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 home at Holly Kai Park, unless otherwise indicated.
Sunday, September 3rd 13:30: Tea Time at Baker Street
Caledonia Skytower, Corwyn Allen and Kayden Oconnell once again open the pages of The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes, the final set of twelve Sherlock Holmes short stories first published in the Strand Magazine between October 1921 and April 1927.
“The faculty of deduction is certainly contagious, Watson,” Holmes informs his good friend one October morning after Watson had arrived for breakfast expecting to find Holmes in a depressed mood, wanting for a good, solid case, but finding him instead practically full of the joys of spring.
The comment comes in response to Watson’s observation that such a good mood could only mean that Holmes did indeed have a case. Even so, it is not until after breakfast that the Great Detective reveals the situation.
“You have heard of Neil Gibson, the Gold King?” he said.
“You mean the American Senator?”
“Well, he was once Senator for some Western state, but is better known as the greatest gold-mining magnate in the world.”
“Yes, I know of him. He has surely lived in England for some time. His name is very familiar.”
“Yes, he bought a considerable estate in Hampshire some five years ago. Possibly you have already heard of the tragic end of his wife?”
“Of course. I remember it now. That is why the name is familiar. But I really know nothing of the details.
The details are that the wife of the aforementioned J. Neil Gibson had been most cruelly murdered by none other than the family’s governess, Grace Dunbar. The evidence in the case couldn’t be more clear, nor Miss Dunbar’s guilt more sure.
So the letter Holmes has received protesting her innocence despite all the evidence indicating otherwise, sets the Great detective a pretty riddle. Particularly as it has been written by none other than J. Neil Gibson himself …
Monday, September 4th 19:00: More Than Human
Gyro Muggins reads Theodore Sturgeon’s genre-bending 1953 novel which brings together three of her earlier works to weave a story about people with extraordinary abilities which can be combined – “bleshed” (itself a blending of “blend” and “mesh”) to make them even more extraordinary.
Take, for example, Lone, the simpleton who can hear other people’s thoughts and make a man blow his brains out just by looking at him; or Janie, who moves things without touching them. Then there are the teleporting twins, who can travel ten feet or ten miles, and Baby, who invented an anti-gravity engine while still in the cradle, and Gerry, who has everything it takes to run the world except for a conscience.
Six people struggling to find who they are and whether they are meant to help humanity, destroy it, or represent the next step in evolution, the final chapter in the history of the human race. Through them, Theodore Sturgeon explores questions of power and morality, individuality and belonging, with suspense, pathos, and a lyricism rarely seen in science fiction.
Tuesday, September 5th 19:00: One Summer, America 1927
The summer of 1927 was, for the United States, a signature period of the 20th Century. On May 21st, Charles Lindbergh became the first man to make a non-stop crossing of the Atlantic in an aeroplane when The Spirit of St Louis arrived at Le Bourget airfield, near Paris.
Through that summer, Babe Ruth was setting his record for the number of home runs in baseball, while one of the most infamous murder trials in New York’s history took place: that of Ruth Snyder and her married lover, Henry Judd Gray. They stood accused – and were eventually found guilty of – garrotting of Snyder’s husband in what was a tabloid sensation case.
Meanwhile, in the south the Mississippi burst its banks, leading to widespread flooding and a huge human disaster. Far to the north, Al Capone continued his reign of criminal terror in Chicago, while on the west coast, history was being made with the filming of the world’s first “talking picture” in the form of Al Jolson’s The Jazz Singer, released in October 1927.
All of this and more is charted by Bill Bryson, in a book written with his characteristic eye for telling detail, and delicious humour. 1927 was the year America stepped out onto the world stage as the main event, and One Summer transforms it all into narrative non-fiction of the highest order. Join Kayden Oconnell for a trip through history as seen by Bryson.
Wednesday, September 6th 19:00: Calahan’s Crosstime Saloon
Corwyn Allen reads Spider Robinson’s 1999 anthology.
The titular saloon is a haven for lost souls; a place where the patrons come for one drink and a chance for a second – but only if they offer an unburdening toast at the fireplace. Mike Callahan, the owner, never judges but sometimes advises in as few words as possible.
In the first story in the collection, Callahan thinks he’s heard it all until one day, The Guy With The Eyes comes in.
He spends an hour nursing his first drink, then steps up to the fireplace and unburdens himself with the news that he’s an alien, a harbinger of doom for Earth, who will be returning home in just a couple of hours. But when he does, his masters will destroy the planet, convinced human kind is a cancer. Only he’s no longer convinced that this is true, and no longer wants to see the world destroyed…
Also presented in Kitely (hop://grid.kitely.com:8002/Seanchai/108/609/1528).
Thursday, September 7th:
19:00 The Last of the Mohicans
The wild rush of action in this classic frontier adventure story has made The Last of the Mohicans the most popular of James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales.
Deep in the forests of upper New York State, the brave woodsman Hawkeye (Natty Bumppo) and his loyal Mohican friends Chingachgook and Uncas become embroiled in the bloody battles of the French and Indian War.
The abduction of the beautiful Munro sisters by hostile savages, the treachery of the renegade brave Magua, the ambush of innocent settlers, and the thrilling events that lead to the final tragic confrontation between rival war parties create an unforgettable, spine-tingling picture of life on the frontier. And as the idyllic wilderness gives way to the forces of civilization, the novel presents a moving portrayal of a vanishing race and the end of its way of life in the great American forests.
With Shandon Loring. Also presented in Kitely (hop://grid.kitely.com:8002/Seanchai/108/609/1528).
21:00 Seanchai Late Night
Finn Zeddmore presents contemporary Sci-fi & fantasy!
Please check with the Seanchai Library’s blog for updates and for additions or changes to the week’s schedule.
The featured charity for August and September is Little Kids Rock, transforming lives by restoring, expanding, and innovating music education in schools.