Of whalers, priests, faeries and St Patrick

It’s time to kick-off a week 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, March 13th 13:30 Crazy Eights: Tea Time at Baker Street

Crazy Eights sees Caledonia, Corwyn and Kayden reading from The Return of Sherlock Holmes every Sunday from the living room of 221B Baker Street.

Inspector Hopkins, Holmes and Watson at the murder scene (1904, Stanley Paget, Strand Magazine)

Peter Carey, once the master of the whaler Sea Unicorn, prone to drunkenness and violence, having assaulted not only his wife and daughter but also the vicar in Forest Weald, where the family have settled in his retirement from the sea. Even so, when he is found run-through with a whaling harpoon and pinned to the wall of the outhouse where he spend most of his time, it appears to be a most gruesome and violent death, driven by a hatred beyond anything caused by the man’s behaviour.

The murder has left police inspector Stanley Hopkins mystified. No footprints or any other evidence of force entry and violence have been found at the scene. What’s more, it appears Carey was killed around two o’clock in the morning, yet he was fully dressed as if expecting a visitor. The only clues found are a pouch of seaman’s tobacco – yet Carey was thought to be a non-smoker – and a small notebook.

Reading the notebook, Holmes deduces that writing in it relates to the Canadian Pacific Railway and what appears to be stock exchange information. This, together with the unusual method of murder lead him to agree to return to Forest Weald with Inspector Hopkins, and so he and Dr. Watson embark on The Adventure of Black Peter.

Monday March 14th 19:00: A Few Miles and Prometheus

carmodyGyro Muggins continues a 3-part reading of tales concerning one of Philip José Farmer’s many memorable characters: Father John Carmody, and ex-con who painfully grew a conscience, but is still not entirely beyond benefiting himself.

In A Few Miles, first published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Carmody is ordered to the planet Wildenwoolly (think about it 🙂 ), but is given no funds for his journey and must therefore find his own way there. This proves taxing, with even reaching the space station where he might gain passage to his intended destination proving problematic. So problematic, in fact that he ends up “expregnated” by a large earthbound bird called a horowitz.

With the egg now attached to his chest until such time as it hatches, Carmody finds himself the centre of scientific curiosity and study, something that might well allow him to achieve passage to Wildenwoolly under a lot more comfortable circumstances than he’d envisaged when first dispatched by the priesthood. However, as told in the sequel Prometheus, things take a bit of a right turn when he finds himself on Feral, the planet of the horowitzes, and cast in the role of educator for these strange birds, and as a sort of latter-day Prometheus, bringing them moral enlightenment.

Tuesday March 15th, 19:00: Bard: The Odyssey of the Irish

Caledonia Skytower reads selections from Morgan Llywelyn’s 1984 historical fantasy novel depicting a hypothetical 4th century migration of Galicians to Ireland, led by Amergin the bard.

Wednesday March 16th 19:00 Crazy Eights: The Hunter’s Moon

HuntersAoife Lorefield continues reading the second in the Crazy Eights series of monthly Featured books

When she arrives in Ireland to visit her cousin Findabhair (Finn), American Gwen expects a fun backpacking trip to sites of the fairy lore they’re both fascinated with. What neither cousin knows is that it’s the summer of the Hunter’s Moon, a dangerous time for mortals to meddle in the kingdom of Faerie.

Whilst camping out, Finn is kidnapped by the handsome Faerie king, and Gwen must rescue her. In attempting to do so, she travels between modern-day and mystical Ireland. And when she does finally reach Finn, she finds her biggest challenge might be actually persuading her cousin she is in need of rescue!

Thursday, March 17th Saint Patricks Day Special

19:00 Darby O’Gill and the Good People

Initially released in 1903, this is a novel where each chapter is effectively a short story, following the adventures of Darby O’Gill in Ireland.

So, join Shandon Loring for a Saint Patrick’s Day walk through Darby O’Gill adventures. perhaps it will be the tale of his sojourn in the mountain home of the fairies, when he wins his freedom (and fairy gold) from King Brian Connors. Or perhaps it will be how Darby O’Gill encountered a Leprechaun or the tale of how How the Fairies Came to Ireland, or perhaps it will be the story of how Darby must match wits with the banshee and her ghosts, or meet his doom!

21:00 The Quiet Man

quiet-manReleased in 1952, John Ford’s The Quiet Man is regarded as a classic Irish-American romantic comedy / drama. Starring John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara (and assorted members of their RL families!) and Barry Fitzgerald, it is a popular choice among critics and film-lovers.

The screenplay for the film was drawn in a large part from a short story of the same name originally published in 1933 in the Saturday Evening Post, and penned by Irish author, Maurice Welsh. Together with a number of other short stories by Walsh, The Quiet Man was gathered into a single volume of his short stories, The Quiet Man and Other Stories, which dealt with many recurring characters living in rural Ireland of the 1920s, and set against the backdrop of the civil unrest which affected the country at that time, while examining the complexities and occasional intrigues of life, love and Irish traditions.

Join Caledonia Skytower as she reads Walsh’s original tale of The Quiet Man, Paddy Bawn Enright.


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 March / April is Project Children, building peace in Ireland one child at a time.

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