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Norman, John

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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Pseudonym used for his fiction by US author and philosophy teacher John Frederick Lange Jr (1931-    ). His fiction mainly comprises a series of borderline-sf Planetary Romances set on Gor, a Counter-Earth sharing Earth's orbit but – because it is on the other side of the Sun – always invisible to us. This astrophysical impossibility is never argued in the texts, which might consequently read as either antiquarian sf or fantasy were it not that the development of the series precludes any reading of Gor as an exercise in sf nostalgia while at the same time demonstrating its great remove from category Fantasy. As the series begins [for full list of titles see Checklist], Earthman Tarl Cabot abruptly finds himself on Gor, where – like John Carter in Edgar Rice Burroughs's Barsoom novels – he undergoes numerous adventures, alarms, fights and romances of a Sword-and-Sorcery nature. However, as the series progresses, the plots begin to revolve around a singularly invariant Sex fantasy in which a proud woman – often abducted for the purpose from Earth – is humiliated, stripped, bound, beaten, raped, branded and enslaved, invariably discovering in the process that she enjoys total submission to a dominant male, and can derive proper sexual satisfaction only from this regime (see Women in SF). Later volumes feature interminable discussions which end, invariably, in an affirmation of the Gorean status quo. The sequence is published in two stages: an unbroken run of novels beginning with Tarnsman of Gor (1966) and ending with Magicians of Gor (1988); and a later sequence, each volume of very considerable girth, beginning with Witness of Gor (2002).

Imaginative Sex (1974), a nonfiction text, details some consensual Gor-like games and scenarios for Earthlings to engage in. Norman's three out-of-series novels are Ghost Dance (1970), Time Slave (1975) and The Totems of Abydos (2012). A second series, Telnarian Histories sequence comprising The Chieftain (1991), The Captain (1993) and The King (1993), did not continue as expected. At the present time, Norman is known – and his sexual philosophy widely detested – solely on account of Gor. [JC]

see also: DAW Books.

John Frederick Lange Jr

born Chicago, Illinois: 3 June 1931




Telnarian Histories

  • The Chieftain (New York: Warner Books/Questar, 1991) [Telnarian Histories: pb/Dorian Vallejo]
  • The Captain (New York: Warner Books/Questar, 1992) [Telnarian Histories: pb/Dorian Vallejo]
  • The King (New York: Warner Books/Questar, 1993) [Telnarian Histories: pb/Dorian Vallejo]
  • The Usurper (New York: Open Road Integrated Media, 2015) [Telnarian Histories: pb/]
  • The Emperor (New York: Open Road Integrated Media, 2015) [Telnarian Histories: pb/]

individual titles


  • Norman Invasions (New York: E-Rights/E-Reads Ltd, 2009) [coll: contains some Gor stories: pb/Leon Winstead]

nonfiction (selected)


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