Is another Gorean novel, this time number 19 in the Chronicles of Gor series by John Norman.
Ohhhhh boy. You thought that the Gorean series had plumbed the depths with Slave Girl of Gor, volume 11, didn't you. And the author clearly thought so; the next few volumes included "Beasts of Gor," which was thud and blunder and swiving chained naked slave girls amongst Inuits, "Explorers of Gor," which was the same but in a tribal African / Zulu setting, and the Jason Marshall sub-trilogy, which left Tarl Cabot, the big Mary Sue studmuffin, and focused on some other man of Earth who ended up on Gor and rose from a gladiator to a big noise in one locality.
Well, actually, the author clearly didn't think so, because then he penned this (after some fribbling adventures with American Indians, chained naked slave girls, and thud and blunder.) This... book... makes "Slave Girl of Gor" look positively classy.
"Lie there and juice. Waste no time about it."
A bit more detail, if you don't mind?
ISN'T THAT ENOUGH?!?!?!?!?!?
No, it isn't enough, clearly, or you wouldn't be still reading. I get it. You want me to goodbye more brain cells reading this horrific unpleasantness. Because that executive summary - that's an actual quote said by one of the men of Gor to the protagonist, Tiffany Collins, before giving her a right seeing to, which makes her squeak like an un-oiled hinge. Her choice of being seen to is precisely none. Care, she does not about this, because, well, she's used to it by now.
So how does she end up in this lamentable situation, used as - literally - part of the furniture by abject creephats and singular perverts?
Well. I'll tell you. She's given an unusual coin by a numismatist, which turns out to be a coin of Gor, and is sent to an address on Long Island. There, two creepy men get her to assume a submissive and nude position which causes her to "tremble with arousal." After a lot of slight creephattery, which any sane person would run a mile from, she - voluntarily - gets into a large metal crate which one of them leaves in her flat, and it's locked, and the two creephats then take it out her flat.
Next thing she knows, she's the queen of the city of Corcyrus on Gor. She's pampered, and has slave girls of her own to tend to her every whim, several of whom take it upon themselves to instruct her in the language and customs of Gor (Gor has customs?!?! I thought the only custom of Gor was to have chained naked slave girls in your local pub for the pouring of wine and other servies, and that other than that it was standard sword-and-sandal setting.) and who insist that she is in fact named Sheila and that her old life is behind her, starting again, as if she were a slave.
This has to be the most obvious example of Chekhov's Riding Crop in existence. Although she isn't, rather, she's the Tatrix of Corcyrus and as such, like many free women, especially noble free women of Gor, she's currently in a palace and wearing a burka - sorry, robes of concealment. Along comes an envoy from a rival city-state who insults her noble station and explains that she belongs in a golden cage and to serve the pleasure of the warriors of Gor who are exactly 9000% more manly than the men of Earth. Of course. He then explains that she's really a secret slave and all that, and she dismisses him in a haughty manner, revelling in her exalted status as a ruling queen in her own right. Though she does wonder what slave chains would feel like on her.
You can tell she's going to come to regret this conduct, can't you.
Well, you know what's happening next, don't you? She's subsequently cast down from her high seat and put in a few strategically placed bits of silk and a metal collar. Or rather, she puts them on herself, being assured all along by one Drusius Rensius that as the queen she can order him to unbind her at any time. Which turns out to be slightly false. Oh no! Shock horror! She's just a chained naked slave girl now! And not even a particularly attractive one (though by the standards of Earth she's a great beauty and aspiring model.) There's then many toings and froings in which she is paraded round like a highborn lady but is secretly just another slave girl (of which there are very many). This concludes, following the above "lie there and juice" scene in an abandoned mill, which I'm sure fails sexuality forever but can't exactly work out how, never having had a chained naked slave girl at my feet to command to so do, and never thus having been able to measure her moistness following such an order, with her being "proven a natural slave before Drusius Rencius, whom I love."
You're right - this is as ominous as it sounds.
