Dinosaurs, steampunk, the metaverse and a preview

Dox Quiote - part of the upcoming Seanchai Library Crazy Eights series. See below for a preview
Don Quixote – part of the upcoming Seanchai Library Crazy Eights series. See below for a preview

It’s time to kick-off a week year of 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, January 24th, 15:00: Selections from Flight to Brassbright

Caledonia Skytower read from Lori Alden Holuta’s 2015 novel  at a special session at SL Goth Magazine’s steampunk themed TIMEKILLER II Festival.


In 1895, Constance is orphaned at the age of 12, she finds the local authorities ready to impose their own kind of upbringing on her previously somewhat wild life – a part of which involved nightly break-ins at the local library so she could lose herself in the books and stories there. Determined not to let things be so, she runs away to – where else? The place everyone in fiction runs to: the circus.

But six years on, and a young woman, Constance finds the circus life draining, and longs to be free from it. An escape plan is hatched, and as a free woman, she wanders the landscape of Industralia, home to creative eccentrics, brilliantly cracked inventors, dazed automatons and more. Here are kindred spirits aplenty. As she wanders from town to town, Constance finds herself making friends and caught in an unfolding story as she seeks a place she can final call home.

Monday January 25th, 19:00: Snow Crash

We all know Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash as one of the inspirations behind Second Life. Now Gyro Muggins concludes his reading of this modern classic.

Snow CrashIn the 21st Century, Los Angeles is no longer a part of the United States, but is instead run by a variety of corporate and other factions, which much of the city divided into sovereign enclaves. Mercenary forces via with private security firms; drugs and the private vehicle reign supreme and where hyper-inflation is rampant.

Within this strange and complex world exists the Metaverse, an omnipresent 3D “Internet of everything” in which people can roam as avatars. It is in this world that the aptly named Hiro Protagonist (and former pizza delivery driver) operates as a sword-welding heroic warrior and bounces between the virtual and physical worlds as the self-styled “last of the freelance hackers.”

However, when his friend and fellow-hacker Da5id, falls victim to the mysterious new drug Snow Crash, which exists in the virtual world as a computer virus capable of infecting machines connected to the Metaverse and in the physical world as a viral infection which attacks the central nervous system, Hiro sets out to learn the truth of what is going on. Working with his virtual business partner, the 15-year-old Y.T., Hiro digs into the truth behind Snow Crash, leading him (and Y.T.) to the doors of fibre-optics monopolist L. Bob Rife and his acolytes and minions, including the highly dangerous Raven.

Tuesday January 26th 19:00: Pearl

PearlFaerie Maven-Pralou continue her reading of the first book in Lisa Pinkham’s the Doll Collection series.

Everything changes for Addy on her 12th birthday, when she receives a mysterious gift of a collection of dolls and an opal necklace imbued with magical powers.

Soon, Addy finds herself transported to a beach where she meets a mermaid, Pearl, and where she can swim with and talk to underwater fairies and enjoy the company of min-reading dolphins.

But all is not as safe as it seems; when Pearl vanishes and Addy’s magic necklace is stolen, Addy is left with no way home and without a friend – and she must confront the thief on her own, trusting that the magic which resides in her is enough to put things to rights.

Wednesday, January 27th, 19:00: Silence of the Loons

While writers from the southern American states turn to tales of crime, inevitably the broiling heat of humid summer days is an ever-present backdrop. But when the stories of criminals and their ways are moved northwards to Minnesota, it is the brutal cold of hard winters which offers a frame for many of the tales.

In this collection, 13 of the state’s top crime writers present a series of tales of mystery, all of which are linked by the same 8 clues, which lead the reader through their dark twists.

Join Kayden Oconnell as he reads from this fascinating anthology.

Thursday, January 28th: 19:00 Time Travel Stories

With Shandon Loring – Also to be presented at Seanchai Kitely and Seanchai InWorldz. Check session post during the week for specific grid locations).

Rivers of TimeThis week A Gun for a Dinosaur from Rivers of Time by L. Sprague de Camp.

Reginald Rivers runs a safari business. Not just any safari business, mark you. His is of the time-travelling variety, and his clients are after a particular game: dinosaurs. It’s obviously a dangerous business, and not suitable for any client who comes along, whether or not they can afford the price.

Nor are they helped when one client’s arrogance leads to the death of another, causing the surviving client to determine he must kill Rivers  – and must do so in the past. In doing so, the client breaks one of the rules under which the machine used to carry Rivers and his safaris into the past must operate, with devastating results.

Seanchai Library at LEA Starting Sunday, January 31st

Sunday, January 31st will see Seanchai Library open the Crazy Eights, a region offering six different storytelling venues, all connected by the Story Forest. Here, over the coming months,  Seanchai library will be presenting and hosting a range of special story telling events and readings from classic literature and series.

I’ll be previewing Crazy Eights in full in due course; but here is a foretaste of what is to come:

Sunday, January 31st, 13:30: Don Quixote – Words and Images:  Derry McMahon and Bear Silvershade present selections from Miguel de Cervantes’s classic and much-loved tale at the Crazy Eights Eastern Meadow. Accompanying the reading will be Derry’s own images from her 2014 Fine Arts Tour exhibition, Don Quixote, which I reviewed at the time. Guests are invited to sit beneath the windmill and listen to the tales of The Gentleman of La Mancha, and wander among Derry’s images, several of which were not included as a part of the 2014 exhibition.

Starting Thursday, February 4th, 19;00 – Featured Stories: Shandon Loring, Seanchai Library’s Chief Storyteller, opens this series reading from Tracey Garvis Graves’ New York Times bestseller On The Island, within a 360-degree environment Shandon has created, inspired by Graves’ work, filled with links and scripted surprises.

Starting Sunday, February 7th, 13:30 – Tea Time at Baker Street: Seanchai Library’s ever-popular visits to the rooms of 221B Baker Street commence a special run at Crazy Eights with stories from The Return of Sherlock Holmes, starting with the first story in that collection, The Empty House. The Baker Street area of Crazy Eights includes the Holmes & Watson Gallery, a book shop with links to Conan Doyle’s canon, and references to other Holmesian locations around the grid.


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 Heifer International, working with communities to end world hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth.

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