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You know those great ideas you have late at night when you re chatting with your friends after a few glasses of wine Well, if I had been involved in writing this book, here s how I think it might have got startedTable is covered with the remains of what looks like a large and pleasant meal Animated conversationSo don t you just hate those fascist science fiction writers who sell right wing ideologies to suggestible teens You know, Robert Heinlein and people like that I think Heinl You know those great ideas you have late at night when you re chatting with your friends after a few glasses of wine Well, if I had been involved in writing this book, here s how I think it might have got startedTable is covered with the remains of what looks like a large and pleasant meal Animated conversationSo don t you just hate those fascist science fiction writers who sell right wing ideologies to suggestible teens You know, Robert Heinlein and people like that I think Heinlein isof a libertarian No, no, he s a fascist Farnham s Freehold A bridge playing fascist, they are absolutely the worst kind OK, good point Anything left in that bottle Thanks May all their slams go one off Two off, doubled Cheers Someone should take a stand Hey, I have an idea Suppose we were to write a parallel world novel, where Adolf Hitler never founds the Nazi party, but instead emigrates to the US and becomes a science fiction writer I think I see where this is going You do indeed So, he writes this novel called, I don t know, Lords of the Swastika, and it s a huge success, and the fans just love it And everyone ignores the fact that the evil mind controlling villains look just like Jews, because well it s fun and how can you take that stuff seriously And at the conventions everyone dresses up in Nazi uniforms like they do in Swastika and goosesteps around giving Nazi salutes So you re proposing we write this novel for him Absolutely We write the novel, and there is a foreword and an afterword by some academic we make up, who explains the history and why every SF fan loves Adolf so much It ll be cool Now if it had been me, we could easily have had the above conversation, but I m afraid the book would never have been written Spinrad, I am pleased to say, actually did it The joke wears a little thin after a while, but it is still pretty funny If you are nursing guilt feelings for having enjoyed dreadful Fascist SF in a Kiss of the Spiderwomanish way when you were too young to know better, you will almost certainly like this Spinrad has got your number alright Update I actually did end up finding a copy in a used bookstore for 1.49 or something and it had the cover I wanted and everything and it was awesome.I m freaking dying for a copy of this stupid book I ve wanted it for like a year now All the copies onare way too much money I actually asked Spinrad about it, but he didn t know where I could get a cheap one The hunt continues Let Adolph Hitler transport you to a far future Earth, where only FERIC JAGGER and his mighty weapo Update I actually did end up finding a copy in a used bookstore for 1.49 or something and it had the cover I wanted and everything and it was awesome.I m freaking dying for a copy of this stupid book I ve wanted it for like a year now All the copies onare way too much money I actually asked Spinrad about it, but he didn t know where I could get a cheap one The hunt continues Let Adolph Hitler transport you to a far future Earth, where only FERIC JAGGER and his mighty weapon, the Steel Commander, stand between the remnants of true humanity and the annihilation at the hands of the totally evil Dominators and the mindless mutant hordes they completely control LORD OF THE SWASTIKA is recognized as the most vivid and popular of Hitler s science fiction novels by fans the world over, who honored it with a Hugo as Best Science Fiction Novel of 1954 Long out of print, it is now onceavailable in this new edition, with an Afterward by Homer Whipple of New York University See for yourself why so many people have turned to this science fantasy novel as a beacon of hope in these grim and terrifying times Finally I have gotten my hands on this book through a friend using inter library loan, my copy comes from the library of Texas AM University I hope borrowing a book like this doesn t put him on some sort of government list.Alas, reading the pulp novel at the center of this literary work is a fairly redundant undertaking it is literally a Nazi wet dream, a predictable celebration of violence and fascism Lord of the Swastika s titular hero, Feric Jagger, is the ultimate anti hero, or, as the faux Homer Whipple says in the faux afterward, essentially a monster a narcissistic psychopath with paranoid obsessions His total self assurance and certainty is based on a total lack of introspective and self knowledge He is a one dimensional character, as are all the inhabitants of this pulpy universe the collective human genotype brooks no sympathy toward their enemies, but neither does the reader feel any compelling desire to understand characters that are ultimately a high meta