In another fit of creepiness, Mr Norman introduces us to the concept of the "slave orgasm." This is where the chained naked slave girl is so turbochargedly orgasmic that she's having what in gentler days was called a "crisis" as soon as her master or any other man of Gor touches her, even innocuously. This surely fails sex forever (insert gittish joke about how in my experience, this actually happens.) But... fucking hell! This is ridiculous, surely! I know it's a fantasy, but this is up there with the dreadful "mommy porn" novels where the heroine is reduced to a quivering wreck upon seeing the rich, hawt male lead. Head. Hit. Keyboard. Slave orgasm. Christ on a bike.
There's some sort of subplot about a war between the city-states of Corcyrus and Argentum but it's slightly irrelevant. The novel ends with an afterword, which attempts to convey how all in Tiffany Collins or Sheila of Corcyrus or whatever she's named this week's life is a life of blissful pampering and suchlike but comes over as really rather ominous. It goes thus: "I must conclude this narrative now. I have been summoned to my master's couch. I hasten to obey."
First up, the thing with this novel is that it's just totally nonsensical beyond belief. Why would two blokes of Gor make an interplanetary round trip to Earth to kidnap Tiffany Collins just to subject her to an abusively mark-overstepping TPE arrangement, for no gain in any way to them? How much would this cost? What is the bloody point? Besides, if you're going to grab a woman of Earth to enslave and you have the means to abduct across planetary boundaries same, why not grab a supermodel so you can be sure of a decent return on investment? In fact, why not grab Naomi Campbell so she's 192 million miles away from anyone she might throw a phone at, and we can then have lots of visceral satisfaction at the disproportionate retribution thus inflicted upon her. But I digress.
The other problem is that the novel is abjectly dull. We don't need to know what she gets up to while pretending to be Tatrix of Corcyrus. It's totally unimportant. We know she's going to find herself knelt in the position of the Pleasure Slave, we don't need a blow by blow account of the different positions, moves, walks, and rituals that a Gorean slave ought to know about. We don't need to suffer Mr Norman's tin ear for dialogue (it didn't used to be like this) or his insistence of having Tiffany Collins exclaim, "How I hated him!" at every turn when she encounters someone objectionable. Can't we just get to the shagging already? Actually, on second thoughts, given the idea that the touch of Longinus of the house of Longinus can reduce her, twice, to a "quivering slave," let's not. I read that bit and... RIP My Boner, that's all I have to say about that.
But the cardinal sin with this novel is that Mr Norman has already done it before, and better too. No, not "Slave Girl of Gor." That was almost as awful as this. I'm talking about "Captive of Gor" which is the seventh one. In that one, not only does the plot make more sense (Elinor Brinton is abducted by the Priest Kings who, we already know, can, and do, abduct people of Earth in order to populate or repopulate Gor and is dragged into the wider mytharc in which she plays a main part) but also she, as a character, actually is more believable and plays an active role in the plot, her slavery being secondary to this, unlike Tiffany Collins who's just some person, and the way that the Gorean institution of slavery is presented makes more sense (back then, a suitably attractive Pleasure Slave would set a Gorean of modest means back a significant amount, whereas in the later novels, they're basically so common as to be utterly worthless - indeed, in volume five, "Assassins of Gor," the female lead Elizabeth Cardwell nets a price in the thousands and thousands of goldpieces.) Furthermore, the men of Gor in "Captive" aren't just well built studmuffins, but come in all shapes and sizes and have their reasons for doing what they do.
Then again, to be equally fair, while I'm not the sort of person who dismissed the Gorean novels out of hand, "Kajira of Gor" makes me really, really, want to. Which is a pity, because the first 10 or so are fairly enjoyable thud and blunder and have lots of anthropology porn in them and (especially the early one) lots of stony 1960s silliness. However, once you get past "Slave Girl of Gor" they take a serious turn for the worse (excepting the Jason Marshall sub-trilogy, which is from the viewpoint of a male slave who wins his freedom through success as a gladiator then becomes a minor Gorean power in his own right). And by this one, well, don't bother, is all I have to say. It's stuff like this that is the reason that Gor went out of print in the late 1980s, because it had just become a horrible, awful parody of itself, that lived down to every last criticism people made of it, justifiable or no.
Right. I think I'll end this there. I have Louisa Freemantle chained to the foot of my couch, who I bought of a passer by for two pounds twenty. I have just told her to lie there and juice, and I'm now going to reduce her to a quivering slave. Twice.