Gor demands a recount

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Thomas Armagost

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Nov 6, 2001, 10:42:20 PM11/6/01
to
"...puritans and censors, excluders, hypocrites, slanderers, and
liars, [...] hoping to keep the members of the science-fiction
community ignorant of a large variety of interesting alternatives to
their own unquestioned dogmatisms and complacent bigotries. [I have]
put up for years with the abusive, predictable crap of the politically
blinkered ideological Pavlovians, the psychologically insecure, the
emotionally immature, the morally benighted, and the sexually
retarded, of which science fiction has more than her share." -John
Norman, author of _Gor_, quoted by Dave Langford in _Ansible_.
<http://www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/SF-Archives/Ansible/a172.html>

Philadelphia Worldcon chose not to invite Norman as a panelist.
This beautiful flame is his response to their decision. Content
is less important than style in this particular instance, IMHO.

--
weblog <http://www.pe.net/~sputnik/blog.html>

Brenda W. Clough

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Nov 6, 2001, 11:17:33 PM11/6/01
to

Thomas Armagost wrote:

Oh, whew! For a moment I was worried this was yet another OT political
diatribe! But it's bang on topic, thank you so much.

I will add that the Philadelphia Worldcon was indunated with pros hoping
to be on paneling, and many others besides Norman did not get a slot.
Perhaps there were other reasons besides puritanism, sexual bigotry, etc.

Brenda

--
What do you do with a secret?
Whisper it in a desert at high noon.
Lock it up and bury the key.
Tell the nation on prime-time TV.
Choose a door . . .

Doors of Death and Life
by Brenda W. Clough
http://www.sff.net/people/Brenda
Tor Books
ISBN 0-312-87064-7


Sea Wasp

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Nov 6, 2001, 11:41:10 PM11/6/01
to

Hmm. Sounds familiar...

"Yes, well, that's the sort of blinkered, philistine pig-ignorance
I've come to expect from you noncreative garbage! You sit there on
your loathesome spotty behinds, squeezing blackheads, not caring a
tinker's cuss for the struggling artist, you EXCREMENT! You whining,
hypocritical toadies ..." -- Mr. Wiggin of Armside and Malone, Monty
Python

--
Sea Wasp http://www.wizvax.net/seawasp/index.htm
/^\
;;; _Morgantown: The Jason Wood Chronicles_, at
http://www.hyperbooks.com/catalog/20040.html

Keith Morrison

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Nov 7, 2001, 2:10:18 AM11/7/01
to
"Brenda W. Clough" wrote:

> I will add that the Philadelphia Worldcon was indunated with pros hoping
> to be on paneling, and many others besides Norman did not get a slot.
> Perhaps there were other reasons besides puritanism, sexual bigotry, etc.

I can think of a few. Starting with "Norman, your books suck" and ending
somewhere around "No really, they *really* suck."

Besides, isn't he still doing that S&M schtick? Oh yeah, men on top
completely dominating submissive women who get used as sex toys. Oh
yeah, real original. Never seen that done before. Stretching the ol'
boundaries of sexual portrayal in SF that is.

--
Keith

Lonnie Courtney Clay

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Nov 7, 2001, 9:31:33 AM11/7/01
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Thomas Armagost <si...@well.com> wrote in message news:<silly-7A21C9....@opus.randori.com>...

Buy any one Gor novel used and read it once. You have now exhausted
the literary genius of John Norman. Use it as fireplace kindling
unless you want to pass it along to an S&M freak. Gor is the classic
formula series - just variations on a theme. Tarzan is similar,
without the S&M and aimed at the same sophistication of reader. Of
course I am biased preferring science fiction, but if you find it too
deep then you can always read Harlequin romances.
LCC
P.S. I also have a low opinion of Samual R. Delany, Harlan Ellison,
and Phillip Jose Farmer.

Erol K. Bayburt

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Nov 7, 2001, 9:37:03 AM11/7/01
to
Keith Morrison <kei...@polarnet.ca> wrote in message news:<3BE8DE5A...@polarnet.ca>...

> "Brenda W. Clough" wrote:
>
> > I will add that the Philadelphia Worldcon was indunated with pros hoping
> > to be on paneling, and many others besides Norman did not get a slot.
> > Perhaps there were other reasons besides puritanism, sexual bigotry, etc.
>
> I can think of a few. Starting with "Norman, your books suck" and ending
> somewhere around "No really, they *really* suck."

There's more to it than that, IMO. Suckiness can't explain the energy that
so many people put into their negative response. The usual reactions I've
seen posted aren't the reactions to a sucky book, but to a book that the
poster finds to be *vile*

>
> Besides, isn't he still doing that S&M schtick? Oh yeah, men on top
> completely dominating submissive women who get used as sex toys. Oh
> yeah, real original. Never seen that done before. Stretching the ol'
> boundaries of sexual portrayal in SF that is.

So who else does that sort of thing? I've seen the S&M schtick used a
lot as the Mark of the Black Hat, to show that a character is an Evil
Villain(TM) or that a culture is an Evil Culture(TM). I've seen it used
in a gender-equal way where there are at least as many women on top
dominating submissive men as the other way 'round. But Norman is
infamous for being "the" guy who does the "Men are the Masters" version
of the schtick. The only other person I can think of who did the same
was Sharon Green when she was deliberately imitating Norman.

My own take is that Gor is the moonshine whiskey of SF. It's of uneven
and generally low quality, it has a harsh taste, and it backs a 100
proof emotional punch. Some people love it. Many others have a sneaking
liking for it, but are ashamed to admit it. And many people loathe it
as being utterly vile. These last don't merely fling the book against
the wall with great force, they do a hatchet-job on it, Carry Nation-
style.

Erol K. Bayburt
(who wouldn't mind seeing a cheerfully sexist romp distilled as a
smoother tipple)

Heather Garvey

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Nov 7, 2001, 10:27:32 AM11/7/01
to
Erol K. Bayburt <Ero...@aol.com> wrote:
>>
>> Besides, isn't he still doing that S&M schtick? Oh yeah, men on top
>> completely dominating submissive women who get used as sex toys. Oh
>> yeah, real original. Never seen that done before. Stretching the ol'
>> boundaries of sexual portrayal in SF that is.
>
>infamous for being "the" guy who does the "Men are the Masters" version
>of the schtick. The only other person I can think of who did the same
>was Sharon Green when she was deliberately imitating Norman.

Leo Frankowski?
Heinlein?

Oh, sure, a softer, gentler version of "men on top completely
dominating submissive women who get used as sex toys", but the concept
is the same. I can't read the Crosstime Knight series or the later
Heinlein without eventually throwing the book in disgust at the trite
sexism in it.


--
--
"Do not show fear. This is me without fear. And a 62-pound hall pass." -- Dib

Heather Garvey a.k.a Raven ra...@xnet.com http://www.spinnoff.com/swhc/

Dorothy J Heydt

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Nov 7, 2001, 10:43:10 AM11/7/01
to
In article <3BE8B5DC...@erols.com>,

Brenda W. Clough <clo...@erols.com> wrote:
>
>I will add that the Philadelphia Worldcon was indunated with pros hoping
>to be on paneling, and many others besides Norman did not get a slot.
>Perhaps there were other reasons besides puritanism, sexual bigotry, etc.

