Tonight I want to talk about Outlaw of Gor. For anyone familiar with Gor you may be thinking, "Oh. God. Why?" For those of you unfamiliar with Gor, it's basically a 30+ book series of poorly written fantasy novels about a planet ruled by bug-like aliens and packed with page after page of blatant sexism.
Now that everyone is wondering why I read this book, let me start with what got me into Gor. I was playing a game called SecondLife which is basically a virtual world where you can do pretty much anything you can imagine. And while I was roaming around someone warned me, under no circumstance should I go to a place called Gor.
It was a terrible place, that no self-respecting woman would ever enter and if she did, unspeakable horrors would befall her. Needless to say, within 20 minutes of this conversation I was in bouncing around Gor in my slave silks (at the time I had been mistakenly lead to believe all women on Gor were slaves to men).
The first place I landed in Gor was a city called Tharna, which is actually the same city that Outlaw of Gor is about. Unlike most cities in Gor, Tharna was ruled by women, so I was quite possibly in the safest Gorean city a woman could be in, but how was I to know that? When a man approached me and said, "Tal," which is Gorean for "Hello", I turned and ran away screaming, "DON'T RAPE ME!!!!"
And that was my introduction into Gor. Well, after I learned a few things, I came to discover there were people who not only had read the books, but treated them as if they were holy scripture. They could quote a passage to defend any point they wanted to make. I, too, wanted to be that obnoxious and annoying, so began my quest to read the Gor books. The only problem was the writing was really bad, so bad the only thing I've finished that was worse was 50 Shades of Grey.
But there is a reason hundreds if not thousands of people have turned this man's books into a lifestyle choice. And it's because the man can tell a story. He paints vivid worlds that are deep and interesting. He creates characters you'd love to meet or even fear to meet. And that's exactly what he did in Outlaw of Gor. So far this is my favorite book in the Gor series (it's book 2, I've been reading them out of order).
I started reading Outlaw of Gor because I was playing an outlaw. An outlaw on Gor is someone without a homestome. A homestone is basically what brings civilization to Gor. People pledge their loyalty to their homestone, which is what keeps them from harming one another. Goreans, in general, aren't very nice to strangers.
Tarl returns to Gor to find his city is destroyed by the Priest-Kings (bug-like aliens that rule the planet) so he sets out toward Sadar to bitch them out for destroying his home even though he realizes he'll prolly die instantly for it. But long before he can get there, he ends up in Tharna, a city ruled by women, rich from silver mines worked by thousands of men.
He ends up enslaved and must not only fight for his freedom, but the freedom of his newfound friends. But even that isn't enough, after all, there is an entire city living in misery, where men are enslaved to add to the city's wealth. A warrior like Tarl must stand against such injustice.
Outlaw of Gor is about love and betrayal, brotherhood and courage, duty and honor. There were parts that nearly brought me to tears. I hope the next Gor book I decide to pick up is as good as this one.