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Author Topic: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry  (Read 1019 times)

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Offline IronQuillTopic starter

The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« on: November 25, 2017, 06:06:46 PM »
As I was exploring the archives of Elliquiy (IE, lurking old threads), I've come across several mentions to the book series, the Gorean Saga. Now prior to my arrival to E, my only experience with this book series are the occasional mentions in 4chan's traditional gaming channel. Those mentions, if one were to filter through the rancidity and awfulness that is par for the course on 4chan, often remark that the Gorean saga is a strange, sexually charged epic sword and sorcery affair akin to that of Conan the Barbarian, or John Carter of Mars for a closer comparison.

Now my question to you, good folks of E, is what exactly is Gor and the Gorean Saga? What do you know of it? What is your opinion, on its setting? The writing style of its authors? And its popularity during the years the books were first published.

I would normally research this one on my own, but I figured it would be much more fun discussing it with you fine folks.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2017, 06:30:00 PM »
http://www.rdrop.com/~wyvern/data/houseplants.html

This parody is a remarkably accurate reproduction of how the Gor books are written.

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Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2017, 10:11:42 PM »
If you liked 50 Shades, you MIGHT like Gor. That is all.

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Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2017, 07:59:15 AM »
If you liked 50 Shades, you MIGHT like Gor. That is all.
Third degree burn. XD

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Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2017, 08:08:34 AM »
Third degree burn. XD

I have no love for John Norman's novels. ngl.

If Gor wasn't just a bunch of roleplayers who use it as an excuse to abuse women, I wouldn't care so much, but it's just a very worse version of 50 Shades.

This is just my opinion, mind you, but that's what I've witnessed.

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Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2017, 08:22:09 AM »
I have no love for John Norman's novels. ngl.

If Gor wasn't just a bunch of roleplayers who use it as an excuse to abuse women, I wouldn't care so much, but it's just a very worse version of 50 Shades.

This is just my opinion, mind you, but that's what I've witnessed.
I tend to agree. I don't like works that make huge sweeping generalizations about people. I mean that's the caveat of Gor. All women really just want to be controlled by men.

Even Tolkien came up with a magical excuse as to why all orcs are generally nasty. Sheesh.

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Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2017, 08:43:14 AM »
I tend to agree. I don't like works that make huge sweeping generalizations about people. I mean that's the caveat of Gor. All women really just want to be controlled by men.

Even Tolkien came up with a magical excuse as to why all orcs are generally nasty. Sheesh.

Exactly that.

Offline RedRose

Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2017, 05:37:02 AM »
I don't mind a non politically correct setting - but this sounds just... Strange.

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Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2017, 05:57:03 AM »
I don't mind a non politically correct setting - but this sounds just... Strange.

You don't even know the half of it.

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Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2017, 07:01:42 AM »
I've heard about it in passing, never seen any to read though. I know that there's a race called the Broo in it, as Games Workshop did models for Gorean games way back in their founding before they did their own IPs. Those Broo models were generic enough to become the first Beastmen models for Warhammer Fantasy, heck even the word 'Gor' made it into most Beastmen names, like the medium infantry Gors and the light meatshield Ungors.

As I have a fondness for Warhammer/Age of Sigmar's Beastmen, it was something I wanted to check out, just for curiosity. That and if someone says something is bad, I usually try and seek it out for my own opinions, for example I actually own a copy of the much maligned FATAL rpg, though I'm going on a tangent...

So, I'll ask this as it doen't seem the thread has mentioned much on it; What's the overarching plot of the saga anyways?

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Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2017, 07:14:42 AM »
I've heard about it in passing, never seen any to read though. I know that there's a race called the Broo in it, as Games Workshop did models for Gorean games way back in their founding before they did their own IPs. Those Broo models were generic enough to become the first Beastmen models for Warhammer Fantasy, heck even the word 'Gor' made it into most Beastmen names, like the medium infantry Gors and the light meatshield Ungors.

As I have a fondness for Warhammer/Age of Sigmar's Beastmen, it was something I wanted to check out, just for curiosity. That and if someone says something is bad, I usually try and seek it out for my own opinions, for example I actually own a copy of the much maligned FATAL rpg, though I'm going on a tangent...