Though surely those are good enough.

Dorothy J. Heydt
Albany, California
djh...@kithrup.com
http://www.kithrup.com/~djheydt

Lee DeRaud

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Nov 7, 2001, 10:45:59 AM11/7/01
to
On Tue, 06 Nov 2001 23:17:33 -0500, "Brenda W. Clough"
<clo...@erols.com> wrote:
>Thomas Armagost wrote:
>
>> "...puritans and censors, excluders, hypocrites, slanderers, and
>> liars, [...] hoping to keep the members of the science-fiction
>> community ignorant of a large variety of interesting alternatives to
>> their own unquestioned dogmatisms and complacent bigotries. [I have]
>> put up for years with the abusive, predictable crap of the politically
>> blinkered ideological Pavlovians, the psychologically insecure, the
>> emotionally immature, the morally benighted, and the sexually
>> retarded, of which science fiction has more than her share." -John
--------------------------------------------------->^^^<---------

>> Norman, author of _Gor_, quoted by Dave Langford in _Ansible_.
>> <http://www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/SF-Archives/Ansible/a172.html>
>>
>> Philadelphia Worldcon chose not to invite Norman as a panelist.
>> This beautiful flame is his response to their decision. Content
>> is less important than style in this particular instance, IMHO.
>>
>
>Oh, whew! For a moment I was worried this was yet another OT political
>diatribe! But it's bang on topic, thank you so much.
>
>I will add that the Philadelphia Worldcon was indunated with pros hoping
>to be on paneling, and many others besides Norman did not get a slot.
>Perhaps there were other reasons besides puritanism, sexual bigotry, etc.

Which panel did he want to be on: "The Anthropomorphization of Genres"
or "The Gender of SF"? :-)

Lee

Charles R Martin

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Nov 7, 2001, 10:56:28 AM11/7/01
to
ra...@typhoon.xnet.com (Heather Garvey) writes:

> Heinlein?
>
> Oh, sure, a softer, gentler version of "men on top completely
> dominating submissive women who get used as sex toys", but the concept
> is the same. I can't read the Crosstime Knight series or the later
> Heinlein without eventually throwing the book in disgust at the trite
> sexism in it.

Like when Andy Libby discovers that he can't be a fully confident
leader until he has a sex change.

--
Our enemies are never villains in their own eyes, but that does not make them
less dangerous. Appeasement, however, nearly always makes them more so.
-- Don Dixon
______________________________________________________________________________
Charles R (Charlie) Martin Broomfield, CO 40N 105W

Charles R Martin

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Nov 7, 2001, 10:57:54 AM11/7/01
to
LCC...@aol.com (Lonnie Courtney Clay) writes:

> Buy any one Gor novel used and read it once. You have now exhausted
> the literary genius of John Norman.

Now, now... the first three Gor books weren't bad. It's the other 657.

Dorothy J Heydt

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Nov 7, 2001, 11:13:21 AM11/7/01
to
In article <m3bsieh...@localhost.localdomain>,

Charles R Martin <crma...@indra.com> wrote:
>
>Like when Andy Libby discovers that he can't be a fully confident
>leader until he has a sex change.

WHAAAAAAT?

I must have missed that one. Thank God.

Charles R Martin

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Nov 7, 2001, 12:05:50 PM11/7/01
to
djh...@kithrup.com (Dorothy J Heydt) writes:

> In article <m3bsieh...@localhost.localdomain>,
> Charles R Martin <crma...@indra.com> wrote:
> >
> >Like when Andy Libby discovers that he can't be a fully confident
> >leader until he has a sex change.
>
> WHAAAAAAT?
>
> I must have missed that one. Thank God.

It's in _Number of the Beast_ I think. He ends up being Heinlein Woman
Type 3, tall busty blonde.

Brenda W. Clough

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Nov 7, 2001, 12:24:52 PM11/7/01
to

"Erol K. Bayburt" wrote:

> Keith Morrison <kei...@polarnet.ca> wrote in message news:<3BE8DE5A...@polarnet.ca>...
> > "Brenda W. Clough" wrote:
> >
> > > I will add that the Philadelphia Worldcon was indunated with pros hoping
> > > to be on paneling, and many others besides Norman did not get a slot.
> > > Perhaps there were other reasons besides puritanism, sexual bigotry, etc.
> >
> > I can think of a few. Starting with "Norman, your books suck" and ending
> > somewhere around "No really, they *really* suck."
>
> There's more to it than that, IMO. Suckiness can't explain the energy that
> so many people put into their negative response. The usual reactions I've
> seen posted aren't the reactions to a sucky book, but to a book that the
> poster finds to be *vile*
>

The problem many people in the field have with him, is that the books are not Just Books. If he
got up on a panel and cheerfully said, "Yeah, they sent my kid to college, ain't it great?" you
would not hear a word of complaint. It's when he gets up and announces that the books are
Reality, and that in real life women are yearning to be assaulted, that endless problems ensue.
Starting with the female panelists, and moving on out from there.

Matthew Austern

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Nov 7, 2001, 12:31:13 PM11/7/01
to
ra...@typhoon.xnet.com (Heather Garvey) writes:

> Erol K. Bayburt <Ero...@aol.com> wrote:
> >>
> >> Besides, isn't he still doing that S&M schtick? Oh yeah, men on top
> >> completely dominating submissive women who get used as sex toys. Oh
> >> yeah, real original. Never seen that done before. Stretching the ol'
> >> boundaries of sexual portrayal in SF that is.
> >
> >infamous for being "the" guy who does the "Men are the Masters" version
> >of the schtick. The only other person I can think of who did the same
> >was Sharon Green when she was deliberately imitating Norman.
>
> Leo Frankowski?
> Heinlein?

I haven't read Frankowski, and I don't think I want to, from what I've
heard about him, but I don't think you're being fair to Heinlein. He
certainly wasn't a feminist in the modern sense, and you could quite
legitimately say that his female characters were unrealistic in some
ways, but I think he deserves a lot of credit for the fact that he
tried. Women were important characters in many of his books, which
isn't something you can say for many of his contemporaries. (How many
important female characters can you remember from the stories of
Arthur C. Clarke? Another author I admire, incidentally.) I can
think of Heinlein stories where the main character is a patriarch, but
I can't think of any of his stories that were written to preach the
ideology of male domination and I can think of quite a few that depict
and advocate equal relationships.

Now I have read a book that was all about soft-core rape fantasies and
powerful men dominating submissive women, Janet Morris's _High Couch
of Silistra_. I found it distasteful. I don't know if it's typical
of Morris's work.

Glenn Dowdy

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Nov 7, 2001, 1:17:12 PM11/7/01
to

"Sea Wasp" <sea...@wizvax.net> wrote in message
news:3BE8BB...@wizvax.net...

