From 19th century scandals to 26th century living

It’s time to kick-off another week of fabulous story-telling in voice, brought to Second Life and Kitely by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library.

As always, all times SLT / PDT, and unless otherwise stated, events will be held on the Seanchai Library’s home on Imagination Island, or at their Kitely Homeworld.

Sunday, January 25th

13:30: Tea-time at Baker Street

Back from a well earned break, Sherlock Holmes and John Watson return to their rooms at 221B Baker Street to be joined by Caledonia Skytower, Corwyn Allen and Kayden Oconnell, as Seanchai Library’s popular Sunday feature resumes.

“This photograph” by Sidney Paget, July 1891 (wikimedia)

This week comes one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most well-liked mysteries to have engaged his Great Detective, and which first appeared in The Strand Magazine in 1891, before going on to be the first story in the 1982 collection, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. It was also the first of Doyle’s detective series to be illustrated by Sidney Paget. I’m of course talking about A Scandal in Bohemia.

In March 1888, Dr. John Watson, married and with his own medical practice is returning home when, on a whim, he drops in at 221B Baker Street to see Holmes. No sooner has Watson arrived, than Holmes demonstrates some of his incredible deductive powers – which are shortly given greater exercise when, after receiving his expected guest, who arrives during the reunion, Holmes pronounces  him to be not “Count Von Kramm” as he purports, but rather Wilhelm Gottsreich Sigismond von Ormstein, Grand Duke of Cassel-Felstein and the hereditary King of Bohemia.

Admitting Holmes has correctly identified him, the king reveals he is seeking Holmes’ assistance in a matter of some delicacy. It revolves around a liaison he had five years’ previously with an American opera singer, Irene Adler, and which could now threaten his upcoming marriage to a Scandinavian princess. Thus Sherlock Holmes comes to pit his wits against an adversary he will forever only refer to as “the Woman” …

18:00: Magicland Storytime: In Search of the Castaways

(Piccadilly Books)

Teenager Mary Grant, sets out with her younger brother, Robert, and chaperoned by Captain Jacques Paganel and led by the comically intrepid Lord Glenarvan (and his crushingly handsome son!), to secure the rescue of her shipwrecked father. Adventure, intrigue, romance and betrayal are all to be encountered before Captain Grant’s children succeed in their task.

In Search of the Castaways was a 1962 film by Walt Diney studios starring Hayley Mills, Wilfred Hyde-White, George Sanders and Maurice Chevalier as Captain Jaques Paganel. It was based on Jules Verne’s 1868 novel, Captain Grant’s Children, which was in turn re-issued following the film, but itself retitled In Search of the Castaways.

Join Caledonia Skytower in Magicland Park, she she continues reading from this engaging tale.

Monday January 26th, 19:00 The Future Ain’t What It Used to Be

Gyro Muggins launches a new series of readings from sci-fi greats which cast a curious light on the shape of things to come, starting with Fredrick Pohl’s The Age of the Pussyfoot.

(Trident 1971 hardcover)
(Trident 1971 hardcover)

First published in serial form in1966, they republished as a novel in its own right in 1969, The Age of the Pussyfoot sees us transported to the 26th century along with one Charles Forrester, who has been in a state of cryogenic sleep for some 500 years, after being killed in a fire. His time in suspended animation, together with his revival – now that technology has developed to a point where revival is possible – has been paid for through his insurance, which (presumably through the act of compound interest down the centuries, his on-going medical expenses notwithstanding) has also left him comparatively well-off.

Forrester find the 26th century a place of delight; his spectre-like computer terminal, the Joymaker, puts almost everything – including drugs – at his fingertips. He’s able to take an apartment, still enjoy the delights of 20th century food and enter into a lifestyle of parties and fun, the money from his insurance making him rather wealthy.

