REGINA SHEN WORLD by Lance Erlick
The seed of the idea for the Regina Shen stories and her world was a challenging realm of the future that tested a resilient young woman every step of the way. In fact, the budding scene was of the outcast, Regina, adrift in a storm with no safe port.
In the story’s mythical past, abrupt climate change, rising seas, famines, and wars caused a collapse of the old order. In the final days, an all-female militia rose up, denying men procreation rights until they became extinct. The heroic, three-century-old Grand Old Dames saved the world and created an all-female society, vowing that there would be no more wars and no more gender strife. They created the World Federation to restore peace.
Before the Grand Old Dames took over, they were able to perfect fertility research to enable two women to have a child without men. This enabled them to make this a foundation for building their new society. Then, as a means to maintain order and control, they introduced a defect into the human genome so that only regulated Federation fertility clinics could bring forth new life. Only those who receive the blessing of the new order are allowed to have children.
This gave the new leaders complete control over the people and their futures. Then something happened so that the process began to decay and fail until there were no live births. For unknown reasons, Regina Shen’s DNA does not have the defect; she was not the product of a Federation clinic. Now the Federation is hunting her down to control her genes amidst a power struggle over a successor to the dying World Premier.
Because of desperate times after the worldwide collapse, the Federation adopted a caste system to help maintain order and to fill the necessary roles in society with Working Stiffs on the bottom, Professionals and Elites in the middle, and the Grand Old Dames at the top. Outcasts like Regina Shen were thrown over massive barrier walls built with slave labor to hold back the rising seas. The outcasts were left to fend for themselves, and fend they did, becoming stronger and more resilient than citizens of the Federation. In fact, many are captured as slaves to work the toughest Federation jobs.
The Federation created the Department of Antiquities in its early days to find and destroy all evidence of life before the Federation. The Grand Old Dames banned all print books and took control of their mesh, a future version of the Internet with one distinction. All information resides in Federation cloud-type databases and can be rewritten or purged in support of Federation goals. Rising in power and requiring military resources, the Department of Antiquities became the police and military rolled up into one, enforcing the laws of the Federation.
It is the Department of Antiquities that discovers Regina Shen’s DNA, turning her into a pawn of a worldwide power struggle.
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.
I have found the series engaging. My reviews of the four books (and giveaway links) can be found through this link.