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Nothing New Under The Sun - No, I don't think the fandom is the problem...
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No, I don't think the fandom is the problem...
In the course of the mega-meta-fanfic-rights discussion sparked by the Star Wars amateur tie-in novel, which is still going strong at Making Light, someone named Laura posted this in response to questions of how, really, nonprofit fanfic can hurt authors other than in the feelings.

John Norman has been rather pooh pooh on fan fiction based on his Gor novels. (The prevailing theory from people I've discussed this with is that fan fiction would be able to readily compete with his product based on quality of the fiction produced.) Still, the fandom surrounding his Gor books is a real potential turn off for fen. Knowing what the fen do, I and a number of others are not as willing to just pick up one of his novels to read and buy.

Um. John Norman. That John Norman. The problem is his creepy fans. Uh-huh....

Seriously. John Norman???

(You know, if I refused to read any authors based on the [real or presumable] existence of creeps among their readership, I don't think there's anyone I could read. Not even myself. Name me one fandom that doesn't have its bonkers fans - and that includes every genre, every century. Have you ever been to an English Dept. colloquium? And who really reads or doesn't read books based on who else might be reading them?)

But come on - John Norman!?!?

I'm trying not to make the obvious snark, but wotthehell - The only creepy fan who's offputting readers is John Norman's #1 fan, John Norman...

Full disclosure: I read about a third of one John Norman novel - Dancer of Gor, when it first came out, before throwing it against the wall in disgust, and skimmed through others, while working in the library as a teenager. It was very instrumental in preparing the groundwork for my protofeminist consciousness-raising...

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aberranteyes From: aberranteyes Date: April 27th, 2006 06:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
What happens when I try to come up with a response to Laura can best be summed up by the immortal words of the philosopher Horwitz: "I'm tryin' ta think, but nuttin' happens!"
bellatrys From: bellatrys Date: April 27th, 2006 06:19 pm (UTC) (Link)

I did think the claim that he's afraid

the ficcers will show him up is pretty likely to be true. I like how even his most avid defenders admit that he gets monotonous, repetetive, and worse the longer the series goes, for the most part.

BUT! We only dislike Gor because we're enslaved to PC! He (and they) KNOW THIS FOR A FACT!!!

(Seriously, doesn't that letter by Gorman seem like it's a hair's breadth away from all-caps screaming? And the personification of SF as "she" - geez louise!)

--I'm roaring inside, though, over the business about California, and planning on digging up whatever I can find about Amadis de Gaul fanon when I get a minute. No wonder it was doomed to be the home of Holy Wood...
From: anna_wing Date: April 28th, 2006 04:31 am (UTC) (Link)

Amadis de Gaul

Memento mori. "Amadis de Gaula" was what Tolkien hoped the matter of Middle-earth would be. Inspiration for novelists, poets and musicians for the following two centuries. Still read and remembered as a classic in the Spanish-speaking world (though mostly I think because of Cervantes' enthusiastic recommendation). I hope"The Lord of the Rings" fares as well.
bellatrys From: bellatrys Date: April 28th, 2006 10:13 am (UTC) (Link)

It's the gryphons that are getting to me

There's not much fodder for humor in the conquistadors, but I'm admittedly having a hard time not sporfling at the thought of all these tough guys who grew up with the Renaissance equivalent of Harryhausen movies, sailing along the coast and seeing these huge - and I mean *HUGE*, I saw a condor spreading its wings once in the zoo, your mind refuses to accept that you're looking at a bird that big - black flying creatures and going "OHSHIT, the gryphons are REAL, they've got GRYPHONS!" and expecting that they were about to meet armies of giant black Amazons in gilded armour who would take them prisoner and demand a day and a night of special masculine services from them before feeding them to the gryphon air-force...

(In a way, with the Amazon warriors in tropical climes meme so beloved of Old Holy Wood, Amadis has had a lasting effect on English pop culture.)
oystergal From: oystergal Date: April 27th, 2006 06:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
*chuckle* I saw that. The difference, I think, is that other fandoms have a spectrum of people ranging from fairly sane to genuine nutcases; Gor fandom starts at bizarre and gets worse. I'd be reluctant to try something I'd never read if the only people I've encountered who like it are, um.