> Thomas Armagost wrote:
> >
> > "...puritans and censors, excluders, hypocrites, slanderers, and
> > liars, [...] hoping to keep the members of the science-fiction
> > community ignorant of a large variety of interesting alternatives to
> > their own unquestioned dogmatisms and complacent bigotries. [I have]
> > put up for years with the abusive, predictable crap of the politically
> > blinkered ideological Pavlovians, the psychologically insecure, the
> > emotionally immature, the morally benighted, and the sexually
> > retarded, of which science fiction has more than her share." -John
> > Norman, author of _Gor_, quoted by Dave Langford in _Ansible_.
> > <http://www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/SF-Archives/Ansible/a172.html>
> >
> > Philadelphia Worldcon chose not to invite Norman as a panelist.
> > This beautiful flame is his response to their decision. Content
> > is less important than style in this particular instance, IMHO.
>
> Hmm. Sounds familiar...
>
> "Yes, well, that's the sort of blinkered, philistine pig-ignorance
> I've come to expect from you noncreative garbage! You sit there on
> your loathesome spotty behinds, squeezing blackheads, not caring a
> tinker's cuss for the struggling artist, you EXCREMENT! You whining,
> hypocritical toadies ..." -- Mr. Wiggin of Armside and Malone, Monty
> Python
>
So Gor >> Science Fiction as Abattoir >> Apartment Building?

Glenn


Keith Brooke

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Nov 7, 2001, 1:37:23 PM11/7/01
to
The message <3BE8B5DC...@erols.com>
from "Brenda W. Clough" <clo...@erols.com> contains these words:

> I will add that the Philadelphia Worldcon was indunated with pros hoping
> to be on paneling, and many others besides Norman did not get a slot.
> Perhaps there were other reasons besides puritanism, sexual bigotry, etc.

The Ansible report does go on to say:

"After all this
splendid wrath, it was really rather cruel of Teresa Nielsen Hayden to
suggest that the Worldcon's attitude might have something to do with John
Norman being a boring panellist."
<http://www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/SF-Archives/Ansible/a172.html>

Keith
--
Keith Brooke
editor, infinity plus................www.infinityplus.co.uk
HEAD SHOTS (summer 2001).........LORD OF STONE (out now)
www.keithbrooke.co.uk............kbrooke@infinityplus.co.uk
...................or you could try keith...@yahoo.co.uk

Captain Button

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Nov 7, 2001, 1:44:20 PM11/7/01
to

No I think it's something about how Feminism is a Masonic Plot...

--
"We have to go forth and crush every world view that doesn't believe in
tolerance and free speech," - David Brin
Captain Button - but...@io.com

Dorothy J Heydt

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Nov 7, 2001, 1:36:09 PM11/7/01
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In article <oauiutcd5lacc04kj...@4ax.com>,
Jon Meltzer <jmel...@pobox.com> wrote:

>On Wed, 07 Nov 2001 12:24:52 -0500, "Brenda W. Clough"
><clo...@erols.com> wrote:
>
>
>>If he got up on a panel and cheerfully said, "Yeah, they sent my kid to college, ain't it great?"
>
>He's a college professor. His kids get tuition benefits. :-)

But not, AFAIK, for his Gor novels.

I have heard, and don't know whether to believe, that Norman used
to say cheerfully, "Yeah, they're schlock, I can't believe what
idiots people are to read them, but I'm laughing all the way to
the bank," and has only recently adopted the "This is great
literature and you blankety-blanks don't appreciate it!"
attitude.

Brian McGuinness

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Nov 7, 2001, 1:46:13 PM11/7/01
to
I have seen John Norman at several I-Con
conventions. He seems very intelligent
and refined. It is hard to imagine that
he is the same person who wrote the Gor
novels.

On the other hand, when he complains
about censorship, he does have a valid
point. Regardless of what he says in his
books or what people think about it, he
should be free to have his say.

Also, it is probably not surprising that
he sometimes resorts to name calling when
you realize that he has been subjected for
a long time to the same, if not worse. At
one panel I heard David Weber tell him to
his face that his books were crap. It
does not take much of this to turn someone
bitter and bad-tempered. (On the other
hand, at the same panel Esther Friesner,
a self-professed feminist, said that she
had no problem being on the panel with
Norman, and she treated him courteously.)

This does not mean that everyone has to
invite him to every con. But to exclude
him just because you don't like what he
has to say is dumb. He can make a valuable
contribution to panel discussions and be
an interesting guest.

--- Brian

Charles R Martin

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Nov 7, 2001, 1:49:09 PM11/7/01
to
Captain Button <but...@bermuda.io.com> writes:

>
> No I think it's something about how Feminism is a Masonic Plot...
>

Now THAT is certainly the least likely conspiracy theory I've heard
all month.

Sea Wasp

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Nov 7, 2001, 2:13:16 PM11/7/01
to
Glenn Dowdy wrote:
>
> "Sea Wasp" <sea...@wizvax.net> wrote in message
> news:3BE8BB...@wizvax.net..
> > Thomas Armagost wrote:
> > >
> > > "...puritans and censors, excluders, hypocrites, slanderers, and
> > > liars, [...] hoping to keep the members of the science-fiction
> > > community ignorant of a large variety of interesting alternatives to
> > > their own unquestioned dogmatisms and complacent bigotries. [I have]
> > > put up for years with the abusive, predictable crap of the politically
> > > blinkered ideological Pavlovians,..." -John
> > > Norman, author of _Gor_,

> > Hmm. Sounds familiar...


> >
> > "Yes, well, that's the sort of blinkered, philistine pig-ignorance
> > I've come to expect from you noncreative garbage! You sit there on
> > your loathesome spotty behinds, squeezing blackheads, not caring a
> > tinker's cuss for the struggling artist, you EXCREMENT! You whining,
> > hypocritical toadies ..." -- Mr. Wiggin of Armside and Malone, Monty
> > Python
> >
> So Gor >> Science Fiction as Abattoir >> Apartment Building?

I'd say that's probably a fair analogy. (uhhuhuh. He said
ANALogy...uhhuhuhuhuh.)

Karl Elvis MacRae

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Nov 7, 2001, 2:17:26 PM11/7/01
to
In article <3BE8DE5A...@polarnet.ca>,

Keith Morrison <kei...@polarnet.ca> wrote:
>"Brenda W. Clough" wrote:
>
>> I will add that the Philadelphia Worldcon was indunated with pros hoping
>> to be on paneling, and many others besides Norman did not get a slot.
>> Perhaps there were other reasons besides puritanism, sexual bigotry, etc.
>
>I can think of a few. Starting with "Norman, your books suck" and ending
>somewhere around "No really, they *really* suck."

Hey, wait, the first four didn't suck. They were not *great*, but they
contained some interesting world-building and some good characters. After
that he got lost...


>Besides, isn't he still doing that S&M schtick?


