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Vinegar Peace, or, the Wrong-way Used-adult Orphanage (novelette)

Michael Bishop

Last modified: 2019-02-07 by peter hans van den muijzenberg
Keywords: bishop (michael) | vinegar peace | wrong-way used-adult orphanage | bold gory | bishop (michael) | star: 5 points (red on red) | stars: 50 (red) |
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Michael Bishop is an experienced writer, with a considerable science fiction output. His novelette Vinegar Peace, or, the Wrong-way Used-adult Orphanage is set in a near future when the United States are envolved in a "War on Worldwide Wickedness", and widow(er)s who lost all relatives and offspring to the war effort are held in special "orphanages". This is a slightly unusual piece for the genre, with fuzzy setting, dense metaphors, several levels of allegory, and equal doses of dry humour and despair. It was published in Asimov's Science Fiction 32:7 (=390), of July 2008: p.64-80.
António Martins, 3 June 2008

United States of America

[a USA flag using only shades of red]
image by António Martins and Joe McMillan, 3 June 2008

In the novelette, the United States went through a major vexillological change (p.66-67): It mentions

a flag of the nation's newly adopted colors
and then
ranks of scarlet draped caskets
A military funeral detail sings
a half-footed variation of an old hymn's tune
which ends with:
We all revere Bold Gory »…« its Red, its Wine, its Blood!
The main character explains that
the Red, Wine, and Blood "Bold Gory" has recently replaced the Red, White, and Blue "Old Glory" »…« its stars and stripes are mutedly visible as different shades of red.
She then refuses the honour of holding this flag:
I'm partial to the old version, even at its foulest.

António Martins, 3 June 2008

Having serched for «its red, its white, its blue», I can't find the original this is fictionally based on.
António Martins, 4 June 2008