joke.The plot, as it were, is completely linear and follows Feric Jagger s and his Swastika comrades Battleship Potemkin Horatio Alger esque Rise and no Fall to glory, to a predestined, inevitable conclusion, lacking any dramatic weight or suspense whatsoever It is a story played out with a loaded deck, written by someone not playing with a full one It can be very difficult to read, both for being so repetitive and for being so sickeningly precise and detailed in its violent fetishism About halfway in there becomes little time for rest for either character or reader as Jagger launches campaign after tireless campaign against hordes of horrible mutant enemies, to the point that the prose reads disturbingly like the minutes of World of Warcraft or any other strategy role playing game I must confess that I was disappointed the plot is entirely a political military endeavor in a post apocalyptic world perhaps I would have warmed up to imaginary Hitler s prose if the setting was in ascience fiction or fantastical world to my liking Jagger is obviously a stand in of how imaginary Hitler sees himself Jagger is vegetarian, etc , the rest all wish fulfillment with some historical figures thrown in the core members of Jagger s party are obvious stand ins for the core members of the Nazi party It is interesting to note imaginary Hitler s obsession with motorcycles and the truncheon where a sword would seemviolent and cliche, perhaps truncheons and especially Jagger s Great Truncheon of Held hold a special meaning of a purely ruthless device of brutality, and as the faux scholar points out, the truncheon as imagery has clear phallic undertones.It is also interesting to note that although the Zind Dominators are on one hand clearly a one dimensional foe of ultimate evil, they are nonetheless, despite perhaps imaginary Hitler s best intentions, presented as a somewhat paranoiac and elusive enemy, so much so that even at the end of this messy, fatalist, vicious book I wasn t at all convinced they were capable of all they were held culpable for Imaginary Hitler s use of compassionate concentration camps is sickening, as is this imaginary world s commitment to orderliness, loyalty, destiny, and resolve, and how imaginary Hitler supposes we will respect Jagger for shunning nuclear weapons The preposterous ending in which Jagger s escalating violent destiny has nearly eclipsed even his own usefulness would be chilling if it weren t so preposterous.Also of note is the lack of women in the novel, which the faux scholar makes note of.Which brings up a point namely, what is the point of this book within a book, Lord of the Swastika It is hard to read, purposefully written poorly no slight accomplishment it must have been agonizing for Spinrad to keep this narrative going on for as long as it does , and in the end only offers us a psychological study of a fake Adolph Hitler The faux afterward gives us a frightening portrait of an alternative history in which the Nazis never rose to power and the Soviets have conquered nearly the entire world, as well as the fake scholar s insights into the phallic imagery of the novel It is very good fake scholarship, and even though it seems the tone changes halfway through, it does give the preceding bad novel its comeuppances In the end, this whole endeavor can be seen in two ways an unsuspecting attack on the gullible science fiction fanbase, who worship Joseph Campbell Heroes with Charmed Objects of Power that battle Ultimate Evil i.e Star Wars , and read the wish fulfillment prose of L Ron Hubbard and actually create a religion out of action nonsense or a cautionary tale to and from an alternate history, where the world apparently face an Ultimate Evil the Soviets there, the Terrorists here , and, having no dastardly historical figure like our man Hitler to offer the negative side of iron resolution, truly question of themselves whether or not utter and extreme devotion to brutality in the form of a Supreme Leader is needed to win the fight Fortunately, our alternate history scholar Whipple, who is incapable of even imagining such a figure rising to power, let alone the horrors inflicted on the Jews and the world in our own historical time, comes to a sensible conclusion In a sense, such a human being would be all surface and no interior He would be able to manipulate the surface of social reality by projecting his own pathologies upon it, but he would never be able to share in the inner communion of interpersonal relationships Such a creature could give a nation the iron leadership and sense of certainty to face a mortal crisis, but at what cost Led by the likes of Feric Jagger, we might gain the world at the cost of our souls Their history is fortunate to have a monster like Feric Jagger only exist within the confines of the pages of a science fantasy, the fever dream of a neurotic science fiction writer named Adolf Hitler One can only hope that our very real and historical Hitler might teach us some damned lesson about the vulnerability of the human soul, which can be warped as easily, to quoth an expression fond of imaginary Hitler, as so much fillintheblank As an aside, I was