Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Barbarian Cowboy Sex Novel

So, so far, I've gotten two suggestions: One for barbarian sex novel in the Gor vein (from Trooper York, who's on fire with the Flintstones parody, and also--though he hasn't posted it to his own blog--as a great take on Bullwinkle's reaction to Sarah Palin's nomination). 1jpb wants a Western.

So I'm considering doing both. If I do a traditional Western, that makes the Gore-style sex part problematic, if realism is a consideration. Though I wouldn't rule out different world.

When I think Barbarian, I tend to think Sword & Sorcery, like Conan, or High Fantasy, like a D&D game. (I love Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, but those stories are a little more than S&S, if not quite High Fantasy.) Westerns are done at the same scale as S&S.

So, if we go six-guns and swords, do we throw in sorcery as well? Magic is always tricky to do well but one of the things about having a gaming background is that one gets quite good at developing systems of magic that are "fair". Not fair to the characters, but fair to the reader.

Another option is a post-apocalyptic scenario (which, actually, doesn't rule out magic).

Once I nail this down, I'll start writing up some posts about the universe in which the story takes place. This won't appear in the novel, and it won't be necessary for understanding the novel. It'll be like my Silmarillion. My main point in posting it will be to let my prospective readers (both of them, at this point) put in their feedback about what they'd like to see or just can't stand.


  1. Well you don't know much about Western lit if you think dirty sex isn't part of it. There are several series written with graphic sex as one of the main threads in the storyline. The "Gunsmith" springs to mind which was the tale of a gunslinger who had various adventures with figures from the old West like Bill Hickock and Wyatt Earp while banging every bitch in sight. Now these storie are low class potboilers but were very popular and sold quite well, witness the fact that there are about 30 or 40 titles. The question you want to ask, do I want popular and lucrative or do I want classy lit and totally boring. You know, Robert Alrich or Merchant and Ivory?

  2. I always thought that a good alternative history of the old west would sell like hot cakes. I once read one series where General Custer turned out to be a hero who worked at saving the Sioux because he had a lover and a son. Custer becomes President and mediates between the whites and the Native Americans.

    They also rode dinosaurs, but that's another little detail that was slightly less believable.

  3. One of the better alternative history based in the West is Harry Turtledoves "How Few Remain" which gives us a world where Lincoln did not die, where the South won the Civil War, and where Theodore Roosevelt and Custer combine to invade Canada.

    He lost his way in subsquent books in the series, but this one is great as a stand alone.

  4. No, I know there's lots of sex in Westerns, but if I'm not mistaken, in Gor, sex is more than just sex, it's an entire social structure.

    It's that structure that I see as incompatible with a frontier. There's a reason that women's rights were pioneered in the West. (And there's probably a connection to the recent studies that show men and women differentiate more in advanced societies, rather than less.)

  5. A couple of other points:

    I'm not versed enough in actual Old West history to write an alternate history. One of the things that keeps me out of historical events is the amount of research I need to feel comfortable.

    Which is not the same as writing a Western, of course. There are parts about the time I am familiar enough to write about.

    And which, of course, wouldn't keep me from going entirely surreal, like steampunk only more like cowpunk. I was already thinking up ways in which a barbarian could be introduced into the Old West--i.e., what sort of "historical" events would make that possible.

    As for sex, I don't usually work blue, and this blog would be easy to connect to my real person. I mean, real easy.

    So, that's a consideration for keeping stuff PG-13.

  6. Well I think you could definately work in some heavy duty sexual content in if you just use you imagination a little. Let me give you a start.

    The Mormons in Utah with mulitple wife action. Sexy no.

    A trapper who is running out of space ends up there recuperating from an Indian attack where he saved some of the migrants. Finds out he likes the multiple wife thing (with appropriate sex scenes).

    Porter Rockwell, Brigham Young, Jim Bridger, Medicine Calf Joe Beckenworth, Big Love all mixed into one big sweaty ball. That's entertainment.

  7. See Louie L'Amour's novel Bendigo Shafter (you could read it in a night) as a model.

    Rip it off just like we are going to do with the clothes from Fashion week, hee, hee.


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