The last city, the end of days and short shorts

It’s time to kick-off another week of fabulous story-telling in Voice, brought to Second Life by the staff of the Seanchai Library SL. As always, all times SLT, and unless otherwise stated, events will be held on the Seanchai Library’s home on Imagination Island.

Tea-time Tales Set to Return!

The popular series of Tea Time at Baker Street, featuring the tales of Sherlock Holmes as told by Caledonia Skytower and Corwyn Allen, will be making a return to the Seanchai Library’s calendar on June 30th, with readings from the third volume of adventures for the Great Detective.

Between now and then, and commencing on Sunday June 2nd and continuing weekly through until June 23rd, Cale and Corwyn will be reading from Howard Pyle’s 1883 classic, The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, complete with songs composed by Corwyn himself!

Monday 27th May, 19:00 – Exit: The Endings That Set Us free

exitsCaledonia Skytower once again opens the pages of Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot’s tenth book.

Exit is the “exploration of the ways we leave one thing and move on to the next; how we anticipate, define, and reflect on our departures; our epiphanies that something is over and done with. The result is an enthusiastic, uplifting lesson about ourselves and the role of transition in our lives.”

“Lawrence-Lightfoot, a sociologist and a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, has interviewed more than a dozen women and men in states of major change, and she paints their portraits with sympathy and insight: a gay man who finds home and wholeness after coming out; a sixteen-year-old boy forced to leave Iran in the midst of the violent civil war; a Catholic priest who leaves the church he has always been devoted to, he life he has loved, and the work that has been deeply fulfilling; an anthropologist who carefully stages her departure from the ‘field’ after four years of research; and many more.”

Tuesday 28th May, 19:00: The City and the Stars – Conclusion

city-starsIn 1948 Arthur C. Clarke saw his first novel, Against the Fall of Night published in the magazine Startling Stories. Later, in 1953, it appeared as a novella in its own right, prior to becoming the basis of a much expanded work, The City and the Stars, published in 1956. Both focus on the same setting and principal character: the City of Diaspar and a young man called Alvin, but they tell individually unique tales – so much so that both remain in circulation,enjoying equal popularity.

One billion years in the future, Diaspar stands amidst the desert of Earth as the last, self-perpetuating city of humankind. Here, the Central Computer watches over people who live multiple lives over thousands of years before they return to storage, only to be “reborn” at a time selected by the Central Computer. Diaspar is utopian: poverty and need have long been eradicated and there is little strife. Life within the city is focused on creativity and art and in the deeper exploration of already well-understood fields. Enclosed, cyclical and ultimately static, Diaspar is both the culmination and twilight of human endeavour.

“Born” a teenager, as are all the city’s inhabitants, Alvin has no previous lives. Ass such, has none of the fear that stops others from leaving the city, and much curiosity as to what lies beyond its influence. In meeting the jester Khedron, Alvin succeeds in finding a way out of the city, where he discovers Lys. Thus is a chain of events set in motion which will forever change the world.

Join Gyro Muggins as he reads from The City and the Stars, which has been hailed as one of Clarke’s best works.

Wednesday 29th May, 19:00: More Micro Fiction with Brokali!

BrokaliFrom the Seanchai Library website:

Other names for micro fiction include sudden fiction, flash fiction, micro-story, short short, postcard fiction and more, though distinctions are sometimes drawn between some of these terms.

For example,  one-thousand words is considered the cut-off between “flash fiction” and the slightly longer short story “sudden fiction”. The terms “micro fiction” and “micro narrative” are sometimes defined as below 300 words. The term “short short story” was the most common term until about 2000, when “flash fiction” overtook it.

Confused yet?  Worry not – Brokali will clear that all up and help you laugh along the way as he shares his delightful sense of humor and his dedication to this form with a buffet of micro gems.

Thursday 30th May, 19:00: The End: Visions of the Apocalypse

apocalypseSo the world didn’t end on December 21st … or the 23rd … or the 31st. Turned out the Mayans had simply forgotten to order-in a new long calendar and Warren Jeffs had to go back to his calculations, somewhat miffed with his followers.

Never mind. To keep everyone in the right mood, Shandon Loring reads from this collection edited by N.E. White which brings together short stories by award-winning science fiction and fantasy authors Hugh Howey, Michael J. Sullivan and Tristis Ward, with fresh, new voices selected by their peers at

Each story explores a different end of the world. What is the limit of a computer virus? Can we save the world by stopping time itself, or will we just wither away in the relentless winds of the apocalypse?

And to get us all set for these tales of doom and destruction, here’s something from R.E.M.

Please check with the Seanchai Library SL’s blog for updates and additions to the week’s schedule.

In May, library guests are invited to support Seanchai Library’s featured real world charity Heifer International. Have questions? IM or notecard Caledonia Skytower.

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