I had just finished reading Elizabeth Moon’s The Speed of Dark. She tells the story of a young autistic boy in his point of view. I believe she handled gender quite well, and hopefully I’ve brought lessons from her writing into my work.
What helped me over the edge in taking on The Rebel Within was that I’d already written Annabelle Scott as a co-protagonist in Rebels Divided (now the 3rd book in the series). Annabelle got into my head and wouldn’t let go until I wrote her story. I felt I was seeing her world through her eyes and imagined how I/she would deal with what she faced. One thing this series does is play on a reversal of gender dominance with women controlling the society and men discriminated against. Thus, it explores the topic from a different perspective.
When it came time to write the Regina Shen series, the answer was obvious. This is a world in which men have become extinct due to events in the story’s past. Naturally, any protagonist I chose would be female.
Perhaps I should digress and discuss why I chose a world without men. The idea is an extension of research I did into the Rebel series that hints at future fertility research that could allow two women to have a child without a man. The idea tickled my imagination in the Rebel series where men and women are separated by a shaky peace. I wanted to explore the implications of a society in which there would be no gender issues yet would be consistent with a long history of human nature.
By that I mean that we (men and women) are inherently competitive as a species and seek dominance over others in order to secure our place. While some writers have idealized an all-female society, I believe this competition and inherent need for status would perpetuate some institutions even in the absence of men. In any case, it was a fun adventure to create. It’s not heavy-handed in any way, and many readers have found it quite enjoyable.
So what I would offer is if you have a story to tell, don’t be scared away by the story’s need to be told by your opposite gender.