Dec 18, 2018

The best of LGBT fiction 2018

Cool, folks, we're on Amos Lassen's influential The best of LGBT Fiction 2018 list with The Fountain of Geneva. TADA.


I don't think we ever published a teaser of the Fountain. Alex and John of GREEN EYES fame have married and flown to Europe for their honeymoon trip. They find themselves in Geneva, where Richard Zugabe, the librarian of the Geneva City Archives, shares the secret story of the fountain---the "largest ejaculation on the planet"---which was commissioned by Roman emperor Hadrian to celebrate the most spectacular moment of his love life. Here are a few lines from the introduction:

“You boys have possibly heard of Hadrian, the Roman emperor from 117 through 138 AD. Hadrian was a spectacular personality, highly intelligent, schooled in the gymnasia of his native Spain and the philosophical academies of Greece, widely beloved as a ruler—-especially after his death—-and famous for his liaison with the Greek youth Antinous.”

(Yes, we heard of him, sort-of.)

“Antinous drowned during a pleasure cruise on the River Nile in 130 AD. It took Hadrian a lot of casual sex to get over this loss—-read Marguerite Yourcenar’s biography if you don’t believe me—-so he traveled the length and breadth of his realm to meet new people. Eventually he passed through Geneva, then a secondary town on the border of Helvetica with access to the mysterious, largely unexplored Alps. Geneva had been the butt of jokes for quite some time because Julius Caesar had visited the place once and—-preceded by his reputation—-been presented with a special welcoming present, a young slave of Nordic extraction, blue eyes, blond hair, oh-my-god body, and special training in the erotic arts. Caesar, to the despair of the town’s aldermen, had given the boy one casual glance, ignored him forthwith, and sold him off to the highest bidder. Aldermanly careers were cut short, people had to spend more time with their families, enfin, the whole empire knew about Ceasar’s snub, possibly the only thing the whole empire knew about Geneva; I’m not making this up.

“The aldermen of Geneva had good reasons to avoid their predecessors’ mistake when Hadrian came to town in the year 131 AD. There wasn’t only the precedent of Ceasar’s snub, there were also the Muttoni (as the Romans came to call them), an entire tribe of blond, blue-eyed, oh-my-god people. The Muttoni had settled in the Saas valley, a side valley of the nearby Valais, and were making a big nuisance of themselves. Not content to follow the sheep-raising, cow-milking example of their Celtic neighbors, the Muttoni spent their time on raids. They would maraud through the region and misappropriate everything not nailed down, including human beings—-and in particular adolescent males.
“Slavery, though an institution throughout the empire, was not really entrenched in the region. The locals were unable to appreciate six-feet-three hunks knocking on doors, tossing unruly hair, baring wide chests, and pointing steely javelins at innocent kinfolk while dragging handsome youths into captivity.
“Many locals were killed during the raids of course, courageous fathers, desperate mothers, trustful dogs, even the stray mother-in-law is mentioned in the archival sources—-resistance was futile, the Muttoni would always prevail. If there was any kind of racial prototype better not mentioned or presented to visiting big shots, it was the Nordic type of the blue-eyed, hair-tossing chest-barer, whether oh-my-god or not...

Find out more here.

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