"Dancer of Gor" book trailer
Series: Gorean Saga (Book 22)
Paperback: 556 pages
Publisher: Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy (May 6, 2014)
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 1.2 inches
Tags: John Norman Gorean Saga belly dancing
Added: 6 months ago
appeared to be
a quiet, shy librarian ...
But in the dark
of the library,
after hours ...
She would practise,
her secret studies
Until, one fateful night,
the slavers from Gor
On that barbarically
Doreen drew a high price
as a dancer in taverns,
in slave collar and
Until each of her owners
became aware that
their prize dancer
was the target
of powerful forces ...
That in the tense climate
of the ongoing war
between Ar and Cos,
two mighty empires,
Doreen was too dangerous
Dancer of Gor
by John Norman
Doreen Williamson is a shy and quiet librarian on Earth. Like many other young women, she is distrustful of her attractions, frightened of men, introverted in manner and sexually inhibited. She lives within a quiet, lonely, dissatisfying, sheltered, frustrated desperation, distant from her true self, her nature denied, her only friends books and her secret thoughts. In the realization and enactment of a profound fantasy, after acute self-conflict, she dares to study a form of dance in which she is at last free to move her body as a female, a form of dance in which she may revel in her beauty and womanhood, a form of dance historically commanded by masters of selected, suitable slaves: belly dance. She must then dance, for the first time, before men. In doing so, she discovers her own desirability and that she may be well bid upon.
Rediscover this brilliantly imagined world where men are masters and women live to serve their every desire.
Paperback, 479 pages
Published November 5th 1985 by DAW (first published January 1st 1985)
original title: Dancer of Gor
ISBN: 0886771005 (ISBN13: 9780886771003)
edition language: English
series: Gor #22
In the realization and enactment of a profound fantasy, librarian Doreen Williamson dares to study dancing, a form of dance in which she is at last free to move her body as a female, a form of dance in which she may revel in her beauty and womanhood, a form of dance historically commanded by masters of selected, suitable slaves, belly dance. Thusly may she fantasize her longed-for desirability. This is, of course, her delicious, shameful secret, one which must be concealed from all, one which must be forever carefully guarded. Unbeknownst to herself, however, she has independently come to the attention of skilled assessors of women, of Gorean slavers. While secretly practicing in the library after hours she is surprised by three men. She must then dance, for the first time, before men. For the first, time, too, she discovers her own desirability, and that she is such as may be well bid upon. She will be taken to the beautiful, perilous world of Gor, there, in a collar, to learn her womanhood, and there, at last, to beautifully and profoundly find and fulfill herself.
"Yes?" I had asked, looking up from behind the reference desk. My heart had almost stopped beating. He was large, and supple. His hands and arms, long arms, seemed powerful. He was dressed in a dark business suit, with a tie. There seemed, however, something subtly awry with this vesture. He did not seem at ease somehow in this garment. There seemed something alien about him, something foreign. What startled me most about him at first, I think, was his eyes, and how they looked at me. I was not certain I could fathom such a look, but it had terrified me. It was almost, I had inexplicably felt, as though his eyes could see through my clothing. Perhaps, I thought, such a man has looked on many women, and would have difficulty in conjecturing the general nature of my most intimate lineaments. In that instant I had felt, in effect, naked before him. and then he had lifted his head and was glancing about the room, as thought he might understand my apprehension at being beneath a gaze such as him. "Yes?" I repeated, as pleasantly as I could, catching my breath. He looked back at me, swiftly, fiercely. He was not interested in my pretenses, my games. I quickly lowered my head, unable, somehow, to meet that gaze. It is difficult to explain this, but if you meet such a man, you will know it. Before such a man a female can suddenly feel herself nothing. Then I sensed him turning again to one side. Mercifully I knew he had freed me of his gaze. I lifted my eyes a little, but not so much as to risk, should he turn, encountering his.
"Have you Harper's Dictionary of Classical Literature and Antiquities?" he asked.
"Of course," I said, in relief. Suddenly our relationship became explicable and modular. "Its number is in the card catalog," I said.
I sensed him looking at me.
