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Rass, UK 1976
Having always had a interest in the old Bible, Sword & Sandal epics (usually with slaves), that used to pop up on BBC or ITV from an early age, my interest was further piqued at the onset of that awkward age by this shop that had a reputation for Adult Content magazines (Old & new) at the back behind the owner that stood guard with the till at that point.
(On top, same shop, owner long gone. Adult content at the back, most likely gone too)
Even so, you could still go in & buy books, new & second hand, exchange them for half the new or in stamped price as a store credit.
Indeed the basement was filled with enough Sci-Fi books running the gauntlet of Asimov – Zelazny, spy fiction, war fiction you name it. He had it piled up to the fairly low ceiling, that’s not counting the stuff that was in the clean front half of the store by the doorway & windows.
So passing the store one day pretty much every Saturday afternoon walking into the city or homewards later, my eyes caught a number of books on display in the front left side window, clearly adult content with plenty of displayed female flesh in the form of Captive of Gor, Kajira of Gor, Slave Girl Of Gor, Hunters of Gor etc, with artwork by Chris Achilleos, previously known to me for his range of safer artwork for the “Target” series of TV novelisations of well if you know me, you’ll know what they were.
After making a point to walk & study a bit longer every week, but not having the resolve to go into the shop itself, the perception of 18+ admittance due to a sign on the door, I made my way instead to the Sci Fi section of W.H. Smiths & found them freely on display there & available to read. I made up my mind to buy a couple of them & spent my Birthday/Christmas/pocket money on a couple, with alas it has to be said rather less interesting cover artwork, but ensured I would get them past the till with no questions asked. I actually think it did get flagged (Or that may have been a completely different book with a bikini clad lady on it in Woolworths), but with no warnings on the rear cover & kajira’s on the cover the teller after a pause rang them through.
That very simply is how I first got into Gor, the titles of those first books, Priest Kings & Raiders.