Hi ya’ll and welcome to my stop on the tour for Xenogeneic: First Contact, a thrilling science fiction story.
I have much to share, including my review, an interview with Author Lance Erlick, and a giveaway, so don’t forget to enter.
Please welcome Lance Erlick and enjoy this interview first.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since I was eleven and decided I could write adventure stories like those I was reading. It was a disappointing effort, but I had the bug and learned that I had much to learn. I wrote short pieces from time to time and then took up writing again in college. When I got a full-time job, I had to put writing aside but kept coming back to it until I wrote my first full novel. It was the one I had to get out of my system before I could begin to be a real writer.
Where do you get inspiration for your stories?
I always have stories floating around in my head. Ideas and characters grab me whenever I’m not writing. The seeds for them come from news, events of the day, and what I read or see. Often they come from imagining “what if” type situations involving people in unusual circumstances. Then my imagination takes off trying to figure out how I might handle things if I were a particular character facing these problems.
A seed for Xenogeneic: First Contact was the SETI project to communicate with potential aliens on other planets. The idea is to make contact with others to share ideas and possibly technology. But we are also advertising that we’re here for anyone who might not wish us well. That led to the central idea of first contact with such an alien species. A cornerstone of the Rebel series is a civil war between hard core believers on both sides, which was inspired by the angry politics we’ve seen in this country over the past couple of decades. The question I asked was what happens if both sides win. For the Regina Shen series, there has been much talk about abrupt climate change. I wanted to explore a world where it has already happened.
What does your writing process look like?
For some stories, I do extensive outlining and brainstorming before I write the first word. I’ve also had stories that seemed to narrate themselves because I’d gotten to know the characters so well in their situation. Often I wake in the middle of the night with scenes or solutions to story problems and then have to make notes in the dark. When I’m ready, I focus on a first draft to get the story out and breathe life into it. I liken this to putting modeling clay on the spinning wheel. Then I edit and mold the story until I’m happy with how it feels and works. While I find the editing process tedious at times, I find it vital in the process of molding the final story.
If you could put yourself as a character in your book, who would you be?
I wouldn’t want to be a character in Xenogeneic: First Contact, the Rebel series or the Regina Shen series because of what the characters have to face. Having said that, I can see myself as Elena Pyetrov (Xenogeneic: First Contact) and Regina Shen. When dropped into a new situation, they have an almost innate ability to assess their environments, figure out how bad it is and what they need to do, and carry on. They don’t have all the answers, but they don’t give up.
Were there any characters that you did not like?
I found General Gorg from Xenogeneic: First Contact an individual I would never want to meet and yet I understand where she’s coming from and her motivation to be so entirely focused she tramples over others. Inspector Volpe (Regina Shen series) is power hungry, driven by personal values that make sense for her and yet tread on innocent people along her path to success. In The Rebel Within, I didn’t like some of the power figures who were trying to perpetuate their power at the expense of others. I guess there’s a theme here. Yet I try to portray each villain in terms of working toward what makes sense to them (heroes of their own stories).
by Lance Erlick
Genre: Science Fiction / Fantasy
It’s winner takes all in the fight for Earth. When the Knoonk, an alien species, lose their civil war, they set there eyes on Earth as their new home and go about their insidious plan in unimaginable ways.
This story feels “alien.” What I mean is, the way the aliens think and act is so different from humans how could we ever hope to negotiate with them. They look like we picture them to be, grey little beings from outerspace. It’s how they think that throws us. For example, even the pinkish color of our skin is an abomination to them. Color is ugly and hurts their eyes. If how we look is an insult to them, why would they treat us humanely.
But, when Dr. Elena Pvetrov’s ship crashes on an strange planet, she’s determined to try. The Knoonk have many tricks up their sleeves to keep their human captives off balance and controllable. As she adjusts to her new life, she studies her captors, forges friendships and alliances, and tries to get back home to Earth to warn them of what is coming.
I knew this was going to be a hard one to review. So much to tell, yet I can’t without spoiling things for you. The author put me in so many character’s shoes, I stumbled my way along, conflicted about my feelings towards them. Not in a bad way though. More like a challenging one. I liked some that I probably shouldn’t and disliked some in the same way. This certainly kept me turning the pages to learn more about them.
An intriguing beginning to this science fiction adventure and one I would like to follow to its conclusion.
Xenogeneic is a science fiction thriller about first contact with an alien race that lost their civil war and wants to take over Earth.
Dr. Elena Pyetrov’s father vanished in space 18 years ago while searching for extraterrestrial life. As an aerospace engineer, Elena travels into space to search for answers and continue his work. Her ship is pulled off course and crashes. She suspects extraterrestrial interference.
The alien Knoonk lost their civil war in a distant star system and fled to Earth’s neighborhood to hide and regroup. They seek a new home—Earth. Unable to live in Earth’s toxic environment, the aliens kidnap and use humans to genetically modify their species to adapt.
Surviving the crash, Elena and her shipmates are transported to a closed cave system where the Knoonk monitor and control everything. Elena tries to make a connection with her hosts and find ways to work together, but Knoonk leaders rebuff her and force the humans to submit as slaves. The aliens use illusions, distractions, and social experiments to learn from their hostages and keep them off balance. Resistance by captive humans brings swift punishment to break the human spirit.
While Elena continues to look for ways to cooperate with the Knoonk, it becomes apparent that there can be no compromise. The Knoonk want to capture Earth for their species. It is winner take all. With time running out, Elena must dig deep to uncover the alien plan and find a way to stop them before the human race faces enslavement and extinction.
Buy the Book: Amazon ~ Add to Goodreads
Author Lance Erlick
Lance Erlick writes science fiction thrillers for young adult and adult readers. He is the author of The Rebel Within, The Rebel Trap, and Rebels Divided, three books in the Rebel series. In those stories, he explores the consequences of Annabelle Scott following her conscience. He authored the Regina Shen series–Resilience, Vigilance, Defiance, and Endurance. This series takes place after abrupt climate change leads to the Great Collapse and a new society under the World Federation. His latest novel is Xenogeneic: First Contactabout encounters with an alien race aiming to take over Earth.
Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest
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