"You can fine the number for it in the card catalog," I told him.
He did not move toward the card catalog.
"Can you recognize it?" I asked.
He was silent. I sensed he might be becoming angry. Did he think I was going to wait on him?
"If you can recognize it," I said, "I can tell you where it is. It is down that aisle, and on the left, toward the end, on the bottom shelf."
"Show me," he said.
"I" m busy," I said.
"No, you are not," he said. To be sure, he was right. I was not really busy. Perhaps he had determined that before he had come to the desk. I had a distinct, uneasy sense, then, that he might be remembering, and keeping an account in some way, of my petty delays.
I rose from behind the desk. He stood back. I would precede him. That was appropriate, of course, as it was I who knew where the book was. To be sure, it made me uneasy to walk before him. No one, or hardly anyone, as far as I knew, incidentally, ever used that book or showed any interest in it. We learn of it, of course, in library science. It is a standard reference work in its area. I knew where it was, from shelf reading. Too, of course, I knew the general range of numbers within which it fell. Indeed, I had had to memorize such things for examinations. I preceded the fellow to the aisle, and down it. It seemed, somehow, now, that the shelves were close on both sides. The space between them seemed somehow narrower, and more wall-like, than usual. The library is well lit. I was very conscious of him behind me. I did not think he was a classics scholar. "Perhaps you want to look up something for a crossword puzzle." I said, lightly. Then I was afraid, again, doubtless foolishly, that he might be keeping an account of such things as my remark. Perhaps it had not pleased him. But what did it matter whether he was pleased or not?
"You are wearing a skirt," he said.
I stopped, frightened. I turned and looked at him, briefly. He was a quite large man anyway, but here, in this enclosed space, the shelves on each side, he seemed gigantic. I felt tiny before him. His bulk, somehow seemingly ungainly in that suit and tie, seemed to fill the space between the shelves. "Is the book here?" he asked. "No," I said. But I felt suddenly, and the thought frightened me, that he knew where the book was, that he knew very well where the book was. I then turned and continued down the aisle. In a moment I had reached its vicinity. I could see it there now, on the bottom shelf.
"It" s there," I said, "on the bottom shelf, that large book. You can see the title."
"Are you a female intellectual?" he asked.
"No," I said, hastily.
"But you are a librarian," he said.
"I am only a simple librarian," I said.
"You have probably read a great deal," he said.
"I have read a little," I said, uncertainly, uneasily.
"Perhaps you are the sort of woman who has read more than she has lived," he said.
"The book is on the bottom shelf," I said.
"But soon perhaps," he said, "books will be behind you."
"It is down there," I said, "on the shelf, on the bottom."
"Are you a modern woman?" he asked.
"Of course," I said. I did not know what else to say. In one sense, of course, I supposed this was terribly false.
"Yes," he said. "I can see that it is true. You are tight, and prissy." I made as though to leave, but his eyes held me where I was, immobile. It was almost as though I was held in place, standing there, before him, by a fixed collar, mounted on a horizontal rod, extending from a wall.
"Are you one of the modern women who are intent upon destroying me?" he asked. I regarded him, startled.
"Are you guilty of such crimes?" he asked.
"I do not know what you are talking about," I said, frightened.
He smiled. "Are you familiar with the book on the bottom shelf?" he asked.
"Not really," I said. It was a standard reference source, but in a limited area. I had never used it.
"There are several such books," he said, "but it is surely one of the finest." "I am sure it is a valuable, excellent reference work," I said.
"it tells of a world, very different from that in which you live," he said, "a world very much simpler, and more basic, a world more fundamental, and less hypocritical, and far fresher and cleaner, in its way, and more alive and wild than yours."
"Than mine?" I said. His voice, now that he spoke at length, seemed to have some trace of an accent. But I could not begin to place it.
"It is a world in which men and women stood closer to the fires of life," he said. "It was a world of tides and gods, of spears and Caesars, of games, and wreathes of laurel, of the clash, detectable for miles, of phalanxes, of the marchings of legions, in measured stride, of the long roads and the fortified camps, of the coming and going of the oared ships, of the pourings of offerings, wine and salt, and oil, into the sea."
