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SF Tidbits for 10/20/08

  • E-Reads offers a peek behind the curtain at John Norman’s Prize of Gor: “What man, in his deepest heart,” asks John Norman, “does not want to own a female, to have her for his own, utterly, as a devoted, passionate, vulnerable, mastered slave, and what woman, in her deepest heart, does not want to be so intensely desired, so unqualifiedly and fiercely desired, that nothing less than her absolute ownership will satisfy a male, her master?”
  • Susan of Spinning talks about reasons to read fiction: “My feeling is that novels of import are those that will teach something of which can be found in textbooks, whether it be history, sociology, philosophy, or psychology and at its best, a story can offer a little of each.”
  • Adapt of Die: “So why, for the love of whatever God you choose, is the science fiction community so reluctant to embrace new forms of expression?”
  • Biology in Science Fiction asks: How Dangerous is Biohacking? “…an informal hacker “code of ethics” isn’t much protection.”
  • Brandon Sanderson talks about his writing history and his unfinished novels.
  • Geoff Ryman will be featured on Amazon’s Omnivoracious blog this week.
  • Free Fiction [courtesy of QuasarDragon]:
  • Super Punch points us to a slideshow of Star Wars-themed political cartoons.
About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

10 Comments on SF Tidbits for 10/20/08

  1. I honestly do not want to own a female.

  2. @ TheAdlerian: Agreed. I don’t want to own a female either. Much more interesting to know one as an equal partner in a relationship. (no, I’m not sayin’ that because my wife told me to)

    Let me add to the thread:

    I honestly do not want to own a Gor novel.


  3. How is it possible that John Norman’s writing has not gotten better since the first run of the Gor series? As a free speech absolutist, I wish him well in his endeavor (and think anyone should be able to write about anything they please and publish it). But…sheesh! The prose is as ponderous as it ever was.

  4. I think Mr. Norman needs to start speaking for himself, because I don’t want to be owned.  Really.  I’m not just saying that because NOW told me to. 

    Personally, I think I’ll stick with reading science fiction, not badly-disguised male fantasies.

  5. Claire: The problem with John Norman’s work, aside from the fact that it is really not that well written (IMHO), is that if the voice he is speaking with in his novels is part of the fiction, he has not differentiated that well enough with his real-life persona. If he truly believes the philosophy he preaches in the Gor books, then all I can say is that he’s taken BDSM way too seriously for my taste.

  6. You mean John Norman is still around? Oh well…



  7. Oh that John Norman…what a spin master. One doesn’t need a master-slave dynamic to have a relationship like that. Funnily enough (well, to me, anyway), a couple weeks ago I bought a few GOR books at a local bookstore after a friend told me about them. I haven’t dug in yet but now I’m more curious than ever. I’ll have to be in just the right mood to read them, though.

    Not sure I’m a fan of those new covers. Not because they offend my feminine sensibilities, but because there’s no imagination. I think the earlier versions are much better.

  8. I didn’t know Norman was still writing. 


    I kind of, in a look at the world building sort of way, managed to read and survive the first GOR novel. This was years ago, before they were explicitly marketed to a subset of the BDSM community.  The sociological setup just didn’t work for me, and at points I (not a published author) thought I could write better prose, and have done so.

    I am amazed at the existence and fervor of Gorean subculture.  (There is a SL community of them, for instance) Even if its a philosophy most of us can’t comprehend or don’t want to, it does touch something dark and primal in the human psyche. 




  9. I really do not want to be owned. Really. I have no desire to read those Gor novels either.

  10. I think his ideas and books are horrible.  I read part of one, finally, after I started seeing huge changes in my husband, and found bondage/Gorean sites bookmarked on his computer, I had no idea this was what these books were about. I am going to say these books helped ruin my marriage.

    maybe some people can read these and move on, but I think not so for many. They read these and think it is a new thing to try.  Bondage and rape and whipping, and all the rest, is dark, wrong, not love, and I am so saddened that there is a whole culture that exists around it and ruined my husband’s view of what real love is. 

    It is so awful to see that this type of stuff exists in the shadows out there.  I am just a stupid clean cut wife who had no idea.

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