A Christmas Present for John Norman.
Wednesday, December 1st, 2010.
Tal and greetings, dear friends.
The release of John Norman latest book, Swordsmen of Gor, volume 29 of the Chronicles of Counter-Earth, is undoubtedly cause for some celebration, yet we, addicted Gor fans, might show our enthusiasm and gratitude not just only by buying the book, but, also, perhaps, by giving the author a small token of our appreciation, in the form of a little Christmas present. After some thought, I figure, I have found the perfect gift for our favourite story teller.
There's an entire Gorean world out there, that John Norman knows nothing about. It is called Second Life Gor, and it is occupied by literally tens of thousands of Gor fans. So why don't we tell John Norman a story.The illustrated story of Second Life Gor.
I think we should inform John Norman about Second Life Gor, and I need your help to do that. I think we should show John Norman what Second Life is like; what it's all about, and how much fun it can be. We can't get him in there, but we sure can show him some pictures, and tell him our tales.
So I am going to write an article about Second Life, especially for John Norman, which starts with a general introduction, the history of Second Life, the way it works, and such, and to this article, I would want to add member experiences; your experiences, what are you folks doing in Second Life, how much time are you spending there, why do you like it so much, and most importantly, why did you choose for Second Life Gor?
Additionally, I would like to create an annotated Gorean SL Christmas Holiday Photo Album, with screenshots of Gorean landscapes, cities, buildings, animals, tarns, ships, avatars, jewellery and fashion, anything that might be of interest, and together with descriptions and explanations of the screenshots and additional copyright information, I will print both the article and the photo album and send them to John Norman.
You can either post your experiences and stories on the Chronicles of Gor Forum (here
), where we can talk about them publicly, or send them to me privately, using e-mail. I like to request that you send your screenshots to me personally using e-mail, so you don't have to become a member of Chronicles of Gor to participate. I will select the screenshots that are used to illustrate the article myself.
Additionally, all screenshots will be uploaded to one or more photo galleries on the Chronicles of Gor website. During the next two weeks, the rating system of the Gallery will be turned off. On Saturday, December 18, and Sunday, December 19, the rating system will be re-activated and members of Chronicles of Gor will be able to vote and select the screenshots they like most. Depending on the actual number of submitted screenshots, either all or the only the top-rated screenshots will be selected and turned into an annotated Second Life Gor photo album, which will be printed on Monday, December 20, and send to John Norman, with a digital copy to his agent, Mr. Richard Curtis.
I am aware that two and a half weeks is not much time, but we're actually counting on sending a second album, and perhaps, even a third; if John Norman likes it, he will probably respond and we will publish his letter. To be sure. it depends a little on how he responds, but if he gives the impression that he wants to know more, then we will start working on a second album.
Finally, I would like to ask all of you to forward this message to anyone who might be interested and willing to participate. Post it on any other forum you are a member of. Write it in the sky of Second Life, if that is possible, but get the word around.
I know some of you have been building for years to create an astoundingly beautiful Gorean environment, and if you are proud of your work, you should do yourself a favour, and show it to the fellow upon whose shoulders you have been standing.
PS. My e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you forward or post this message elsewhere, please leave the Gorean Second Life Logo in the message.
I will keep you informed of progress within this thread, and, every few days or so, add a small summery to the accompanying news item (here
By sending me your screenshots you implicitly claim the copyright of the attached files, together with the associated responsibilities and obligations, as explained in Linden Lab's Official Snapshot and Machinima Policy (http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linde ... shot_and_machinima_policy
Additionally, you implicitly grant me permission to print your screenshots and send them to John Norman and his agent; to upload them to one or more public or member-only photo galleries on the Chronicles of Gor website, and to use them within any article about Second Life Gor to be published on the Chronicles of Gor website. If you wish so, I will explicitly reference you as the copyright owner of the particular screenshot.
I might also use your screenshots in creating additional artwork for the Chronicles of Gor website, or within any article about Second Life Gor to be published elsewhere. If I do so, I will ask your written permission before publishing such derivative works.
Updated December 15, 2010.
When I launched this Christmas present idea, two weeks ago, I figured it would probably remain small, in numbers of participants and submitted photos, and such. I also thought it was rather safe, on the presumption that Mr. Norman knew very little about Second Life, and that he wouldn't mind being informed about it, without any obligation to endorse or sanction it. When I mentioned the idea to Richard Curtis, Mr. Norman's agent, he thought it was "an awesome idea". So what could go wrong?
Well, the first thing that went wrong was that Garian found strong indications that Mr. Norman *was* aware of Gorean Second Life, that he had received several letters from fans about it, and that his response was rather stern and adamant:
"You must understand that what you are doing, and what many others, in various ways, are doing on the Internet, in gaming, in role-play and whatsoever, pertaining directly or indirectly to my work is absolutely unauthorized."
(John Norman, February 2010)
Secondly, after some research, I realized that the size of Gorean Second Life was much larger then I had expected, with estimates ranging from 20,000 to 50,000 active participants, and when I informed Mr. Curtis about this, he used the subject in his personal blog on the E-Reads website (here
Then it came to my attention that there were some concerns within the Chronicles of Gor membership. If Mr. Norman was against the use of his work in Second Life, and the Chronicles of Gor would give the impression of supporting it, this might jeopardize our relationship.
Finally, I also learned about concerns within Gorean Second Life, especially among those who run the Sims, who fear that an increase of publicity might result in legal action similar to that of the Dune Estate and Universal Studios. As I have expressed earlier, this seems to put these folks into an impossible situation. However, ultimately, it is the author himself who decides what is fair and what is not.
In view of all these circumstances, I have decided to temporarily postpone this project.
It makes no sense to rush this forward just in order to label it a Christmas present. I am not abandoning the project, and I do hope to receive many more photos, and stories, and such, but I am not going to send anything to John Norman until I know more about how he feels about this. I have spoken with Mr. Curtis by phone, it is clear that there is much at stake, here, and there are a few ideas about how to solve it, but, obviously, this all needs to be discussed in detail with all parties involved, before anything can be made public. A little patience, in this matter, I think, might prove very beneficial.
We will send Mr. Norman a Christmas Card, and those who wish to participate can leave their best wishes here
Updated December 20, 2010.
The Christmas Card is on its way, and I am expecting an official statement from John Norman shortly. In the mean time, check out our Gorean Second Life Photo Gallery (here