Let's put it this way. I know people in the "mainstream" BDSM scene. They think the Gor fen are bonkers.
bellatrys From: bellatrys Date: April 27th, 2006 06:42 pm (UTC) (Link)

I guess, but...

I really can't think of too many situations where I found out about authors primarily from their stranger-fans raving about them, as opposed to There it was, on the shelf/Review in PW/friend or relative said "hey, have you read X? Here, borrow it!"

And yes, I have some unconventional friends and acquaintances IRL, but generally the signal-to-noise ratio of "books that I think are good" vs "books that I want my six hours back" has had nothing to do with their conformism or lack thereof. (Speaking of course as someone who would probably be classed in the "wierd fan" category by most non-fen folks and even some of the latter...)

aberranteyes From: aberranteyes Date: April 27th, 2006 08:35 pm (UTC) (Link)

We're off to outer space, we're leaving Mother Earth...

And yes, I have some unconventional friends and acquaintances IRL, but generally the signal-to-noise ratio of "books that I think are good" vs "books that I want my six hours back" has had nothing to do with their conformism or lack thereof.

Something like that. (And ZOMGWTFUCHÛSENKAN!!)
bellatrys From: bellatrys Date: April 27th, 2006 09:32 pm (UTC) (Link)

and speaking of embarrassing fandoms...

every so often I get all crotchety-oldster and you young whippersnappers don't appreciate how easy you've got it, reminiscing about being an anime fan a) before anybody knew what anime was, and/or b) the only thing they knew about it was that it was pornographic...

...there is a part of me that is a hair-trigger away from screaming "IT'S NOT ALL TENTACLE-PORN!!1!" at any given moment.
oystergal From: oystergal Date: April 27th, 2006 08:37 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: I guess, but...

I think the fen are about the only point of contact available for someone who wasn't exposed to them when they were on the shelves. And I suspect that the hard-core live-in-your-Star Fleet-uniform type of fan is all that's left.
bellatrys From: bellatrys Date: April 27th, 2006 09:36 pm (UTC) (Link)

that's funny, considering how in the 80s

Gor books overwhelmed the available shelf space in mainstream mall-bookstores like B Daltons...
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 27th, 2006 10:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: that's funny, considering how in the 80s

I've seen one or two on the shelves since he parted ways with DAW somewhere around 1990. A couple of them have been reissued by an erotica line, but for the most part you have to hit the used booksellers for them now.
oystergal From: oystergal Date: April 27th, 2006 10:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: that's funny, considering how in the 80s

Blech. That was me.
bellatrys From: bellatrys Date: April 28th, 2006 10:26 am (UTC) (Link)

You know, the fact that Norman was published originally

by DAW, not to mention any number of other authors of abysmal merit we could name - I have a whole box of books on my floor that are probably going to the recycling station to be pulped, because they're *so bad* that I won't even give them to charity, I won't inflict them on other readers in good conscience - not to mention this new "venom cocks" series - and the "editing" of Robert "Drinking Games" Jordan - which kind of ought to give pause to any superiority of pro publishers over self-publishing authors...
mrowe From: mrowe Date: April 28th, 2006 02:41 pm (UTC) (Link)

That is a *very* funny link:)

Confession: Robert Jordan is my guilty pleasure - as in "I know these books suck majorly, but with a *very* strict editor, there may well be a decent story salvageable from this mess" ...
bellatrys From: bellatrys Date: April 28th, 2006 02:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

I liked the first -- 2? 3?

Not great lit, but an enjoyable adventure where you want to know what happens to these folks and what's the mysterious backstory? I think it was the third one that started getting out of hand, and I think I stopped at 5 (Crown of Swords, whichever that one was) and couldn't get back into them. But by 4 it was clear that whoever was supposed to be editing him had gone off to the same bar with Tom Clancy's and Ann Rice's editors and was just offering free drinks on the house to everyone for the rest of the day...
oystergal From: oystergal Date: April 28th, 2006 04:53 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: You know, the fact that Norman was published originally

The first handful were somewhere approaching decent in a pulpy sort of way. I think he ran out of his original epic storyline and started writing toward the things his fan mail suggested were the most popular part of his world.

