Artwalks and Tinies in Second Life

Raglan Shire Artwalk 2017

Raglan Shire, Second Life’s Tiny community once again throws open its doors to people from across the grid as participating artists and visitors to the Annual Raglan Shire Artwalk.

This year marks the 12th Artwalk, and forms part of Raglan Shire’s tenth anniversary celebrations. The event offers an opportunity not just to appreciate a huge range of art from both the physical and digital worlds, but to also tour the Shire regions and enjoy the hospitality of the Raglan Shire community.

Raglan Shire Artwalk 2017: Hana Hoobinoo

Running through until Sunday, June 18th the Artwalk present 2D are along the hedgerows of the Shire’s pathways and on the tree platforms overhead, while the central park lands offer walks among pieces of 3D art.

A non-juried exhibition, the Artwalk is open to any artist wishing to enter, and has minimal restrictions on the type of art displayed (one of the most important being all art is in keeping with the Shire’s maturity rating), and spaces for artists are not assigned. All of this means that it offers one of the richest mixes of SL art displayed within a single location in Second Life. Wandering along the paths and between the hedgerows, a visit to the Artwalk becomes a matter of discovery – although it is very easy to lose track of time when exploring; as such, more than one visit may be required to appreciate / see all the art on offer.

Raglan Shire Artwalk 2017: Utterly Wizardly

Given the number of artists involved, there isn’t a published list of participants, but anyone interested in the world of SL art is bound to recognise name of the names of the artists here. I personally couldn’t help but notice Hana Hoobinoo’s hauntingly beautiful art along with Sheba Blitz’s marvellous mandala pieces among the tree platforms, while Gioanna Cerise – noted for working in 3D – presents some of her 2D art at ground level, while Johannes1997 Resident – noted for his 2D art and photography – offers a 3D piece.

Teleport boards are provided to help people find their way around the exhibition spaces, and there are also caterpillar tours  and balloons which offer rides around the region and through the art displays. However, given this is an opportunity to visit and appreciate Raglan Shire, I do recommend exercising your pedal extremities and doing at least some of your exploration on foot – just keep in mind people do have their homes in the regions as well.

Raglan Shire Artwalk 2017: Me

The Raglan Shire Artwalk is always a delight to visit; this 12th season, being a part of the Shire’s 10th anniversary, is a very special event, and I do recommend a visit.  As noted, it will remain open through until Sunday, June 18th.

Raglan Shire Artwalk 2017: Lou Robinson

The SLurls

Note that all regions are rated General.

Mysteries, magic and monsters

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, May 14th 13:30: The Thin Man

New York, 1932. Nick Charles, a retired west coast private detective, and his wealthy socialite wife, are in the Big Apple for Christmas. It’s a place where Nick is perfectly happy getting drunk in their hotel room or in speakeasies. Which is not to say the couple are unhappy; far from it. They enjoy witty repartee and banter with one another, and Nora is every inch Nick’s match in wit and intelligence.

Things change when Nick is visited by Dorothy Wynant, the daughter of a former client, businessman Clyde Wynant, who has apparently vanished ahead of his daughter’s wedding. Nick reluctantly – and to Nora’s amusement – agrees to find the missing businessman (the titular Thin Man). But what starts as a search for a missing man quickly turns into the hunt for a murderer after Wynant’s secretary is found dead, with all the evidence points to Wynant himself as her killer.

Corwyn Allen, John Morland, Kayden Oconnell, and Caledonia Skytower read Dashell Hammett’s 1933 classic, which became the first in a series of films following Nick and Nora’s adventures, as played by the inimitable William Powell and Myrna Loy.

Monday, May 15th 19:00: Architects of Hyperspace

Humour, hard science and speculative science fiction all combine in this novel by Thomas R. McDonough, who has worked with both the SETI Institute and The Planetary society.

A trio driven by personal ambitions comes together after a dying man’s last words send them in search of the secrets of a lost alien civilisation. Critic’s review:

A wonderful tongue in cheek story backed by great speculative science. The combination of the sometimes screwball comedy with the specifics of how hyperspace could work and the details of the time lags of space communication, etc, made for a believable and well-formed diegesis. There were times reading this book that I just had to stop to laugh. The book reminds me a great deal of Red Dwarf.

Join Gyro Muggins as he reads this unusual story.

Tuesday, May 16th 19:00: Of Mice and Magic

Faerie Maven-Pralou reads the first in the Ravenspell series by David Farland

More than anything, Benjamin Ravenspell wants a pet. But when he buys a mouse named Amber, he gets more than he bargained for. No sooner does Ben take her home, than Amber turns him into a mouse too.

