For other uses, see Gor (disambiguation).

Gor, the Counter-Earth, is the alternate world setting for John Norman’s "Chronicles of Gor," a series of 26 already published novels that combine reactionary philosophy, soft science fiction, and BDSM erotica. Real-life or on-line followers of the philosophies and lifestyle outlined in the books are called Goreans.



Gor is an intricately detailed world in terms of flora, fauna, and customs. Norman often delights in ethnography, populating his planet with the equivalents of Roman, Native American, Viking, and other races. The Gorean humans have advanced architectural and medical skills (including life extension), but remain primitive in the fields of transportation and weaponry (at approximately the level of Classical Mediterranean civilization) due to restrictions on technology imposed by a shadowy insectoid ruling species, the Priest-Kings.

Action, both strategic and tactical/logistical, borrows liberally from historic engagements, such as one city's maintenance of a "margin of desolation"; similar to that maintained at Mesopotamia's Gu-Edin. Norman is considered a competent classicist and sociologist, although his prose—fraught with unnecessary punctuation, diction, and tangents—is said to be less solid.

In Norman's Gor novels, men are the absolute rulers, and women are chattel. For further elaboration on the psychosexual content of his writings see: John Norman.


  1. Tarnsman of Gor (1967)
  2. Outlaw of Gor (1967)
  3. Priest-Kings of Gor (1968)
  4. Nomads of Gor (1969)
  5. Assassin of Gor (1970)
  6. Raiders of Gor (1971)
  7. Captive of Gor (1972)
  8. Hunters of Gor (1974)
  9. Marauders of Gor (1975)
  10. Tribesmen of Gor (1976)
  11. Slave Girl of Gor (1977)
  12. Beasts of Gor (1978)
  13. Explorers of Gor (1979)
  14. Fighting Slave of Gor (1981)
  15. Rogue of Gor (1981)
  16. Guardsman of Gor (1981)
  17. Savages of Gor (1982)
  18. Blood Brothers of Gor (1982)
  19. Kajira of Gor (1983)
  20. Players of Gor (1984)
  21. Mercenaries of Gor (1985)
  22. Dancer of Gor (1986)
  23. Renegades of Gor (1986)
  24. Vagabonds of Gor (1987)
  25. Magicians of Gor (1988)
  26. Witness of Gor (2001)

Norman has allegedly completed another a 27th book, Prize of Gor, which has yet to be printed.

General notes

Most of the books are narrated by transplanted New England professor Tarl Cabot, master swordsman and possibly Norman’s alter-ego, as he engages in adventures involving Priest-Kings, Kurii, and humans alike. Books 7, 11, 19, and 26 are narrated by abducted earth women who are made slaves. Books 14 to 16 are narrated by abductee and male slave Jason Marshal.

The series features two sentient alien races: the insectoid, self-absorbed Priest-Kings and the ogre-esque Kurii, both originally space-farers from foreign star systems. The Priest-Kings rule Gor as disinterested custodians, leaving humans to their own affairs as long as they abide by certain restrictions on technology. The Kurii are an aggressive, invasive race with advanced technology (but less so than that of the Priest-Kings) who wish to colonize Gor and Earth. For the most part, Priest-Kings do not interfere in the intermittent (but almost always violent) struggle between humans and Kurii as long as both sides abide by the Priest-Kings' restrictions. Some critics have commented that these antipoles—the dispassionate, ultra-rationalist Priest-Kings who find little joy in existence and the Kurii who simply follow their savage instincts and kill in their lack of reflection—are an allegorical appeal to moderate human behavior.

Norman reputedly began the series after wagering that he could write a sword and sorcery novel that would sell successfully. Early entries in the series were simple plot-driven space opera adventures, with later entries growing more heavily philosophical.


A four episode arc story that ended the second season of the TV show Angel featured the fictional universe of Pylea which bears a strong resemblance to some aspects of the world of Gor.

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