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.
Tea-time at Baker Street sees Caledonia Skytower, John Morland and Kayden Oconnell open the pages of the second full-length novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle featuring Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. Originally commissioned for Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine, for which it was serialised under the original title The Sign of the Four; or The Problem of the Sholtos. This was reduced to The Sign of the Four in later serialisations and when published in book form in 1890 – a title which itself was further abbreviated to The Sign of Four for various film and television adaptations.
In 1888, Mary Morstan comes to Sherlock Holmes seeking his assistance in two matters. The first is with regards to her father. Having returned safely from India in 1878, Captain Arthur Morstan had arranged to meet his daughter at the Langham Hotel, London – but he had vanished from the hotel prior to her arrival. In the decade since, no trace of his whereabouts has ever been discovered.
However following his disappearance – and possibly pursuant to it – is the second reason for Miss Marstan’s visit. Every year from 1882 onwards, she has been in receipt of a single pearl, which started arriving after she had responded to a strange newspaper advert inquiring for her. The latest such pearl to arrive had come with a letter, indicating she had somehow been wronged, the sender asking to meet with her.
Holmes discovers that the pearls started arriving shortly after the death of a Major Sholto, who served with Arthur Morstan in India. His investigations leave him convinced there is a complex set of connections between Morstan and Sholto, which involves an Indian fortress, the names of three Sikhs, an Englishman by the name of Jonathan Small and Sholto’s two sons. If all that weren’t enough, it would seem that greed and treasure may lay at the heart of matters..,
Monday, November 14th 19:00: The War Hound and the World’s Pain (Von Bek #1)
Gyro Muggins concludes Michael Moorcock’s 1982 supernatural novel.
Europe, the 17th century: nations are ravaged by the Thirty Years’ War, driven by religion and engulfing most of the Great Powers. Weary of the fighting, disillusioned, faithless and cynical, Ulrich von Bek, the War Hound, deserts his troops and travels through a Germany ruined by the war and religious persecution.
Coming to a strange forest, he finds within it a castle which appears to have escaped the war. He decides to seek shelter within its walls – only to find this is no ordinary castle. The lord within it is none other than Satan himself.
Von Bek discovers he has been allowed into the castle so that Satan might seek his help. In return for his soul, the Devil asks him to seek out the Cure for the World’s Pain, so that Satan might use it as proof to God that he wishes to be reconciled with heaven.
The hosts of Hell, however, aren’t that keen on the idea of reconciliation…
Tuesday, November 15th 19:00: Serafina and the Twisted Staff
Caledonia reads the second adventure for Robert Beatty’s young heroine, Serafina, published in July 2016.
Introduced in Serafina and the Black Cloak, the titular heroine had, up until the events of that story, lived a secret life in the basement bowels of the manor house on Biltmore Estate. However, she was forced to reveal herself to the estate owner’s young nephew in order that together, they might discover why the children on the estate were mysteriously vanishing.
Now, just a few weeks after those events, Serafina and her new friends must confront a new danger, one worse than the Black Cloak.
In doing so, they well face tests that will strain friendships, while Serafina learns more about her unique talent and abilities, allowing her to grow from introspective “other”, to a young girl accepting of herself. Nor is she alone in her growth; Braeden also is able to come into his own, understanding his own particular gifts,
Intended for younger readers, the Serafina books have a richness of prose and an approach to storytelling guaranteed to keep readers – and listeners – of all ages enthralled. Join Caledonia to find out more!
Wednesday, November 16th 19:00: For the Love of Billy
Caledonia Skytower, Kayden Oconnell and Corwyn Allen read selected poems by Billy Collin, the Poet Laureate between 2001 and 2003.
Thursday, November 17th
19:00: The Ransom of Red Chief and More
Shandon Loring leads listeners in the world of short stories by William Sydney Porter, known as a writer by his pen name, O. Henry.
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 November-December is Reach Out and Read, a non-profit organization that gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into paediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together.