November, 2017: "The Iron Dream" by Norman Spinrad
|Author: Norman Spinrad|
|Genres: Alternative history, science fiction|
|Reading started: November 13th, 2017|
|Current progress: Page 273 of 273 (100%)|
|Reading ended: November 24th, 2017. This book was successfully finished in 11 days.|
|Effective reading time: N/A|
|Review score: 4 of 5|
Wikipedia: The Iron Dream is a metafictional 1972 alternate history novel by American author Norman Spinrad. The book has a nested narrative that tells a story within a story. On the surface, the novel presents an unexceptional pulp, post-apocalypse science fiction action tale entitled Lord of the Swastika. However, this is a pro-fascism narrative written by an alternate-history Adolf Hitler, who in this timeline emigrated from Germany to the United States in 1919 after the Great War, and used his modest artistic skills to become first a pulp-science fiction illustrator and later a successful science fiction writer, telling lurid, purple-prosed adventure stories under a thin science fiction-veneer.
Spinrad was intent on demonstrating just how close Joseph Campbell's hero with a thousand faces and much science fiction and fantasy literature can be to the racist ideology of Nazi Germany. The nested narrative is followed by a faux scholarly analysis by a fictional literary critic, Homer Whipple, of New York University, which is said to have been written in 1959.
Spinrad has said that the original version of the novel was 70,000 words long, but that his editor requested he add an extra 10,000 words "to justify the advance and the cover price they wanted to put on it."