I've been in the argument over what constitutes good prose way too often over the past few years and have been forced to conclude that most people have tin ears. *rolls eyes* Still, even the venom cock book has better prose than most of what you'll find at the Pit of Voles, which is itself about on the level of the average self-published novel.
bellatrys From: bellatrys Date: April 28th, 2006 05:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

and where the average author age is 17...

unlike most professionally-published SF. Unfortunately I've gotten rid of some of my worst pro badfic genre finds and can't remember the names of author or title now - there was a pseudo-historical one called "The Black Amulet" or something like of amazing misogyny, and a seriously-trippy Atlantis one where people got replaced by alien organisms that took their memories and shapes, kind of like the Buffy vampires and some "police procedurals" by chicks who never bothered to read a book on the subject of forensics, let alone call up the local PD and ask for advice, of more recent vintage, which stick out signally.

We can compare the Gor books if anyone's so inclined, the first one's available as etext here, and the first chapter for free...
oystergal From: oystergal Date: April 28th, 2006 06:13 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: and where the average author age is 17...

Are they, these days? The ones doing most of the writing I saw before I gave up on the place completely were 30-somethings. Their stuff only read like a teenie's.

*ponders* The Legomancers and boy band ficcers could have skewed the stats, I suppose, though most of the Legomancers I've had the misfortune to encounter were, again, 30-somethings.

We can compare the Gor books if anyone's so inclined, the first one's available as etext here, and the first chapter for free...

Wow, the prose is better than I remembered. And definitely better than the later books. I'd have to dig out the Allende to be sure, but something about the rhythm reminds me of the translation of her Zorro. (Now, if we want to talk about fanfic....)
sethg_prime From: sethg_prime Date: April 27th, 2006 06:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
The MIT Science Fiction Society library used to have all the Gor paperbacks on their own shelf, behind a chain, with a card next to them saying "THIS SPACE RESERVED FOR FUTURE DEGRADATION".

In the section of the library devoted to ostensible works of non-fiction, there was also a copy of a book by Mr. Norman called Imaginative Sex.
bellatrys From: bellatrys Date: April 28th, 2006 11:55 am (UTC) (Link)

Brain. Hurts.

Also, some professional editors will publish anything.
sinboy From: sinboy Date: April 27th, 2006 06:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, but what did you think of the Venom Cocks book?
bellatrys From: bellatrys Date: April 27th, 2006 07:10 pm (UTC) (Link)

well, I didn't read it, but I *suspect*

that I would agree with matociquala in specific as I do in general with this statement:

Feminism is never an excuse for laughably bad prose.

To which I would add, "forgettably bad prose," because there have been a number of would-be Edifying Feminist Fantasy books that I have read, but can't remember anything about other than the general experience which can be summed up as as much fun as chewing stale bread, and then are the pseudo-feminist ones that weren't quite laughably bad in their prose, but generally-nausea-inducing, foremost in my recollection being the Stardoc series by Viehl, in the gag-want-those-hrs-back way.
tlachtga From: tlachtga Date: April 27th, 2006 07:35 pm (UTC) (Link)

Feminism is never an excuse for laughably bad prose.

That's pretty much my reaction to Mists of Avalon. Of course, I think I was more angered by her Iolo Morgannwg-esque insistance that "This is ALL TRUE! This is what ANCIENT BRITAIN really was like!" Grrr.

Of course, MoA is not a terrible book (I think the worst book--in terms of content--I ever read was The Alphabet Versus the Goddess), but it really irks me.
bellatrys From: bellatrys Date: April 27th, 2006 09:26 pm (UTC) (Link)

whoah, Welsh versions of the Ossianic Cycle!