shaken by how the straw man approach to writing inherent in Lord of the Swastika reads so much like other science fiction I have read, especially the lesbian propaganda Daughters of a Coral Dawn A Novel And I also enjoyed Theodore Sturgeon s introduction, which listed five or sobooks I must read, as well as illuminating to me the fact that Catch 22 was written in the style of a Bach Fugue What happens when satire is misunderstood The point of satire is that it should be accessible on two levels simultaneously The surface text tells one story, the subtext tells another or to put itaccurately, the subtext tells the exact opposite story of the surface text We might even say that the subtext reverses the polarity of the visible story, coinciding with it word for word, image for image, but in the wrong direction In this case, the wrong way is the right way Writers of satir What happens when satire is misunderstood The point of satire is that it should be accessible on two levels simultaneously The surface text tells one story, the subtext tells another or to put itaccurately, the subtext tells the exact opposite story of the surface text We might even say that the subtext reverses the polarity of the visible story, coinciding with it word for word, image for image, but in the wrong direction In this case, the wrong way is the right way Writers of satire are surely always aware that their satire may be misunderstood, that the surface text might be the only one that is noticed, that they might be held responsible for holding views they despise The history of Literature is full of examples of a general misunderstanding of rather obvious satire If blatant satire can be so easily misunderstood, what about thesubtle kinds of satire Surely an author is deluding himself or herself as to their own intentions and motivations when subtlety becomes the key rule of a satirical text These authors must be comfortable deep down with the realisation that their satire will be misunderstood One almost wants to claim that they hope it will be misunderstood But why would any satirist deliberately manage affairs to encourage a misreading of their own works It s clear that the psychology of such satirists iscomplex than a simple desire to criticise something by mocking it Some satires are so ambiguous that one is forced to conclude that the author has a foot in both camps, that they are pushing both messages equally, that they stand both for and against the object or force that is the subject of the satire, that in effect they are also satirising themselves and their own satire One of the finest satires in modern fiction must surely be The Iron Dream by Norman Spinrad First published in 1972, this novel has drawn praise from Michael Moorcock, Harlan Ellison, James Sallis and many other influential writers and critics In many ways it is the supreme achievement of the New Wave movement that reinvigorated science fiction in Britain and America in the 1960s and 70s.The central conceit behind The Iron Dream is that the grandiose dreams of most SF writers bear too many disturbing parallels with the grandiose dreams of the Nazis In other words, the galactic empires, glorification of force and xenophobic elements found in so much science fiction betray a purely Fascistic mentality on behalf of their creators In Spinrad s amazing novel, we are presented with an alternate history in which Adolf Hitler left Germany in 1919 and emigrated to New York, where he became a science fiction writer instead of a politician but with his essential psychology unchanged, a fact that made his integration into the world of pulp SF very smooth indeed In this parallel dimension, Hitler s greatest work is a novel entitled Lord of the Swastika, and here at last, in Spinrad s own book, we are presented with the definitive version But this is no novel within a novel Hitler s novel and Spinrad s are identical The events that propel the main character, Feric Jaggar, to ultimate control over the world, and eventually the universe, parallel the rise of the real Hitler There are analogues of the SS, the Brownshirts, the Soviets and the Weimar politicians Instead of democrats, communists and pacifists, the enemies are mutants, mongrels and Universalists Instead of the clich d Jew pulling strings in the background, there is the non human Dominator, a being capable of sapping the will of true men Feric Jaggar and his followers wear black leather and are constantly thrusting out their arms in phallic salutes and kissing the tips of shiny truncheons There are no female characters in The Iron Dream Everything is masculine and direct So this book is a straightforward satire against Nazi tendencies in the SF world No Spinrad does somethingclever and devious here He makes it impossible not to root for the wrong guys The reader is coerced into cheering for Jaggar and his purebred warriors the reader becomes an authentic Nazi for the duration of the novel, thrilling to the cracking of mongrel heads under the truncheons of the Sons of the Swastika, feeling delight and relief at the incineration of foul Doms by cleansing fire, wishing to participate in the utter