So, I'll ask this as it doen't seem the thread has mentioned much on it; What's the overarching plot of the saga anyways?

Pretty much that all women are slaves or can be made into slaves, even what Gor called "Free Woman" can be turned into a slave by force.

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Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2017, 07:30:09 AM »
^ Though that's just a story element, not a plot. ^^;;

Like I mean, who's the protagonist(s) and antagonist(s)? What are their goals and why? What happens to push the story forward? I don't think I've ever seen anything on these important things mentioned when people talk about the saga. ^^;

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Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2017, 09:43:39 AM »
I don't mind a non politically correct setting - but this sounds just... Strange.
Yeah, it's not that this is the society they live in. That's one thing. There's a big difference between, "Gorean society demands women submit." and "All women really want to be some man's willing slave, they just need the right big strong guy."

One is a ripe for societal discourse, the other is a thirteen-year-old's dangerous fantasy.

Offline Lithos

Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2017, 10:02:03 AM »
It is entertaining enough piece of fantasy literature, and it does dabble good bit in to scifi as well... you have tech that is used for moving from planet to planet, as well as insectoid like aliens that are actually the priest kings ruling the world. The way to get badly disappointed is to expect them to be erotic books, Norman always seemed to feel uneasy about writing sex scenes so they are brief mentions if and when they happen and not the focus in any shape or form. The priest kings are not the only aliens in the books, also the seriously bad bad guys, violent human eating space faring werewolf lookalikes called Kur are of alien origin.

People also have artificially lenghtened lifespan, that is done by injections of life prolonging serum. Technology is VERY strictly controlled, generally only available for priest kings and their servants. Citizens of Gorean world that make technological inventions, say advanced weapons, guns or the like very quickly and permanently disappear, by not-so spontaneous self combustion done by the clergy. So it is world kept on certain state by rather strict enforced rules, and the world itself is social experiment run by aliens. That sets the stage where the things in the book series happen.

People are at times - with aid of technology - also able to traverse between Gor and earth as we know it, and there are several instances in the books where that is the case. It also is the way by which the character that one is following in few of the books, Tarl Cabbot originally gets transported in Gor. There are other characters, too with their origins in earth as we know it, and that is pretty much the only connection to familiar earth in the books as most things in gorean world are very different - even the gravity, which is not as strong as on earth and allows some things such as giant flying eagles called tarns to plausibly exist. Of course, slightly lower gravity also enables some rather heroic appearing physical feats that would not be possible in earth.

They can be heavy to read, with all the measures and such being completely different units from what we use, and great number of characters and specially geographical locations and cultures. Also there is no shortage of contradictions between certain novels but then again that is true to any long spanning book series where authors own life situation and personal experiences sometimes affect things in one way or the other. Writing style is also very dinstinct and repeating in a way that can lend to quite a few parodies, but oddly does not disturb so much when actually reading.

For following single protagonist or to have clear tangible antagonist it is not the right set of works, different books are written from very different perspectives. Some might be written from point of view of a free man, others from that of a slave, yet others from point of view of say, assassin and so on. As such any particular portagonist for whole series is hard to name but certainly one that is followed time and time again all the way through would be Tarl Cabbot, a proffessor from earth transplanted to world of Gor and becoming a master swordsman.

My own recommendations would be, If you are looking for non fiction, do not read it. If you are looking for erotic novel series, don't read it. If you like fantasy, completely foreign cultrures and cultural anthropology and do not mind somewhat heavy writing, It can be very entertaining read. I have had some very entertaining RP:s in that world as well, there is a lot of material in the novels to include but all in all I think it is challenging for story writing since one has to be familiar with varying different units, social classes and craftsman castes and their sometimes complex relations as well as combat all sorts of inaccurate information on the books found on the internet.

