Brothers, wizards, watchmen and Jedi

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, August 2nd, 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 Greek Interpreter, first published in 1893.

Mycroft Holmes by Sidney Paget, 1893
Mycroft Holmes by Sidney Paget, 1893

It was after tea on a summer evening, and the conversation, which had roamed in a desultory, spasmodic fashion from golf clubs to the causes of the change in the obliquity of the ecliptic, came round at last to the question of atavism and hereditary aptitudes. The point under discussion was, how far any singular gift in an individual was due to his ancestry and how far to his own early training.

“In your own case,” said I, “from all that you have told me, it seems obvious that your faculty of observation and your peculiar facility for deduction are due to your own systematic training.”

“To some extent,” he answered thoughtfully. “My ancestors were country squires, who appear to have led much the same life as is natural to their class. But, none the less, my turn that way is in my veins, and may have come with my grandmother, who was the sister of Vernet, the French artist. Art in the blood is liable to take the strangest forms.”

“But how do you know that it is hereditary?”

“Because my brother Mycroft possesses it in a larger degree than I do.”

It is in this way, via an innocent summer evening conversation, that John Watson – and Arthur Conan Doyle’s faithful readers – first learn the Sherlock Holmes not only has an elder brother, but that Holmes considers his brother to have a superior intellect to his own. So much so that while Mycroft prefers the quiet elegance of the  Diogenes Club the the exertion of investigation, Holmes has often consulted him in order to bring his cases to a successful conclusion. This time, however, as Holmes goes on to inform Watson, it is Mycroft in need of their assistance.

Monday August 3rd, 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 August 4th, Go set a Watchman

WatchmanTrolley Trollop concludes her reading of 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 August 5th, 19:00: The Beauty of the Interstate

It was July 2013 and I had just accepted a part-time contract job that meant commuting some 60 miles round trip on the Interstate (I-5) several times a week.  It began with a single two page story one day.  Little did I realize that the highways and byways are full of stories . . . Beauty On the Interstate is a collection of some of those essays and short stories.

Join Seanchai’s Caledonia Skytower as she reads from her latest published work.

Thursday August 6th

unnatural creatures19:00: Unnatural Creatures

Unnatural Creatures is a collection of short stories about the fantastical things that exist only in our minds—collected and introduced by beloved New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman.

The sixteen stories gathered by Gaiman, winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards, range from the whimsical to the terrifying. The magical creatures range from werewolves to sunbirds to beings never before classified. E. Nesbit, Diana Wynne Jones, Gahan Wilson, and other literary luminaries contribute to the anthology.

Join Shandon Loring as he brings some of these stories to life.

21:00: Seanchai Late Night

With Finn Zeddmore.

Saturday, August 8th, Noon, Seanchai Kitely – Star Wars Saturday

With Shandon Loring and Caledonia Skytower, in Spaceworld (grid.kitely.com:8002/Inis Eirc).

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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 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.

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