REVIEW: “La Gorda and the City of Silver” by Sabrina Vourvoulias

SFF Reviews

Review of Sabrina Vourvoulias, “La Gorda and the City of Silver”, Podcastle: 506 — Listen Online. Reviewed by Heather Rose Jones

I participated in a discussion on facebook recently about defining subgenres of speculative fiction, and the question of comic book superheroes came up. In practice, superheroes can draw from fantasy (X-men, Dr. Strange), science fiction (Iron Man), mythology (Thor, Wonder Woman), “realistic” (Batman–at least for the Batman character himself), or any number of other subgenres, but what they have in common is a fantasy of agency and justice, even when justice sometimes fails. This multi-focal genre has been adopted as speculative fiction by popular acclaim, regardless of the specific mechanism of the hero’s powers.

“La Gorda and the City of Silver” is clearly a superhero story. The world of masked and costumed luchadores is deeply rooted in the genre regardless of the apparent lack of overtly fantastic…

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Yesterday

I poured all of my cobalts blue , as well as phthalo turquoise, the only two-pigment mix in my pallet. There was a starters wash underneath. It’s a half sheet watercolor, with a few crayons, high flow acrylics and tears thrown in. This is dedicated to my late husband, James Michael Pensinger.

The shells are just weights.

Here are the dead paint tubes.

Tell me, what would they see in your eyes?

The eyes have it, from my friend Jim MsKeever

Irish Investigations

On a downtown street in Lansing, Mich., a woman asked for our help. She was with her daughter, about 7 years old.

We could see in the woman’s eyes several things: warmth, strength, wariness. In the young girl’s, shyness. Perhaps fear.

The woman, about 30, wore a hijab. Her daughter had long, dark hair, uncovered.

There was a significant language barrier, but we managed to learn that they are from Syria and have been in the U.S. for seven months. They had walked from a nearby Catholic church, the woman said, to find Bus #5 to get to her appointment at a job-training agency.

She carried a folder with her. We walked, and I asked if there might be any information in it that could help us get them there.

As she pulled out a couple of forms from the job-training agency, I noticed a packet of penmanship worksheets, with…

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10 July 17

#worldwatercolormonth

Effects of water hardness on watercolour paints

Way interesting

Lee Angold

For the past couple of years,  my tap water has been curdling my paints.

It all started with a tube of Quinacridone Rust (PO48)  from M. Graham.   I was attracted to this paint partially because the pigment is listed as non-granulating,  and I fell in love with the colour, but ever since I got it, the paint has had a tendency to clump and curdle when mixed with water in the palette or dropped into a wash, resulting in an incredibly pronounced granulation pattern.  This pattern becomes even more pronounced when Quin. Rust is mixed with another dark valued, non granulating paint such as a phthalo.

13934947_10205655508741469_4385919295537911773_n Colour mixing experiments with Quin Rust (PO48) and Phthalo Turquoise (PB16)

I searched the internet extensively, and could find no other reports of quinacridone rust granulating like this.  For months I was actually convinced I had received a dud tube, but avoided investigating…

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Cedar Key

Pinks, purples, aquamarines and sun collude and collide everywhere in this Florida city. We came up here airplane shopping, had dinner in a dog-friendly joint on the beach. Now it’s time to sleep, but I have these colors swirling around my brain. Here’s a sunset. Paint flinging tomorrow.

‘They never asked to be extorted, raped, threatened and beaten’

Irish Investigations

Banner in ... Translation: Migrants work all over the world and are human beings, not illegals under the xenophobic politics of Donald Trump. Photo by Theresa Barry. Banner in Oaxaca City, Mexico, Jan. 20. Rough translation: Migrants are workers everywhere. No human being is illegal in the world. Stop the xenophobic policies of Donald Trump. Photo by Theresa Barry.

“She was told that if she failed to pay again, they would first rape her once more and then kill her son.”

My brother recently returned from a 10-day volunteer stint representing women and children who have crossed the border from Mexico to seek asylum in the United States. They are being held at a detention center in Dilley, Texas, euphemistically called a “family residential center.”

My brother is an attorney and represents these families in “credible fear” interviews that ultimately lead to a judge’s ruling that decides their fate.

There’s more to the legal process than that, but I need to share the stories of three women my brother met this month. These women, and potentially their children, are at…

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