- NORMAN, John
- Pseudonym used for his fiction by US writer and philosophy teacher John Frederick Lange Jr (1931-). His fiction mainly comprises a series of borderline-sf PLANETARY ROMANCES set on Gor, a planet sharing Earth's orbit but - because it is on the other side of the Sun - always invisible to us. This astrophysical impossibility is never argued in the texts, which might consequently read as either antiquarian sf or fantasy were it not that the development of the series precludes any reading of Gor as an exercise in sf nostalgia while at the same time demonstrating its great remove from category FANTASY. In Tarnsman of Gor (1966), as the series begins, Earthman Tarl Cabot abruptly finds himself on Gor, where - after the fashion of Edgar Rice BURROUGHS's Barsoom novels - he undergoes numerous adventures, alarms, fights and romances of a SWORD-AND-SORCERY nature. However, as the series progresses, the plots begin to revolve around a singularly invariant sexual fantasy in which a proud woman-often abducted for the purpose from Earth - is humiliated, stripped, bound, beaten, raped, branded and enslaved, invariably discovering in the process that she enjoys total submission to a dominant male, and can derive proper sexual satisfaction only from this regime. Later volumes feature interminable discussions which end, invariably, in an affirmation of the Gorean status quo. The sequence, now terminated, includes: Outlaw of Gor(1967) and Priest-Kings of Gor (1968), both assembled with Tarnsman of Gor as Gor Omnibus (omni 1972 UK); Nomads of Gor (1969); Assassin of Gor (1970); Raiders of Gor (1971); Captive of Gor (1972); Hunters of Gor(1974); Marauders of Gor (1975); Tribesmen of Gor (1976); Slave Girl of Gor (1977); Beasts of Gor (1978); Explorers of Gor (1979); Fighting Slave of Gor (1980); Rogue of Gor (1981); Guardsman of Gor (1981); Savages of Gor (1982); Blood Brothers of Gor (1982); Kajira of Gor (1983); Players ofGor (1984); Mercenaries of Gor (1985); Dancer of Gor (1985); Renegades of Gor (1986); Vagabonds of Gor (1987); and Magicians of Gor (1988). Imaginative Sex (1974), a nonfiction text, details some Gor-like games for Earthlings. JN's two out-of-series novels are Ghost Dance (1969) and Time Slave (1975). Unless the new Telnarian Histories sequence - beginning with The Chieftain (1991), The Captain (1993) and The King (1993) - strikes a new note, JN will be remembered - and widely detested - for Gor alone.JC
Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. Academic. 2011.