I said nothing.
"And in such a world women such as you were bought and sold as slaves," he said. "That world is gone," I said.
"There is another, not unlike it, which exists," he said.
"That is absurd," I said.
"I have seen it," he said.
"The book is here," I said, "on the bottom shelf." I was trembling. I was terribly, frightened.
"Get it," he said.
I lowered myself to my knees. I drew out the book. I looked up at him. I was on my knees before him.
"Open it," he said.
I did so. Within it was a sheet of folded paper.
I opened the sheet of folded paper. On it was writing.
"Read it," he said.
"I am a slave," I read. Then I looked up. He had left. I leaned over, on my knees, bending far over, clutching the paper. I was giddy and faint. Then I looked up once more after him. The aisle was empty. I wondered if he would come back for me. Then I felt suddenly frightened, and ill, and hurried to the ladies" room.
3 The Library
I put the bells about my ankle.
It was dark now in the library, and it was past ten thirty. We had closed more than an hour ago.
The incident in the reference section, that in connection with Harper" s Dictionary of Classical Literature and Antiquities, that in which I had been so frightened, had occurred more than three months ago. In that incident it seemed that I had found myself at the feet of a man. To be sure, it was merely that I was kneeling to draw forth a book. I was a librarian. I was only being helpful, surely. Too, it had seemed that I had, before him, aloud, confessed that I was a slave. But that was an absurd interpretation, surely, of what had occurred. I was only reading the paper I had found in the book. That was all. I had taken the paper home. The next day, after a troubled, restless night, and after hours of anxiety, misery and hesitation, I had suddenly, feverishly, burned it. Thus I had hoped to put it from me, but I knew the thing had happened, that the words had been said, and had had their meaning, that which they had had at the time, and not necessarily that which I might now fervently desire to ascribe to them, and to such a man. That the paper might be burned could not undo what was now transcribed in the reality of the world. The incident, as you might well imagine, had much disturbed me. For days it dominated my consciousness, obsessing me. Then, later, mercifully, when I gradually began to understand how foolish my fears were, I was able to return my attention to the important routines of my life, my duties in the library, my reading, my shopping, and so on. Once in a while, of course, the terrors and alarms of that incident, suddenly, unexpectedly, would rise up, flooding back upon me, but on the whole, I had, it seemed, forgotten about it. I rationally dismissed it, which was the healthy thing to do. The whole thing had been silly. Sometime I wondered if it had even happened. I would recall sometimes the eyes of the man. The thing that had perhaps most impressed me about him, aside from his size, his seeming vigor and formidableness, was his eyes. They had not seemed like the eyes of the men I knew. In them there had seemed an incredible intelligence, a savagery, an uncompromising ferocity. In those eyes, in that fierce gaze, I had been unable to detect reservations, inhibitions, hesitancies or guilt. He seemed to be the sort of man, and the only one of this sort I had ever met, who would do much what he pleased, and take what he wanted. He seemed to carry with him the right of power and lions. I had no doubt that he was totally my superior. There had been, however, I think, one explicit consequence, or residue, of that incident. I think it served, somehow, in some way, to trigger a resolve on my part to do something which for me, if not for other women, required great courage. It brought me to my lessons. For months before, I had toyed with the idea, or the fancy, or fantasy, the idea first having emerged after I had seen myself in the mirror on that incredible night in my room, of taking lessons in dance. I had almost died on the phone, making inquiries about these things, and more than once, suddenly blushing crimson, or, from the feel of it, I suppose so, had hung up the phone without identifying myself. I was not interested, of course, in such forms of dance as ballet or tap. I was interested in a form of dancing which was more basic, more fundamental, more female. The form of dance I was interested in, of course, and this doubtless accounted for my timidity, my hesitation and fear, was ethnic dance, or, if you prefer, to speak perhaps more straightforwardly, "belly dancing." Happily it was always women who answered the phone. I do not think I could have dared to speak to a man of this sort of thing. Like most modern women I was concerned to conceal my sexual needs. To reveal