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 events are held at the Library’s Second Life home at Bradley University, unless otherwise indicated.
Sunday, July 26th
13:30: Tea-time at Baker Street
Caledonia Skytower, Kaydon Oconnell and Corwyn Allen continue reading 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: The Adventure of the Crooked Man, first published in 1893.
Holmes pulled a large sheet of tissue-paper out of his pocket and carefully unfolded it upon his knee.
“What do you make of that?” he asked.
The paper was covered with the tracings of the footmarks of some small animal. It had five well-marked footpads, an indication of long nails, and the whole print might be nearly as large as a dessert-spoon.
“It’s a dog,” said I.
“Did you ever hear of a dog running up a curtain? I found distinct traces that this creature had done so.”
“A monkey, then?”
“But it is not the print of a monkey.”
“What can it be, then?”
“Neither dog nor cat nor monkey nor any creature that we are familiar with.
“Then what was the beast?”
“Ah, if I could give it a name it might go a long way towards solving the case.”
And so, in this conversation, occurring late one evening at the domicile of Dr. and Mrs. J. Watson, Sherlock Holmes introduces a further twist in a strange case involving a the violent death of an army officer, seemingly at the hands of his wife, both the body and the unconscious wife having been found in the room in which they had apparently locked themselves.
15:30: Special Performance: The Cold Shot Players
The Cold Shot Players return to Seanchai Library once more for another of their dramatic presentations focused on the delights and drama of classic radio shows. This month, they present Stranger in the House, originally broadcast in the 1940s as a part of The Whistler, an American radio drama series. This will be followed by a light-hearted reproduction of an episode of My Favourite Husband, the radio series from the 1950s which starred Lucille Ball, and which became the basis for what evolved into Ball’s ground-breaking TV sitcom series, I Love Lucy. With sound effects by Sonitus Randt.
18:00 Magicland Storytime – Thomasina
Join Caledonia Skytower at Magicland Park as she concludes reading from Paul Gallico’s 1957 novel (and later a 1963 Walt Disney film starring none other that Patrick McGoohan, alongside Karen Dotrice – who also appeared in Disney’s Mary Poppins and The Gnome Mobile – and Susan Hampshire).
When Thomasina, young Mary’s cat, suffers injury, Mary’s veterinarian father and widower, is typically unsympathetic , and rather than treating the cat, has it put to sleep – earning himself his daughter’s enmity his daughter, who declares him dead to her.
Thomasina, meantime, finds herself in cat heaven, only to be returned to Earth because she has lived only one of her nine lives. Thus begins a series of adventures involving Thomasina, Mary, her father and a local woman regarded as a “witch” by the children, but who has a caring way with animals…
Monday July 27th, 19:00: The Wizard of Karres
Gyro Muggins returns to the universe created by James H. Schmitz and given form through his 1949 novel, The Witches of Karres, as he continues reading the 2004 sequel, The Wizard of Karres, penned by Mercedes Lackey, Eric Flint, and Dave Freer. So why not join Gyro as he once more traces the adventures of Captain Pausert and his companions, Goth and the Leewit, the Witches of Karres.
Tuesday July 28th, Go set a Watchman
Trolley Trollop continues to read selected passages from Harper Lee’s newly published Go set a Watchman.
While referred to as a “sequel” to Mockingbird, Lee’s 1960 Pulitzer-prize winning novel, Watchman actually pre-dates it, having been completed in 1957, leading Lee herself to refer to it as Mockingbird’s “parent”.
The story focuses on Scout Finch, the narrator of Mockingbird, who is here seen as an adult and using her given name, as she returns to her father’s home in Maycomb, Alabama, where she re-lives events from her childhood (including those central to the narrative of Mockingbird) as she tries to come to terms with political and personal issues, notably her own feelings about her birthplace and upbringing, and her father’s attitude towards society.
Thus it is that Watchman re-introduces readers to many of Lee’s most famous characters, including Atticus Finch, although readers may find the Atticus of this novel somewhat removed from the “younger” man found within Mockingbird.
Wednesday July 29th: 19:00: The Case of Four and Twenty Black Birds
I sat in my office, nursing a glass of hooch and idly cleaning my automatic. Outside the rain fell steadily, like it seems to do most of the time in our fair city, whatever the tourist board says.
So when the dame walked into my office I was sure my luck had changed for the better. “What are you selling, lady?”
“What would you say to some of the green stuff?” she asked, in a husky voice, getting straight to the point. She opened her purse and flipped out a photograph. Glossy eight by ten. “Do you recognise that man?”
In my business you know who people are. “Yeah.”
“I know that too, sweetheart. It’s old news. It was an accident.”
Her gaze went so icy you could have chipped it into cubes and cooled a cocktail with it. “My brother’s death was no accident. I’m Jill Dumpty….”
And so Jack Horner, a noir-esque private eye (if a little short on stature) in Nurseryland, is launched into one of the most perplexing mysteries of his career – who killed Humpty Dumpty? Join Kayden Oconnell and Caledonia Skytower as they read from Neil Gaiman’s brilliantly conceived and written 1984 short story.
Thursday July 30th
18:45: Prologue: Mind Pictures
With Shandon Loring.
19:00: The Girl Who Lived on The Moon by Frank Delaney
He has been described as “the most eloquent man in the world”. In a career spanning three decades, BBC host and Booker Prize Judge Frank Delaney has interviewed more the 3,500 of the world’s most important writers. He’s also an author in his own right, earning top prizes and best-seller status in a wide variety of formats.
His latest project is collectively called The Storytellers, and presents a series of short stories that follow the tradition of the seanchai: providing a crisp, concise tales of the world, and which also include his own notes on the history and craft of storytelling and the creation of myths.
Shandon Loring continues a journey through The Storytellers, this week reading from The Girl Who lived On the Moon.
She had a magical journey. Riding a moonbeam is like sliding down a very, very smooth mountain – it’s like having a wonderful slide for a long time, except that everything is warm, not hot, but a kind of gentle warmth, that makes one a little sleepy.
And so the girl who lived on the Moon rides to Earth, part of her journey filled with dreams. When she arrives, she grants the human race insights which cause us to wonder if times were different then, when “fish danced the polka on the surface of the sea and the birds said their prayers out loud.”
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 June / July is the The Xerces Society, at the forefront of invertebrate protection worldwide, harnessing the knowledge of scientists and the enthusiasm of citizens to implement conservation programmes.