Out of the Shadows: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Gor
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Science Fiction, Vampires, and Gor from the Out of the Shadows Bookshop!
The books on this page range from science fiction and fantasy that touch on feelings that commonly arise in BDSM to classics with superior plots and writing that influences all of these works.
General Science Fiction and Fantasy
These books range from classics of Science Fiction to explorations of the meaning of gender, love, and possession.
Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card. Softcover version.
A child genetically bred for brilliance plays a computer game that might save the earth. Thoughtful and intense. Hardover version.
Grass, by Sheri Tepper.
Great characters, and a complete world creatively drawn. Religious influences, though some fact checking would have been useful prior to publication. Because of the richness and intensity of the imagery and individuals brought to life in this book, it is also recommended for those who do not generally like science fiction or fantasy. Out of print, unfortunately.
Highly recommended erotic science fiction by a fine writer. This intricate, literary work bears rereading, and has influenced science fiction writing ever since its publication. A science fiction classic. See also Delany's violent fiction.
Fast paced, punk, near-future science fiction with a little of everything, from mythology to cyber warfare.
I admit that Gorean fiction and the fantasy play based on it are not my style. But these science fiction novels about an imaginary planet with a parallel development to Earth's but where women are all submissive to men have influenced the fantasy lives and play styles of many. If you are a feminist, you might be offended by these works, particularly after the first five or six books in the series. Still, there is something to be said for knowing thine enemy. Anyway, it's enjoyable fantasy with many hot moments. The first of these novels was published in 1967, and many are no longer in print. Here are a few of the highlights:
- Tarnsman of Gor, by John Norman.First in the series. This book does not reach into the theme of female subjugation, which only developed later in the series. Though some books in the series are best read in sequence, you do not need to read this particular one first to understand the later books. In print.
- Assassin of Gor, by John Norman.First book in the series to begin the theme of female subjugation, which appears in the form of female "Pleasure Slaves." Brutal, erotic exploration of how gender roles might alternatively develop if unchecked. This was the fifth book in the series and seems to be enjoyed by all readers of Gor fiction. If you are looking to sample the genre to see if it appeals to you, this is the one I recommend. In print.
- Captive of Gor, by John Norman.Spoiled rich woman is forced to become a pleasure slave and learns to love it. This book is an example of why some people love and others hate the Gor books. In print.
- Kajira of Gor, by John Norman.Hard to find, but one of the bases of the associated female-subjugation play.
- Slave Girl of Gor, by John Norman.Hard to find, but one of the bases of the associated female-subjugation play.
The appeal of vampires in fiction and fantasy overlaps with BDSM in several ways. First, there is the strong, mysterious presence Count Dracula, whose power, wealth, physical beauty, and intellect capture the essence of domliness for many. Second, there is the physical sensation of the act of biting, which is intimately erotic for many people independent of any direct associations with vampire fiction. Third, there is the mystery of blood, symbol of and necessity for life, and directly erotic for many who enjoy reading about or playing in ways that involve blood flow. And finally, the religious/mythical symbolism that has been a part of the literary traditions of vampire fiction inspires feelings of connection with mysticism, ritual, and the unknowable, which for many people resonates with the experience that BDSM is a journey into the unknown and, so-far, inexplicable parts of ourselves and our beloveds.
This book is an intense, creative work, first in a series of Vampire Chronicles about the life of the vampire Lestat. Lestat is an intriguing cad who epitomizes the frustrations, jadedness, and eventual philosophizing that might accompany a human's becoming immortal by entering the other world of vampires. The most extraordinary aspect of this book and its successors for me was that Anne Rice has managed one of very few literary depictions of the powerful feelings of tops during play. The erotic powerlessness of the victims -- and, stunningly, my perception of awareness of every heartbeat, every breath, every muscle, every essence of my bottom's being -- culminating in nepenthe-like limpness and giving in, and the intimacy of the symbiotic, life-giving relationships between the vampires and those on which they feed and depend, are deftly portrayed.
The other two original books in this ongoing series are
The Vampire Lestat, and
The Queen of the Damned. I liked the last of these least, but Rice's creative additions to mythology are nevertheless fascinating.
Vampire Chronicles: Set includes the above three, plus a fourth book in the series, The Tale of the Body Thief. If you are addicted, then the latest book in Rice's Vampire series, Pandora: New Tales of the Vampires, might appeal to you; but it would help to read the other books first because of the intricate allusions.
Collection of creative short stories exploring alternative expressions for what vampires might be like. Creative, thought-provoking, though the quality of the stories varies. Followed by a sequel,
Love in Vein II: Eighteen More Tales of Vampiric Erotica, which unfortunately is not as thought-provoking.
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