Detectives, Trigger Warnings, odysseys and libraries

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, July 3rd

13:30: Tea Time at Baker Street

Tea-time at Baker Street returns for the summer, featuring a new location – 221B Baker Street at the University of Washington in Second Life, and a return to  His Last Bow.

A 1917 anthology of previously published Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the volume originally comprised seven stories published by The Strand Magazine between 1908 and 1917. However, later editions of the book saw an eighth story included, The Adventure of the Cardboard Box, originally published in 1892.

First appearing in print in 1908, The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge forms the first tale in the volume, and it is with this tale the Seanchai begins. It is in fact a two-part story, comprising The Singular Experience of Mr. John Scott Eccles and The Tiger of San Pedro.

In the first instalment, Mr. John Scott Eccles of Surrey, arrives at 221B Baker Street in an agitated state, wishing to discuss something of a “grotesque” nature with Holmes and Watson. However, no sooner has he arrived than so does Inspector Gregson of the Yard, accompanied by Inspector Baynes of the Surrey constabulary. They wish to question Eccles about a murder at a house in which he had spent the previous night.

Clearly shocked on hearing about the murder, Eccles proceeds to tell a tale which has all the hallmarks of intrigue and, possibly, passion: mysterious coded messages and possible secret trysts. Even the behaviour of the murdered man suggests to Holmes that he was attempting to use Eccles to establish an alibi prior to his death. But an alibi for what?

18:00: Magicland Storytime

Caledonia Skytower concludes the Magicland reading of Ollie’s Odyssey (see below for details).

Monday July 4th.

No session.

Tuesday July 5th, 19:00: Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances

TriggerCorwyn Allen reads Neil Gaiman’s collection of short fiction intended to entertain and provoke. Within it, he looks behind the masks we wear and at the people we really are, using a rich mixture of genres and experiences on which to found his stories: horror, science fiction, fantasy, fable, poetry – even his own experiences using Twitter.

Within these tales, characters new and established are revealed. Black Dog, an original story for this volume returns to the world of America Gods, whilst elsewhere can be found stories featuring Sherlock Holmes and a story written for the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who.

Neil Gaiman is a literary artist whose unique approach to fiction drives deeply into our imaginations, engaging and stirring us in mind, heart and soul.

Wednesday July 6th 19:00: Ollie’s Odyssey

OllieCaledonia Skytower reads William Joyce’s children’s tale about Oswald (or Ollie, or Oz), a stuffed rabbit and favourite of young Billy. Oz goes everywhere with Billy, until one day, he is accidentally left under a table during a wedding, and is kidnapped by the wicked Zozo.

An unwanted amusement park prize, Zozo hates all toys that are favourites; so much so that he doesn’t just want them lost – he wants them forgotten by everyone – and he has gathered other embittered toys to his cause.

Now Oz must work to not only rescue himself and get back to Billy, he must ensure all the other “lost” toys reach safety.

Thursday, July 7th 19:00: A Tale Of The Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository: Holmes on the Range

I confess to not having a clue how these two fit together, so bets hurry along to 221B Baker Street at the University of Washington in Second Life, so Shandon Loring can tall all!

(Also on Kitely – check in-world and Google+ for location specifics.)

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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 May / June is Habitat for Humanity, with a vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live – a safe and clean place to call home.

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Mac Kanashimi’s Snarl in Second Life

Snarl - Mac Kanashimi
Snarl – Mac Kanashimi

Snarl is the name of Mac Kanashimi’s latest art installation, and it really is one of those things that has to be seen in order to be appreciated; frankly, no photograph really does the build justice.

Known for his huge, fractal-based builds, several of which I’ve covered in this blog (see Climbing the Pinwheel (August 2014), The Geometry of Art (April 2014) Enter the Dragon Curves (February 2014)). However, for Snarl, he has opted for something far more organic in form: a huge vine-like tower of rings, curls, loops of fibre-like elements which rises more than 4,000 metres in to the sky above the region in which it sits.

Snarl - Mac Kanashimi
Snarl – Mac Kanashimi

The result is quite extraordinary, some 5,000 items, each with an LI of three, all of which utilise HSL (Hue, Saturation, Lightness) to RGB conversion.This has been set such that lightness has the slowest cycle of conversion, causing the tower  to go from light colours in the lower extremes through to darker colours at the top. Saturation then has a slightly faster cycle than lightness, leaving hue with the fastest cycle.

To appreciate it requires ramping-up draw distances as high as your system can comfortably handle – and this is really worthwhile doing. If you are fortunate enough to have a Space Navigator / joystick which allows you to flycam, I can thoroughly recommend ramping-up draw distance and then flying up the side of Snarl at a relatively slow pace. Watching the curls and twists slowing unfold / pop into view as distinct clumps and then slowly connect to one another, colour washing over them after then have appeared, really does bring home the organic nature of this build.

Snarl - Mac Kanashimi
Snarl – Mac Kanashimi

Do note that when you arrive at Snarl, which rebuilds itself tail-to-top once a day, you will do so at the top, and sans any platform on which to stand. This affords you with the novel (if initially disorienting) experience of falling through the installation, all of the segments of which are phantom, presenting you with a unique “inside” perspective on the build which is worth repeating by flying through it as you examine it.

Snarl is an extraordinary installation, which will remain open through until the end of 2016.

SLurl Details