them would have been just too excruciatingly embarrassing. What woman would dare to reveal to a man that she wants to move, would dare to move, before those of his sex in so beautiful and exciting a manner, in a way that will drive them mad with the wanting of her, in a way that shows them that she, too, has powerful sexualneeds, and in her dance, as she presents and displays herself, striving to please them, that she wants them satisfied? Surely no virtuous woman. Surely only a despicable, sensuous slut, the helpless prisoner of her undignified and unworthy passions. In the end I called up the first woman, again, on whom I had, some days ago, hung up. "Have you done belly dancing before?" she asked. "Not really," I said. "You are a beginner?" she asked. "Yes," I said. I had not really thought much about it before, but it seemed there must then be various levels of this form of dance. I found that intriguing. "I understand it is good exercise," I said. "Yes," she said. "New classes begin Monday, in the afternoon and evening. Are you interested?" "Yes," I said. I had said, "Yes." That affirmation I think, did me a great deal of good. I had publicly admitted my interest in this sort of thing. Somehow that made things seem much simpler, much easier. If I had lost status in this admission, it had now been lost, and it was now no longer to be worried about. But the woman did not seem surprised, or offended or scandalized. "What is your name?" she asked. I gave her my name. I was committed. I had taken these lessons now for almost three months, and in more than one course of instruction. I kept my new form of exercise, or my new hobby, if you like, secret from those at the library, and those I knew. It would not do at all for them to know that I was studying ethnic dance. Let them think of me merely as Doreen, their co-worker or friend, the quiet reference librarian. It was not necessary for them to know that sometimes, when we utilized costumes, other than our leotards and scarves, that that quiet Doreen, barefoot, in anklets and bracelets, with whirling necklaces, with her midriff bared, sometimes with her thighs stripped, swirled in fringed halter and shimmering skirt, with tantalizing veils, to barbaric music. I think I was the best in my classes. My teacher, she also with whom I had spoken on the phone, proved to be an incredibly lovely woman. She seemed incredibly pleased with my progress. Often she would give me extra instruction. I was her star pupil. Often, too, she would call to my attention offers or engagements, at parties and clubs, and such. It was natural that she would e contacted with regard to such matters. I always refused to go, of course. "But you would be beautiful, and marvelous," she would encourage me. "No," I would laugh. "No! No! I would be terrible!" One or another of the other girls, then, would be contacted, and they would go. Several, I thought, were wonderful. Women are so beautiful, thusly. Never would I, however, have had the courage to dance publicly. Too, suppose someone had seem me, like that. To be sure my dance, whatever might have been its motivations, conscious or subconscious, did have various lovely accompanying effects. I found myself slimmer and trimmer than before, and more vital than before. Too, I think the dance served some purpose within me, thought I am not sure what it was. Perhaps it helped me get more in touch with my womanhood. To be sure, sometimes it made me sad, as if in some way it seemed incomplete, as though it were only part of a whole, a lovely part of a whole that was not fully available to me. "It would help, of course," my teacher said to me, "if you would perform. It is meant to be seen. You do not know what it is truly like until you have performed." "I would be afraid to perform," I said. "Why?" she asked. I put down my head, not wanting to speak. "Because there are men there?" she asked. I looked up. "Yes," I said. "Do you think these dances are for women?" she said. "That is their purpose." "Please," I protested. "And there would not be one man here, one real man," she said, "who, seeing you half naked in your jewelry and veils, would not want to put a chain on you, and own you." I looked at her, startled. "I see that such thoughts are not new to you," she smiled. "I thought not." How could she have known that I had had such thoughts? Could it be that she,too, had them, as she was a woman? I will recount one further anecdote from my lessons. It occurred yesterday evening. We were in class. We were dancing, twenty of us, in leotards, and shawls or scarves, to the music on the tape recorder. Then suddenly she said to us, scornfully. "What is wrong? You are dancing tonight like free women. You must improve that. You must dance like slaves."
"Like slaves," I said.
