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Stealing Alabama (short story)

Last modified: 2023-07-03 by
Keywords: book | novel | alabama |
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In the January 2001 issue of the science fiction magazine Asimov's there's a novella by Allen Steele intitled "Stealing Alabama". In it, Steele creates a future world where the US are divided into at least three independent states: Pacifica (IIRC... I cant' find this one right now), New England and the United Republic of America. The borders aren't well defined in the story, but Philadelphia is said to be "a little too close to the New England border" and Both this city and Southern California belong to the URA.

So, Pacifica is probably just the northwestern coast of the US (I seem to remember reading about it, but can't find the reference right now and the story is a bit too large for me to re-read it just to find it...), and New England is the current New England, while the rest remains in the URA.
Jorge Candeias , 12 march 2001

United Republic of America

[flag from
by Jorge Candeias

The URA is ruled by a totalitarian fascist-like anti-intellectual regime, centralized in Atlanta, the capital, and the plot develops around a group of intellectuals that decide to rebel by stealing the URA's first interstellar spaceship, URSS (United Republic's Space Ship) Alabama.

The story made the cover of the magazine, and the illustration shows the ship Alabama with a flag of the URA painted in the hull (see stalab.jpg and uraflg.jpg): a flag identical to that of the USA, but with a single white star in the canton (pretty logical consequence of shifting from a "United States" to a "United Republic"). This isn't just an artist's liberty, since the flag is described in the story in full, except the number of red and white stripes.
Jorge Candeias , 12 march 2001

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