I am so not surprised. The fun never ends in fanon-vs-canon land!
tlachtga From: tlachtga Date: April 28th, 2006 01:59 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: whoah, Welsh versions of the Ossianic Cycle!

See, I wouldn't mind, because everything after Nennius would be considered fanfic. But I get angry when people claim they're accurately reflecting history, and then go on and on about either the Great Goddess and "matriarchal" Celts--which, frankly, has little to do with the Celts and even less to do with Sub-Roman Britain--or Atlantis, or in Morgannwg's case, a secret Bardic tradition passed down directly to him.

And what really ticks me off about Morgannwg is that he forged things. It's one thing to write fanfic--it's another to claim that what you wrote is a lost work of Taliesin (or Tolkien, or Rowling, or whatever), and gee, shouldn't you be paying me by now for finding it?

Having said that, the fantasy-driven Arthurian books are usually much more enjoyable (for me) than the quasi-historical novels.
aberranteyes From: aberranteyes Date: April 27th, 2006 11:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: well, I didn't read it, but I *suspect*

Judging by the excerpts in crevette's review, I'd spend a lot of time shuddering, possibly vomiting.
bellatrys From: bellatrys Date: April 28th, 2006 11:19 am (UTC) (Link)

Stone the crows! Poor crevette.

It's *worse* than I was imagining. And you know, it's funny, all those defenders who were claiming that it wasn't fair to read the first ten pages out loud Eye of Argon style, that it wasn't representative etc etc - but crevette sure proved them wrong.

And all the tyopes - what's that, again, how if you self-publish you won't have the advantages of editing and proofreading?

I wish I could remember if it was one of the first Jordans in hardback, or an early Steve Lawhead in hardcover, but I remember it had the mark of the OCR on it, where several letters were rendered as numbers - "B" was "13" and "S" was "5"...
From: anna_wing Date: April 28th, 2006 10:05 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: well, I didn't read it, but I *suspect*

Viehl is one of the those authors who doesn't think that anyone who is not themselves a writer has the right to give her books bad reviews. Correlation is not causation of course. I haven't read 'Stardoc', just a couple of her paranormals, and while her prose is, well, not the worst available, there was something off about the stories. Basically she has "strong" female characters whose strength is largely shown by their devotion to the mad/abusive/vampires-who-think-they're-damned male characters. Also sexual abuse/torture is her primary marker for evil characters, which is a characteristic she has in common with many of the younger writers of fanfiction.
bellatrys From: bellatrys Date: April 28th, 2006 10:47 am (UTC) (Link)

Yes! Yes!

And while molestation and torture (including psychological) are the Puppy-kicking Marks of Cain, Lords Emma-O and Osiris forbid that any heroine ever, you know, hold one of these baddies to account and give him a good kicking back out of just retribution, karmic payback, to teach him a lesson, or just because she's a (mostly) human being and anger is part of our social-animal nature, and even saints get righteously ticked off from time to time.

Trick Question: what's the difference between a self-published/fanfic author and a professionally-published and edited author?

Ans: If the former, readers will quickly tell you to stop the hell with the h/c overkill and Mary-Sueage, whether or not you choose to take that advice...if the latter, you're SOL until you become the laughingstock of WorldCon!
From: anna_wing Date: April 28th, 2006 11:12 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes! Yes!

Ans: If the former, readers will quickly tell you to stop the hell with the h/c overkill and Mary-Sueage, whether or not you choose to take that advice...if the latter, you're SOL until you become the laughingstock of WorldCon!

Er, what's SOL?

I would not be at all surprised if some of the reviews that Viehl objected to did indeed indicate a few of the more obvious ...preoccupations of her books. And she is a sad case because with just a little, um, realignment of perspective, she could be better than most in that genre.

And while molestation and torture (including psychological) are the Puppy-kicking Marks of Cain, Lords Emma-O and Osiris forbid that any heroine ever, you know, hold one of these baddies to account and give him a good kicking back out of just retribution, karmic payback, to teach him a lesson, or just because she's a (mostly) human being and anger is part of our social-animal nature, and even saints get righteously ticked off from time to time.

