Victorian scandals, future oppression, and reflections on life

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, August 26th

13:30: Tea-time at Baker Street

Back from a well-earned break, Sherlock Holmes and John Watson return to their rooms at 221B Baker Street to be joined by Caledonia Skytower, Corwyn Allen and David Abbot and Bryn Taleweaver, as Seanchai Library’s popular Sunday feature resumes.

“This photograph” by Sidney Paget, July 1891 (wikimedia)

This week comes one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most well-liked mysteries to have engaged his Great Detective, and which first appeared in The Strand Magazine in 1891, before going on to be the first story in the 1982 collection, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. It was also the first of Doyle’s detective series to be illustrated by Sidney Paget. I’m of course talking about A Scandal in Bohemia.

In March 1888, Dr. John Watson, married and with his own medical practice is returning home when, on a whim, he drops in at 221B Baker Street to see Holmes. No sooner has Watson arrived, than Holmes demonstrates some of his incredible deductive powers – which are shortly given greater exercise when, after receiving his expected guest, who arrives during the reunion, Holmes pronounces  him to be not “Count Von Kramm” as he purports, but rather Wilhelm Gottsreich Sigismond von Ormstein, Grand Duke of Cassel-Felstein and the hereditary King of Bohemia.

Admitting Holmes has correctly identified him, the king reveals he is seeking Holmes’ assistance in a matter of some delicacy. It revolves around a liaison he had five years’ previously with an American opera singer, Irene Adler, and which could now threaten his upcoming marriage to a Scandinavian princess. Thus Sherlock Holmes comes to pit his wits against an adversary he will forever only refer to as “the Woman” …

18:00: Magicland Storytime: Aladdin and the Magic Lamp

With Caledonia Skytower at the Golden Horseshoe.

Monday, August 27th 19:00: The R-Master

In the 21st century utopia has arrived in the form of a repressive but seemingly benevolent, if omnipresent, bureaucracy. Their perfectly ordered world, seemingly run for the benefit of all, is actually ruled with an iron fist. In claiming to have people’s best interest at heart, those in power keep the population occupied and docile with menial tasks and the promise of advancement with the aid of the strictly controlled drug, R-47.

For the vast majority, R-47 actually does nothing.But for a special few, observed and selected by the ruling Council, it can massively enhance their intellect, elevating them to the status of “R-Masters” allowing them to solve problems, see advancements, and help ensure – wittingly or not – the Council’s control over the world, cosseted and pampered well away from the drudgery of ordinary life.

However, there is a darker side to R-47: just as it can elevate the intellect of some of those chosen to receive it, so to can it reduce them to imbeciles – and there is no way of knowing who the outcome might be in advance. Wally Ho is one selected to receive R-47 – and suffers the latter fate.

Determining it will raise his problem-solving abilities and restore his brother, Etter Ho obtains R-47 and takes it. But, once elevated to the privileged ranks of the R-Masters and witness the truth behind the Council’s rule, Etter determines the established status quo cannot allowed to continue, and Big Brother must be brought to heel.

Join Gyro Muggins as he reads Gordon R. Dickson’s 1973 novel about life in what is now our times!

Tuesday, August 28th 19:00: Calypso

David Sedaris is a Grammy Award-nominated American humorist and radio contributor, known for his collections of essays and short stories which are mostly autobiographical and self-deprecating in content and style.

When he buys a beach house on the Carolina coast – which in tpyical fashion he names “Sea Section” -, Sedaris envisions long, relaxing vacations spent playing board games and lounging in the sun with those he loves most. And indeed, that’s how it appears to start, apart from one annoying little truth he soon discovers. To quote an unrelated film: “no matter where you go, there you are”; which for Sedaris means when all is said and done, you cannot take a vacation from yourself.

This realisation brings Sedaris’ formidable powers of observation and dry humour to the fore as he considers middle age and mortality and the dawning understanding that life has reached a point where perhaps life has reached a point where the best parts of the story are behind you, rather than awaiting your arrival. Dark, yes; a little morbid, possibly, but the humour is unmistakable and so deeply rooted in the unfolding of this personal tale, it’s impossible not to become caught up within it.

Join R. Crap Mariner – the perfect voice to bring life to Sedaris’ words – and hear more.

Wednesday, August 29th 19:00: More Tales of the Arabian Nights

With Caledonia Skytower – check the Seanchai Blog nearer the time for more details.

Thursday, August 30th

14:00: Fireside Tales Eclectic Readings with Meteor Mags

“A Public Presentation of Poetry, Pirates, Pumas, Pussycats, Planets, Ponies, and Prehistoric Pteranodons.”

19:00: Ghost Pirates!

With Shandon Loring. Also presented in Kitelyhop://grid.kitely.com:8002/Seanchai/144/129/29.

 


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

The current charity is Feed a Smile.

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2 thoughts on “Victorian scandals, future oppression, and reflections on life

  1. Hubby and me were huge Sedaris fans and have lost him out of sight. Thank you for reminding me that he still exists and writes. Time to visit the local bookstore … or find a download onTPB. =^.^=

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