It's a lifestyle, man. =B^)

-Karl

--
Karl Elvis MacRae VLSI CAD Apple Computer km...@apple.com

Karl Elvis MacRae

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Nov 7, 2001, 2:24:06 PM11/7/01
to
In article <7edd270a.01110...@posting.google.com>,

Lonnie Courtney Clay <LCC...@aol.com> wrote:
>Thomas Armagost <si...@well.com> wrote in message news:<silly-7A21C9....@opus.randori.com>...
>> "...puritans and censors, excluders, hypocrites, slanderers, and
>> liars, [...] hoping to keep the members of the science-fiction
>> community ignorant of a large variety of interesting alternatives to
>> their own unquestioned dogmatisms and complacent bigotries. [I have]
>> put up for years with the abusive, predictable crap of the politically
>> blinkered ideological Pavlovians, the psychologically insecure, the
>> emotionally immature, the morally benighted, and the sexually
>> retarded, of which science fiction has more than her share." -John
>> Norman, author of _Gor_, quoted by Dave Langford in _Ansible_.
>> <http://www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/SF-Archives/Ansible/a172.html>
>>
>> Philadelphia Worldcon chose not to invite Norman as a panelist.
>> This beautiful flame is his response to their decision. Content
>> is less important than style in this particular instance, IMHO.
>
>Buy any one Gor novel used and read it once. You have now exhausted
>the literary genius of John Norman.

Nah, not strictly true. There were a couple of phases in the Gor
series - the early ones (decent, if dated, sci-fi/fantasy), the middle
ones (Norman switches from writing novels to writing B&D sex fantasies),
and the later ones (Norman is out of plots and recycles the sex fantasies).


If you just read the first four, you've got a different series than
anything that comes after.

> Use it as fireplace kindling
>unless you want to pass it along to an S&M freak. Gor is the classic
>formula series - just variations on a theme. Tarzan is similar,
>without the S&M and aimed at the same sophistication of reader. Of
>course I am biased preferring science fiction, but if you find it too
>deep then you can always read Harlequin romances.

Tarzan is a totally different case. Burroughs was a teller of tales,
and good at that, but not a particularly good writer. The first few
Tarzan books, like all his other series, were inventive and fun,
and wildly imaginitive (yes, they seem cliched now, but he invented a
lot of those cliches). They all then suffered from the fact that
he could make a living tossing off the same two or three books
over and over, but hell, that's what he did for a living, who
can blame him? It was a choice of pulp writer or get a real job =B^).


>P.S. I also have a low opinion of Samual R. Delany, Harlan Ellison,
>and Phillip Jose Farmer.

Farmer. His books would be *great* if someone else wrote them.

Joe Slater

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Nov 7, 2001, 2:26:19 PM11/7/01
to
brian.b.m...@lmco.com (Brian McGuinness) wrote:
>I have seen John Norman at several I-Con
>conventions. He seems very intelligent
>and refined. It is hard to imagine that
>he is the same person who wrote the Gor
>novels.
>
>On the other hand, when he complains about censorship, he does have a valid
>point. Regardless of what he says in his books or what people think about it, he
>should be free to have his say.

Instead of which he is mercilessly suppressed, and his books burned.
Not. Most people haven't heard of Norman; those who do mostly don't
care. If he wants to be seen as a martyr, that's his problem - but
it's a pose that would fit better were he to be persecuted.

>Also, it is probably not surprising that he sometimes resorts to name calling when
>you realize that he has been subjected for a long time to the same, if not worse. At
>one panel I heard David Weber tell him to his face that his books were crap.

Surely he already knew that.

>This does not mean that everyone has to invite him to every con. But to exclude
>him just because you don't like what he has to say is dumb. He can make a valuable
>contribution to panel discussions and be an interesting guest.

That's an assertion for which there is no evidence. We're talking
about someone who has written a gazillion formulaic soft-port fantasy
novels. Why should I want to hear him talk? I'd much rather listen to
an author who has written interesting and diverse stories with a range
of themes and backgrounds.

jds
--
Joe Slater was but a low-grade paranoiac, whose fantastic notions must
have come from the crude hereditary folk-tales which circulated in even
the most decadent of communities.
_Beyond the Wall of Sleep_ by H P Lovecraft

James Nicoll

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Nov 7, 2001, 2:41:15 PM11/7/01
to
In article <3fd57b8c.0111...@posting.google.com>,

Brian McGuinness <brian.b.m...@lmco.com> wrote:
>I have seen John Norman at several I-Con
>conventions. He seems very intelligent
>and refined. It is hard to imagine that
>he is the same person who wrote the Gor
>novels.
>
>On the other hand, when he complains
>about censorship, he does have a valid
>point. Regardless of what he says in his
>books or what people think about it, he
>should be free to have his say.

It is not, in fact, censorship
if private individuals decline to give him
a forum for his views out of their limited
resources. It's not even censorship, strictly
speaking, when large corporations decide to
squash a particular point of view by passively
or actively denying that POV a forum (Although
there should be a word for whatever it is).

He is free to have his say. He is
just not free to have his say on other people's
dime.


Brenda W. Clough

unread,
Nov 7, 2001, 2:57:19 PM11/7/01
to

Dorothy J Heydt wrote:

> In article <oauiutcd5lacc04kj...@4ax.com>,
> Jon Meltzer <jmel...@pobox.com> wrote:
> >On Wed, 07 Nov 2001 12:24:52 -0500, "Brenda W. Clough"
> ><clo...@erols.com> wrote:
> >
> >
> >>If he got up on a panel and cheerfully said, "Yeah, they sent my kid to college, ain't it great?"
> >
> >He's a college professor. His kids get tuition benefits. :-)
>
> But not, AFAIK, for his Gor novels.
>
> I have heard, and don't know whether to believe, that Norman used
> to say cheerfully, "Yeah, they're schlock, I can't believe what
> idiots people are to read them, but I'm laughing all the way to
> the bank," and has only recently adopted the "This is great
> literature and you blankety-blanks don't appreciate it!"
> attitude.
>

I would not even care if he touted the books as great literature. (Even self-deprecatory authors of
tie-in novels for TV shows that were cancelled halfway through the season, if you press them, will tell
you that Their Novel is much more Important and Significant than has been noted by the world in general
and the marketplace in particular.) It's the blurring of fiction and reality that's just too weird for
me.

