The nineteenth installment of John Norman's Gor series can be summed up like the previous eighteen books. As science fiction, it makes it into my bid for UHV (Unintentional Humour Value). Onve more, this sophomoric, adolescent, sexually and misogenic driven work has all the cliches needed to send the feminist on a screaming rampage. Norman has his barbarians, those masculine men of Gor who out macho us earthmen, with our preconceptions (misconceptions according to the standards of Goreans) in regards to women and how men and women relate to each other; with hte men subverting their birthright as the masters, while confused women secretly wanteing to be dominated by a "true" man, struggle to conform to an unatural comprimise of nature. All this is revealed through the experiences of one Tiffany Collins, later to be given her slave name Lita, as she is abducted from her home world of Earth to that most masculine of planets, Gor. A planet that inexplicably in perfect parallel orbit with the Earth on the other side of the Sun, and therefore always hidden (which cannot happen).
I've noticed that when Norman uses women to tell their story about life on Gor, and/or their kidnapping and subsequent submission to slavery, which by the ned of the books realize that it is slavery that a woman secretly aspires to, that the books have a thin veneer of science ficton which is overshadowed buy a sort of semi-sexual/sexual-innuendo emphasis for much of the book, with occasional slippage of the scince fiction plot sprinkled here and there.
For our heroine (can she even be one in this workd?) is a Kajira (Gorean:Female Slave), destined to be pulled by the hair, slapped, have monsterous beasts set after her (Sleen), smacked upsite the head, and elsewhere, whipped, branded, collard with her other female friends who are slaves themselves, and whom find in the end that this is all very "natural", as this is the biologiac norm and course of all male and female species (Norman fails to explain the other animals in the kingdom like black widow spiders and preying mantises who eat or kill the male, or the sea horse who interestingly gives birth through the male...that's right, it is the female who impregnates the male! And so forth...).
If the Gor novels were something of the type of SM/Bondage erotica that was written like a fantasy, one could hardly have a problem with it, except that the writing here is so bad it could be used in several cases of what not to do in fiction. But the way it is written it sounds more like a manifesto pretending to be a novel. I wish that it would be amanifesto, so that I would not have to try so hard to read it as anything but as such.
Here is something else that is humourous to me. These Goreans are strong and willful in their absolute authoity over women. Several times we hear of Kajira being so bad in their duties or their traitorious acts against Gor (there is a subplot of alien invasion I won't get into here) that they are punished with death, wither by impalement, being feed to Sleen (a large lizard-like creature, and quite carnivorous), or other such nasty fate. However, so far such females, and they do appear in a few of the books, are in the end, spared this fate for the opportunity to serve men forever more as slaves. And oh! How they do love this turn of events, when as in the novels they, "learn their collar".
Seven more books? Eight? More mush ahead! Stay tuned...