Science Fiction Planets John Norman's Gor

About the planet Gor described in the book Tarnsman of Gor by science fiction writer John Norman.



Location: Gor occupies the same orbit as Earth but is eternally located on the exact opposite side of our sun; the physical imposition of the sun's bulk between the two planets, as well as deliberate obfuscation on the part of Gor's rulers, prevents Earth's scientists from detecting the presence of another planet in the same orbital plane.

Discoverer: No one can be said to have "discovered" Gor, since Gor's rulers keep their world hidden from Earth's prying eyes; however, Gor's saucer-shaped spacecraft have often abducted men and women from Earth to help populate Gor; one such involuntary voyager is Tarl Cabot, an instructor of English history at a small New Hampshire college, who is kidnapped in the mid-1960s while hiking in the White Mountains.

Book: Tarnsman of Gor (1967) by John Norman, together with its 13 sequels.

Description: Gor is a slightly smaller world than Earth, with a lesser gravity; the air, water, and foliage are somewhat similar, however, although the animal life includes giant lizards (tharlarions), leopardlike creatures called larls, huge fighting birds (tarns), intelligent spiders, and other unusual beasts of burden and prey. The human life is similar to that on Earth and may have derived in part or whole from Earth. The men of Gor are a proud people, semibarbaric in nature, with some elements of advanced technology and civilization mixed together with medieval weaponry and social systems. Slavery is endemic, particularly among the female population; the society is heavily male-oriented, and women are kept in subjugation, supposedly much to their liking. The unseen rulers of the planet, the Priest-Kings, limit the technology allowed the Goreans for use in warfare to swords, crossbows, spears, and the like, while permitting sophisticated computer translators, lighting systems, and heating elements. Those who transgress against the Priest-Kings suddenly erupt in blue flame and are consumed within a few moments. The Priest-Kings, who remain eternally secluded in the Sardar Mountains, are large antlike creatures of immense longevity, who have moved the planet to Earth's solar system from its original, distant location, and who nearly destroy themselves in a civil war. The resulting chaos leaves the planet open to an interstellar war with the Beasts, or Kurii, bearlike creatures that are bent on conquering both Gor and Earth. Tarl Cabot becomes a central figure in the developing saga of Gor as he changes from a mild-mannered professor to a fierce barbarian warrior determined to halt the kurii and maintain the independent life-style of his beloved Earth.

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