"Yes," she said. "Keep dancing, all of you!" In a moment, she said, "That" s better. That" s much better." She walked about, among us. Then she was before me. I was in the front row. "Keep dancing, Doreen," she said, warningly. I was then, for the moment, afraid of her. I kept dancing. "Imagine now," she said to me, "what it would be to do that before a man, Doreen. Suppose, now, there is a man present. He is a strong man. You are before him. Dance! Ah! Good! Good!" I gather I must have danced well. "Good," she said. "Very good. That is very good. Now you are dancing like a slave."
"I am not a slave," I protested.
"We are all slaves," she said, and walked away.
I smiled, hooking the scarlet halter before my belly and then turning it and putting my arms through the straps, pulling it up, adjusting it snugly into place. I am, like most women, amply, but medium-breasted. I ran my thumbs about the interior of my belt, adjusting the drape of the skirt. I have a narrow waist with, I think, sweetly wide hips. My legs were short but shapely, excellent I think for a dancer, or at least a dancer of the sort I was, an ethnic dancer. I put on armlets, bracelets and, opposite the bells on my left ankle, a goldenlike anklet on my right ankle. I put my necklaces about my neck, the five of them. With such an abundance of splendor I thought might strong men bedeck their women. I examined myself in the mirror in the ladies" room at the library. How amusing, and absurd, I thought that my teacher had said that we were slaves. I was ready.
I turned off the light in the ladies" room and emerged into the hall-like way between the interior wall, that enclosing the washrooms and part of the children" s section, and the openings between the shelves on the western side of the library. One of the doors to the children" s section was on the left. The information desk was on the right. I sometimes worked there. I stood for a moment in the hall-like way. It was dark in the library, quite dark. Then I went right, making my way along the hall-like way toward the open, central section of the library, where the information desk was, and there went left, toward the reference section. On my right were the card catalogs and then, later, the xerox machines. On one of the tables in the reference section I had left my small tape recorder. With it were some tapes which I had purchased. There were tapes of a sort suitable for ethnic dancing. I used them often for my private practice. Also, from time to time, I sometimes told myself it was because of the smallness of my apartment, I was in the habit of coming to the library, after hours, of course, to dance. I would let myself in through the staff entrance. This was on the lower level, near the parking lot. I enjoyed dancing here. I do not think, really, that this was all simply a matter of space. Perhaps it amused me to dance her, where I worked, I do not know. Perhaps I enjoyed the contrast, known only to me, between quiet Doreen, the librarian, and Doreen, the secret Doreen of my heart, the dancer, or far worse. Too, there seemed something meaningful, something rich and almost symbolic, perhaps even defiant, about dancing here, in this place where I worked, with its whispers, its sedateness, its cerebral pretensions, to dance here, in this place, as a woman. No, I do not think it was really all a matter of space. How startled my co-workers would have been if they could have seen me, Doreen, barefoot, half naked, belled and bangled, dancing, and such dancing, dancing almost as though she might be a slave! And so it was here, in this private, perfect place, that I presented, in effect, my secret performances, performances which I had, of course, determined to keep wholly to myself, performances which I would never permit anyone to see, here where no one would ever know, where no one would even suspect, here where I was absolutely alone, where I was perfectly secure and safe.
I moved, warming up, preparing my muscles. I was intent, and careful. A dancer, of course, does not simply begin to dance. That can be dangerous. She warms up. It is like an athlete warming up, I suppose. As I warmed up, I could hear the jewelry on me, the tiny sounds of the skirt. Bells, too, marked these movements. I was belled. These I had fastened, in three lines, they fastened on a single thong, about my left ankle. Men, I sensed, somehow, would relish an ornamented woman, perhaps even one who was shamefully belled.
I went to the table where rested the small recorder. I was excited, as I always was, somehow, before I danced. I picked up one tape, put it aside, and selected another. It was to that that I should dance.
