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Old 07-03-2008, 09:43 PM   #65
DMcCunney
New York Editor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pshrynk View Post
I know I'm going to get pummelled for this, but hear me out. I loved the first five or six books of the Gor series by John Norman. The intensity of the world that was created was hypnotising. The characters were bold and well drawn. I became hooked.
I won't pummel you, because I agree.

I have the first six or so of the Gor novels around somewhere. I'd call them space opera a-la Edgar Rice Burroughs. It you successfully buy the premise - that there is a "counter-Earth" hidden on the opposite side of the sun called Gor, carefully maintained there by the advanced science of the insectoid alien Priest-Kings, and that for centuries, people from Earth have been kidnapped and dropped upon Gor in a Priest-King experiment, they are a fun read. Norman's setting lets his hero encounter stuff drawn from all over Earth's history in his travels. Women are usually slaves on Gor, but this is a bit of cultural background that can be more or less accepted as part of the story. The biggest problems are the occasional massive expository lumps, such as the great sea battle which gets interrupted in the middle for a multi-page digression on Gorean shipbuilding and naval techniques. Aarrgghhhh.

But after about the first six books, the female slavery went from sub-plot to dominant element. The closer Tarl Cabot came to becoming the ideal Gorean male, the more shallow and one dimensional he became, and the less interests the plots held.

Norman was originally published by Ballantine Books, and switched after about the first six book to DAW Books. He's quite sure DAW didn't cancel the series for poor sales, and that they were doing well till the end. He believes he was cut because DAW founder Donald A. Wollheim died, and his daughter Betsy who took over and her senior editor, Sheila Wiliams, both simply objected to the slavery theme and refused to publish it on feminist grounds.

He may be right, but I'd stopped reading long before. I didn't stop because they were sexist or offensive. I stopped because they were boring.
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Dennis
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