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"Half the Battle"  
Stardate
Author Harry Turtledove
First Appearance Stardate
Collected There Will Be War IX: After Armageddon, February, 1989
Genre(s) Science Fiction
Publication date February 1987

"Half the Battle" is a short story by Harry Turtledove. It was originally published in the February 1987 issue of Stardate, and was subsequently reprinted in There Will Be War IX: After Armageddon, edited by Jerry Pournelle in February 1989. It has not been reprinted since.

Set in a post-Apocalyptic southwestern United States, over the course of five brief segments, the story follows the recovery of technology starting in the kingdom of Canoga, and then rapidly traces humanity's rediscovery of flight through the development of the Messerschmitt and the space shuttle. It ends with the launching of the first starship, built based on the designs found in a long hidden book: implicitly, a Star Trek guidebook, in keeping with the theme of Stardate.

The title comes from the motto of the Technology Recovery Section of the Namerican Empire: "Knowing it's possible is half the battle." This motto may be an allusion to the G.I. Joe cartoon series that ran in the 1980s. Each episode featured a public service epilogue, which depicted a child learning an important safety lesson from one of the G.I. Joe team. At the conclusion of the lesson, the child would say "Now I know". The featured Joe would reply with "And knowing is half the battle."

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