Then things start to go a little sideways. First, there is Adne, who appears to be out to trap him into providing for her children; there’s also the mysterious Club, who also seem to be more interested in Forrester’s wealth than him. Add to the list the man from Mars who has taken out a hunting licence allowing him and his friends to track down and even kill Forrester – so long as his revival is paid for – and the future suddenly isn’t so bright a playground. And when his money starts running out, and he’s forced to take a job, he’s also forced to reassess who he can trust and who he can’t, and just what role he is actually to play in humanity’s future…

Tuesday January 27th, 19:00: A Walk in the Woods

walk-in-woodsBy his own admission, Bill Bryson isn’t the world’s greatest adventurer. This being the case, you’d think he’d have serious misgivings about undertaking this particular “walk in the woods”, as he disarmingly calls it: taking the 3,500 kilometre (2,200 mile) Appalachian Trail – a journey which would take five months to complete.

Travelling with his good friend “Stephen Katz”, the book is both a humorous guide to the trail and a set of serious and insightful comments / discussion on the trail’s history as it winds its way from Georgia (where Bryson was living at the time the book was written in 1998), to Maine. These discussions cover a broad range of subject including the sociology, ecology, trees, plants, animals and people of the states through which the trail passes (Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine).

Join Kayden Oconnell as he continues in Bryson’s footsteps through the pages of this classic.

Wednesday January 28th,19:00: Beggars Day Book Two: The Caged King

Beggars Day 2Caledonia Skytower continues reading MJ McGalliard’s second novel, and the sequel to Beggar’s Day Book One: The Beggar Prince.

The Kingdom of Galaway has a law that every ruler must work a year and a day as a commoner; thus were readers introduced, through the first volume, to the kingdom and some of its notable inhabitants, including King Willy, Prince Larry, the scheming Percy, desperate to see himself on the throne, and the chicken-stealing crone Cruith.

Now, in the second volume, Vikings, hidden illnesses, ancient family squabbles and unplanned pregnancy are but a few of the changes in Galaway. Cruith is part of a conspiracy, Willy invents a new wagon, apples seem to be in the mix, while everything seems to revolve around a baby horse. And I haven’t even mentioned King Monaghan.

Intrigued? Then why not hop over to Seanchai library to hear this entertaining tale which, incidentally, is illustrated by one Judith Cullen – aka Caledonia Skytower!

Thursday January 29th, 19:00: Conan the Barbarian

Shandon Loring delves into the legend of Robert E. Howard’s hero from the fictional “Hyborian Age“of the Earth.

Saturday January 31st, Seanchai Kitely

09:00: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes

Join Shandon Loring who brings us tales of love to be found within the theme of Gods and Heroes.

15:00: The Great Gatsby, Part 4

Great GatsbyShandon Loring continues a reading of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s magnificent 1925 novel at Explore The Great Gatsby in Kitely.

In 1922, Nick Carraway arrives in New York to learn about the bond business. He rents a small cottage in West Egg, home of the newly-rich, only to discover the owner of the huge Gothic mansion next door, the deeply mysterious Jay Gatsby, is prone to throwing lavish parties every weekend, to which in seems everyone comes. Everyone it seems, except Nick’s cousin Daisy, who is married to Tom Buchanan. Together they live across the bay in the more fashion East Egg, where the “old money” resides.

Following a visit with them, Nick is slowly drawn into their world, both discovering Tom Buchanan has a mistress who lives in the Valley of Ashes, an industrial area lying between the Eggs and New York city, and finding himself increasingly attracted to the Buchanan’s friend, the beautiful, if cynically minded, Jordan Baker.

Then, one Saturday, Nick finds himself invited to one of Jay Gatsby’s great parties, and is thus drawn into an increasingly deep well of infatuation, lust, and tragedy, witnessing first hand a darker side of the so-called American Dream.

Follow the teleport portal to Explore The Great Gatsby for this unfolding tale.


Please check with the Seanchai Library SL’s blog for updates and for additions or changes to the week’s schedule. The featured charity for January / February is Project Children, teaching and building peace in Northern Ireland, one child at a time.

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