destruction of the racially contaminated cities where parrotface mutants openly interbreed with harlequins, lizardmen and blueskins The reader has no ambiguous feelings at all as Jaggar surges to victory The reader is one of the bad guys too This is a very interesting effect It is easy to proclaim one s own superiority in terms of holding correct opinions I am against prejudice of all kinds, totally opposed to racism, homophobia, sexism And yet under the surface, perhaps not so deep, I am driven by egotism, intolerance and the lust for power Just as you are It s called the Human Condition and it s purely a tactical device to pretend that one s stated beliefs are always representative of the way one feels Morality isn t really about not having evil urges, but about having evil urges and declining to act on them While reading The Iron Dream I felt that Feric Jaggar was in the right After finishing the book I am free to reject his values, even though I enjoyed them throughout the novel This novel questioned me, and emotionally I gave all the wrong answers, but that doesn t mean that my reason has to follow suit Don t be fooled THE IRON DREAM is not the real deal Norman Spinrad s novel contains only a cheap copy of Adolph Hitler s masterpiece LORD OF THE SWASTIKA Hitler s work is heavily abridged here and, I must say, rather tamed too Some of the best bits are missing The situation in the Classification Camps is hardly elaborated and the pyres of decadent books gets no mention at all At least the glorious battle against the Zinc filth is left almost intact Chapter 12 How Feric Jaggar blows over Don t be fooled THE IRON DREAM is not the real deal Norman Spinrad s novel contains only a cheap copy of Adolph Hitler s masterpiece LORD OF THE SWASTIKA Hitler s work is heavily abridged here and, I must say, rather tamed too Some of the best bits are missing The situation in the Classification Camps is hardly elaborated and the pyres of decadent books gets no mention at all At least the glorious battle against the Zinc filth is left almost intact Chapter 12 How Feric Jaggar blows over and over again into the slimy smelly bodies of the Zinc warriors with his mighty truncheon Superb scenes that make every right man s heart beat faster.Further the entire book within book is left out Feric Jaggar s novel of ideas called MY STRIFE In it the heroic protagonist describes his life prior to becoming world leader, his frustrations, ideals, and dreams for all real humans That s 700 pages, folks Gone just like that Without the center piece the rest of LotS is bound to be misunderstood and must seem pretty distorted to the young and unsophisticated readers I heard rumours that some people even consider this book a satire of some kind How weird is that At the end of the book a somewhat negative review by some dubious guy called Homer Whipple is added for no apparent reason This has to be fake and I suggest you skip it if you decide to read this book But why would you want to do that I would rather you read the unabridged version of LotS I added it to the GR database and will read it soon, but the entry got deleted right away by some librarian Nazi Luckily, I was able to save a screenshot at least So, stay away from Spinrad s book It s disfigured compared to the unblemished and pure LotS Go try to find that Ask the nationalist party near you they should be able to point you in the right direction provided you are found worthy Good luck, and ahem Hail This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License This is a spoiler ific review So the premise is Hitler has a falling out with the Nazis in their infancy and emigrates to America where he paints pulp fiction covers and becomes a semi respected writer himself, spawning a Nazi inspired fashion trend with his penultimate novel, Lord of The Swastika the book within the book The Iron Dream, about the last true human state in a post apocalyptic world of mutants and mind controlling Dominators In the bookend world in which Hitler wrote, Germany a This is a spoiler ific review So the premise is Hitler has a falling out with the Nazis in their infancy and emigrates to America where he paints pulp fiction covers and becomes a semi respected writer himself, spawning a Nazi inspired fashion trend with his penultimate novel, Lord of The Swastika the book within the book The Iron Dream, about the last true human state in a post apocalyptic world of mutants and mind controlling Dominators In the bookend world in which Hitler wrote, Germany and Europe has fallen to Communism and only America and Japan remain sort of suggesting Hitler was the man who stopped the advance of communism As others have stated, it s a send up both of Nazism and male oriented sword and sorcery fantasy sci fi, written as badly as the author thinks that genre tends to be written It s basically a joke that could have been told in a hundred pages or so By the time I got to one hundred I was flipping ahead to see how muchof this there actually was The writing is repetetitive, with lots of gleaming steel and tight black leather and feeling the racial will, etc I get the joke, but it goes on a little too long