Brenda W. Clough

unread,
Nov 7, 2001, 2:59:41 PM11/7/01
to

Omixochitl wrote:

> Keith Brooke <kbr...@iplus.zetnet.co.uk> wrote in
> <200111071...@iplus.zetnet.co.uk>:


>
> >The message <3BE8B5DC...@erols.com>
> > from "Brenda W. Clough" <clo...@erols.com> contains these words:
> >
> >> I will add that the Philadelphia Worldcon was indunated with pros hoping
> >> to be on paneling, and many others besides Norman did not get a slot.
> >> Perhaps there were other reasons besides puritanism, sexual bigotry,
> >> etc.
> >
> >The Ansible report does go on to say:
> >
> >"After all this
> >splendid wrath, it was really rather cruel of Teresa Nielsen Hayden to
> >suggest that the Worldcon's attitude might have something to do with John
> >Norman being a boring panellist."
> ><http://www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/SF-Archives/Ansible/a172.html>
>

> Or how about http://www.locusmag.com/2001/Departments/Letters10.html :
>
> "...I've made a careful study. I note, that in the United States
> Constitution, the Pennsylvania Constitution, the United Nations
> Declarations of Human Rights, the World Science Fiction Society
> Constitution, and the Bylaws of the Philadelphia Corporation, there is no
> mention of an absolute right to be on the program at the Worldcon--or any
> other convention for that matter...." - Erik V. Olson
>

I think that being on the East Coast, and actually over Labor Day weekend this
year, meant that many more pros were actually able to consider attending.
Hence the flood of hopeful panelists. I'd be interested to learn if ConJose
and TorCon have similar difficulties.

John Schilling

unread,
Nov 7, 2001, 4:44:06 PM11/7/01
to
jdni...@panix.com (James Nicoll) writes:


> It is not, in fact, censorship
>if private individuals decline to give him
>a forum for his views out of their limited
>resources. It's not even censorship, strictly
>speaking, when large corporations decide to
>squash a particular point of view by passively
>or actively denying that POV a forum (Although
>there should be a word for whatever it is).


It is in fact censorship, according to every dictionary
I can find, when (officials of) large corporations decide
to squash a point of view by *actively* denying that POV
a forum. Nothing in the definition requires that the
office or official asserting, "You can't say that here!",
be a *government* office or official. However,

A: Not being invited does not constitute active denial, and

B: There is no fundamental right, certainly no legal or
(where applicable) constitutional right, not to be locally
censored by private officials.

Censorship is always a bit distasteful, much like Mr. Norman's
novels. It is only censorship with the broad and pervasive
reach of the state, though, that is so dangerous as to warrant
an absolute injunction.


--
*John Schilling * "Anything worth doing, *
*Member:AIAA,NRA,ACLU,SAS,LP * is worth doing for money" *
*Chief Scientist & General Partner * -13th Rule of Acquisition *
*White Elephant Research, LLC * "There is no substitute *
*schi...@spock.usc.edu * for success" *
*661-951-9107 or 661-275-6795 * -58th Rule of Acquisition *

Jordan S. Bassior

unread,
Nov 7, 2001, 5:11:51 PM11/7/01
to
Erol K. Bayhurt said:

>My own take is that Gor is the moonshine whiskey of SF. It's of uneven
>and generally low quality, it has a harsh taste, and it backs a 100
>proof emotional punch. Some people love it. Many others have a sneaking
>liking for it, but are ashamed to admit it. And many people loathe it
>as being utterly vile. These last don't merely fling the book against
>the wall with great force, they do a hatchet-job on it, Carry Nation-style.

When I was in my early teens, I somewhat liked John Norman's books. However, I
liked it solely for the sex and violence. The underlying philosophy I found
repulsive even back then -- Norman explicitly argues that all women want to be
extremely sexually submissive, and that all who claim not to are being either
hypocritical or insane.
--
Sincerely Yours,
Jordan
--

Jordan S. Bassior

unread,
Nov 7, 2001, 5:15:01 PM11/7/01
to
Brenda W. Clough said:

>The problem many people in the field have with him, is that the books are not
Just Books.
>If he got up on a panel and cheerfully said, "Yeah, they sent my kid to
college,
>ain't it great?" you
>would not hear a word of complaint. It's when he gets up and announces that
>the books are
>Reality, and that in real life women are yearning to be assaulted, that
>endless problems ensue.
>Starting with the female panelists, and moving on out from there.

He really believes his theory, Brenda. Have you ever _read_ any of his books?
He goes on and on in nauseating detail about how all women really want to be
treated like dirt, and only respect men who abuse them.

I look at John Norman's philosophy as the extreme dark side of the Sexual
Revolution. In his writing he explicitly argues that rape is not only ok but
desirable -- if he was a bit more consistent in his beliefs, he'd probably be
in prison.

David Cowie

unread,
Nov 7, 2001, 5:53:41 PM11/7/01
to
On Wednesday 07 November 2001 18:46, Brian McGuinness wrote:

<snip>


> a long time to the same, if not worse. At
> one panel I heard David Weber tell him to
> his face that his books were crap. It

<snippity>

Here's a Jerry Pournelle quote for you all:
"John Norman is both ethically horrifying and *dull* "
Source: "Ghastly Beyond Belief" - a book of SF & Fantasy quotes.

--
David Cowie
There is no _spam in my address.

"You had to do WHAT with your seat?"

Lawrence Watt-Evans

unread,
Nov 7, 2001, 6:07:48 PM11/7/01
to
On 7 Nov 2001 10:46:13 -0800, brian.b.m...@lmco.com (Brian
McGuinness) wrote:

>On the other hand, when he complains
>about censorship, he does have a valid
>point. Regardless of what he says in his
>books or what people think about it, he
>should be free to have his say.

And he is. Just not necessarily on a panel at Worldcon. The Worldcon
does not exist to provide anyone with a platform.

There were dozens of deserving writers who didn't get onto the Philcon
program; Norman is flat-out wrong in believing he was in any way
singled out or censored.

>Also, it is probably not surprising that
>he sometimes resorts to name calling when
>you realize that he has been subjected for
>a long time to the same, if not worse. At
>one panel I heard David Weber tell him to
>his face that his books were crap.

Most of them ARE crap.

Authors get used to this; there are plenty of people out there who
think it's some sort of bold and innovative stance to tell us our work
sucks.


--

The Misenchanted Page: http://www.sff.net/people/LWE/ Last update 5/28/01
My latest novel is NIGHT OF MADNESS

Keith Morrison

unread,
Nov 7, 2001, 6:27:42 PM11/7/01
to
"Brenda W. Clough" wrote:

> > I have heard, and don't know whether to believe, that Norman used
> > to say cheerfully, "Yeah, they're schlock, I can't believe what
> > idiots people are to read them, but I'm laughing all the way to
> > the bank," and has only recently adopted the "This is great
> > literature and you blankety-blanks don't appreciate it!"
> > attitude.
>
> I would not even care if he touted the books as great literature.
> (Even self-deprecatory authors of tie-in novels for TV shows that
> were cancelled halfway through the season, if you press them, will
> tell you that Their Novel is much more Important and Significant
> than has been noted by the world in general and the marketplace
> in particular.) It's the blurring of fiction and reality that's
> just too weird for me.

I'm wondering if what happened is the same thing I've seen happen
in another guys who blathered on about some particularly vile or
otherwise stupid belief. At first, they admit they do it just to
get a rise out of people. Then they stop admitting it. Then they
start to believe in their own nonsense. Then they get to the point
where anyone who thinks differently is a wrong-thinking moron
because They Know the Truth and have taken it upon themselves to
strip away the hypocrisy, yadda yadda yadda.

I think it's a particularly malignant species of Brain Eater.

