PULP POLITICS: A REVIEW OF THE OBAMA INHERITANCE EDITED BY GARY PHILLIPS
It's always been common to spin the truth in politics and even enter realms of speculation. Now it seems that outright myth has become part of the discourse. Phony birth certificates, secret deep state army maneuvers in Texas, and pizza parlor pedophile rings were all presented by the public and believed by a segment of it, during the terms of our first black president. Author Gary Phillips put together The Obama Inheritance as a response. Fifteen authors known for genre writing, many of color, take these right wing tales and transform them into their own righteous pulp.
It gets kicked off with "Michelle In Hot Water" where Kate Flora plays with their former first lady's militant tag. Now she leads a leftist commando group, code name The Tall Ladies Book Club, who kidnap corporate scoundrels to set them right with Mission Impossible style tactics. She may have met her match going against a pharma a-hole resembling Martin Shkreli.
Lizard men make two appearances. Eric Beetner does the grossest one. L. Scott Jose executes the most disturbing.
The sci-fi stories truly shine. Adam Lance Garcin has fun with the Spock critiques in "...The Continuing Mission", a Star Trek inspired tale where Obama and Biden (in the McCoy role) go back into Earth's past to undo a plot a hatched by the Kling-guns. Not much can be said about Nisi Shawl's "Evens", without giving it away, but it's worth the read.
Leave it to Walter Mosely to deliver the elegant genre mix "A Different Frame Of Reference." The story starts at a secret meeting of a white Supremacist group, frustrated they can't find a big scandal on Obama. The worst is smoking and the Southern tobacco states won't back that. The satire moves into something more disturbing, then Mosely smoothly moves it to a humanist end with some pretty big ideas.
Gary ends the collection with a flourish, "Thus Strikes The Black Pimpernel." The hero is a high tech version of the Shadow I hope he revisits again. He was the one who bugged Trumped Tower. Gary taps into his knowledge of pulp history, telling this tale with all the classic bravado proving it can play just as well today.
There are several other great tales. Andrew Nette does a great Mad Max take. Neil Anthony Smith uses horror in a interesting way. Danny Gardner looks at a U.S. after it was been ruled under several Trumps. There is even an interesting use of the first dog, Bo. Who thought being militant could be this fun.