till it gets uncomfortable again, part of the joke you re supposed to be uncomfortable reading about Feric Jaggar and his Aryan buds stoving in mutant skulls and spraying submachinegun bullets into a mixed race orgy at one point There are some very cool and memorable moments in here, especially Feric seizing the leadership of the Avengers biker gang Felt like a Roger Corman movie or something without the beautiful women One thing I m kinda suprised no one has mentioned is the fact that Feric, the hero of the story, seems to be a Dominator The Dominators of Zind are the main bad guys of the novel, being a combination of Russian Communists and Jews They are able to infiltrate the heroic true human country of Heldon by setting up these dominance patterns, sapping the will of Heldons and controlling them to their own ends Isn t that exactly what Feric does upon coming to Heldon only on a massive scale It s said early on that his father was expelled from Heldon not for genetic impurity but for political reasons, he rather hastily states, it seems and that Feric was born in a mutant country He ascends so rapidly to the leadership of Heldon, and there are so many references to his channeling and directing the racial will of the people, that it s pretty clear to me he s intended to be a self hating Dom There s a lot of excessive fetishism in here, with the SS eventually propagating their species asexually and literally launching their seed up into space to fecundate that stars Ultimately it ebbs and flows in terms of enjoyment I gotta admit I skimmed through a lot of the battles at the end The subhuman mutants are sufficiently disgusting and the violence is orgiastically described at times The characters are extremely one dimensional There s not really much conflict and Feric and his buds for the most part are portrayed as flawless and always in the right, even when they re declaring the need to sterilize the irradiated populace who for their part squabble good naturedly over who will be the first in line to sacrifice their procreative abilities for the racial glory of Heldon Sure sounds like a mind controlled populace to me The denouement at the close written by an in universe critic sort of hits you over the head with what should be the obviously ridiculous and fetishistic conventions that you ve just slogged through It feels like the author explaining an overlong and unfunny joke But I understand this was written after the initial publication to dissuade some of the folks who thought it was for real and a good story to boot Apparently the book was showing up on the recommended reading lists of various Aryan and neo Nazi groups and Spinrad felt the need to knock on their skulls a bit Out of curiosity I googled The Iron Dream Norman Spinrad recommendation and was directed to an Aryan Unity site wherein the critic proceeded to do just that, urging the reader to keep an open mind and ignore the usual psychological views espoused in the end essay and even suggesting at the end that it was a rousing adventure that could make a good White Nationalist recruitment novelette, so I guess it didn t work anyway Points for getting Michael Moorcock to plug it on the cover as Adolf Hitler s classic bestseller of future genetic warfare exciting and tense The Iron Dream is probably the best known or at least most notorious of the books by Norman Spinrad Formally, the book can be seen as the mixture of an alternate history novel and a found manuscript novel The book purports to be the second edition of the Hugo winning science fiction novel Lord of the Swastika by Adolf Hitler, an Austrian born artist who emigrated to the US in 1919 and made a living as a translator and illustrator, before he began to write his own pulp novels, culminating in The Iron Dream is probably the best known or at least most notorious of the books by Norman Spinrad Formally, the book can be seen as the mixture of an alternate history novel and a found manuscript novel The book purports to be the second edition of the Hugo winning science fiction novel Lord of the Swastika by Adolf Hitler, an Austrian born artist who emigrated to the US in 1919 and made a living as a translator and illustrator, before he began to write his own pulp novels, culminating in his last and greatest work, the present novel The book consists of three parts, with Hitler s fictitious novel itself being book ended by a short biographical introduction to Hitler and his work, and a literary analysis by Homer Whipple as an afterword.The bio establishes Hitler as a successful pulp writer, popular at conventions, who finished the novel in 1953 shortly before his death, and won a posthumous Hugo for it in 1955 The inner novel, Lord of the Swastika, takes up 250 of the 273 pages in the Kindle edition It tells the story of Ferric Jaggar, a genetically pure Trueman , who returns from his childhood exile to Heldon, the one remaining country of true humanity in the world One thousand years after a devastating nuclear war, mutants have taken over all other countries In Heldon, Jaggar meets and befriends a motorcycle gang, which happens to hold the Steel Commander , the great