I do not wish to take part on any argument on political correctness, but personally I find it odd topic concerning fiction. I like wealth of worlds where world order and society certainly are far from ideal from our perspective starting from Warhammer Fantasy and 40k, going to things such as the bleak world that we have in Cyberpunk or say, Shadowrun not to mention Ender's game or such. Works of fiction are windows through which to look at very different worlds, not mediums where to look for ideas of how ours should be so I think debating about them is not very useful.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2017, 10:27:04 AM by Lithos »

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Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2017, 10:45:33 AM »
I do not wish to take part on any argument on political correctness, but personally I find it odd topic concerning fiction. I like wealth of worlds where world order and society certainly are far from ideal from our perspective starting from Warhammer Fantasy and 40k, going to things such as the bleak world that we have in Cyberpunk or say, Shadowrun not to mention Ender's game or such. Works of fiction are windows through which to look at very different worlds, not mediums where to look for ideas of how ours should be so I think debating about them is not very useful.

The issue is that many people who follow Gorean philosophy treat it as law, not fiction.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2017, 10:49:53 AM »
They're like the creepiest roleplayers ever. Even hardcore BDSM lifestyle types at least recognize that the relationship is voluntary and not some sort of inevitable subconscious urge.

Offline Lithos

Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2017, 10:54:51 AM »
The issue is that many people who follow Gorean philosophy treat it as law, not fiction.

This is completely outside the scope of the questions presented in the original post though, we are supposed to discuss the novel series.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2017, 11:03:51 AM »
Fair point.

So since you have apparently actually read them...how does a sword-and-sorcery adventure series where the author is supposedly uncomfortable about sex and only briefly mentions it end up as the poster-child for sexual-slavery-centric fiction for decades until 50SoG unseated it, to the point where (as mentioned, though it's off-topic) there is an entire "Gorean' subculture inside the BDSM community dedicated to replicating that sort of attitude? What are they drawing on?

Offline Lithos

Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2017, 11:18:43 AM »
Fair point.

So since you have apparently actually read them...how does a sword-and-sorcery adventure series where the author is supposedly uncomfortable about sex and only briefly mentions it end up as the poster-child for sexual-slavery-centric fiction for decades until 50SoG unseated it, to the point where (as mentioned, though it's off-topic) there is an entire "Gorean' subculture inside the BDSM community dedicated to replicating that sort of attitude? What are they drawing on?

I think it is the potential for all manner of things that could happen and sometimes with few words are mentioned to happen, human mind fills the rest. One must also remember that the books started at 60:s.... even just notion of sex, was enough for quite the scandalousness value back then and it built quite a following as result of that. Also Gorean man is such a creature that I suppose it would feel like ideal figure to many. Controlling, firm but just, not sadistic, not perverse, strong, brave.... not many in the books fill those shoes (and lose their status accordingly) It is something that is not really feasible for human to be, hence the fiction. Also in peoples minds the proportion of slaves compared to free is often upside down, in world of books there is one slave for perhaps fifteen free, in peoples fantasies it seems to be the other way around.

I think reason for that is that overwhelming majority of free in the books, belongs to Peasant caste, which is still free men (and women) but not all that much higher than slaves, they usually lead fairly poor lives, working the land paying the taxes and keeping wheels of society running. It would not be something many people want to write about so they tend to be non existing in much say, roleplay scenarios.

Another thing that might make the low castes not very attractive for people to think about and discount is that they do not have same access to knowledge about the world and how it is as high castes. High castes generally have knowledge about technology existing, world being round and such, and they are not superstitious cause they know that magic as such does not really exist. Low castes have a lot of superstition, their access to information far lower, it is great way to control and discourage trying to find out too much about certain things after all.

The writing style can be a bit numbing but it is not as bad in quality as everyone makes it out to be, the author is Professor of Philosophy, not English but the English is still in good standard unlike mine. I think he is nowdays Professor at Queens University, PhD from Princeton. All the controversy over his book series must have made his academic career interesting.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2017, 11:36:59 AM by Lithos »

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2017, 11:37:26 AM »
How would you compare it, quality/story-wise, to its grand-daddy and predecessor John Carter? Or its fantasy-genre contemporaries like Conan?

Offline Lithos

Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #20 on: November 28, 2017, 11:47:25 AM »
I would say it is better than Conan, to my personal taste but I am really not qualified person to say I mostly read science fiction and fantasy and have never written anything noteworthy.

