Nov 6, 2018

"N/A--flames out of 5" -- a new review of "The Fountain of Geneva"

"N/A flames out of 5"---yes, one wonders, at least we did until we realized that CrabbyPatty, our reviewer, was talking about "heat levels."

HEAT LEVELS, folks, do you get it? It's code in M/M pulp fiction as to the sexual explicitness of a text under review. "Five" is extreme, and we, we transcend the "five," we are N/A, folks, even though:

(a) the underlying manuscript got accolades from the editors of the Paris Review and an invite to submit more stuff;
(b) the underlying manuscript is a Bowdlerized version of the original manuscript;
(c) pulp fiction circles swim---and will drown one day---in coded expressions---unless they haven't been burned already by their own HEAT LEVELS---but there's one expression that really applies to them---utterly code-less---and which they will never use (the expression)---namely PULP FICTION;
(d) although said circles have already complained repeatedly about our use of the term 'Bowdlerization'---which shouldn't be so difficult to understand/retrieve for anybody with a reptile brain and an internet connection; it's even in the Word dictionary---even our Bowdlerized version makes these pulp fictionaries go 'N/A';
(e) We are the first author to put this heat-level-shit into a literary context in our novel This Is Heaven.

Okay, here's the entire review by CrabbyPatty:

Title: The Fountain of Geneva
Author: Michael Ampersant
Publisher: LustSpiel Books
Release Date: August 12, 2018
Genre(s): M/M Historical Fiction
Page Count: 26
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: N/A flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

“The Fountain of Geneva” is a short novella (26 pages) that gives the reader a very “irreverent interpretation of Geneva’s foremost tourist attraction,” the Jet d’Eau of Geneva. The story is told in narrative form as Richard (the librarian of the Geneva City archives) shares the secret information with two men in Geneva on their honeymoon.
I mean, Hadrian did travel to most of the Roman provinces (including modern-day Switzerland) [M.A.: He traveled all provinces, and was the only Roman emperor to do so] and supposedly was the architect of the Pantheon, but erecting (hehe) a fountain in Geneva to his lover? It’s all a fanciful bit of historical fiction, and not a M/M romance, but entertaining nonetheless. 3.5 stars.

Nov 1, 2018

What's in a name

You need to know a little bit about American politics for this one:

Go and vote your ass off!

Oct 31, 2018

Portugal (15) -- Going home

Eventually, after a month and a half, we went back home. It took three days. Michael is fairly exhausted. We spent the second night in Carcassonne, east of Lourdes, north of the Pyrenees, a medieval fortified town and now a very French city. Here's yesterday's view of the city from the fortified town:

Pictures, as always, by Chang ("Jason") Yoon

Oct 28, 2018

Portugal (14) --- Coimbra

So, we went to Coimbra. This is the central square of the university, one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the world.

Oct 25, 2018

Portugal (13)

All this happened yesterday, halfway between Nazaré and San Martinho do Porto, the next town south. Everybody here looks like our friend Glenn from Baltimore.

And, yes, we suspected it already---Nazaré and Baltimore share the same latitude, with Baltimore at 39.2904° N and us at 39.6012° N. Haha---Baltimore is still a bit to the south. We are going to move here, folks, yes we are. Don't blame us, internet is good. 

There are differences, of course, an important one being the climate. This is the west coast of a continent which is, at this latitude, still untouched by the Gulf Stream, meaning the ocean is cold, meaning the air on the coast is cool. Average highs during July and August in Nazaré are around 22.5°C and 22.9°C respectively (72.5°F and 73.2°F). Compare this to Berlin, Germany, where the numbers are 25.0° C and 24.5°C, or Baltimore, with 31.7°C (89.0°F) and 30.6°C (87.0°F). We have basically a Californian coast climate, and there's fog, although we haven't seen much of it yet.

Bona tarde.

Oct 12, 2018

More beach --- Portugal (11)

This is a few kilometers north of Nazaré, the town with the largest surfable waves in the world:

Oct 9, 2018

Yesterday -- Connubial bliss -- Portugal (10)

You must admit: we are normally not nerving our few fans with selfies, but there you have it: Chang (Jason), and his partner Michael on the Praia do Norte of Nazaré, Portugal, the beach with the larges surfable waves on the planet.

Oct 4, 2018

Portugal (9)

Yesterday evening, shortly before sunset, on the Praia do Norte---a surfing competition is in preparation:

Conditions are quite unfavorable. There's no wind, and the waves are smallish.

Oct 2, 2018

Portugal (8)

We're still in Nazaré, or, more precisely, we moved to Nazaré, which is in some respects the ultimate location. It's the end of the world (photos will follow), but it's also a prime tourist destination with travel buses that can't make it around narrow corners and all the tourist traps you can dream of. John and Alex from the Green Eyes must come visit. You must come visit, too.

We're in Sitio now, the oldest part of the town, on a cliff above the main beach, and this is the view. We had lunch at Restaurante Bohemia, a place around the corner from our apartment, and it lived up to its name, with the owner and his mistress/cook (our guess) getting into a fight. Wonderful. In more than one respect the bizarrest restaurant your rasender reporter has ever been to.  

Sep 26, 2018

The fountain of Geneva --- reviews

We were supposed to put some meat on the last post and share our thoughts about the "The New Dark Age"---that's you and me and Donald Trump and the internet (which he invented)---as seen by the British author James Bridle, the writer who alerted us to the video clip of the previous post. Instead, we got a new five-star review of our novella, mercifully short, and since we forgot to talk about its first review we'll post it as well. Both are on Amazon.

