Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I, Regina Shen, am an outcast, condemned by the World Federation to live on the seaward side of barrier walls they built to hold back rising seas and to create a place to throw those who disobey their rules. My mother won’t talk about it, but she was cast out before my younger sister and I were born for something I presume is too horrible to put into words. On the other hand, I don’t believe a word the Federation tells us, so perhaps I would have done the same.
Six days a week Mom sends my sister and me to the only remaining school in the swamps that the Federation hasn’t closed. She barters dearly for this privilege. It’s treacherous paddling to and from school in a hollowed-out canoe with genetically-enhanced gators, bounty hunters looking to kidnap girls to sell as slaves over the wall, and a host of desperate people trying to live on our shrinking lands. Life in our world is all about survival, but it helps when neighbors look out for each other.
What is your role in the story?
The Regina Shen series is my story. As Resilience begins, I’m just trying to live my ordinary life in the swamps over the flooded city of Richmond, Virginia. Ordinary for me is school, doing underwater salvage for things to barter for food, and avoiding Federation agents who forbid us from doing salvage. They also traffic in slaves shipped over the wall to work in factories, in mines, or on farms. I didn’t count on being anyone special though my teacher has high hopes for me. I just want to survive, take care of my mom and sister, and avoid trouble. Unfortunately, as an outcast, every day brings trouble.
What is your favorite hobby?
My favorite hobby is to read illegal print books from before the Federation, which is part of my motivation to stay in school. My teacher knows where to find more books. I’ve helped her salvage thousands of banned books from the depths. These stories tell of a time of plenty, back before abrupt climate change and rising seas destroyed most of that world, and point to lies told by the Federation. I also like to salvage the depths, though over the past three centuries, most of the great treasures have been looted, and the Federation sets traps to make it harder to find anything of value.
What is the challenge you’re trying to overcome during the story?
A hurricane blows through our area, destroying my home and school. During the storm, my mom leaves. Then I get separated from my younger sister. During all this, Federation agents take my blood and determined that me, a Federation outcast, has the DNA they needed to avoid extinction. During the first book in the series (Resilience), my struggle is to stay alive and try to find my family while avoiding agents trying to capture me. Two years later, in the second book (Vigilance), I make it over the wall to look for my sister, but the Federation is a strange caste society where everyone spies on their neighbors. I don’t know if I can avoid the many traps laid out for me. In the third book (Defiance), I have to set out across a barren landscape from Virginia through deserts to Alaska to hunt a treasure big enough to barter for freedom for my sister and me with roadblocks everywhere.
Regina Shen: Resilience
Outcast Regina Shen is forced by the World Federation to live on the seaward side of barrier walls built to hold back rising seas from abrupt climate change. A hurricane threatens to destroy what’s left of her world, tearing Regina from her family. Global fertility has collapsed. Chief Inspector Joanne Demarco of the notorious Department of Antiquities believes Regina holds the key to avoid extinction. Regina fights to stay alive and avoid capture while hunting for her family.
Regina Shen is pursued by the notorious Department of Antiquities for her unique DNA. She jumps the Barrier Wall into the Federation to find her kidnapped sister. Stuck on a heavily-guarded closed university campus, she must use her wits to escape and rescue her sister without letting either of two rival Antiquities inspectors capture her.
Regina Shen has DNA the Federation believes can reverse a global fertility collapse. Rival Federation agents fight over capturing Regina to gain power amidst turmoil over who will become the new World Premier. Regina has to flee from Virginia through desert and wilderness to Alaska to hunt a treasure big enough to barter for her freedom and that of her sister.
Lance Erlick likes to explore the mysteries of intriguing worlds with remarkable, often strong female guides facing and overcoming adversity as they try to change their world. He hopes readers will enjoy his writing as they discover different worlds, going places they may never have been.
He writes science fiction thrillers, appealing to young adult and adult readers. He is the author of the Rebel series. In those stories, he explores the moral consequences of following conscience. He wrote the Regina Shen series--Regina Shen: Resilience, Regina Shen: Vigilance, and Regina Shen: Defiance. This series takes place after abrupt climate change with a new society under the World Federation. Lance is also the author of short stories and novelettes.
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