YMMV: The Iron Dream
- Alternate Character Interpretation — Shocking as it may sound, there are readers who dare think that noble Feric Jaggar is not a fine example of the human race!
- Anvilicious — A rare double-example. Not only is Hitler's book obviously anvilicious in its content and phrasing, but the book as a whole is anvilicious due to Spinrad's constant efforts to infuse every possible sentence that he could with Nazi ideology. Although considering the reaction that it did get, it could be that this was necessary in order to get through the thick skulls of some of the readers.
- Death of the Author
- Though Spinrad's stated intent was to expose the fascist undertones of heroic fantasy & SF, it's been argued that an equally valid interpretation is that it's a satire of Utopian fiction, specifically the ludicrous idea that you can "prove" your philosophy is correct with a work of fiction.
- The two interpretations are not mutually exclusive, and indeed might well go hand-in-hand. The point Spinrad was trying to make is about fiction, and writing fiction can prove things about fiction. By writing a convincing "pulp" Heroic Science Fantasy work that is clearly based on Hitler's Germany, he makes it easier to find similarities with other works; he's critiquing what he sees as the rightist wish-fulfillment of many of his contemporary speculative fiction writers, and the Fan Dumb who gobbled it up. It's the real world that you can't prove points about by writing a work of fiction—and no doubt Spinrad would agree.
- Freud Was Right — Spinrad makes a great deal of the connection between phallic symbolism and fascism. The Great Truncheon of Held, also known as the Steel Commander, is described in unambiguously... phallic... terms. And then Feric Jaggar forces his new underling to kiss it.
- Fridge Brilliance: Even though Hitler wasn't exactly an awesome writer, The Lord of the Swastika is a great deal cheesier and bestowed with a considerably less extensive vocabulary than the works he wrote in reality... until one remembers the fact that he was already in a late stage of syphillis and on top of that never fully mastered the English language.
- God-Mode Sue: Jaggar.
- Hilarious in Hindsight
- In a hilarious piece of cosmic irony that Norman Spinrad couldn't have possibly foreseen, humans and neanderthals interbred long, long ago. This means that he only "truemen" of pure human blood reside in Africa. Hitler would have been horrified.
- Or not — some modern neo-Nazis apparently seem to think it's precisely the greater bit of neanderthal blood that makes Nordics a superior race.
- Ho Yay — To the point that the scholar analyzing the book at the end wonders if Hitler was a closet homosexual. Jaggar's relationship with battle-buddy Best in particular is full of good-natured backslaps and adoring stares.
- Misaimed Fandom — Both in the Alternate History Framing Device and in the real world. The American Nazi Party put it on their recommended reading list. "Apparently they liked the up ending", according to the author.
To make damn sure that even the historically naive and entirely unselfaware reader got the point, I appended a phony critical analysis of Lord of the Swastika, in which the psychopathology of Hitler's saga was spelled out by a tendentious pedant in words of one syllable. Almost everyone got the point... And yet one review appeared in a fanzine that really gave me pause. "This is a rousing adventure story and I really enjoyed it," the gist of it went. "Why did Spinrad have to spoil the fun with all this muck about Hitler?"
- Also, Spinrad described one reviewer's reaction as follows:
- Once Acceptable Targets — Subverted. Hitler never comes straight out and makes his prejudices known.