Tales of horses, dragons, wealth and worlds in Second Life

It’s time to kick-off another week of fabulous story-telling in voice, brought to our virtual lives by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library. As always, all times SLT, and all events in Second Life are held at the Seanchai Library’s home on Imagination Island. OR, from Thursday, May 27th, Bradley University.  Locations for events in InWorldz and Kitely are given within the write-ups for those events.

Sunday, May 24th: Tea-time at Baker Street

Caledonia Skytower, Kaydon Oconnell and Corwyn Allen open the covers of The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, originally published in 1894, and which brings together twelve (or eleven in US editions of the volume) adventures featuring Holmes and Watson, as originally published in The Strand Magazine. This week: Silver Blaze.

Silver Blaze, an Illustration by Sidney Paget, 1892
Silver Blaze, an Illustration by Sidney Paget, 1892

“I am afraid, Watson, that I shall have to go,” said Holmes, as we sat down together to our breakfast one morning.

“Go! Where to?”

“To Dartmoor; to King’s Pyland.”

I was not surprised. Indeed, my only wonder was that he had not already been mixed upon this extraordinary case, which was the one topic of conversation through the length and breadth of England. For a whole day my companion had rambled about the room with his chin upon his chest and his brows knitted, charging and recharging his pipe with the strongest black tobacco, and absolutely deaf to any of my questions or remarks. Fresh editions of every paper had been sent up by our news agent, only to be glanced over and tossed down into a corner. Yet, silent as he was, I knew perfectly well what it was over which he was brooding.

Thus begins one of the most popular of all tales concerning Holmes and Watson: the disappearance of the famous racing horse Silver Blaze on the eve of a great race, and the apparent murder of the horse’s trainer.

First published in 1982, Silver Blaze is set in the brooding surrounds of Dartmoor, and involves what is regarded as one of Conan Doyle’s most subtle but effective, plot points: “the dog in the night-time”!

Monday May 25th, 19:00: The Pathways of Desire

Gyro Muggins reads Ursula K. Le Guin’s 1979 short story The Pathways of Desire, which also features as one of 20 of her stories gathered together in 1982 to form the volume, The Compass Rose.

The Pathways of Desire forms study of perception, reality, dreams, creation, and exploration, focusing on a group of anthropologists studying a distant world’s society where there’s barely a culture and few myths, but whose language seems to be based on English.

“There is room. There is time. All the galaxies. All the universes. That is infinity. There is room. Room for all the dreams, all the desires. No end to it. Worlds without end.”

Tuesday May 26th, The Great Gatsby, Part 1

Great GatsbyCaledonia Skytower, Corwyn Allen and Kaydan Oconnell commence, by popular demand, a a reading of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s magnificent 1925 novel.

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.

Wednesday May 27th – “Farewell, Imagination Island”

Seanchai Library closes its doors at Imagination island with a final set of readings prior to a move to a new location and venue setting.

06:00: Forever Erma

Erma BombeckErma Bombeck achieved great popularity for her newspaper column that described suburban home life from the mid-1960s until the late 1990s. She also published 15 books, most of which became bestsellers. From 1965 to 1996, Erma Bombeck wrote over 4,000 newspaper columns, using broad and sometimes eloquent humour, chronicling the ordinary life of a mid-western suburban housewife. By the 1970s, her columns were read twice-weekly by 30 million readers of the 900 newspapers in the U.S. and Canada

Join Freda Frostbite and Trolly Trollop as the delve into Erma’s wit and wisdom of everyday life, joined by Caledonia Skytower.

19:00: The Night Fairy

With Faerie Maven-Pralou.

Thursday May 28th “Hello From Bradley University!”

Seanchai Library opens its doors at their new venue at Bradley University – more details to follow on the official Seanchai blog, but see below for the events!

19:00: Celtic Flash

With Shandon Loring.

21:00 Seanchai Late Night

With Finn Zeddmore.

Saturday May 30th, Seanchai InWorldz 12:00 Noon: The Reluctant Dragon

Caledonia and Shandon read Kenneth Grahame’s 1898 short story (turned into a film in 1941 by Walt Disney), which plays on the legend of St. George and the Dragon.

reluctant-dragonWhen  a dragon is discovered living in a cave on the downs near a medieval village, the most unsurprised of the village’s inhabitants is a young boy. He’d always thought the cave to be a dragon’s cave, so the news that one had been seen living there didn’t faze him at all. In fact, given a dragon did live there, it seemed only natural he should go pay it a visit.

What he finds is not entirely what he expected. Rather than being all involved in battling with knights and making a general nuisance of itself, this particular dragon has a passion for poetry and a willingness to be friend with those willing to be friendly towards it.

Unfortunately, the rest of the village don’t take kindly to the dragon’s hospitable ways, and determine that this “pestilential scourge” must be done away with, and call upon none other than St. George to administer the dragon’s dispatch. Hearing of the plan, the boy arranges to bring St. George to meet the dragon and the two become fast friends, and determine not to fight.

Problem is, the villagers are expecting a fight, demand a fight, and by golly, they’re going to make sure there is a fight; something which leaves St. George and the dragon with a bit of problem: how can they fight without actually hurting or killing one another?

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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 April / May is Habitat for Humanity, with a vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live – a safe and clean place to call home.

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