cover image The Obama Inheritance

The Obama Inheritance

Edited by Gary Phillips. Three Rooms, $19.95 trade paper (324p) ISBN 978-1-941110-59-1

The 15 entries in this intriguing theme anthology riff with mixed success on the weird, mostly racist conspiracy theories that followed Barack Obama through his White House years, including those of the phony birth certificate, death panels, and secret lizard people. The stories are adrift with white supremacists, secret locations, strange conflicts, and subtle aliens. Several of them are truly excellent, notably Travis Richardson’s “I Know They’re in There!,” in which death panel believers take hostages at a hospital, and Walter Mosley’s “A Different Frame of Reference,” in which the only dirt that detectives can dig up on Obama for a white men’s group is that he smokes. SF author Robert Silverberg’s “At the Conglomeroid Cocktail Party,” the one reprint, also ranks high, though its view of a future in which genetic engineering has run amok has little relation to Obama. Other contributors try hard, but the shallow insanity of the material can’t be taken seriously and defies parody. (Oct.)