You see, Amber has magical abilities, and it so happens that Ben is a familiar, a creature that stores magical energy. Together they each form half of a powerful wizard. Alone, they’re just vermin.

Soon Ben and Amber find themselves pitted in an epic battle against a magical enemy who is as crazed as he is evil, and the fate of the world will rest on them learning to work together.

Wednesday, May 17th 19:00 The Atrocity Archives Part 2

atrocity-archivesBob Howard is a low-level techie working for The Laundry, a super-secret government agency. While his colleagues are out saving the world, Bob’s under a desk restoring lost data. None of them receive any thanks for the jobs they do, but at least a techie doesn’t risk getting shot or eaten in the line of duty. Bob’s world is dull but safe, and that’s the way it should have stayed; but then he went and got Noticed.

Now, Bob Howard is up to his neck in spycraft, alternative universes, dimension-hopping Nazis, Middle Eastern terrorists, damsels in distress, ancient Lovecraftian horror and the end of the world.

Only one thing is certain: it will take more than control-alt-delete to sort this mess out…

Join Corwyn Allen as he resumes relating stories involving Charles Stross’ unlikely hero, Bob Howard.

Thursday, May 18th 19:00: From the Shadows

Scary stories for stormy nights with Shandon Loring (also presented in Kitely hop://

Please check with the Seanchai Library’s blog for updates and for additions or changes to the week’s schedule.

The featured charity for May through July is Alex’s Lemonade Stand, raising awareness of childhood cancer causes and funds for research into new treatments and cures.

Furillen City in Second Life

The Mill, Pale Moonlight; Inara Pey, May 2017, on Flickr Furillen, Pandora Empire – click any image for full size

Furillen, the atmospheric region designed by Serene Footman, has a new home in the full region of Pandora Empire. With the move comes another new design, one which sits both on the ground and up in the air over the region.

The ground level continues to reflect Furillen’s origins: an island off the north-east coast of Gotland, Sweden. In doing so, it retains the same misted, desolate beauty of previous builds, complete with a shell of the limestone factory and the hotel which now occupies the physical world island. However, with this iteration of the design, the factory footprint has been reduced and the hotel has a new, more homely look and feel.

The Mill, Pale Moonlight; Inara Pey, May 2017, on Flickr Furillen, Pandora Empire

Further afield can be found other reminders of the original Furillen build: the crane over the water, the hoppers, the caravan. But so to are there new places to explore, such as the fishing village in the north-east corner of the region or the club close to the old factory tower. These aspects, old and new, combine to offer a familiar but new look to the island which encourages fresh exploration.

But it is in the sky where things get even more interesting. A teleport disk near the landing point offers access, and the names of some of the destinations – penguin, joker, catwoman, riddler, batcave – offer hints as to what awaits visitors when teleporting, although I recommend that on a first visit, you head from somewhere like the square, as this will allow you to experience things more fully, delivering you to a town square.

The Mill, Pale Moonlight; Inara Pey, May 2017, on Flickr Furillen, Pandora Empire

Seen under the same region windlight as the rest of the region, this cityscape also works under a range of daytime and night-time settings. In case you hadn’t already worked it out from the destination names above, this urban environment is a homage to Batman, from the comics, through the 1960s TV series to the more films of Keaton, Kilmer and Bale et al. However, it is not a homage that should perhaps be taken too seriously, as some of the visuals clues seem to suggest (such as the The Dork Knight club).

That said, the attention to detail is impressive, and fans of Batman will find a visit a treat, with plenty of nods to the entire franchise from familiar names such as Sionis Industries, Arkham Asylum and the Gotham Gazette.  Nor is this just a surface homage; follow the teleport disk around and there is plenty more to find from the Batcave (complete with the different generations of Batmobile), to the underground lair of the Penguin, to the more homely setting of Selena Kyle’s apartment.

The Mill, Pale Moonlight; Inara Pey, May 2017, on Flickr Furillen, Pandora Empire

And that’s just the start of things – but to reveal everything would be to spoil the surprise of discovery. This is a place which deserves time and exploration, and not just by teleport disk. Look closely enough, and there are secret ways to be found: tunnels and passages, all of which connect street level to a network of underground locations.

I’ve always enjoyed my visits to Furillen; each iteration – from the initial build, through the homage to Pink Floyd, to the reinterpretation of La Digue du Braek – Serene Footman has always offered unique and intriguing builds for people to visit. In its new home, and in this form, Furillen continues to do just that. When visiting, keep an eye out for the art gallery and consider joining the region’s group for information on events, and also check Furillen’s own website for news and updates.

The Mill, Pale Moonlight; Inara Pey, May 2017, on Flickr Furillen, Pandora Empire

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