Yes, it's always the "hero" who takes vengeance on the heroine's behalf. Because she's too good to do it herself, or something. This I have never understood. It's different if the heroine can simply tell her minions "Off with his head!" and expect to have it promptly presented to her on its own silver platter, since one would certainly not expect someone like that to do her own manual labour (given the choice it is certainly the course of action that I would myself prefer). But the common pattern for characters on a less exalted social level seems to be that the author gives them the opportunity to end serious wrongs (by removing the wrong-doer on a permanent basis) purely to show how wimpy they are by being unable to bring themselves to do so.


On the sexualised nature of Evilness, I suppose that a charitable interpretation would be that these writers have had such kind and sheltered lives that they cannot really imagine other manifestations of malice? And/or that their social background has inculcated peculiar ideas about sex?


bellatrys From: bellatrys Date: April 28th, 2006 11:34 am (UTC) (Link)

an acronym for the idiom "Shit Out [of] Luck"

a shorter version of "up shit creek without a paddle" which doesn't lend itself to acronymizing, and just means an emphatic added to the observation that you're out of luck in a given situation. It doesn't necessarily mean that it's because of anything you did or could have done otherwise, but it's often used that way - ie, someone chose to take the backup generators off the ship before the race because it would lighten the mass, and they gambled they wouldn't need them, and then the hyperspace modulator broke down in the middle of the race, so they're SOL now...

Because she's too good to do it herself, or something. This I have never understood. It's different if the heroine can simply tell her minions "Off with his head!" and expect to have it promptly presented to her on its own silver platter, since one would certainly not expect someone like that to do her own manual labour (given the choice it is certainly the course of action that I would myself prefer).

Cordelia Vorkosigan goes shopping in the capitol...comes home with her enemy's head in a bag, courtesy of an obliging family retainer.

But the common pattern for characters on a less exalted social level seems to be that the author gives them the opportunity to end serious wrongs (by removing the wrong-doer on a permanent basis) purely to show how wimpy they are by being unable to bring themselves to do so.

It's related to the Good Guy spares the villain's life in the movies, only to have the Villain backstab him, just to prolong the suspense.

On the sexualised nature of Evilness, I suppose that a charitable interpretation would be that these writers have had such kind and sheltered lives that they cannot really imagine other manifestations of malice? And/or that their social background has inculcated peculiar ideas about sex?

Also add "being Daring, Transgressive, and Gritty" (ie rebellious, juvenile, and unimaginitive) by putting in TEH SEX.

Now I'm debating whether or not to reveal the atrocity that is "Gay Centaur Bar" which someone mentioned on a political blog as an example of laughably bad porn, and which manages to combine anatomically-impossible intercourse with mpreg AND gives a new definition to PWP with its complete absence of any substance of any sort beyond human-centaur lust.

It *sort* of counts as fanfic, what with centaurs coming out of mythology. And in the annals of bad slash, the idea of triple-dicked, six-legged super-centaurs has to be a new low, *even* before you count the mpreg and all.
From: anna_wing Date: April 28th, 2006 12:12 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: an acronym for the idiom "Shit Out [of] Luck"

Cordelia Vorkosigan goes shopping in the capitol...comes home with her enemy's head in a bag, courtesy of an obliging family retainer.

My heroine! Bujold makes me happy.


Now I'm debating whether or not to reveal the atrocity that is "Gay Centaur Bar" which someone mentioned on a political blog as an example of laughably bad porn, and which manages to combine anatomically-impossible intercourse with mpreg AND gives a new definition to PWP with its complete absence of any substance of any sort beyond human-centaur lust.

Please do not. That is quite sufficient, thank you.
tlachtga From: tlachtga Date: April 28th, 2006 01:45 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: an acronym for the idiom "Shit Out [of] Luck"

Please do not. That is quite sufficient, thank you.

Oh, no, please, I do want to see this. I love trainwrecks.
bellatrys From: bellatrys Date: April 28th, 2006 03:43 pm (UTC) (Link)

Okay. I will do a post tonight.