Truncheon of the ancient King Stal Held and symbol of royal power, which only a true genetic descendant of Stal Held could wield Of course, Jaggar turns out to have the right genetic patterns He forms the motorcycle gang into his Knights of the Swastika , and, using them SA style in street fighting, rises to power over the weak and ineffective government controlled, as much of everything bad in Heldon, by the evil Dominators via their psychic powers Once in power, Jaggar modernises the army, cleanses Helder society of genetic impurities with many of the less fortuitous citizens gladly choosing sterilisation for the Fatherland , forms the Swastika Squad SS of genetically particularly valuable blond giants , and then proceeds on a campaign to rid the world of evil mutants and Dominators once and for all During the final victory, the last Dominator of Zind explodes another doomsday bomb, poisoning the germ plasm of every true human Jaggar immediately has himself and every Helder sterilized to avoid the creation of new mutants, and relies on his fanatic SS scientists , who manage to produce perfect purebred clones of the very best SS men yes, men only humanity will no longer rely on the vagary of chance for reproduction The book ends with the first spaceship carrying a load of clones to settle on Tau Ceti, and then to settle the universe with perfect clones of the SS lead, of course, by clones of Jaggar himself.Jaggar s rise to power is heavily modelled on Hitler s rise in our timeline He takes over a small radical party, he meets a G ring equivalent who helps him connects to the regular army, there is an equivalent to the R hm purge, to the division of Poland, and so on I found this one of the weaker aspects of the novel There really is no reason for this parallelism within the meta narrative of the whole book, and it is somewhat distracting In general, the novel within the novel is hard to enjoy It s plotting is basic at best, and the writing is painfully bad The book is full of Germanisms and the chains of adjectives put Robert E Howard to shame Often, one has the impression that the author tries to show off a large vocabulary, but was using a thesaurus, and not always got a proper near synonym Large parts of the book are highly repetitive either describing massive battles in which the Aryan supermen of the SS on their gleaming motorcycles massacre the hordes of Zind, or describing endless parades, victory or otherwise, with troops marching in unison to torchlight, hailing Jaggar over and over while giving the party salute There is a phallic symbolism present that is so obvious, it did not need Homer Whipple pointing it out in the afterword, and the permanent description of the tight black leather uniforms of the SS borders on fetishism.Spinrad s novel ends with a fictitious afterword by a literary critic, giving a bitcontext to the world the book was allegedly written in The analysis is somewhat amusing in that Whipple describes most of the features of the novel as the result not of careful planning, but of a somewhat deranged subconscious, when we, the readers, are of course aware of the fact that Spinrad indeed carefully planned all these elements and their discussion in the afterword.The book has a checkered publication history in Germany The translation was published by Heyne, probably the leading publisher of quality science fiction, in a 1981 paperback edition, which also featured illustrations and adorned the bio with a picture of Hitler waiting in Hugo Gernsback s office The book was immediately challenged as promoting Nazism, and, as a result, was put on the Index of youth endangering writings in 1982 In practice, this means that the book could not be marketed through normal channels though it could still be bought by adults on request , and Heyne pulped most of the remaining first edition They publisher did challenge the ruling, though, and won a court victory in 1985, and a final verdict in favour of the book in 1987 It currently is available in a 2014 paperback edition in German.I ve originally read the German edition about 30 years ago, grabbing one of the first edition books from a used book store, where it escaped pulping Back then, I did not quite understand what the fuss was all about I ve now read the Gateway edition in the original English, and I see a lotin the book now Of course, Spinrad makes fun of Hitler as a low pulp writer But he also caricatures the genre in a way that I still find relevant today Jaggar lives in a world of absolute moral certainty Whatever he does is right not because it makes sense, or because he has a stringent justification, but because the author constructs the world in a way that even Jaggar s most deranged illusions are true There is no room for doubt whoever is in Jaggar s way gets just enough time to confess his intend to kill all true humans, before he is pulped by the Steel Commander Spinrad masterfully exposes this trick in the end, by providing a conclusion that, while described as a utopia within the story, is so obviously dystopic that it breaks the spell for every reader or at least should break it apparently there were some very few right