--
Keith

Charles R Martin

unread,
Nov 7, 2001, 6:37:25 PM11/7/01
to
km...@funk.apple.com (Karl Elvis MacRae) writes:

> In article <3BE8DE5A...@polarnet.ca>,
> Keith Morrison <kei...@polarnet.ca> wrote:
> >"Brenda W. Clough" wrote:
> >
> >> I will add that the Philadelphia Worldcon was indunated with pros hoping
> >> to be on paneling, and many others besides Norman did not get a slot.
> >> Perhaps there were other reasons besides puritanism, sexual bigotry, etc.
> >
> >I can think of a few. Starting with "Norman, your books suck" and ending
> >somewhere around "No really, they *really* suck."
>
> Hey, wait, the first four didn't suck. They were not *great*, but they
> contained some interesting world-building and some good characters. After
> that he got lost...

Which I guess proves that your tolerance is 33 percent greaster than mine.

William December Starr

unread,
Nov 7, 2001, 6:40:02 PM11/7/01
to
In article <9sc1c6$f7v$1...@news.apple.com>,
km...@apple.com said:

> Hey, wait, the first four didn't suck. They were not *great*, but
> they contained some interesting world-building and some good
> characters. After that he got lost...

There seems to be a strong consensus, among those who (1) have read
the Gor books starting at the beginning and (2) did so without having
already formed opinions regarding Mr. Norman, tar and feathers, that
the first N books are okay-to-good, and then they suck.

What's interesting is watching the value of N vary from person to
person. (I put it at about six, +/- one, myself.)

-- William December Starr <wds...@panix.com>

Charles R Martin

unread,
Nov 7, 2001, 6:41:19 PM11/7/01
to
"Brenda W. Clough" <clo...@erols.com> writes:


> I would not even care if he [John Norman] touted the books as great


> literature. (Even self-deprecatory authors of tie-in novels for TV
> shows that were cancelled halfway through the season, if you press
> them, will tell you that Their Novel is much more Important and
> Significant than has been noted by the world in general and the
> marketplace in particular.) It's the blurring of fiction and reality
> that's just too weird for me.

Boy, that's no joke. Years and years ago I had as martial arts
students a couple (actually, one of them had been an old high school
girlfriend) who were really really into the John NOrman thing: not
just the Gor books but even his sexual role-play manual.

I tell you -- it was really weird to see them sparring ... and
then practically run from the dojo when class was over.

William December Starr

unread,
Nov 7, 2001, 6:42:27 PM11/7/01
to
In article <6sniutki72lnd8oav...@4ax.com>,
jmel...@pobox.com said:

>> Which panel did he want to be on: "The Anthropomorphization of
>> Genres" or "The Gender of SF"? :-)
>
> "Understanding The Taliban Through Fiction"

Nonsense. The Taliban keeps its women completely _clothed_.

Hell, "Nonsense: John Norman thinks it's okay for people to have _fun_."

William December Starr

unread,
Nov 7, 2001, 6:47:04 PM11/7/01
to
In article <silly-7A21C9....@opus.randori.com>,
spu...@pe.net said:

> "...puritans and censors, excluders, hypocrites, slanderers, and
> liars, [...] hoping to keep the members of the science-fiction
> community ignorant of a large variety of interesting alternatives
> to their own unquestioned dogmatisms and complacent bigotries. [I
> have] put up for years with the abusive, predictable crap of the
> politically blinkered ideological Pavlovians, the psychologically
> insecure, the emotionally immature, the morally benighted, and the
> sexually retarded, of which science fiction has more than her
> share."
>
> -John Norman, author of _Gor_, quoted by Dave Langford in _Ansible_.
> <http://www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/SF-Archives/Ansible/a172.html>

Now if he wrote like that in his _fiction_...

Timothy A. McDaniel

unread,
Nov 7, 2001, 6:51:51 PM11/7/01
to

I am disappointed that you managed to spell "Harlan Ellison"
correctly, but I will give you bonus points for avoiding the usual
misspelling of the first.

--
Tim McDaniel is tm...@jump.net; if that fail,
tm...@us.ibm.com is my work account.
"To join the Clueless Club, send a followup to this message quoting everything
up to and including this sig!" -- Jukka....@hut.fi (Jukka Korpela)

Dan Goodman

unread,
Nov 7, 2001, 7:09:22 PM11/7/01
to
In article <60a4b16a.01110...@posting.google.com>,
Ero...@aol.com says...
> So who else does that sort of thing? I've seen the S&M schtick used a
> lot as the Mark of the Black Hat, to show that a character is an Evil
> Villain(TM) or that a culture is an Evil Culture(TM). I've seen it used
> in a gender-equal way where there are at least as many women on top
> dominating submissive men as the other way 'round. But Norman is
> infamous for being "the" guy who does the "Men are the Masters" version
> of the schtick. The only other person I can think of who did the same
> was Sharon Green when she was deliberately imitating Norman.

Larry Janifer. _Bloodworld_, aka _You Sane Men._



> My own take is that Gor is the moonshine whiskey of SF. It's of uneven
> and generally low quality, it has a harsh taste, and it backs a 100
> proof emotional punch. Some people love it. Many others have a sneaking
> liking for it, but are ashamed to admit it. And many people loathe it
> as being utterly vile. These last don't merely fling the book against
> the wall with great force, they do a hatchet-job on it, Carry Nation-
> style.

You left out the people find it boring. I fall into that group.

You also left a group I don't belong to: those who have such tastes, but
find John Norman's prose style too painful.

--
Dan Goodman
dsg...@visi.com

Charles R Martin

unread,
Nov 7, 2001, 7:06:41 PM11/7/01
to

Wow. Hell, I thought *I* had a high pain threshold.

Dan Goodman

unread,
Nov 7, 2001, 7:18:27 PM11/7/01
to
In article <m3pu6u5...@localhost.localdomain>, crma...@indra.com
says...

> Captain Button <but...@bermuda.io.com> writes:
>
> > No I think it's something about how Feminism is a Masonic Plot...
>
> Now THAT is certainly the least likely conspiracy theory I've heard
> all month.

Jim Marrs (who wrote one or two books on The Truth About JFK's Death) has
a recent book out in which he traces all The Great Conspiracies back to
Von Daniken's aliens.

Someone named Heribert Illig has uncovered the shocking fact that 297
years of European history were forged. For example, Charlemagne never
existed.

Then there's the conspiracy to conceal the historical fact that Russia
once had an empire which extended as far as Ireland.

--
Dan Goodman
dsg...@visi.com

William Clifford

unread,
Nov 7, 2001, 7:50:05 PM11/7/01
to
In <60a4b16a.01110...@posting.google.com>,
Erol K. Bayburt <Ero...@aol.com> wrote:

> (who wouldn't mind seeing a cheerfully sexist romp distilled as a
> smoother tipple)

Not exactly what you are looking for but you can download de Balzac's
_Droll Stories_ from the Gutenberg Project.

