Plot Details/Summary

Hopefully this one will be fairly easy for someone to figure out. I remember a fair amount of detail on this one. I just can't, for the life of me, remember the title or author. And my Google-fu hasn't turned anything up.

As mentioned before, the story takes place in Georgia (the U.S. state, not the country), in a post-apocalyptic world. People live in domed cities, with the majority of dwellings being underground. There are people living outside the domes, but they are few and far between. Much of the old infrastructure (highways, etc.) is overgrown with kudzu (a plant very common in the south, even in real life).

The protagonist is a teenage female, who works for the city government inside her domed city as some sort of scout or the like. Her status in the city government gives her some perks, like a dwelling that's only a few levels down from the surface. She's commissioned by the city leaders to seek out a particular individual who is believed to be living outside the dome. I'm fuzzy on the individual, but I think it's the son of a radical that was executed by the city leaders, or something like that.

The team that is sent out consists of the protagonist, and two men. One is an African-American man who is something of a solider type, and a Native American with some other specialty. It takes several days of traveling through overgrown forest/jungle before they reach a plantation. There they find an African-American family, who live prosperously on the farm. The son of the radical is there, too. I remember the AA man in the scouting party is deeply affected by what he sees, in a positive light. The son of the radical returns with them to spread a message (which I cannot remember). I vaguely recall the Native American man reacting badly to this idea, linking in it his mind to past betrayals of his people, something like that.

I don't remember all of the story's ending, except that the protagonist quits her job with the city for some reason. She comments that she was reassigned to a dwelling deep under the city, and that her family is unhappy with her.

Publication Details I'd guess this one is from the 70s or 80s. I read it in an anthology.

1 Answer 1


Allegiances (1975) by Michael Bishop

Michael Bishop’s story ‘Allegiances’ fits in well with the usual Wollheim mold. It uses a fairly standard Sci-Fi theme; the domed city, with just enough of a twist to make it of interest close to 40 years after it was first published. It is part of his ‘Urban Nucleus’ series of stories that center on a near future Atlanta, now closed up in a dome.

A team is sent out from Atlanta, consisting of Zoe Noble, Alexander Guest, and Newlyn Yates, in search of who or what is not made clear until about mid way through the story. As might be expected, first we are introduced to each team member, a racially diverse group consisting of an African-American man, a Native-American man, and a Caucasian woman.

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