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The Iron Dream is a metafictional 1972 alternate history novel by Norman Spinrad. The book has a nested narrative that tells a story within a story. On the surface, the novel presents an unexceptional science fiction action tale entitled Lord of the Swastika. This is a pro-fascist narrative written by an alternate history version of Adolf Hitler, who in this timeline emigrated from Germany to America and used his modest artistic skills to become first a pulp-SF illustrator and later a science fiction writer in the L. Ron Hubbard mold (telling lurid, purple-prosed adventure stories under a thin SF-veneer). Spinrad seems intent on demonstrating just how close Joseph Campbell's Hero with a Thousand Faces-and much science fiction and fantasy literature- an be to the racist fantasies of Nazi Germany. The nested narrative is followed by a faux scholarly analysis by a fictional literary critic, Homer Whipple, of New York University.
Norman Spinrad (1940 - )
Norman Richard Spinrad was born in New York City in 1941. He began publishing science fiction in 1963 and has been an important, if sometimes controversial, figure in the genre ever since. He was a regular contributor to New Worlds magazine and, ironically, the cause of its banning by W H Smith, which objected to the violence and profanity in his serialised novel Bug Jack Barron. Spinrad's work has never shied away from the confrontational, be it casting Hitler as a spiteful pulp novelist or satirising the Church of Scientology. In addition to his SF novels, he has written non-fiction, edited anthologies and contributed a screenplay to the second season of Star Trek. In 2003, Norman Spinrad was awarded the Prix Utopia, a life achievement award given by the Utopiales International Festival in Frances, where he now lives.