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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Importance of Gender Roles in the Rebel Series by @lanceerlick




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Importance of Gender Roles in the Rebel Series

Readers have asked why and how I wrote a significant portion of the Rebel series from a female perspective. After reading Elizabeth Moon’s The Speed of Dark, I realized the value of walking in another person’s shoes, no matter how different from my own. Her novel is written from the point of view of a teenage boy with autism, and she did quite well with the characterization.

As to my why, The Rebel Within and The Rebel Trap take place entirely in a world that turns our traditionally male dominated society upside down. They examine a world with women on top and males outcast and rounded up. I could have taken as the main character a victimized boy, but in the spirit of looking at different roles, I thought it would work better from Annabelle’s perspective. Evidently, she agreed, because she essentially narrated the story to me.

So, instead of following the victims, I took the path of examining how this society affects a girl coming of age and to terms with her world. Instead of accepting the party line, Annabelle is a rebel because of what her society did to her birth parents. She wants to help the boys she’s expected to help capture, which puts her in a terrible dilemma in her world.

The story asks the question of whether we should only consider as injustice that which attacks us personally, or include that which is inherently wrong.

As to how I wrote from a female perspective, I took courage and insight from Elizabeth Moon. Unlike the movie “As Good As It Gets” I didn’t assume a female would be a male with modifications. Essentially, I tried to imagine myself in Annabelle’s situation with what I’ve learned from the women in my life, and with her assistance as narrator.

What has been my takeaway from writing this series? I would challenge each of us to imagine ourselves as the opposite gender before we make judgments of what is and is not fair and just.


Meet Lance Erlick
Lance Erlick grew up in various parts of the United States and Europe. He took to stories as his anchor and was inspired by his father’s engineering work on cutting-edge aerospace projects to look to the future. He studied creative writing at Northwestern University and University of Iowa.

He writes science fiction, dystopian and young adult stories and likes to explore the future implications of social and technological trends. He’s the author of The Rebel WithinThe Rebel Trap, and Rebels Divided, three books in the Rebel series. In those stories, he flips traditional exploitation to explore the effects of a world that discriminates against males and the consequences of following conscience for those coming of age.

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