Jack Owen Jardine has been a favorite writer of mine since long before I knew his real name wasn’t Larry Maddock. I wrote about his Agent of T.E.R.R.A. series, his Unaccustomed As I Am To Public Dying, and his novel, THE SWORD OF LANKOR. It took about forty years and the internet for me to learn his real name.
THE NYMPH AND THE SATYR as by Arthur Farmer, from 1962, was one of those soft core porn novels young writers used to make some bucks while working on their serious stuff. This one was a bit different, though, with some fantasy elements thrown in. I’m not familiar enough with the time period(I was only twelve when this one came out) to know whether there were others of that ilk.
The nymph of the title is Helene Virginia Martin and the satyr is George Lewis. Lewis is an archeologist conducting a dig on Johnson’s Atoll in the south Pacific and H. V. is a new assistant sent by the university that starts causing trouble the day she arrives. The diggers employed from the native populace are all female between the ages of fourteen and nineteen(the younger play kid games and the older are all busy trying to get pregnant). You see, the dynamic on the island is few males(the first born in a family lives; all other males are killed on the day of birth and tossed in the volcano to appease their God). As a result, the males do no work, supervising only, and H. V. doesn’t like it. George has a ready supply of compliant young women ready to do whatever he wants.
They uncover an artifact carved from lava, five feet in length with a blunt arrowhead on one end, a bulb on the other, and piercing a triangle in the middle. think about that design for a minute. It’s a phallic symbol. There are hieroglyphics on the head that resemble Sanskrit and George starts translating. H. V. then cuts her finger on a sharp edge, dripping blood on the head.
The combination awakens two Gods that are displeased with the interruption of their rest, which causes all sorts of problems for the two folks. Later that evening, George is dallying with one of the diggers and just as he reaches orgasm, he suddenly wakes up in the hut and it doesn’t take him long to realize he’s in H.V.’s body! After a brief exploration and trying to learn the ins and outs of women’s clothing, George gets dressed and goes out to find his body, presumably with H. V. occupying it.
Only a few steps from the hut, someone hits him/her over the head and he/she wakes up aboard a ship, naked, in the hands of white slavers heading toward the Orient. Right in the middle of a rape by the ship’s captain, George is suddenly back in his body and he figures out that every time he reaches climax, he switches bodies. what follows is a series of events with him trying to get both bodies together to figure it out and H. V. out to avoid him. She/he decides to keep the body and use her knowledge of archeology to rise in that field.
This novel is very much of it’s time, 1962. Men are what today would be called male chauvinist pigs, women are dismissed as unworthy for much above “women’s” work. George in the course of the book, experiencing things from a woman’s point of view. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes serious.
I found this one on Amazon’s Kindle store, along with three Agent of T.E.R.R.A. novels, and a science fiction novel by Maddock, all reasonably priced, as well as an audiobook. Bookfinder showed me eight of the original novels, none outrageously priced($18.00 to $25.00, including shipping and handling). I found the image below on Ebay of the original cover.