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Stealing Alabama (short story)

Last modified: 2017-10-31 by peter hans van den muijzenberg
Keywords: book | novel | alabama | stealing alabama | united republic of america | coyote |
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In the January 2001 issue of the science fiction magazine Asimov's Science Fiction there's a novella by Allen Steele entitled "Stealing Alabama". In it, Steele creates a future world where the US are divided into at least three independent states: Pacifica (IIRC... I can't 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, and New England is the current New England, while the rest remains in the URA.
Jorge Candeias, 12 March 2001

The full text is available at the Internet Archive. According to the author's own bibliography, "Stealing Alabama" was "revised as Part One of Coyote". The English Wikipedia gives 2070 as the start of the Coyote story arc.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 29 February 2012

United Republic of America

[US national flag with only one star in canton]
image by Jorge Candeias, 12 March 2001

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 on the hull: 13 red and white stripes with a blue canton charged with a single white star. (See a scan of this and a close-up.) 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 for the number of red and white stripes.
Jorge Candeias, 12 March 2001

Fictional flags similar to the flag of the United States

So we have a revived Soviet Union flying more or less the Liberian flag?
Joe McMillan, 12 March 2001