rushthatspeaks: (sparklepony only wants to read)
Review of the book I read Friday, July 15th.

So this parody of John Norman's indescribably horrible Gor books is available online in its entirety, but the author also did a small run of it as a printed book. The cover image can best be described as a terrible Photoshop mashup of Tom of Finland and one of the actual Gor covers. For all I know, that might be precisely what it is. The tagline is "They came to Gor... but not for the women!"

A small percentage of you have now already realized that this is the greatest book that our civilization has as yet produced and have gone out to read it.

The rest of you may still require a little convincing. If you are unfamiliar with John Norman's Gor novels, well. I am told that the first couple, while he still had editors, are readable if you like that sort of thing, in which that sort of thing is books in which mighty-thewed Earthmen go to foreign planets where all of the women are not so secretly masochists. Then he lost the editors and apparently has waxed longer and longer in his attempts to communicate his philosophy, which boils down to men = masters, women = slaves, this = natural order of the universe, Earth = degenerate.

So as you can see it was crying out for a parody.

I attended the reading of portions of this one at Readercon (which is where I got a copy). I think I hurt my ribs laughing. The author assured the audience that he suffered brain damage in the process of composition because he had to mainline the entire Gor series to do it: on behalf of a grateful public, man, thank you.

Allow me to excerpt:

Why was I so afraid? It could not be a fear of death that possessed me, for as a Gorean warrior I gladly faced death, dying being a proper modality for a warrior, this being bred successfully into our genes over millions of years of evolution in which the strongest men died young and in violent ways and so were evolutionarily more successful than weak men, who might flee with the women and survive with them for a long time, fathering many children as a result. No, it could not be a fear of death that had made me flee.

Allow me to excerpt again. Note that the protagonist is in the process of frantically fleeing.

I peered down a side street. As is the right modality of things, many of these streets in Gorean cities do not have proper names, but may be known to those who live in the neighborhood by informal names, such as "the street where the gardener Borin watered his houseplants," "the street where the slave Tiffany wrote a long and pointless description of the naming procedures of small Gorean streets," "the street where you can find the house of the court-martialled private Hoosdrun," and so on. To the chagrin of the reader of any account where small Gorean streets are mentioned, streets are often called different names by different people, so a street may have the name, for example, of "the street where the slave Tiffany wrote a long and pointless description of the naming procedures of small Gorean streets," at one end and a second name at the other end, such as "the street where master Clitoris Vitalis had a bad case of gas," at the other.

I am assured that the long and pointless description of the naming procedures of small Gorean streets by the slave Tiffany actually takes place in a John Norman novel... and that there is also frantic fleeing going on at the time in that.

Of course, as with all humor, you either think this is funny or you don't. If you don't, I can't help you. If you do, hey, there's also a plot, vague gestures in the direction of character development whenever it would be funny, copyediting jokes, and song parodies. (Despite the fact that the official internet host of this work is at, there is no explicit sex or violence.)

And it doesn't overstay its welcome or repeat jokes to the point of non-hilarity, both things it is extremely easy for parodies to do. It is short, consistently original, and will cause you to use the word 'modalities' way, way, way more often; what more can one ask of a book?


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