wing reviewers who did not get it.While the writing is over the top bad even by 1955 standards , this justification of ideology by world building is something I still see in a lot of military SF today even from prime specimen like David Weber.I suspect there are three reasons for the different perceptions I have of the German and the English editions First, the early pulps never were successful and popular in Germany, and our own mostly later pulps used quite different mannerisms So the degree to which Spinrad used and caricatured genre conventions was largely lost in translation Similarly, Hitler s language, English with many Germanisms, of course, loses a lot of its peculiarity when translated to German And third, I myself am 30 years and a few hundred books older.There is a lotthat could be said about The Iron Dream, but to come to a conclusion I think this is an important book for the science fiction genre, in that is delivers a stark warning about how easy it is to use its conventions to justify even the most deranged ideology Still, it s not a book for everyone, and in particular not for people who want to have a good laugh about how bad a writer Hitler would have been I d only recommend it for people with a strong stomach who are interested in the genre, its development, and its internal discussions But for these, it s highly recommended The Iron Dream is one of the true classics of science fiction It is a core work in what I can only describe as a microgenre of sorts that appeared during the late 60 s and early 70 s Science Fiction as seriously black humor and revolutionary social commentary The principle writers that I can recall offhand I make no claim to this list being exhaustive were Norman Spinrad and Harlan Ellison I Have No Mouth But I Must Scream, Dangerous Visions , but a number of other authors such as L The Iron Dream is one of the true classics of science fiction It is a core work in what I can only describe as a microgenre of sorts that appeared during the late 60 s and early 70 s Science Fiction as seriously black humor and revolutionary social commentary The principle writers that I can recall offhand I make no claim to this list being exhaustive were Norman Spinrad and Harlan Ellison I Have No Mouth But I Must Scream, Dangerous Visions , but a number of other authors such as Larry Niven especially his books on organlegging or Fritz Leiber e.g A Spectre is Haunting Texas contributed books or short stories that are arguably in the microgenre Dangerous Visions and Dangerous Visions II collect a number of the short stories with the peculiar combination of sardonic darkness and flower power that arose out of the first generation of Vietnam war cynics who really took a hard look at our civilization.The Iron Dream stands alone at the top over the top It is a deeply, deeply disturbing science fiction novel that was supposedly written by Adolph Hitler It is a post holocaust story the big nuclear war of Damnation Alley or A Boy and His Dog has happened, and civilization has been reduced to a small group of white people who are undergoing a crisis as they are attacked by mutant hordes A strong leader Feric Jaggar emerges and, surrounded by his jackbooted thugs, smashes his way to power in time to mobilize an army to save this tiny remnant of white civilization Overcoming infiltration by mutant Semites and people of color with mind control powers, he creates an army that manages to utterly destroy the mutants at the cost of making the world too radioactive for stable sexual reproduction to work ever again.Not to worry Jaggar triumphs over even this, and guarantees that blond haired, blue eyed white people will maintain eternal mastery over not only this world but the stars themselves I think that many of the reviews of this story so far miss its fundamental point It is intended to be pure fun for the sort of demented soul that can read it for the satire it is and not be offended by its elevation of a distortion of the real historical story of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust to an insane wish fulfillment fantasy of an Adolph Hitler who became a hack SF writer in an alternate reality The book pokes fun at so many things pulp SF in general, post holocaust pulp like Battlefield Earth which is almost the same story except that L Ron Hubbard takes himself seriously and the bad guys are space aliens and hence safe instead of mutant semisemitic hordes , Nazi Germany, racism, White America which was alive and well and fighting gooks when this was written.Its real point was to make you think while entertaining you enormously The reader comes away from the story both enlightened and annoyed Spinrad makes you cheer for Jaggar in the narrow context of his fantasy even as you are repelled by the fact that you are cheering for a thinly veiled distortion for one of our most horrifying pieces of actual history Thus he holds a dark mirror up to our souls, showing how there is a narrow line separating our legitimate wish not to be enslaved by mutant hordes in fantasy and the all too common white person fantasy in the real world that Jewish people, Black people, Oriental