Tragic trips, magical journeys, and wonders from invisible worlds

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, February 8th

11:00 PST Kitely: The Great Gatsby Concludes

Great GatsbyCorwyn Allen brings a reading of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s magnificent 1925 novel to its tragic conclusion 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.

As the days turn, so Nick finds himself caught between tales of love and lust and the divisions of new and old money. On the one side, there is the old money of Tom Buchanan, a man secure in his marriage to Daisy, but not above keeping a mistress in the Valley of Ashes, an industrial area lying between the Eggs and New York city. On the other, there is the mysterious and enigmatic Jay Gatsby, Nick’s new money neighbour, prone to lavish parties and a long-standing love for Daisy Buchanan. So it is that Nick finds himself something of a willing pawn in a complex game of love and deceit, all the time drawn towards Daisy’s friend Jordan Baker.

But as the summer temperatures soar, a trip to New York city with the Buchanans, Jordan, and Gatsby, undertaken within a brittle shell of false bonhomie, evaporates into tragedy.

Note that Explore the Great Gatsby in Kitely will remain open through until March 1st.

13:30 Second Life: Tea-time at Baker Street – A Case of Identity

Sidney Paget's drawing of Miss Sutherland for The Strand Magazine, 1890
Sidney Paget’s drawing of Miss Sutherland for The Strand Magazine, 1891

It is October 1890 and Holmes is engaged by Miss Mary Sutherland, a woman of substantial independent means, thanks to a trust fund established for her some years past. She wishes Holmes to locate her fiancé, one Hosmer Angel, who has vanished from her life quite unexpectedly.

Theirs, it seems, had been a most unusual courtship. Miss Sutherland knows almost nothing about her intended husband, other than he works in a office in the City, that he will only meet with her when her disapproving (and somewhat young) stepfather is absent on business, and that he will only write to her using a typewriter, and will not even sign his name.

Listening to the story, Holmes finds his deductive powers less than tried; it takes him to obtain but one typewritten note to confirm his suspicions on what has happened – and thereby leave him with a further dilemma.

Join Caledonia Skytower, Kayden Oconnell and Corwyn Allen as they read this curious case.

Monday February 9th

06:00: The Emerald Atlas

emerald atlasCata Charisma launches a new session at Seanchai Library, Second Life, as she starts reading from John Stephens’ The emerald Atlas, the first volume in his fantasy trilogy for young adults, The Books of Beginning.

Having been passed from pillar to post through orphanages, three siblings, Kate, Emma, and Michael, find themselves lodged at the home of one Dr. Stanislaus Pym. Kate, the eldest of the three is driven by a promise made by her mother, that if Kate protects her younger sister and brother, then their family will be one day reunited.

But in their explorations of Dr. Pym’s house the three of them find their way into the basement, where they come across a mysterious door and a equally mysterious emerald-covered booth, entirely without text. When an old photograph touches the blank pages of the book, however, the three are immediately transported to the time and place depicted in the photograph. Her they find themselves in a realm populated by witches, henchmen, giants, dwarves and more – and one Dr. Stanislaus Pym, a good deal younger than when they last saw him in his house…

19:00 The Future Ain’t What It Used to Be

Gyro Muggins continues reading from 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 February 10th, 19:00: Two Nights with Neil

With Caedmon Sharkfin.

Wednesday February 11th,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 February 12th: Wonders of the Invisible World

wondersShandon Loring opens the pages of Patricia A. McKillip’s opulent collection of stories deeply rooted in fairy tale and mythology – and yet with something of a nod towards real historical events in places.

Through these pages one can meet princesses enamoured of dead suitors, a knight who falls in love with an official of exotic lineage, a wizard seduced in his youth by the Faerie Queen, and fortune’s fool, who steals into the present instead of the future.

And the nod towards the real world? That comes in the form of a – dare I say it – bewitching tale of a time-travelling angel who, arriving in the late 1600s, is forbidden from intervening in Reverend Cotton Mather’s religious ravings which were to play such an influential role in the Salem witch trials (and which, incidentally, gave rise to his own book of the same name, written in 1693).

Bewitching, bittersweet, and deeply intoxicating, this collection draws elements from the fables of history and re-creates them in startlingly magical ways.  – Publisher.

Saturday February 14th, Seanchai Kitely, 09:00 PDT: Avatar: a love story

With Shandon Loring.


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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