It'll be BYOB&S (bring your own Bleeprin & Spork.)

Just don't blame me afterwards...
mrowe From: mrowe Date: April 28th, 2006 02:42 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: an acronym for the idiom "Shit Out [of] Luck"

What's wrong with "uscwap"?
bellatrys From: bellatrys Date: April 28th, 2006 02:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

you know, I don't think I"ve ever seen that used before

I suppose some people *do*, but the attraction of the phrase seems to be its picturesque (so to speak) nature, and that doesn't come through with the acronym. People prefer to abridge it creatively other ways "Up a certain creek" or "without a paddle" for some reason.
lyorn From: lyorn Date: April 27th, 2006 09:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Heh. I read that posting on makinglight too and was howling with laughter.

I read several Gor novels when I was 14 and read everything with a fantasy of SF label I could get my hands on. I stopped because they became insanely repetitive. It was only in my 20s when I understood that Norman took his stories rather seriously -- from the stories I had believed his attitude to be that of a teen fangirl at a smut challenge.

Since than I found that the Gor fandom is amazingly consistent with the letter and spirit of the original work. Everyone who gets scared away from reading Norman by looking at his fans has been done a service by fandom.

You know, if I refused to read any authors based on the [real or presumable] existence of creeps among their readership, I don't think there's anyone I could read.

A few days ago I formulated a law that no fandom without at least one insane fan is worth the bother. It will probably not catch on... (Side note: HP fandom sure has insane fans to spare!)

bellatrys From: bellatrys Date: April 28th, 2006 11:42 am (UTC) (Link)

Yup

Since than I found that the Gor fandom is amazingly consistent with the letter and spirit of the original work. Everyone who gets scared away from reading Norman by looking at his fans has been done a service by fandom.

I found a Gor board in which incredibly ernst guys were posting huge chunks of Nietzsche side by side with exerpts from Gor novels to show how thoroughly sublimely intellectual they were...

no fandom without at least one insane fan is worth the bother

Heh.
From: anna_wing Date: April 28th, 2006 04:16 am (UTC) (Link)
I remember John Norman's books. Read a couple, howled with laughter, forgot him. He's still alive? Writing? With fans? "Boggle" is too mild a term for what my mind was doing when I read your post. Not to mention my wonderment that anyone would seriously try to argue against fanfiction by saying that John Norman's fans turn people off his books.

Anyway, after reading the Making Light thread, I have come to the conclusion that the entire argument for or against is irrelevant. If the copyright holder is not sending Cease-and-Desist letters, no-one else's opinion matters.
bellatrys From: bellatrys Date: April 28th, 2006 11:06 am (UTC) (Link)

seem to be two sorts of fans

One, the "guy's guy" who like the sword-n-sorcery atmosphere and the idea of loads of Nubilian women lolling around in silk waiting to furnish them pleasure, not too sophisticated taste-wise, thinks that Boris Vallejo is a Great Artist and finds the increasingly-long Randian tracts about the Nature of Women to be annoying rather than inspiring.

The other are the ones who think that Norman is a prose stylist rivaled only, perhaps, by Ann Rice, and his weltanshauung The Truth Of The Ages upon which they model their lives. Some are men, and some are antifeminist women (although some of the latter *claim* to be feminist, and then go on to generic sister-bash, proving they're not) but of the ones writing on the 'net, they seem to be extraordinarly humorless & preachy RL BDSM practitioners - not just bondage practitioners who want a more exotic and aesthetic experience than the incredibly tacky black-leather and latex 20th century sphere, which would be kind of cool. (I don't think people realize how laughably tacky the black plastic and studs stuff really is, esp when you have "Death of Sardanapalus" Gilded Age decadence to compare it to.)

