Naval secrets, captains in space, perspectives and creatures

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 9th

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 Naval Treaty, first published in 1893.

My dear Watson:

Waston, Holmes and Phelps, Sidney Paget, 1893
Waston, Holmes and Phelps, Sidney Paget, 1893

I have no doubt that you can remember “Tadpole” Phelps, who was in the fifth form when you were in the third. It is possible even that you may have heard that through my uncle’s influence I obtained a good appointment at the Foreign Office, and that I was in a situation of trust and honour until a horrible misfortune came suddenly to blast my career.

There is no use writing of the details of that dreadful event. In the event of your acceding to my request it is probable that I shall have to narrate them to you. I have only just recovered from nine weeks of brain-fever, and am still exceedingly weak. Do you think that you could bring your friend Mr. Holmes down to see me? I should like to have his opinion of the case, though the authorities assure me that nothing more can be done. Do try to bring him down, and as soon as possible. Every minute seems an hour while I live in this state of horrible suspense. Assure him that if I have not asked his advice sooner it was not because I did not appreciate his talents, but because I have been off my head ever since the blow fell. Now I am clear again, though I dare not think of it too much for fear of a relapse. I am still so weak that I have to write, as you see, by dictating. Do try to bring him.

Your old school-fellow,

Percy Phelps.

Watson’s receipt of this letter from an old school friend draws him and Holmes into a case of great national importance involving a naval treaty which had vanished while entrusted to Phelps’ care, resulting in him becoming sick with “brain fever”. But while the document may well have vanished, someone seems to have a most peculiar interest in the sick and bed-ridden Phelps.

18:00 Magicland Storytime – Thomasina

thomasinaJoin 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 August 10th, 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 11th, Southern Revival Meetings Harper Lee style

WatchmanFollowing the recent selected readings from To Kill a Mockingbird and Go set a Watchman, Trolley Trollop hosts a special evening developed to Harper’s Lee’s best-selling and Pulitzer prize-winning novel published in 1960, and the original manuscript out of which it grew, and which has recently been published as Go Set A Watchman.

Both novels tell something of the same tale, but from every different perspectives. Mockingbird focuses on the young Scout Finch, and events unfolding around her over three years from 1933 to 1935, notably the trial of Tom Robinson, a black man who has been accused of raping a young white woman, Mayella Ewell, and whom Scout’s father has been appointed to defend.

Watchman relates events from the perspective of an adult Scout Finch – using her given name of Jean Louise – as she returns to her father’s home in Maycomb, Alabama, and 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 the two novels offer very different perspectives of much-loved literary characters (notably Atticus Finch). Here. Trolley presents similarly themes selections from both novels, allowing us to explore characters and themes as portrayed in each directly for ourselves.

Wednesday August 12th, 19:00: Bits and Bobs

With Faerie Maven – surprising bits found in the Reader’s Digest and other places.

Thursday August 13th

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.


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 August  / September is Water for People, “When one person or one family has clean, accessible water, their lives are changed. But when entire regions and countries have water, the world is changed.”

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