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June 23rd, 2015

Vortex and Cold Heat Special #10 at Wonder Fair in Lawrence, KS

Filed under: Life — Tags: — William Cardini @ 10:11 am

My wife, daughter, and I moved to the Kansas City area a few months ago. We’re mostly settled and have started exploring. KC is has an interesting vibe. It’s a lot older and more industrial than Austin. I’ve heard people describe KC as the westernmost Eastern city because of its age and architecture, lots of red brick buildings everywhere; the easternmost Western city because of its expansive grid of streets; and the northernmost Southern city because of its wide, winding boulevards. KC’s an undefined cloud in which everyone sees something different. Or maybe the Midwest is a mix of the rest of the country. For me, KC has a robust art scene; big free museums; beautiful, tree-lined streets; hanging out my wife’s extended family; and huge, cheap houses with basements so I can expand my studio practice.

Basement studio
My dungeon basement painting studio.

The massive population influx to Austin changed it almost completely in the 12.5 years I lived there. The constant condo construction, cranes all over downtown, crowds of new people, and churn in local businesses are exciting but Austin doesn’t have a strong sense of history, the traffic is terribly congested, and real estate is increasingly expensive. We were priced out of our neighborhood and didn’t want to live in Austin’s sprawling suburbs with a grueling commute. I miss breakfast tacos (and my friends and family of course) but I’m looking forward to new opportunities and possibilities here in KC.

Wonder Fair photos by Glade Hensel
Wonder Fair photos by Glade Hensel.

For Father’s Day, we decided to take a trip to Lawrence, which less than an hour west of KC in Kansas. It’s a small college town with a strong hippie vibe, like I imagine Austin was fifty years ago. The downtown has a lot of cool independent stores, including a rad print/zine shop and gallery called Wonder Fair. I dropped some copies of Vortex and Cold Heat Special #10 off there. I’m going to try and get them in some KC shops too.

June 16th, 2015

Gunner Cade by Cyril Judd

Filed under: SF Reviews — Tags: , , , — William Cardini @ 8:23 pm

Gunner Cade, published in 1952, was written by Cyril Judd. The author is not a relative of Donald Judd but is instead a pseudonym for the collaboration of Cyril M Kornbluth and Judith Merril. I haven’t read anything by Merril before but I have read Wolfbane, which Kornbluth wrote with Frederick Pohl and I highly recommend. Merril and Kornbluth both wrote more short stories than novels. Merril was one of the most influential people writing SF in the 50s and later moved to Toronto and was very prominent in the Canadian SF and protest scenes. She founded a SF library collection, an anthology, and most memorably dressed up as a witch to hex the Canadian parliament for allowing U.S. missile tests in Canadian airspace. Kornbluth wrote many collaborative novels but unfortunately died at the peak of his powers in his mid 30’s from a heart attack.

Cover by Paul Lehr
Cover by Paul Lehr.

Gunner Cade is a short, swiftly-paced SF novel that includes some incisive social commentary. The titular Cade lives in a far future Earth with an interplanetary society locked in stasis by the interplay between the emperor, nobles who rule different regions such as France and Mars (called Stars), the general (called the Gunner Supreme), and the spymaster (called the Power Master (has CF read this?)). The Gunners are warrior-priests who live an austere, celibate life of ritual centered on their one gun and fatalistic devotion to battle.

Some spoilers and more covers after the cut

June 2nd, 2015

Judith

Filed under: Web Comics — Tags: — William Cardini @ 10:22 am

Judith by William Cardini