The Mars series and gor are like siblings I would be hard pressed to say anything about order of those, I am more familiar with gor and liked it more even if it is not my favorite novel series. The mars books and gor are so eerily similar that I am sure much of similarity is in purpose. The books are named similarly and big part of premise of both is that the protagonist wrote manuscripts of books and sent them to earthling to be published even. Content wise I feel that there is more diversity in cultures and their descriptions in gor books, but system of slavery is far less harsh and more agreeable to most tastes in mars books.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2017, 12:26:43 PM »
John Carter does predate Gor by almost fifty years, hence the likening to a grandparent/child. The similarities and influence of one on the other are unmistakable, Norman had obviously read Burrows and was trying to emulate him to some degree.

Offline Lithos

Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #22 on: November 28, 2017, 12:57:41 PM »
It is mentioned as literary inspiration by the author as well, along with Homer, Freud, and Nietzsche. There is huge amount of similarities in how things are presented between Burroughs's work and Normans. It is also good fun to spot them while reading them. When leaving bigger lines and getting in to detail they start to separate by quite a big degree but still there is good bit of sense of familiarity.

It is too bad that neither series is as smooth reading or has as well paced progression than more popular works in fantasy/SF, I think both have harder time with finding new readers these days. 

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Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #23 on: November 29, 2017, 06:22:56 AM »
Gor is the Sword and Sorcery equivalent to colo-rectal cancer. It is poorly written, the characters are made of cardboard, the stories are absolute garbage, and the world building is the weakest form of slipshod idiocy meant only to cover the author's increasingly strange views towards the natural order of things. To say that it is better than Conan is - at best - laughable. There is no over arcing plot. Honestly there is barely any plot at all. The books are just people doing stuff while the author wanks over his philosophical "insights" and shows off the setting he built with all the care of a mentally challenged child with a bucket full of legos. John Norman is one of the worst influences the genre has ever experienced.

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Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #24 on: November 29, 2017, 08:35:36 AM »
It is entertaining enough piece of fantasy literature, and it does dabble good bit in to scifi as well... you have tech that is used for moving from planet to planet, as well as insectoid like aliens that are actually the priest kings ruling the world. The way to get badly disappointed is to expect them to be erotic books, Norman always seemed to feel uneasy about writing sex scenes so they are brief mentions if and when they happen and not the focus in any shape or form. The priest kings are not the only aliens in the books, also the seriously bad bad guys, violent human eating space faring werewolf lookalikes called Kur are of alien origin.

People also have artificially lenghtened lifespan, that is done by injections of life prolonging serum. Technology is VERY strictly controlled, generally only available for priest kings and their servants. Citizens of Gorean world that make technological inventions, say advanced weapons, guns or the like very quickly and permanently disappear, by not-so spontaneous self combustion done by the clergy. So it is world kept on certain state by rather strict enforced rules, and the world itself is social experiment run by aliens. That sets the stage where the things in the book series happen.

People are at times - with aid of technology - also able to traverse between Gor and earth as we know it, and there are several instances in the books where that is the case. It also is the way by which the character that one is following in few of the books, Tarl Cabbot originally gets transported in Gor. There are other characters, too with their origins in earth as we know it, and that is pretty much the only connection to familiar earth in the books as most things in gorean world are very different - even the gravity, which is not as strong as on earth and allows some things such as giant flying eagles called tarns to plausibly exist. Of course, slightly lower gravity also enables some rather heroic appearing physical feats that would not be possible in earth.

They can be heavy to read, with all the measures and such being completely different units from what we use, and great number of characters and specially geographical locations and cultures. Also there is no shortage of contradictions between certain novels but then again that is true to any long spanning book series where authors own life situation and personal experiences sometimes affect things in one way or the other. Writing style is also very dinstinct and repeating in a way that can lend to quite a few parodies, but oddly does not disturb so much when actually reading.

For following single protagonist or to have clear tangible antagonist it is not the right set of works, different books are written from very different perspectives. Some might be written from point of view of a free man, others from that of a slave, yet others from point of view of say, assassin and so on. As such any particular portagonist for whole series is hard to name but certainly one that is followed time and time again all the way through would be Tarl Cabbot, a proffessor from earth transplanted to world of Gor and becoming a master swordsman.

