Detectives, aliens, food and PC tales in Second Life

It’s time to kick-off another week of storytelling in Voice 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, February 26th

13:30: Tea Time Mysteries!

Seanchai Library launches a Tea Time series, featuring everything non-Holmesian from Christie to Hamett, classic sleuthing to hard-boiled detectives of the noir-ish hue.

red-windThis week: Raymond Chandler’s Red Wind  concludes with Kayden, Cale, and John.

There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every boozy party ends in the fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husband’s necks.

So opens Chandlers 1946 Red Wind. Regarded as one of the classic openings for a noir story, it follows Philip Marlowe who, initially a bystander in a bar, witnesses an odd exchange between a man and a bartender concerning a woman, whom the man describes in great detail.

The conversation ends when another man in the bar kills the questioner, and Marlowe decides to delve into matters himself…

18:00: Magicland Storytime

How to Cheat a Dragon’s Curse continues with Caledonia Skytower at the Golden Horseshoe In Magicland.

Monday, February 27th 19:00: The Crucible of Time

crucibleGyro Muggins concludes reading the fix-up by John Brunner. First published as two-part story which appeared in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, it’s an ambitious tale of alien intelligence which grew to a series of six linked tales pushed as a single novel in 1983.

Far off in space is an alien race which is so much like us, yet so un-alike. From the birth of their earliest civilisation through to their attainment of star flight as their star system passes through the galaxy, we follow their development through the ages.

Aquatic by nature, this race presents some significant challenges well outside the realms of anything encountered by humanity. But they are also driven by all too familiar hopes, fears, desires, needs, wants, prejudices, impact of religious ideologies, and the quest for knowledge we have experienced in the growth of our own civilisation.

Charting six periods of time, each a thousand years after the previous, the six stories focus on the efforts of a group of individuals in each era as they face one or more challenges, their success in overcoming these challenges inevitably leading them towards a greater understanding of their planet’s plight, and ultimately, the ability to deal with that plight and the survival of their civilisation.

Tuesday, February 28th 19:00: Save Room for Pie: Food songs and Chewy Ruminations

save-room-for-pieComic writer Roy Blount Jr has been a life-long eater of food. He’s not sure where his attraction to food began, but he knows that eating isn’t always easy – beyond the sitting doing, chewing and swallowing, that is: those most assuredly are the easy parts.

But, what effect is the global climate and the ups and downs of the economy – local and global – having on the food he eats? How much does his own sinusitis, with its deadening of his sense of taste and smell, impact on his actual enjoyment of eating and food?

In poems and songs, limericks and fake (or sometimes true) news stories, Blount talks about food in surprising and innovative ways. In these pages he ruminates on everything from bacon froth to grapefruit, Kobe beef to biscuits. He defends gizzards, mullet, okra, cane syrup, watermelon, and boiled peanuts; he seeks imagined observations from Frederick Douglass to Louis Armstrong to Blaze Starr. There’s even an imagined conversation between Eve and Adam in the Garden of Eden. 

And we shouldn’t forget the shampooed possums and carjacking turkeys! With Kayden OConnell.

Wednesday, March 1st 19:00: Politically Correct Bedtime Stories

politically-correct-bedtimeBedtime stories. We all know them, whether about the Wicked Witch, the Evil Goblin, the Nefarious Fairy, the Wayward Wolf or some other creature with mischief and badness on its mind. But did you know all of these tales are in fact the product of a few, elite minds, isolated from the rest of the world, who would discuss worldly affairs as their own skewed perspective on all things presented them?

Did you know these views and ideas were never supposed to leave the inner sanctum of the club in which they were first spouted, but somehow they did? Worse, that they somehow became the foundation of the tales we tell our children at bed time, leaving creatures and witches and fairies and all much maligned?

‘Tis true! Honest!

Luckily for us, James Finn Garner has carried out an intense investigation of this situation, and offers – through the voice of Faerie Maven-Pralou – twelve properly adjusted, politically correct bedtime stories for the modern era. Thus we have witches who are “kindest impaired” and the Emperor who went “clothing optional”, and more!

Thursday, March 2nd: 19:00: HG Wells’ A Story of the Stone Age

Shandon Loring continues H.G. Wells’ 1897 short story set within the stone age and focusing on Ugh-lomi.

Attracted to the young woman Eudena, he kills his rival for her attention and the de facto leader of their tribe, Uya. Forced into exile as a result, Ugh-lomi becomes the first man to  fashion an axe using wood and stone, and ride a horse. His use of the weapon helps him survive a range of encounters with wild animals. Ultimately, he returns to his tribe and claims leadership for himself.

Also in Kitely.


Please check with the Seanchai Library’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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