Gor

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Gor (pronounced /ˈɡɔr/), the Counter-Earth, is the alternate-world setting for a series of twenty-nine novels by John Norman that combine philosophy, erotica and science fiction. The series has been variously referred to by several names including: Chronicles of Counter-Earth, Tarl Cabot Saga, Gorean Saga, and Chronicles of Gor.

The customs, terminology and imagery depicted in these books inspired a related subculture. On- and off-line followers of this lifestyle are called Goreans.

Contents

Series description

Setting

The flora, fauna, and customs of Gor are intricately detailed. John Norman—the pseudonym of Dr. John Lange, a professor of Philosophy and a classical scholar—often delights in ethnography, populating his planet with the equivalents of Roman, Greek, Native American, Viking, and other cultures. In the novels these various population groups are transplants from Earth brought there by space-craft through the behind the scenes rulers of Gor, the Priest-Kings, an extraterrestrial species of insectoid appearance. The Gorean humans are permitted advanced architectural and medical skills (including life extension), but are forced to remain primitive in the fields of transportation and weaponry (at approximately the level of Classical Mediterranean civilization) due to restrictions on technology imposed by the Priest-Kings. This limitation is imposed in order to ensure the safety of both the Priest-Kings as well as the other indigenous and transplanted beings on Gor, who would otherwise possibly come to harm due to humans' belligerent tendencies.[1]

The planet Gor has lower gravity than Earth's (which allows for the existence of large flying creatures, and tall towers connected by aerial bridges in the cities), and would have an even lower gravity if not for the technology of the Priest-Kings. The known geography of Gor consists mainly of the western seaboard of a continent which runs from the Arctic in the north to south of the equator, with the Thassa Ocean to the west, and the Voltai mountain range forming an eastern boundary at many latitudes. There are also offshore islands in the ocean, and some relatively sparsely-settled plains to the east of the Voltai. The word "Gor" itself means "home stone" in the Gorean language (the native language of the city-states in the northern temperate region, and a widely-spoken lingua franca in many other areas).[2]

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