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Home > Articles > Letters > Jealous of the Gorean World (1988)


I found this in my achive, as a text file, dated April 9th, 2001, and entitled "A Letter from 1988.txt", and I presume, I must have stored this directly after reading it somewhere. I have no idea where it came from. The files starts with a sigle line:

I read this on a Message Board in online Gor and wondering if anyone can confirm or deny it being from Mr. Lange.

and then the letter is added, without any further information. As it seems to have been forwarded by DAW Books, the year 1988 seems to be correct. If anyone owns this letter, or knows where it came from, and what was originally asked, please, let me know.

TopJealous of the Gorean World

Your note, and the copy of your fanzine, TOR-TU-GOR, has been kindly forwarded to me from DAW Books Inc.

I have never encouraged the formation of Gorean fan clubs, nor the production of Gorean fiction by others than myself. With respect to fan clubs, I have no way of excercising functional control over such groups and accordingly I do not think it would be judicious to involve myself in such matters. For example, I would have no way of precluding the entrance into such organizations of individuals to whom the Gorean *ethos* would be foreign. Any Gorean organizations, or Gorean-type organizations, which exist do so then outside the scope of my purview and control. Also, naturally, from the same point of view, I refrain, or would refrain, from alerting individuals as to their existence, and from putting such groups intouch with each other, etc.

I have similar reservations with respect to the encouragement of the production of Gorean materials by others than myself. I am well aware of the promotional and public relations value of such endeavors but I am a writer, and a private person. I am not much interested in flattery, horn-tooting and salesmanship. In my world, which is perhaps a strange world, there is not much room for such things. Perhaps they seem a bit embarrassing or undignified. Perhaps, too, I am a little jealous of the Gorean world. In it I welcome travelers, even residents, but not trespassers.

The Gorean fandom may be largely independent of the usual "science fiction" audience. Whereas I have many fans in science fiction, I think the majority of my readership is outside that area. The Gorean books are written for hightly intelligent, hightly sexed adults.

As you know most science-fiction fans are still very young. Most have certainly not reached their full sexual maturity. Similarly, the sorts of things to which many of them are attracted, e.g., space ships, ray guns, etc, or, say, magic, sorcerers, dragons, etc, are quite alien to the Gorean books, which are, on the whole at least, extremely realistic. Similarly, the Gorean books are not simple action novels. They are also intellectual novels, philosophical and psychological novels. This puts them in a different category from the average science-fiction or adventure-fantasy story which assumes a certain set of values, does not question them, does not make anyone think, and just proceeds to do predictable things in a predictable way, the only variations being in twists on the predictable, trying to make it seem unpredictable while, underneath, it is as predictable as ever. It is formula with a twist; and that is what will win the prizes, etc. One of the differences between the Gorean books and the average science-fiction book is that the Gorean books do not promulgate the standard mono think of the contemporary cultural establishment. In this sense, perhaps they are either behind, or ahead, of the times. They are founded on biology, and not political myth, democratic or otherwise. It is no wonder that they prove to be so controversial to the puppets of current conditioning programs. At any rate, I think we should rejoice that something a little different has managed somehow to be published in this era of subtle, pervasive informal censorship. Indeed, given the power of castration liberalism, wimpery, lesbians, feminist editors, etc., it is quite remarkable that they have been published at all., Hurrah that any of them ever got published. To be sure, as you suggest, in your fanzine, there are many "closet Gor fans". You are a very brave fellow even to admit that you read, or enjoy, the Gorean books. That is alittle bit like coming out for free speech in Germany in 1938. You must be one fellow looking for trouble. Most science fiction is mindless pap and is of no interest to anyone over sixteen years of age. It is not surprising then that many folks in the science-fiction community would object to ambitious work, character and plot complexities, philosophical concerns, psychological analysis, and, in effect, alternative views. The furor the Gorean books have raised, given their innocence, attests to the hysteria of our times, and the strength of the puritan and ascetic traditions.

Thank you for your review of the Gor video. You have the advantage over me in this particular, as I have not seen it, or the associated film. I gather that it had very little to do with the Gorean world, if anything. I did have a consultancy with the films and sent the producer something like 160 pages of single-spaced comments, suggestions etc. It would seem, however, that very little of this, if anything, went into the movie. From your account I gather that the film may have been quite different from, say, the scenarios on which I commented, at great length. It seems a shame that the Gorean opportunity may have been neglected, or ignored. With some imagination and talent, I think a very special, and different, and great film, could have been made.

Those who see the films, I gather, if they are not acquainted with the books themselves, may find it difficult to understand why the Gorean books have been best sellers for over twenty years.

I am the author, of course, as you surmise, of the Jason Marshall trilogy.

I have never worked in a girls'school.

Thank you for your interest.
John Norman

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