--
| William Clifford | wo...@yahoo.com | http://wobh.home.mindspring.com |
|"Young Amazon minds are best occupied with athletic discipline and |
| higher learning." --Hippolyta of Paradise Island |

Joe Slater

unread,
Nov 7, 2001, 8:51:05 PM11/7/01
to
>> "Brenda W. Clough" wrote:
>> > Perhaps there were other reasons besides puritanism, sexual bigotry, etc.

>Keith Morrison <kei...@polarnet.ca> wrote in message news:<3BE8DE5A...@polarnet.ca>...

>> I can think of a few. Starting with "Norman, your books suck" and ending
>> somewhere around "No really, they *really* suck."

Ero...@aol.com (Erol K. Bayburt) wrote:
>There's more to it than that, IMO. Suckiness can't explain the energy that
>so many people put into their negative response. The usual reactions I've
>seen posted aren't the reactions to a sucky book, but to a book that the
>poster finds to be *vile*

You should have seen the flames over some other bad series. Gor gets
off easy, probably because it's below our radar.

Mark 'Kamikaze' Hughes

unread,
Nov 7, 2001, 9:05:19 PM11/7/01
to
Wed, 7 Nov 2001 15:45:59 GMT in <vdliutg8v2hiq24tp...@4ax.com>,
Lee DeRaud <lee.d...@boeing.com> spake:

>>Thomas Armagost wrote:
>>> emotionally immature, the morally benighted, and the sexually
>>> retarded, of which science fiction has more than her share." -John
> --------------------------------------------------->^^^<---------

>>> Norman, author of _Gor_, quoted by Dave Langford in _Ansible_.
>>> <http://www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/SF-Archives/Ansible/a172.html>
> Which panel did he want to be on: "The Anthropomorphization of Genres"
> or "The Gender of SF"? :-)

This actually explains a lot about Norman's problems. Clearly, he
wants SF to be female so it will submit to him.

--
<a href="http://kuoi.asui.uidaho.edu/~kamikaze/"> Mark Hughes </a>
"No one is safe. We will print no letters to the editor. We will give no
space to opposing points of view. They are wrong. The Underground Grammarian
is at war and will give the enemy nothing but battle." -TUG, v1n1

Carl Dershem

unread,
Nov 7, 2001, 9:40:04 PM11/7/01
to
Keith Brooke wrote:
>
> The message <3BE8B5DC...@erols.com>
> from "Brenda W. Clough" <clo...@erols.com> contains these words:
>
> > I will add that the Philadelphia Worldcon was indunated with pros hoping
> > to be on paneling, and many others besides Norman did not get a slot.
> > Perhaps there were other reasons besides puritanism, sexual bigotry, etc.
>
> The Ansible report does go on to say:
>
> "After all this
> splendid wrath, it was really rather cruel of Teresa Nielsen Hayden to
> suggest that the Worldcon's attitude might have something to do with John
> Norman being a boring panellist."

Cruel? I'd call it artistic.

Carl Dershem

unread,
Nov 7, 2001, 9:43:00 PM11/7/01
to
Charles R Martin wrote:
>
> Captain Button <but...@bermuda.io.com> writes:
> >
> > No I think it's something about how Feminism is a Masonic Plot...
> >
> Now THAT is certainly the least likely conspiracy theory I've heard
> all month.

Charlie, you *have* to get out more! :)

cd

Carl Dershem

unread,
Nov 7, 2001, 9:50:23 PM11/7/01
to
Lawrence Watt-Evans wrote:
>
> On 7 Nov 2001 10:46:13 -0800, brian.b.m...@lmco.com (Brian
> McGuinness) wrote:
>
> >one panel I heard David Weber tell him to
> >his face that his books were crap.
>
> Most of them ARE crap.
>
> Authors get used to this; there are plenty of people out there who
> think it's some sort of bold and innovative stance to tell us our work
> sucks.

Hrmph.

As someone who hasn't written a book that sucks (In My Opinion, of
course), I'm not sure if your opinion on this is equivalent to Norman's.

But the Gor books *are* crap, and not even interesting in that light (as
an anthropologist, I've seen some interesting crap, and even when
fossilized it was more intereting than Norman's stuff). Formulaic,
Boring and Vile might make a good name for a corporate law firm, but I
don't wanna read it.

And as for those who compare Norman to Burroughs, I can't agree. While
Burroughs was often formulaic, he was never expecially vile, and (after
a few months at sea with nothing else to read) not at all boring.

cd

Karen Williams

unread,
Nov 7, 2001, 10:37:23 PM11/7/01
to
Brian McGuinness wrote:
>
> (On the other
> hand, at the same panel Esther Friesner,
> a self-professed feminist, said that she
> had no problem being on the panel with
> Norman, and she treated him courteously.)

That's because Esther Friesner is a lady,
in every fine sense of the word.

--
Karen Williams
bra...@ix.netcom.com

Gene Wirchenko

unread,
Nov 7, 2001, 11:22:17 PM11/7/01
to
Ero...@aol.com (Erol K. Bayburt) wrote:

[snip]

>My own take is that Gor is the moonshine whiskey of SF. It's of uneven
>and generally low quality, it has a harsh taste, and it backs a 100
>proof emotional punch. Some people love it. Many others have a sneaking
>liking for it, but are ashamed to admit it. And many people loathe it
>as being utterly vile. These last don't merely fling the book against
>the wall with great force, they do a hatchet-job on it, Carry Nation-
>style.

I liked some of the background. The Kur and Priest-Kings were
interesting. So were the idea of a home stone -- Was that original to
Norman? -- and the game that was based on it. But the constant
propagandizing about how women are -- I'll just stop here -- got very
boring, very fast.

Sincerely,

Gene Wirchenko

Computerese Irregular Verb Conjugation:
I have preferences.
You have biases.
He/She has prejudices.

Richard Horton

unread,
Nov 7, 2001, 11:45:29 PM11/7/01
to
On Wed, 7 Nov 2001 18:09:22 -0600, Dan Goodman <dsg...@visi.com>
wrote:

>In article <60a4b16a.01110...@posting.google.com>,
>Ero...@aol.com says...
>> So who else does that sort of thing? I've seen the S&M schtick used a
>> lot as the Mark of the Black Hat, to show that a character is an Evil
>> Villain(TM) or that a culture is an Evil Culture(TM). I've seen it used
>> in a gender-equal way where there are at least as many women on top
>> dominating submissive men as the other way 'round. But Norman is
>> infamous for being "the" guy who does the "Men are the Masters" version
>> of the schtick. The only other person I can think of who did the same
>> was Sharon Green when she was deliberately imitating Norman.
>
>Larry Janifer. _Bloodworld_, aka _You Sane Men._

1) Thank you! I have copies of both books. I've read _You Sane Men_,
but not _Bloodworld_, and honestly I had no idea they were the same
book. (I just checked, and they are, even to the point of being
printed from the same plates.) (That makes three people I know of
who've read that book -- you, me, and Harlan Ellison.)

2) Even though Janifer's hero is a sadist, he does make it clear that
his hero is also a monster. And memory fails me a bit -- were all the
"tops" men, or was it just a class thing? I had the idea that the
upper class women used slaves in the same way, but perhaps I'm not
remembering properly.

