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.

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