Here goes:

5.0 out of 5 stars
Sexy, quirky and highly imaginative

Format: Kindle Edition

I adored this short story. Loved the poetic language with fun dialogue and vivid descriptions along with a cast of memorable, sexy fauns. A delicious, irreverent portrayal of Hadrian, all-powerful emperor and lusty lover of a boy lost.

James Beamon
4.0 out of 5 stars
A fun and tawdry bit of history

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

This was a really fun look at an aspect of the Roman Emperor Hadrian's time in Geneva, which amounts to one of the most zany sexual conquests I've ever read. Michael Ampersant delivers the story mostly through dialogue, which provides a very casual feel as if an eccentric neighbor is telling you this crazy wild happening in history while you were just minding your business. Grasping some of the surrounding details may require some Googling or a passion for history, but the core is very clear and concise. Well worth the buck just so you can know the story and can tell it to others!

Sep 23, 2018

Portugal (7) -- Can you see the surfer?

You can't, actually, not on the notebook display, where he's screened out by an ad for Ampersant's scabrous story about the Fountain of Geneva. So, here he is again...

...the Portuguese surfer Hugo Vau negotiating a 35 m high wave, already known as "big mama", on 19 January 2018---the Guiness Book of Records is pending as to the highest wave surfed on record. And all this happened barely nine moths ago in Nazaré, 100 clicks north of Lisbon, Portugal, a place we visited today. 

(And the reason for these super-waves? We quote Wikipedia: "Nazaré is a popular surfing destination because of its very high breaking waves that form due to the presence of the underwater Nazaré Canyon.[8] As the canyon creates constructive interference between the incoming swell waves, it makes their heights much larger on this stretch of coast.")

Constructive Interference, folks--we were always wondering. Next time you have an argument with your spouse...think of us.

Marry me!

If history "teaches" anything, it teaches irony...and so, here we are, with a set of "propaganda" posters distributed before the Sino-Soviet friendship frayed around 1963 (in those days both countries were "Communist"):


More of this in Michael Ampersant's Green Eyes

Sep 22, 2018

Portugal (6)

Yesterday we had almost--almost--posted this picture in our quote-unquote series (note the caption)...

More of this in Michael Ampersant's Green Eyes

...and then, today, we get this...

...with little Michael in the thick of it, on the lookout point of the cliffs between Figueira da Foz and Quiaios. Being a painting, the first picture, by the Turkish artist Taner Cylan, is fiction, but the second one is pure photography by Jason ("connubial bliss") Yoon, and it is real. Here: 

Sep 17, 2018

Portugal (5) -- Don Quixote

We're on our way to Portugal again, and Chang had the brilliant idea to put in a stop at Campo de Criptana in the La Mancha region south of Madrid, where Don Quixote fought the windmills. Here they are (the windmills):

Yes, folks, really, at least in the sense that one local tourist guide blandly assert that the Don fought the mills, while a second tourist guide suggests that these windmills must have "inspired" Cervantes in writing the pertaining episode. You say. We may have another post about this soon; there is something funny about these mills.

Sep 8, 2018

Back home

We returned to France today. This was Bürchen, kissed by the autumn, yesterday. Photography by Jason Yoon, as always.

In the meantime, Michael signed a contract for a German publication of the GREEN EYES.

Aug 29, 2018

The Fountain of Geneva -- now out as Kindle book on Amazon

Ever wondered about the Fountain of Geneva, the world's foremost liquid monument? Michael has all the answers you need, now out as quick read on Amazon:

Green Eyes

"Grab your copy of this fun, sexy, and very cheeky short story featuring our dear Emperor Hadrian." --- JP Kenwood

"This is a really fun look at an aspect of the Roman Emperor Hadrian's time in Geneva, which amounts to one of the most zany sexual conquests I've ever read. Michael Ampersant delivers the story mostly through dialogue, which provides a very casual feel as if an eccentric neighbor is telling you this crazy wild happening in history while you were just minding your business. Grasping some of the surrounding details may require some Googling or a passion for history, but the core is very clear and concise. Well worth the buck just so you can know the story and can tell it to others!" --- James Beamon

Aug 21, 2018

This Is Heaven -- for the record

We've started some sort of add campaign for This Is Heaven on LustSpiel, much of which is NSFW. He's one post that's OK (dunno why it's blurred here):

More of this in Michael Ampersant's This Is Heaven

Inkitt (3) --- Bestsellers, Amazon sales rank, and much more

James Beamon has already reacted to our letter of yesterday about Inkitt, and here's his answer:

Your theory and discussion on Inkitt's underlying drivers with their touting of AI is definitely worth merit, to the point that I may write a follow-up post covering your analysis.  Oh, and to fill in some of the gaps of where their "bestsellers" lie, I present to you the Kindle Sales Rank Calculator:

As long as you don't put in commas, this thing will convert the current sales rank to how many books they're selling per day.  Virtually EVERY book I put into from Inkitt's best seller rank was selling less than 1 per day.  To put it into working context, anything higher than a Amazon rank of 100,000 will be less than 1 book.  One book, Eric Olafsson: Midshipman, is at 407,416.  Egan Brass, the guy I interviewed for "The Bright Side of Inkitt", has a series called the Esper Files and the first one is at 321,238, the second is at 650,597, and the third is at 891,640.  At that rate I imagine Egan hasn't sold a single copy of Book 3 in months.

James Beamon

Now I haven't looked at every book in their lineup, but the one book I did see that was doing worthwhile numbers was Chosen by Lauren Chow.  Her rank is 55,707 which translates to her moving about 5 books per day.

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