John Norman

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For other uses, see John Norman (disambiguation).
John Frederick Lange, Jr.
Born (1931-06-03) June 3, 1931 (age 83)
Chicago, Illinois
Pen name John Norman
Occupation Professor of philosophy, writer
Alma mater
Genre Science fiction
Notable works Gor novel series
Spouse Bernice L. Green (1956–present)
  • John
  • David
  • Jennifer
  • John Frederick Lange (father)
  • Almyra D. Lange née Taylor (mother)

John Frederick Lange, Jr. (born June 3, 1931), better known under his pen name John Norman, is a professor of philosophy and an author. He is best known for his Gor novel series.


John Lange was born in Chicago, Illinois to John Frederick Lange and Almyra D. Lange née Taylor.

He began his academic career in the early 1950s, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Nebraska in 1953, and his Master of Arts degree from the University of Southern California in 1957. While at USC he married Bernice L. Green on January 14, 1956. The couple has three children: John, David, and Jennifer.

Academic career[edit]

Lange earned his Ph.D. in 1963 from Princeton University. His dissertation was named: "In defence of ethical naturalism: an examination of certain aspects of naturalistic fallacy, with particular attention to the logic of an open question argument". Lange summed it up in an interview[1] by saying "if one cannot make sense of morality within some sort of satisfying, natural context, then one is likely to end up with no morality, which is less than societally reassuring, or is likely to end up with a competitive plethora of moralities in which ninety-nine percent of the world's population is convinced that the other ninety-nine percent is unclean, stupid, uninformed, vicious, depraved, in need of coercive correction, and such. That too, seems less than reassuring."

As of 2012, he is a professor at Queens College of the City University of New York.[2]

Writing career[edit]

Norman's fiction attained popularity in the 1970s and early 1980s with an estimated 6[3] to 12[4] million copies sold.

As of 2012, Norman's books in print include: all 25 of the previously published Gor novels, seven new Gor novels, the three Telnarian Histories novels, three other novels, one collection of 30 short stories and three works of non-fiction.


Norman's Gor series was influenced by Edgar Rice Burroughs's John Carter of Mars novels. Norman's novels include lengthy philosophical and sociological dissertations criticizing the malaise of modern society (everything from common dishonesty to nuclear holocaust). A variety of societies, cultures, moral concepts, and technologies are described in depth in his novels; however it is always within the context of the male adventure genre, and, as such, families, children, and other mundane aspects of real life are generally absent and those roles are not discussed.

His fiction places emphasis on living in accordance with a Nietzschean natural order, supporting a hierarchy of talent, especially strength. He uses this hierarchy as a framework to analyze gender role differences in society, and he contends that the woman is by nature a submissive helper and figurative slave of the dominant man. Norman's work often takes this observation literally: heroes enslave heroines who, upon being enslaved, revel in the discovery of their natural place. Bondage in the novels and in his Imaginative Sex guide is overtly and completely sexual in nature and while the philosophy presented is unquestionably that of male dominance, the male characters are themselves often temporarily and elaborately enslaved by powerful females. In an interview[1] with Polygraff magazine, Norman stated that he believes that it is obvious that all societies are based on dominance and hierarchy.

Norman's Gorean themes also are heavily influenced by social darwinism — only the strongest will survive, and the ultimate test of this is mortal combat for territory, resources, and mating partners. Social co-operation and other altruistic considerations exist only to serve this ideal. The weak should be despised and exploited, and the strong exalted. This serves as the overriding theme in all of Norman's Gorean novels.

"Gorean" subculture[edit]

A "Gorean" subculture, based on his Gor novels, has developed and assembled on the Internet and in real life,[5] without Lange's participation or cooperation.



Gor series[edit]

  1. Tarnsman of Gor (1966) ISBN 0-345-27583-7
  2. Outlaw of Gor (1967) ISBN 0-345-27136-X
  3. Priest-Kings of Gor (1968) ISBN 0-7592-0036-X
  4. Nomads of Gor (1969) ISBN 0-7592-5445-1
  5. Assassin of Gor (1970) ISBN 0-7592-0091-2
  6. Raiders of Gor (1971) ISBN 0-7592-0153-6
  7. Captive of Gor (1972) ISBN 0-7592-0105-6
  8. Hunters of Gor (1974) ISBN 0-7592-0130-7
  9. Marauders of Gor (1975) ISBN 0-7592-0141-2
  10. Tribesmen of Gor (1976) ISBN 0-7592-5446-X
  11. Slave Girl of Gor (1977) ISBN 0-7592-0454-3
  12. Beasts of Gor (1978) ISBN 0-7592-1125-6
  13. Explorers of Gor (1979) ISBN 0-7592-1167-1
  14. Fighting Slave of Gor (1980) ISBN 0-7592-1173-6
  15. Rogue of Gor (1981) ISBN 0-7592-1179-5
  16. Guardsman of Gor (1981) ISBN 0-7592-1368-2
  17. Savages of Gor (1982) ISBN 0-7592-1374-7
  18. Blood Brothers of Gor (1982) ISBN 0-7592-1380-1
  19. Kajira of Gor (1983) ISBN 0-7592-1926-5
  20. Players of Gor (1984) ISBN 0-7592-1932-X
  21. Mercenaries of Gor (1985) ISBN 0-7592-1944-3
  22. Dancer of Gor (1985) ISBN 0-7592-1950-8
  23. Renegades of Gor (1986) ISBN 0-7592-1956-7
  24. Vagabonds of Gor (1987) ISBN 0-7592-1980-X
  25. Magicians of Gor (1988) ISBN 0-7592-1986-9
  26. Witness of Gor (2001) ISBN 0-7592-4235-6
  27. Prize of Gor (2008) ISBN 0-7592-4580-0
  28. Kur of Gor (2009) ISBN 0-7592-9782-7
  29. Swordsmen of Gor (2010) ISBN 1-61756-040-5
  30. Mariners of Gor (2011) ISBN 0-7592-9989-7
  31. Conspirators of Gor (2012) ISBN 1-6175-6731-0
  32. Smugglers of Gor (Oct 2012) ISBN 1-6175-6865-1
  33. Rebels of Gor (Oct 2013) ISBN 1-6175-6123-1

Telnarian Histories series[edit]

  1. The Chieftain (1991) ISBN 1-58586-717-9
  2. The Captain (1992) ISBN 1-58586-721-7
  3. The King (1993) ISBN 1-58586-725-X

Other novels[edit]

Short-story collections[edit]



  1. ^ a b Polygraff Staff (2010), An Exclusive Interview With John Norman, Author of the Gor Series of Novels., Polygraff (Montreal: Polymancer Studios, Inc.) 1 (2): 47–53, ISSN 1918-655X, retrieved 2010-12-15 
  2. ^ Philosophy Page Full Time Faculty
  3. ^ Press Release #1, retrieved 2011-01-06 
  4. ^ John Norman – Libertarian, retrieved 2011-01-06 
  5. ^ BBC: Officers discover sex-slave cult

External links[edit]