My own recommendations would be, If you are looking for non fiction, do not read it. If you are looking for erotic novel series, don't read it. If you like fantasy, completely foreign cultrures and cultural anthropology and do not mind somewhat heavy writing, It can be very entertaining read. I have had some very entertaining RP:s in that world as well, there is a lot of material in the novels to include but all in all I think it is challenging for story writing since one has to be familiar with varying different units, social classes and craftsman castes and their sometimes complex relations as well as combat all sorts of inaccurate information on the books found on the internet.

I do not wish to take part on any argument on political correctness, but personally I find it odd topic concerning fiction. I like wealth of worlds where world order and society certainly are far from ideal from our perspective starting from Warhammer Fantasy and 40k, going to things such as the bleak world that we have in Cyberpunk or say, Shadowrun not to mention Ender's game or such. Works of fiction are windows through which to look at very different worlds, not mediums where to look for ideas of how ours should be so I think debating about them is not very useful.
All actually really fair points, but I still maintain that the underlying philosophy of the books is not only wrong, it's inherently dangerous, as Glyphstone has said down thread.

If there were some magical or other piece of reason why women submitted, or if the aliens were injecting women with a drug that forces this condition, it would be one thing. If it were merely a patriarchal society that demanded women submit, it would be fine as a lens. However, the caveat of the whole series social dynamic relies on this inherent need for women to submit. It highlights not only dominant and submissive roles in a bad light, but general dynamics of men and women. This underlying philosophy does tend to rot out anything else that the series might have offered (I did try to read it after several people mentioned it, but I remember that none of them were enthusiastic about it).


Offline Lithos

Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #25 on: November 29, 2017, 02:26:58 PM »
All actually really fair points, but I still maintain that the underlying philosophy of the books is not only wrong, it's inherently dangerous, as Glyphstone has said down thread.

If there were some magical or other piece of reason why women submitted, or if the aliens were injecting women with a drug that forces this condition, it would be one thing. If it were merely a patriarchal society that demanded women submit, it would be fine as a lens. However, the caveat of the whole series social dynamic relies on this inherent need for women to submit. It highlights not only dominant and submissive roles in a bad light, but general dynamics of men and women. This underlying philosophy does tend to rot out anything else that the series might have offered (I did try to read it after several people mentioned it, but I remember that none of them were enthusiastic about it).

I wonder why all the free women do not want to and are not slaves though? to quote the books:

"Indeed, statistically, in those parts of Gor with which I am familiar, very few. Commonly only one woman in, say, forty or fifty is a slave. This varies somewhat of course, from city to city. The major exception to these ratios is the city of Tharna, in which almost every woman is a slave." I looked at her. "There are special historical reasons for that,"

There is also large amount of male slaves for most things where males simply are more practical, fighting, mine work and few other things. I wonder how their lot works out compared to the women. The above quote is from Beasts of Gor. There are other references to small proportion of slaves compared to free but I picked that cause it has actual numbers.

And of course there are the panthers leaving outside the society who treat any reference to submitting, be it slavers or slaves with arrow to the arse or some other more or less vital part of anatomy. Granted they are very few in number and only in areas that are warm enough for living in the wild without huge infrastructure being a viable option.

Sometimes reading all the discussion about gor I get the feeling that people assume that it is world where all men are free and women are slaves and all are that by choice. I think perhaps it is that since writing style is how it is, vast majority of people talking about it did not actually read it and work any of the numbers.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2017, 02:41:24 PM by Lithos »

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Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #26 on: November 29, 2017, 02:42:00 PM »
I love how you deliberately misconstrue the arguments of others to make them easier for you to refute. This is called a Strawman Argument. It is a logical fallacy built off of intellectual dishonesty. At least it lets me know that you are someone I should not talk to.

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Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #27 on: November 29, 2017, 02:51:16 PM »
To clarify on Dark Prince's blunt post, I think the thing being discussed is more about how women are generalised as all naturally submissive in the canon, rather than if they're slaves or want to be, or not. There's a slight difference in execution there, which Inkidu's last post spoke on some.

