Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I used to think Dark Horse had some integrity

From the Dark Horse upcoming solicitation list:



On sale Nov. 21
Novel, 768 pages
TPB, 5 1/8" x 7 ¼"

John Norman’s Gor Omnibus 1 collects the first three novels in the series. Prepare to take a journey to a land of passion and sorcery.

• The first of a series of affordable omnibus editions collecting the longest-running science fiction action/adventure series of all time.

• With twenty-six books in the Gor series, there are millions of copies in print, with a global audience that reaches across all age groups and demographics.

Not ALL age groups and demographics, I think you'll find.

And you left out the part about it being vile misogynist crap.


LurkerWithout said...

Ugh. Just ugh...

Anonymous said...

Actually, the vile stuff didn't start until after the first six books. Until that point, it was just a second-rate rip-off of the best of Robert Howard and Edgar Rice Burroughs.

After that... it became a sixth-rate parody of Conan and Jon Carter, with all the off-panel sex happening on camera. In detail. With diagrams.

Yes, I've read a few of them. Of all people, my girlfriend introduced me to them for the humor value.

Personally, I don't think they're well-written enough to be considered be taken seriously or worth getting offended over. And if this goes like the last attempt to reprint the Gor books, it too will fizzle out after the reprints of the first three crash and burn.

Anonymous said...

The "all age groups and demographics" claim is just weird. The later books are basically about how all women should be sex-slaves, and enjoy it.

I would tend to think that sort of thing had a rather specific and narrow target audience.

Anonymous said...

I'd agree that Norman's books are a bit simplistic, and probably even misogynistic. Personally, my only objection to them has always been the idea that *all* women are slaves, and that the men *never* are.

Being submissive isn't a natural state for all women, nor for all men. But it is for some of us.

If you don't like Norman's books, then don't read them. But there are a lot of us who grew up reading them and we have the same affection for them as a lot of indefensible, bad F&SF you've probably read over the years.

Marionette said...

Mara, I would never advocate censorship of fiction but I do strongly believe that problematic things should be clearly labeled so that prospective buyers understand what they are getting.

My biggest problem with this is that it is being marketed as suitable for "all age groups and demographics" which is far from appropriate.

I have nothing against BDSM. Early Wonder Woman embraces it with Moulton's cheerful "Submission to loving authority", that is positively sweet. I've read The Story of O and although it made me uncomfortable I could see the attraction of entirely giving up all responsibility for yourself. But I find the Gor books hateful.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'll agree that the Gor books are completely indefensible, both on a literary and philosophical level.

However, the early novels *are* pretty much appropriate for all ages... they're just "John Carter of Mars" pastiches, with only a hint of the "all women are natural slaves" business which came to dominate the series later on (no pun intended).

Which explains my general lack of interest in them... LOL

Seriously, I have not read a Gor novel in years, and the few times I've tried I've been put off by the stiff writing style. But they were there during an important, developmental part of my life and helped me discover the person I am.

Until another series comes along that has a similar message, I'd like to see them remain in print for any other like-minded people.

Of course, Jackie Carey's "Kushiel" series seems to be covering a lot of the same ground, so perhaps Norman's time has past.

Still, I suspect Dark Horse's main agenda is in making money. If the series catches on, I'm certain they'll publish subsequent volumes. Then, we'll see if it warrants a "mature readers" advisory.