3) Compare Janifer's _Slave Planet_, also from the early to mid 60s,
which has "heros" who have enslaved the slightly less than human in
intelligence aliens on a far planet. The book comes to the
conclusion, as far as I could see, that a) the aliens, being actually
inferior, really did deserve to be slaves, but b) the humans who had
to enforce the slavery were irredeemably corrupted by that action, so
that the whole enterprise ended in disaster.


--
Rich Horton | Stable Email: mailto://richard...@sff.net
Home Page: http://www.sff.net/people/richard.horton
Also visit SF Site (http://www.sfsite.com) and Tangent Online (http://www.tangentonline.com)

Brenda W. Clough

unread,
Nov 7, 2001, 11:51:14 PM11/7/01
to

Keith Morrison wrote:

Hmm, L.Ron, maybe?

Brenda W. Clough

unread,
Nov 7, 2001, 11:53:34 PM11/7/01
to

"Jordan S. Bassior" wrote:

>
> He really believes his theory, Brenda. Have you ever _read_ any of his books?
> He goes on and on in nauseating detail about how all women really want to be
> treated like dirt, and only respect men who abuse them.
>

I read one. Very nearly went through it again with a red Flair, marking all the
grammatical errors and lapses in punctuation, until his editor told me that it was
a special clause in the publishing contract, that no copyediting could be done on
his manuscripts, and that therefore it was not her fault and nothing could be
done.

And I was on a panel with the man, once. It was too eerie for words.

Charles R Martin

unread,
Nov 8, 2001, 12:00:12 AM11/8/01
to
Dan Goodman <dsg...@visi.com> writes:

And they say there's no market for fiction.

David Johnston

unread,
Nov 8, 2001, 12:33:00 AM11/8/01
to
Keith Morrison wrote:
>
> "Brenda W. Clough" wrote:
>
> > I will add that the Philadelphia Worldcon was indunated with pros hoping
> > to be on paneling, and many others besides Norman did not get a slot.
> > Perhaps there were other reasons besides puritanism, sexual bigotry, etc.
>
> I can think of a few. Starting with "Norman, your books suck" and ending
> somewhere around "No really, they *really* suck."
>
> Besides, isn't he still doing that S&M schtick? Oh yeah, men on top
> completely dominating submissive women who get used as sex toys. Oh
> yeah, real original. Never seen that done before. Stretching the ol'
> boundaries of sexual portrayal in SF that is.

Oh I don't know of any other SF writer who gives his characters tedious
lectures about how this is the natural order of things. He might have been
an interesting guest if they were looking for a shit disturber, though.


Lawrence Watt-Evans

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Nov 8, 2001, 1:07:04 AM11/8/01
to
On 7 Nov 2001 18:40:02 -0500, wds...@panix.com (William December
Starr) wrote:

>There seems to be a strong consensus, among those who (1) have read
>the Gor books starting at the beginning and (2) did so without having
>already formed opinions regarding Mr. Norman, tar and feathers, that
>the first N books are okay-to-good, and then they suck.
>
>What's interesting is watching the value of N vary from person to
>person. (I put it at about six, +/- one, myself.)

Six is the highest value of N I ever remember seeing.

Myself, I'd say that after #4 they were pretty bad but there was still
some small value in the next two. After that, they suck.

Lawrence Watt-Evans

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Nov 8, 2001, 1:20:21 AM11/8/01
to
On Thu, 08 Nov 2001 02:50:23 GMT, Carl Dershem <der...@home.com>
wrote:

>Lawrence Watt-Evans wrote:
>>
>> Most of them ARE crap.
>>
>> Authors get used to this; there are plenty of people out there who
>> think it's some sort of bold and innovative stance to tell us our work
>> sucks.
>
>Hrmph.
>
>As someone who hasn't written a book that sucks (In My Opinion, of
>course), I'm not sure if your opinion on this is equivalent to Norman's.

I regret to say your antecedent is unclear -- do you mean that you
haven't written a book that sucks, or that I haven't written a book
that sucks? Given the rest of the sentence, I assume you meant me.

Leaving out random fans whose taste I can't speak to, my kids, whose
opinions I respect, think I've written a couple that suck. Harlan
Ellison's praised some of my work, but commented on one novel, "You
just phoned that one in, didn't you?" And I've just recently been
re-reading one of my early novels and was appalled at how very lame it
seems to me now. So your opinion isn't universally shared, but thank
you.

>But the Gor books *are* crap, and not even interesting in that light (as
>an anthropologist, I've seen some interesting crap, and even when
>fossilized it was more intereting than Norman's stuff). Formulaic,
>Boring and Vile might make a good name for a corporate law firm, but I
>don't wanna read it.

Certainly by the time the series hit double digits they do seem pretty
indistinguishable -- but then, I never got through more than twenty
pages of anything after #6, so there might be more variation than I
noticed.

But yeah, I think they're all boring crap after #6 or so.

J Greely

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Nov 8, 2001, 1:42:24 AM11/8/01
to
Lawrence Watt-Evans <lawr...@clark.net> writes:
>Six is the highest value of N I ever remember seeing.

Wasn't seven the one where Our Hero finally got to taste the lash
personally? That would tend to ruin the fun for anyone who was still
enjoying the masculine power-tripping.

-j

Thomas Armagost

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Nov 8, 2001, 4:23:51 AM11/8/01
to
In message <7edd270a.01110...@posting.google.com>,
LCC...@aol.com (Lonnie Courtney Clay) wrote:

>> <http://www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/SF-Archives/Ansible/a172.html>
>
>> Philadelphia Worldcon chose not to invite Norman as a panelist.
>> This beautiful flame is his response to their decision. Content
>> is less important than style in this particular instance, IMHO.
>
> Buy any one Gor novel used and read it once. You have now exhausted
> the literary genius of John Norman. Use it as fireplace kindling
> unless you want to pass it along to an S&M freak. Gor is the
> classic formula series - just variations on a theme. Tarzan is
> similar, without the S&M and aimed at the same sophistication of
> reader. Of course I am biased preferring science fiction, but if
> you find it too deep then you can always read Harlequin romances.

I've never read anything by Norman. I'm not feeling the urge to start
reading the Gor series. I've noted a certain unity of opinion about
the overall quality of Norman's work in this thread.

> P.S. I also have a low opinion of [Samuel] R. Delany, Harlan Ellison,
> and [Philip] Jose Farmer.

Those three should do a con panel together. Delany demands a rather
high degree of sophistication from the reader. _A Boy And His Dog_
gives _Naked Lunch_ a whole new meaning. Farmer authored a Tarzan
book, did you know that? _Dark Heart of Time_.
<http://www.powells.com/cgi-bin/biblio?inkey=62-0345424638-0>
Has he written any others?

--
weblog <http://www.pe.net/~sputnik/blog.html> spu...@pe.net

eskridge

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Nov 8, 2001, 4:21:55 AM11/8/01