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The Iron Dream

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  • The Iron Dream

    I finished reading this today. Has anyone else read it?

    ...Interesting book...yes.

    So many phallic symbols...and references to tight leather.

  • #2
    I read it over 20 years ago - having heard the Hawkwind track that was inspired by it. A bit of a classic from my dim recollections - could there be some sort of link with Kenneth Anger's 'Scorpio Rising' (fascistic leather boys)? I had a mate who genuinely believed it was written by A. Hitler. I didn't have the heart to disillusion him - not spotting satire was my secret fear during my Eng. lit A levels.
    \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

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    • #3
      I'm about a third of the way through it.

      According to Spinrad, the American Nazi put it on their recommended reading list "because of the happy ending." :roll:

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      • #4
        Hilarious book. I read it when it first came out. The list of books at the end supposedly written by the famous sf writer, Adolph Hitler, is a bellylaugh in itself.

        It functions simultaneously as (1) a sword and sorcery novel, (2) a comment on the psychology of fascism, and (3) a comment on the psychology of many (perhaps most) sword and sorcery fictions.

        The original working title was, The Sword of the Third Reich.. Don't know why Spinrad changed it -- perhaps he realised that was a little too obvious.

        LSN

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        • #5
          Maybe we'll get a sequel in the form of a Sci-fi novel from Osama Bin Laden. :D

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          • #6
            I read it longer ago, even, than Mikey-C. It owes an awul lot to a lot of awful SF and S&S. It was a bit of a 'heads up' for me. I'm pretty sure that StarShip Troopers might have been one of the books Spinrad had in mind as a model.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by manmiles
              Maybe we'll get a sequel in the form of a Sci-fi novel from Osama Bin Laden. :D
              Or perhaps from George W. Bush?

              I'm trying to remember when the book first came out. I'm pretty sure it was new when I read it. (I had heard it mentioned in the author's bio section of NewWorlds when Spinrad was publishing there.)

              My memory says it was around 1972. 33 years ago seems about right.

              Digging out my ancient copy at home, and checking the copyright date, is cheating. :lol:

              LSN

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              • #8
                Originally posted by L_Stearns_Newburg
                Originally posted by manmiles
                Maybe we'll get a sequel in the form of a Sci-fi novel from Osama Bin Laden. :D
                Or perhaps from George W. Bush?
                Don't tempt me.

                How old are you, LSN?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by manmiles
                  Originally posted by L_Stearns_Newburg
                  Originally posted by manmiles
                  Maybe we'll get a sequel in the form of a Sci-fi novel from Osama Bin Laden. :D
                  Or perhaps from George W. Bush?
                  Don't tempt me.

                  How old are you, LSN?
                  I'm 49. Or maybe I'm 490. One of those. I'm a few months older than L'Etranger, as he and I have discussed.

                  I'm old enough that I was a regular reader of New Worlds when I was a kid. I read the first installment of what became The Final Programme when I was 10, in 1965. (An older kid lent me the magazine.) The British and American New Wave were a formative influence on my view of what sf could and should be. When I was a kid, Moorcock and Disch and Ballard were my heroes. I still like their work, but I've since outgrown hero-worship. :lol:

                  LSN

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                  • #10
                    Out of curiosity, I dug out my ancient, probably pre-Cambrian copy of The Iron Dream. It is indeed copyright 1972.

                    I did a little more digging, and found my copy of New Worlds Quarterly #2, dated December, 1971. It contains Spinrad's story "No Direction Home" ( a pretty good one). In the bio at the end of the book, it says:

                    Originally posted by whoever did the bio section in NWQ back in '71
                    He currently lives in California where he is working on a sword and sorcery novel tentatively called Sword of the Third Reich.
                    That's it. I was 16 at the time, and I remember thinking, "Weird." I got the book when it came out anyway, and I'm glad I did.

                    LSN

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                    • #11
                      I've had the original Avon paperback edition on my shelf for many years but have never got round to reading it. I do like the quotes from the likes of Phillip Jose Farmer, Harry Harrison and MM on the back though, praising 'Hitler's' writing.
                      'You know, I can't keep up with you. If I hadn't met you in person, I quite honestly would NOT believe you really existed. I just COULDN'T. You do so MUCH... if half of what goes into your zines is to be believed, you've read more at the age of 17 than I have at the age of 32 - LOTS more'

                      Archie Mercer to Mike (Burroughsania letters page, 1957)

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                      • #12
                        The third paragraph (towards the end of it) of this review of Mein Kampf from 1940 by George Orwell, touches on themes that Spinrad appeared to pick up on when writing The Iron Dream.
                        You see, it's... it's no good, Montag. We've all got to be alike. The only way to be happy is for everyone to be made equal.

                        -:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-

                        Image Hive :-: Wikiverse :-: Media Hive

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                        "I am an observer of life, a non-participant who takes no sides. I am in the regimented society, but not of it." Moondog, 1964

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by manmiles View Post
                          Maybe we'll get a sequel in the form of a Sci-fi novel from Osama Bin Laden. :D
                          The central conceit isn't the same, but Lavie Tidhar's Osama looks like (I haven't read it, only about it) it gets close to the same territory.

                          As for the Iron Dream, much like U. LeGuin, I thought it was overlong. For myself, a short novel like one of the Runestaff series would have been preferable.

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                          • #14
                            I've read *at* the book two or three times over the years. Spinrad's style doesn't rest well with me, and "The Iron Dream" is an extreme example of that.

                            That puts it in the single-digit quantity of books I simply couldn't read all the way through.

                            I did like "Bug Jack Barron" and a couple of others, though.

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                            • #15
                              I stuggled with Bug Jack Barron and couldn't finish it.
                              You see, it's... it's no good, Montag. We've all got to be alike. The only way to be happy is for everyone to be made equal.

                              -:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-

                              Image Hive :-: Wikiverse :-: Media Hive

                              :-: Onsite Offerings :-:


                              "I am an observer of life, a non-participant who takes no sides. I am in the regimented society, but not of it." Moondog, 1964

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