Secret plans, alien missions, childhood memories and toyland tribulations

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 24th 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. This week sees Holmes and Watson engaged upon The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans.

Despite his frequent appearances in various television series depicting the life and times of Sherlock Holmes, Mycroft Holmes only appears, or is mentioned, in just four of Conan Dyole’s tales, this being one of them – actually the one which marked his final appearance in the original canon.

The adventure starts when Mycroft visits Holmes about missing submarine plans and a dead man. The latter is Arthur Cadogan West, formerly a young clerk in a government office at the Woolwich Royal Arsenal, who was found dead next to the London Underground tracks near Aldgate tube station, his head apparently crushed by a passing train. The plans for the Bruce-Partington submarine were found on his body – with three pages missing. Mycroft’s concern is that they’ve been taken by enemies of the Crown.

Not only is there the mystery of the missing pages for the submarine plans, there is much about Arthur Cadogan West’s death which does not add-up; why, for example, was he carrying top-secret plans about his person while apparently due to visit the theatre with his fiancée? Why is there no Underground ticket about his body? Did he manage to travel the service without a ticket, or did someone take it? If the latter, why?

Holmes responds to his brother’s request for help on behalf of the British government – noting to Watson along the way that Mycroft actually is the British government – and thus the adventure begins …

Monday July 25th To the Vanishing Point

vanishing pointGyro Muggins continues his Monday Night treat of sci-fi with Alan Dean Foster’s To the Vanishing Point.

When Frank Sonderberg insists his family make their annual vacation a road trip, his wife and kids are less than impressed. When he pulls over to the side of the road to pick up a beautiful young hitch-hiker apparently stranded in the desert, his wife definitely isn’t impressed.

But no sooner has the young woman, calling herself Mouse, boarded their motor-home than reality changes – and not necessarily for the better. Mouse, it turns out, is an alien on a mission and in picking her up, the family is inextricably joined with her in that mission. The universe, with all its many realities, is coming apart because the Spinner, the creator of those realities, has a headache. Mouse has the cure, but in order to give it, she must reach the Vanishing Point – and she needs the Sonderbergs to get her there.

Tuesday July 26th, 19:00: Blueberry Summers: Growing Up at the Lake

Kayden Oconnell reads from Curtiss Anderson’s classic coming of age memoirs.

BlueberryBorn in 1928 in Minneapolis, Curtiss Anderson grew up in an extended family of Norwegian-Americans, among whom the highlight of the year was time spent among the lakes of northern Minnesota.

For young Curtiss, growing up in the 1930s and 1940s, these were especially idyllic years. Time spent in the farmhouse among this extended family presented an opportunity for him to escape the strained and troubled relationship he had with his parents and enjoy the company of others, aunts and uncles, the loving care offered by family friends Leigh and Clara, the companionship of the family dogs – and the chances to experience young love of his own.

Through the tales he relates of these summers, so Anderson also explores the notes and letters he wrote as a boy, carefully produced on a hand-me-down typewriter. Missives and notes which, although he never realised it at the time, were in fact his first forays into what would blossom in his adult life into a distinguished career as a writer, editor and publisher.

Wednesday July 27th 19:00: Ollie’s Odyssey

OllieCaledonia Skytower concludes 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 28th

19:00: Christmas in July

With Shandon Loring – also in Seanchai Kitely.

21:00: Seanchai late Night

With Finn Zeddmore.


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 July-August is WildAid: seeking to end the illegal wildlife trade in our lifetimes by reducing demand through public awareness campaigns and providing comprehensive marine protection.

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