Dickens, aliens, and tales by an actor

Seanchai Library

It’s time to highlight 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, November 26th, 13:30:  Tea-Time with Dickens

With the opening of The Dickens Project (see my preview here), Bryn Taleweaver, Kayden Oconnell and Caledonia Skytower present two items from the works of Charles Dickens: The Signal-Man and selections from Oliver Twist.

First published as part of the Mugby Junction collection in 1866, The Signal-Man had its roots in a an actual event of the time, the Clayton Tunnel railway crash of 1861. This is used as the source for a series of tragic events which take place in, or near a railway tunnel overseen by a lonely signalman, who is visited by a stranger – the story’s narrator.

This first event, related by the signalman to the visitor, is followed by a second, both of them – so the signalman insists – preceded by the appearance of a ghost. His visitor is sceptical of the whole idea that ghosts are somehow involved, and believes the signalman is stressed and needs rest. However, on his third visit to the cutting at the mouth of the tunnel, he discovers something which perhaps alters his belief in ghosts and premonitions…

Few can be unfamiliar with Oliver Twist, the story of an orphan boy, who runs away from the workhouse only to be taken in by a den of thieves. Whilst perhaps now better known through film and stage play, when first published in serial form between 1837 and 1839, this story shocked readers with its portrayal of childhood innocence beset by evil, and its depiction of the exploitation of children, be it in the workhouse or on the city’s streets. With its rich gathering of characters – Fagin, the artful Dodger, the menacing Bill Sikes and the prostitute Nancy – Oliver Twist was a new kind of fiction, combining elements of Gothic romance and melodrama with a scathing indictment of a cruel society, all pervaded by an unforgettable sense of threat and mystery.

Join Seanchai Library at the Christmas Past Docks at The Dickens Project –  look for the teleport panel at the main Landing Point.

Monday, November 27th 19:00: The Alien Dark

Gyro Muggins reads Diana G. Gallagher’s one science-fiction novel.

Out of the darkness of interstellar space…

The ahsin bey, a race of catlike beings determined to expand their territory, launch six vessels into deep space to search for an uninhabited world suitable for colonization.

Tahl d’jehn commands the Dan tahlni on a decades long mission to explore the Chai-te system. Studies show that Chai-te’s planets are rich in the resource the ahsin bey need, but will their signal reach their home world in time to launch the colony ship. And what is Tahl to make of the startling discovery of a dead civilization on Chai-te Three?

Tuesday, November 28th, 19:00: Stories of Inspiration

Caledonia Skytower reads selections by Isaac Bashevis Singer, the Polish-born Jewish writer in Yiddish, who was awarded the 1978 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Wednesday, November 29th, 19:00: Tom Hanks’ Uncommon Type

He is regarded as one of the most talented actors of modern times. However, he is also a talented writer of short stories. In Uncommon Type, he presents 17 stories heart-warming stories, including:

  • The tale of a gentle Eastern European immigrant arriving in New York City after his family and his life have been torn apart by his country’s civil war.
  • The story of the man who loves 10-pin bowling  – to the point where he cannot help but bowl the perfect game, time after time, bringing him to the attention of a sporting TV network
  • an account of an eccentric billionaire and his faithful executive assistant venture into America looking for acquisitions and discover a down and out motel, romance, and a bit of real life.

Will any of these form part of an evening of selections from Hanks’ book? Join  Kayden Oconnell and find out! Also presented in Kitely (hop://grid.kitely.com:8002/Seanchai/144/129/29).

Thursday, November 30th 19:00: In Time for Christmas

At a time when interest in the Christmas holiday was waning, Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol and inspired the world. But now, history is changing, and the book is never written. When the Council for Temporal Studies asks time travelers Simon and Elizabeth Cross to “save Christmas,” they think he’s joking. But it’s anything but a laughing matter. Simon and Elizabeth must go back to 1843 London and convince Dickens to write his endearing story, or the Christmas holiday we all know and love will cease to be–forever.

With Shandon Loring. Also presented in Kitely (hop://grid.kitely.com:8002/Seanchai/108/609/1528).

The Dickens Project

Now in its fifth year, Seanchai Library presents The Dickens Project for Christmas 2017, now open through until December 30th.

Celebrating the work of one of the masters of 19th Century literature, whose humanistic voice continues to be a relevant one in our everyday culture.

Featuring a period setting, performance art, music and – of course – readings from A Christmas Carol, Dickens’ seminal tale for the time of year – and for all of us. Programme schedule.

Visit The Dickens Project.


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.

Respect in Second Life

2Lei – Respect: Ciottolina Xue

Respect is the title selected for the 2017 2LEI art recognition of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, marked on November 25th. Open now through until the end of 2017, this is one of the most involved art installations I’ve visited in Second Life, presenting the work of some 71 visual and music artists either directly or in supporting roles, with no fewer than fifteen primary art display areas.

While marking International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the subject for the installation casts a wider net for Respect – including as it does respect for women, children, individuals, sexual orientation, race, self, and those around us. This makes for a very involved series of installations which requires time – possibly over more than one visit – to fully take in and appreciate. To help with this there is a range of events scheduled through the rest of the year, details of which can be found at the 2Lei blog.

2Lei – Respect: Nino Vichan

With so many displays and levels, coupled with the quality of art on display, a comprehensive review of the installation would be extremely long-winded; similarly, picking individual elements for consideration is equally difficult. What can be said is that there is a rich mix of individual focus on the broader topics noted above, some of which are deeply thought-provoking, others are visually impressive while other may appear to come at their subject from a slightly unexpected angle and one or two, frankly, might confuse or perhaps seem more a generalisation than a focus.

The ground level features the works of fifteen artists, with 2D and 3D pieces ranged around a watery setting under a bright sun, together with the landing point, presentation theatre and teleport boards for reaching the fourteen sky platforms for the installation. Artists on this level include Rebeca Bashly, Dido Haas, Mistero Hifeng, Desy Magic, Ciottolina Xue, to name just a few.

2Lei – Respect: Lagu Indigo and Stardove Spirit

The teleport kiosks provide access to 14 sky platforms, each one featuring the work of an individual arts or a collaborative team. These are – in order of ascent through the levels: Theda Tammas, JadeYu Fhang, Pale Illusion, Laug Indigo and Stardove Spirit, Aneli Abeyanti, Patrick Moya, Nino Vichan, Daco Monday, Black Label Exhibitions Corner, Nevereux, Pol Jarvinen, TerraMerhyem, Red Bikcin and Mona Byte.

Each level is of a fixed size, which the artists have been able to use as they choose, arranged so that visitors arrive on one platform (with teleport options for returning to the ground), move through the display area and out to a second teleport options for returning to the ground or continuing up to the next level. As with the ground level, there are small 2Lei boxes alongside the artist name boards which will offer a folder with the artist’s biography and – perhaps – an outline / description of the work they are displaying.

2Lei – Respect: Rebeca Bashly

As noted, there is a lot to see here – and I admit that in viewing the sky platforms, I was particularly drawn to Nino Vichan’s installation, and the Black Label Exhibitions Corner piece. The latter, largely focusing on GlitterPrincess Destiny’s images. This is perhaps the most involved, and shows a considerable amount of expression on the subjects in an environment that is semi-interactive, requires exploration and offers a lot to see.

In all, a thought-provoking series of exhibits, rich in interpretation and presentation.

SLurl Details