Like Randian Objectivists who think the Middle Ages were all about the Triumph of the Will, Individualism as Embodied In The Warrior Ethos, and turned SCA-only-not-really, because they insist on mixing in fantasy straight from Conan the Barbarian, refusing to hear that no, you can't mix in "Cimmerians" and drow and still be part of the Society for Creative Anachronism and then get kicked out of the Barony and get all pissy about it and rant forever about how they don't care about canon, they have Truth...
From: anna_wing Date: April 28th, 2006 12:19 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: seem to be two sorts of fans

Oh. Takes all sorts, doesn't it?



Victorian corsets were quite decorative, from the examples that I have seen in museums. Lace trim and so on. Do you know where the black leather aesthetic came from?
bellatrys From: bellatrys Date: April 28th, 2006 12:37 pm (UTC) (Link)

No idea.

It seems to be a '60s-'70s thing, (q.v.the band K.I.S.S., varous James Bond villainesses) but it may have been simmering along in the background before that. I mean, as a specific *fetish*, and not just the Elizabethan-era black-looks-way-cool aesthetic. (Elizabethan sexy fashions didn't involve tacky high-gloss plastic-finishes and exaggerated closures, fortunately. Matte-finish velvet and low-contrast brocade/satin rule - how else are you going to set off that lace and filigree goldwork?)
From: anna_wing Date: April 28th, 2006 12:50 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: No idea.

Blackaaaadder, Blackaaader...I can't get round the trunk hose though, sorry. Though velvet and brocade and satin are nice. Fanfiction needs less uninteresting sex and more interesting clothes, that's what I say. Give me Middle-earth fashion porn!

tlachtga From: tlachtga Date: April 28th, 2006 01:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: seem to be two sorts of fans

Not that I've read it yet, so it's only a guess, but maybe Venus In Furs?
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 28th, 2006 12:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: seem to be two sorts of fans

Actually, I thought Norman attracted these two types of fans:

- Adolescent teenage boys who had fantasies about the cute girl sitting at the next desk in English class (who, in real life, they wouldn't dare talk to) submissive and dressed in slave girl drag
- Late twenties overweight women who wished for a Master to put them on a diet, clean them up, and make them eternally beautiful and orgasmic

From: (Anonymous) Date: April 28th, 2006 03:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

A service to humanity

"Still, the fandom surrounding his Gor books is a real potential turn off for fen. Knowing what the fen do, I and a number of others are not as willing to just pick up one of his novels to read and buy."

They should get awards for keeping people from reading the 'Gor' (have-to-call-them-books-because-they're-made-of-paper-cut-into-pages-and-bound-in-a-cover) stuff. Heck, I'd sponsor a commemorative medal myself.

Deiseach
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 28th, 2006 06:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
I read one of the Gor books way back when, and I used to entertain myself with what I would have done differently if I'd been in the "heroine's" place:

1) Upon waking up and finding myself branded, I would NOT have fainted. I would have reported the incident to the police-- if I thought they would have been sympathetic, and not have simply asked me how drunk or stoned I was.

2) I would have driven to the largest city near me (Baltimore) and stayed there for a few days. It's not easy to kidnap somebody if they're surrounded by other people 24/7.

3) If that failed and I was taken captive, I would have simply laid low and tried to learn the lay of the land, learn the language, and so forth. I would not have done anything to make the slavers restrict my freedom even further.

4) I would have been NICE to my fellow slaves, and not been a bitch like Elinor. They're natives and they can tell me useful things. I'd have also tried to learn as many skills as possible. Youth and beauty only last so long, and if I failed to win my freedom, I didn't want to end up the local equivlent of a plantation field slave.

5) In Captive of Gor, Elinor begs the Amazonian Panther Girls to let her join them, so she can be free again. The leader agrees to do so-- if Elinor beats one of them in a hand-to-hand. Elinor, of course, wusses out and claims she is "too delicate" for that. (She also claims she is too delicate to be beaten.) Screw that nonsense. I'd have agreed and chosen to fight the Amazon nearest me in age and overall physical condition-- and given it my all.

--Architeuthis
bellatrys From: bellatrys Date: April 28th, 2006 06:46 pm (UTC) (Link)

btw, about halfway thru Day of the Triffids the other day

I started thinking "Cozy Apocalypse, dammit!"
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