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The exact location and the year of the events of this novel are never specified. In fact, not only is the setting left ambiguous, but most characters are referred to only by their last names and specific places are kept common (ie: "firehouse") and identified by symbols like the Phoenix emblem.
This is done purposefully. First of all, the novel is science fiction. This means that it is understood that the time can be literally anytime in the future, and the places, people and events are not necessarily real, but an exaggeration and social commentary. To take the focus off such specifics as names and places, the emphasis comes even stronger on the message of the novel and its application to virtually everyone.
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