I don't see Lithos making a strawman here though, sure the original point of Inkidu wasn't addressed, though at least Lithos gave a relavent quote and answered a bit more on the canon. Building a Strawman is often a large generalising in of itself, to make the opposing debater have a questionable argument, of which I don't see Lithos doing here.

Also, to clarify again, I've never read the saga and have only this thread and some 1d4chan references to go from. As such, I'm not going to make an opinion on the work, though rather try and learn a bit more on it, as a tabletop and fantasy gamer, it does often come up, so learning more on it helps me in conversation when it does rear it's head.

Offline Lithos

Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #28 on: November 29, 2017, 03:17:22 PM »
sure the original point of Inkidu wasn't addressed, though at least Lithos gave a relavent quote and answered a bit more on the canon.

The things on that post were dealing with the subject of political correctness that I mentioned I did not wish to discuss in my original post, but so that it does get addressed below is my very general remark of the books that perhaps explain my view on things.

It is a world where majority believes that world works in certain way, while quite a few others believe that it does not. In that regard I do not see it much different from several other fantasy worlds, where majority has certain world order or deities.

I do not believe in supernatural and am very much anti-religion for example, yet I still am not offended by fantasy worlds where gods or supernatural exist. For me it is the most pleasing and least stressful way to take literature as it allows to take entertainment from where there is some. I find it silly to try to draw things to real life from fantasy work, so I find no pleasure in discussing it. I have a feeling that it would be as fruitless as any debate about things not rooted in reality.

Online TheSithChicken

Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #29 on: November 29, 2017, 06:25:55 PM »
I've read the books, been in many conversations about them, and have taught debate. He is absolutely making a Strawman Argument about the common complaints on the series.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #30 on: November 29, 2017, 07:29:06 PM »
The thread topic was about the books themselves, to be fair. Criticizing the books because of the sub (heh) culture they birthed seems like a fallacy in itself...Ad Faninem? People who cant separate fantasy from reality isnt the fault of books, especially if the D/S content is as understated as Lithos says.

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Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #31 on: November 30, 2017, 03:41:20 AM »
It isn't as understated as he claims. It is for the first 4 or 5 books of the 34 book series but after that it is this recurring heavy handed theme weighing down everything. It is constantly in your face and becomes the basis for pretty much every relationship in the series.

Offline Lithos

Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #32 on: November 30, 2017, 04:04:13 AM »
The numbers that I quoted are, for example from the book 12. Slavery is certainly big institution in the books, sexual aspects of it, as stated in my posts, aren't... Things such as blowjobs for example as per the books seem to hardly exist. And sex is largely in form of person x took person y, n times.

And like in my earlier posts, I do not wish to discuss anything not regarding the books or this thread strays even further from the original posters questions.This is meant to be informative thread,  debate of less related things can have its own.

Online TheSithChicken

Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #33 on: November 30, 2017, 04:09:57 AM »
I have literally only spoken of the content of the books. Once again you make a Strawman Argument. This will be my last response to you. I have no time or use for the intellectually dishonest.

Offline Lithos

Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #34 on: November 30, 2017, 02:41:07 PM »
And one thing that I did not cover yet, should of course be the geography. Mostly the knowledge of it is limited to what the people in the books know, and that would be mostly the western seaboard of one continent, the area covered is roughly from just below equator to all the way near the north pole. Sea travel is not very advanced, and also limited by peoples superstitions, so if there are further continents or remarkable islands very far away, very little or nothing about them is known.

What is considered Civilization by that world's standards is mostly concentrated to area just north of the equator on both sides of one of the great rivers. Equatorial rain forests and plains beyond, as well as northern forests and torvaldsland (rather viking inspired area) toward extreme north are mostly inhabited by what is by most in gor considered to be rather uncivilized nomads. Then again, those people consider gorean society and its customs barbaric so civilization is in the eye of beholder.

