Allow me to introduce Lance Erlick, author of YA Sci-Fi The Rebel Within. When Lance first got in touch with the premise: “Are men obselete?” I was intrigued and wanted to hear more about how this relates to Lance’s book. So here we have the result of that curiosity.
Are Men Obsolete?
“The Rebel Within” has as one of its core premises that men are considered obsolete in the society of our heroine, Annabelle Scott. Part of this idea came about after reading about fertility research over the past ten or so years. It appears that we are close to being able to fertilize one egg with another, allowing two women to have a child without a father. The ethical issues are many, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to explore the implications to our society if we went down this path.
Another part of story idea came about in observing that with automation and robotics, male advantages of physical strength matter less than ever. While the economy is shifting toward knowledge and social skills, males are dropping out of school and not making this transition as well as women have been. So the thought came to me: Whereas traditional societies have chosen male babies because they added status to the family, might future generations prefer female babies who seem to be better adapting to our changing world? What I learned, which surprised me, is that almost 60% of all college degrees now go to women. This shows that women have made great strides in gaining education. The flip side of this is that in a knowledge-based economy, men are not keeping up.
A third area that entered into my thinking is the extremist politics of recent years in the United States. It got me to thinking what would happen if the extremists took control and split the country. I came up with gun-toting rugged individualists fleeing to the Outlands, and government control types taking over the remaining Federal Union.
Annabelle Scott is born into a part of the country where men have fled or been chased out because a female-controlled government obtained superior technology that allowed them to gain the upper hand, but the nation remains divided, in part because that suits the respective power-brokers. To hold onto power, the Federal Union resorts to oppressive techniques, including forcing Annabelle to become an elite warrior, when elite warriors took her parents when she was little. This puts her at odds with her society, as does her heterosexual feelings in a society with no males. She turns this rebelliousness into helping boys to escape, which puts her, her beloved adopted sister, and her adoptive mom at risk.
You can read more on my website at www.lanceerlick.com.
The Rebel Within by Lance Erlick
After the Second American Civil War, while the Federal Union pursues a world without men by rounding up the remaining males, a rebellious adopted teen girl must choose between becoming a security cog in the elite military unit that took her parents or being torn from her beloved sister and adoptive mom.
Annabelle is a tomboy who lost her parents at age three and developed a rebellious streak against her conformist society even while serving as a cop intern. She puts herself and her family at risk by helping a boy escape prison. Then, to protect her sister, she fights the amazon Dara. Arrested for disharmony, Annabelle chooses to endure training and qualification tests to enter the elite mech warrior program with Dara rather than re-socialization and exile.
Harassed by the police captain who hates her, the mech commander who demands too much, and the bully Dara, Annabelle struggles through rigorous training. At the same time she’s driven to search for her birth mother and help boys escape the federal roundup. Does Annabelle have what it takes to stand up to Dara and avoid washing out of the mech program while remaining true to herself? The final test: a gladiatorial spectacle of hand-to-hand combat to the death with a male wrestler on steroids.
Raised by a roaming aerospace engineer, I grew up in various parts of the United States and Europe. I took to stories as my anchor and was inspired by my father’s engineering work on cutting-edge aerospace projects. The best definition I can come up with for my writing is science fiction for those who don’t normally read science fiction.