people, all are secretly mutant hordes that wish to enslave them so that the only defense is to enslave them first.Spinrad I will admit is one of my all time favorite SF authors Some of his books are mediocre, or so strange a vision that it is difficult to hold onto the thread of plot through the distractions of drugs and galactic cultures he invents, the uber hippy mentality of his future universes Some of them are just plain awesome and make you think even as they skewer society on many levels The Iron Dream is one of them Bug Jack Barron is another, and I ll write a review of it one day as well rgb I learned that a strong concept doesn t get you anywhere without strong execution The idea of satirizing the racism sexism solipsism of much Sword Sorcery and hard SF by writing a book as if by Adolph Hitler is a good one, but instead of actually critiquing such fiction by demonstrating its links to fascist ideology, Spinrad gets carried away satirizing Nazism itself, an absurdly easy target For example, rather than introducing a bunch of cardboard characters bearing the barely modified na I learned that a strong concept doesn t get you anywhere without strong execution The idea of satirizing the racism sexism solipsism of much Sword Sorcery and hard SF by writing a book as if by Adolph Hitler is a good one, but instead of actually critiquing such fiction by demonstrating its links to fascist ideology, Spinrad gets carried away satirizing Nazism itself, an absurdly easy target For example, rather than introducing a bunch of cardboard characters bearing the barely modified names of Nazi leaders, imagine if Spinrad had featured a Jubal Harshaw like pontificator, an incomparable Dejah Thoris type, and a Sam Gamgee style sympathetic sidekick Instead, he winds up with satire that doesn t hit anyone where they live, which is pointless Meanwhile, the book itself is poorly written, but not in a way that clearly calls to mind any successful SF or fantasy if you read every page of this book I confess to skimming through 2 3 of it the joke s on you {Free Pdf} ì The Iron Dream ⚞ Jun , Norman Spinrad, Bantam Spectra, pp, pb Cover Catherine Huerta The concept behind this book is great and made me laugh with glee Adolf Hitler as a hack science fiction writer Just too good The front even includes a list of Other Books by the Author that stars such alluring titles as Tomorrow, The World and The master Race , and a little biography of Hitler, the SF writer illustrator.The story itself purports to be a book called Lord of the Swastika, and the narrator is clearly a stand in for Hitler himself In fact, the early parts of the book mirro The concept behind this book is great and made me laugh with glee Adolf Hitler as a hack science fiction writer Just too good The front even includes a list of Other Books by the Author that stars such alluring titles as Tomorrow, The World and The master Race , and a little biography of Hitler, the SF writer illustrator.The story itself purports to be a book called Lord of the Swastika, and the narrator is clearly a stand in for Hitler himself In fact, the early parts of the book mirror in some ways Hitler s release from prison and attempts to re establish himself in 1920s Germany His ascension to power is a glorious, rocket propelled explosion of might andglory But wait The book isn t very good Did I need to tell you that Hitler was never renouned for his paintings, and Spinrad seems to have kept this in mind while writing a story from the point of view of Hitler the Artist It is an interesting thought experiment but I could barely stay with it all the way through I recognise what Spinrad was trying to do and on one level I laud him for it, but on the other I think it s a bit nasty I was born in 1980 but enjoy reading plenty of Golden Age SF stuff, and no, I don t generally agree that much of it reads like Nazi Aryan supremacy fantasies, even if some stories do tend to be a bit one sided and reprehensible in certain aspects this book did sort of remind me of something like Francis Moulon s Armageddon 2419 It also helps that quite a bit of the Golden Age stuff is simply better written than this I ve read some short stuff by Spinrad and I know he s a pretty capable writer, but for the sake of the metafiction he s chopped his fingers or maybe a part of his brain off for this one, and it just isn t very pleasing.To alleviate the pain you may suffer while reading this book, I suggest the following The Iron Dream Drinking Game Take a shot of something strong every time 1 the word Swastika is invoked.2 The protagonist Hitler goes all starry eyed and ga ga describing how beautifully someone s uniform is polished or how colourful multifarious be their decorations.3 You see an exclamation mark.4 The protagonist Hitler appeals to a sense of justice past glory.5 The protagonist Hitler goes all starry eyed and ga ga describing the beautiful lines and contours of a machine.6 You detect homoerotic undercurrents.That s all I ve got for now, but using these principels alone, you should be on the floor kicking and begging for mercy within a few dozen pages Wake up and try it again tomorrow Hours of fun