Compared to how well we know the earth, gorean people in the books know very little of their planet by our standards, mostly owing to their greco - roman technology level. There are many cues to the fact that the planet must be either much smaller than earth or of very different internal composition, since gravity of gor  is slightly lower than of Earth and it is mentioned that without certain technological efforts by the alien Priest Kings, it would be even lower.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2017, 02:52:55 PM by Lithos »

Offline wander

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Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #35 on: November 30, 2017, 03:35:43 PM »
It's reading that kind of stuff that interests me a lot. I really enjoyed the setting chapters of Numenera and it's Ninth Age of Earth, which discussed in length of things of that nature and made it seem more tangible of a setting.

Offline Lithos

Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #36 on: November 30, 2017, 04:03:09 PM »
It is just very tedious to get to most tidbits, I think it would be far better book series if it was at most twelwe or thirteen volumes long. That much I liked to read well enough, and rest felt like a chore to learn more tidbits of content from among writing that then started to feel repetitive.

Imagine having to read say. All R.A Salvatores Drizzt this or that books at once. If I ever revisit the books I think I will stop around beasts of gor. I feel I got most of the world by that time, and the experience was not yet numbing. Perhaps it would have been better volume every month or two, I binge read it and it got very tedious. I really like the world and its various factions and critters though.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2017, 04:09:46 PM by Lithos »

Online TheSithChicken

Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #37 on: November 30, 2017, 04:12:46 PM »
It's reading that kind of stuff that interests me a lot. I really enjoyed the setting chapters of Numenera and it's Ninth Age of Earth, which discussed in length of things of that nature and made it seem more tangible of a setting.

There is very little of that stuff in the books. The series is being massively misrepresented here. It is barebones crap barely deserving of being called novels. They are only slightly above the level of 50 Shades of Gray or Twilight. They are the personal fantasies of the author with the weakest form of handwaving covering any part of the setting that doesn't make any sense.

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Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #38 on: December 01, 2017, 11:35:47 AM »
There is very little of that stuff in the books. The series is being massively misrepresented here. It is barebones crap barely deserving of being called novels. They are only slightly above the level of 50 Shades of Gray or Twilight. They are the personal fantasies of the author with the weakest form of handwaving covering any part of the setting that doesn't make any sense.

So basically what I write here day to day then?  ::)

Online TheSithChicken

Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #39 on: December 01, 2017, 12:15:14 PM »
So basically what I write here day to day then?  ::)

No. You put much more effort into your writing than John Norman ever has. The man has the literary ability of an epileptic rhesus monkey.

Offline Lithos

Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #40 on: December 01, 2017, 01:47:50 PM »
Next, I can give some attention to different cultures / people inhabiting gor. I suppose easiest to start is the area where the series starts which is, among the City states along the Vosk River which is largest in the known world. The city states lining the river are clearly inspired by the city states of ancient Greece. Larges and most prominent city is city of Ar, and the most common dating system used in the region is based on founding date of Ar.
 
Central regions of the known world

At Delta of Vosk river is Port Kar which is rather a pirate influenced version of Venice than Greco roman. Strict honor codes and such that might be observed at the city states hold little weight at Port Kar, and many notables within it would not even hold any major position in the common gorean caste system. There is also very prominent State based on islands, Cos which has similar rivalry with Ar as Carthage had with Rome.

Southern regions of the known world

Far south of Vosk river are great plains that are home to wagon people tribes that owe good bit of resemblance to Mongols and other central Asian nomads. Turians and Tuchuks are the most notable ones.

Around the rain forest type areas found near what appears as the gorean equator are Schendi jungle peoples, largely based on Congo river valley tribes of earth. One difference would be tribe consisting mostly of female warriors called Taluna which are clearly based more on amazons.

South east are Tahari deserts that feature cultures similar to Arabic and Saharan nomads.

Northern regions of the known world

To north there are vast northern forests that are populated by Panther tribes, these mostly Female communities are certainly influenced by Scythian Amazons.

Going north from the northern forests mentioned earlier one finds torvaldsland and its Viking culture / village community based populations. They are known as expert sea farers and do all the pillaging one would expect Vikings to. Further north still are the Red Hunters of the north, living around the Polar Regions and clearly based on the Inuit.