Men had always, it seemed, at least since puberty, been more disturbing, and interesting and attractive to me than they should have been to a modern woman, or a real woman. They had always seemed far more important to me than they were really supposed to be. They were only men, I had been taught. But even so, they were men, even if that were all they were. I could never bring myself to think of them, really, as persons. To me they always seemed more meaningful, and virile, than that, even the men I knew. To me, in spite of their cowardice and weakness, they still seemed, in a way, men, or at least the promise of men. Beyond this, after that night, long ago, in my bedroom, that night in which I had admitted to myself my real nature, though I had denied it often enough since, my interest in me had been considerably deepened. After my confession to myself, kneeling before my vanity in the darkness of my room, they had suddenly become a thousand times more real and frightening to me. And this interest in them, and my sensitivity to them, and my awareness of them, had been deepened further, I think, in my experience with dance. I do not think this was simply a matter of a modest reduction in my weight and, connected with this, and the exercise, a noticeable improvement in my figure, helping me to a more felicitous and reassuring self-image, that of a female in clear, lovely contrast to a male, or the dance" s prosaic improvement of such things as my circulation, my body tone, and general health, though, to be sure, it is difficult for a woman to be healthy, truly healthy, and not be interested in men, but what was really important, rather, or especially important, I think, was the nature of the dance itself, the kind of dance it was. In this form of dance a woman becomes aware of the marvelous, profound complementaries of sexuality, that she, clearly, is the female, beautiful and desirable, and that they, watching her, being pleased, their eyes alit, strong and mighty, are different from her, that they are men, and that, in the order of nature, she, the female of their species, belongs to them. It is thus impossible for her, in this form of dance, not to become alertly, deeply, keenly aware of the opposite sex.
Do we truly belong to me, I asked myself. No, I laughed. No, of course not! How silly that is!
I inserted the tape in the recorder.
My finger hesitated over the button. But perhaps it is true, really, I thought. I shrugged. It seemed that men did not want us, or that men of the sort I knew did not want us. If they did want us why did they not take us, and make us theirs? I wondered, then, if there were a different sort of men, somewhere, the sort of men who might want us, truly, and take us, and make us theirs. Surely not. Men did not do what they wanted with women, never. Surely not! Nowhere! Nowhere! But I knew, of course, that men had, and commonly had, in thousands of places, for thousands of years, treated us, or some women, at least, perhaps luckless, unfortunate ones, exactly as they had pleased, holding them and keeping them, as no more than dogs and chattels. How horrifying, I thought. But surely men such as that no longer existed, and my recurrent longing for them, a needful, desperate longing, as I sometimes admitted to myself, must be no more than some pathetic, vestigial residue of a foregone era. Perhaps it was an odd, anachronistic inherited trait, a genetic relic, tragically perhaps, in my case, no longer congruent with its creature" s environment. I wondered if I had been born out of my time. Surely a woman such as I, I thought, might better have thrived in Thebes, or Rome, or Damascus. But I was real, and was as I was, in this time. Did this not suggest then that somewhere, somehow, there might be something answering to my yearnings, my hungers and cries? How was it that I should cry out in the darkness, if, truly, there were no one, anywhere, to hear? Be pleased there isn" t, little fool, I snapped to myself. Of course there wasn" t. I reassured myself. How terrifying it would be if there were. I decided I would now dance. I recalled that the man in the aisle, he in the incident which had taken place some three months ago, that in connection with Harper" s Dictionary of Classical Literature and Antiquities, had spoken of a world like one long past, a world in which, as he had said, women such as myself were bought and sold as slaves. I dismissed the thought immediately from my mind. But I knew there was another reason I had come to the library to dance, one I had seldom admitted to myself. It was here, in this place, over there to my left, where I had found myself kneeling before a man, where I had found myself saying aloud, "I am a slave." I would now dance. I decided, as a pleasant fancy, that I would pretend something naughty, as I occasionally did, that I was truly a slave, on such a world, and that I was dancing before masters. Oh, I would dance well! The masters, as I dreamed of them, of course, and as they figured in my fancies, were not the men of Earth, or, at least, not men like most of those of Earth. No, they would be different. They would be quite different. They would be quite different. They would be such as before whom a girl could quite properly, and, indeed, perhaps even in fear of her life, realistically dance, and dance desperately, hoping to be found pleasing, or acceptable. They would be true men. They would be her masters.