Far beyond the sea

There are Feudal Japanese based people, Pani who come from areas beyond the sea and whose origins are unknown to most people at gor. Their culture and indeed the wardrobe is in many ways quite strikingly different from their main land gor counterparts but is rarely wholly represented. Most Pani in mainland gor have been stranded at port cities in one way or another, smaller groups might be just passed as oddly passed wagon people or other barbarians by general populace.
 
There is quite a few that I did not mention, what is here is what came to mind first.

Online Oniya

Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #41 on: December 01, 2017, 02:35:26 PM »
I rather suspect that Norman fell into the trap that many pulp writers of earlier days fell into - he was writing what he expected would sell well, and as a result, much of it did become repetitive.  I've binge-read Burroughs, and at a certain point, John Carter, Tarzan, and Carson of Venus blur together just a bit.  ::)  At that point he a) had a core audience that would howl if they didn't get what they expected and b) had a reputation that made it increasingly difficult to market his work (DAW Books refused to publish 'Witness of Gor', citing 'poor sales', a claim that Norman rejected, citing data from international markets.)

On the other hand, it's possible that he had developed enough of an ego at that point (a failing I've seen in other writers as well) that he would simply brook no criticism of his magnum opus.

On a side note, a friend of mine told me that both Norman and Marion Zimmer Bradley were guests once at a convention he attended in the DC area.  The autograph line was reportedly quite - tense.

Offline Lithos

Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #42 on: December 01, 2017, 03:12:53 PM »
I did most of Burroughs books in same way, a lot earlier though. I wish I had that kind of time still these days. Nowdays I am lucky if I get to finish one book in month or two. Christmas vacation might be decent chance to have a bit heavier bout of reading. I think my next reading venture will be something more strictly Scifi though.

With gor books, the latter volumes the focus feels to leave adventure and it makes it a lot harder to focus on reading... for most purposes, be it knowing the world or RP in it, I think one can get more than familiar enough with the world with first ten volumes or so. That range also has the best that the books have to offer. I am not sure I would have had awesome time with last fifteen volumes even with slower pacing.

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Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #43 on: December 07, 2017, 11:15:15 PM »
I read up to--I believe--the 9th or 10th book in the series before tiring of it, when I was in my teens.  After reading Tolkien, Zelazny, LeGuin, and the occasional Thieve's World books, the Gor series was dense with detail, but rather poor in dialogue; making it parallel, I'd guess, George Lucas and his writing of Star Wars.  I appreciate detail, so I enjoyed reading the early books.  A new fantasy world, similar in form (if not style) to Conan or John Carter, and including sexual themes that are entirely absent from most fantasy novels I'd read--it interested my teen libido.  No sex scenes to speak of, though there is more than enough sexual atmosphere, with all the focus on male-female interaction in such a M/s theme. 

There's no surprise endings, nor really any unexpected twists.  In a lot of ways, it reminded me of a 60s sexual escapism version of Ben Hur.  The pace in the novels is quite slow--think Dune-like slow--and the dialogue is uninspired and plodding.  I don't know...perhaps for my young mind at the time, it was just what I was looking for.  I remember re-reading two of the earliest books more than once...Assassin of Gor and Raiders of Gor?  Honestly, reading the Lankhmar books is far more satisfying to me, but despite the D/s themes in the Gor novels, it feels very derivative, on the level of how the Sword of Shannara was so derivative of The Lord Of The Rings.

It's very simplistic, and I saw it as escapism and enjoyable in an empty-headed way.  Considering it dangerous makes no sense to me.  If the crazies in the Gor-lifestyle community have a problem, it's that the internet allows mentally ill people to congregate and share ideas together.  They are the problem, not the works of fiction they draw their philosophy from.


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Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #44 on: December 08, 2017, 11:25:25 AM »
That bottom paragraph I totally agree with, it's down to the people not the work with stuff like that, IMO without reading them of course.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #45 on: December 08, 2017, 12:21:47 PM »
The alternative, of course, is that the author was a member of the Illuminati and laced his books with fnords.

Online Oniya

Re: The Gorean Saga, a Discussion and Inquiry
« Reply #46 on: December 08, 2017, 01:46:43 PM »
Why would he want to make people feel uneasy reading his books?  You'd think he would make his writing very fnord-free to increase readership.