With most of with eyes fixed on Fantasy Faire (you can catch my own shorthand guide if the mood takes you). Daniel Voyager was looking in another direction, and tweeted an interesting find.
It seems the Lab and the Linden Department of Public Works could be busy working to address the demand for more houseboats within the new Linden Homes continent, with Daniel identifying a new 48-region SSP development being put together south of the original SSP development area.
There has been no official word on whether the new regions are being developed in response to the demand for houseboats, but certainly, that demand has been strong enough to warrant this, with repeated disappointment being voiced over the fact the houseboats initially made available were very rapidly snapped up. As such, it seem a reasonable deduction to see this latest SSP development as a move to meet at least some of this demand.
The new regions form a series of sandbars with extensive moorings of the same general type seen within the new Linden Homes continent of Bellisseria, strongly suggesting they will provide space for more of the new houseboats (see right). Some of the waterways between the sand bars look to be a little too narrow to fit houseboats and piers – perhaps these are intended for use by float planes and the like, if not to form a natural break to prevent the regions from feeling overcrowded.
There is no available date on when the new regions might be added to Bellisseria – again assuming the intent of their development is to meet demand. Nevertheless, it does bring with it a couple of questions.
The first is: where might the new development sit in relation to Bellisseria’s existing land mass? While I have nothing more to go on than instinct, my own thoughts are the area to the south and east of Bellesseria would seem the most likely. There is plenty of space for further regions to be dropped in there (south of the lower eastern tip of the continent), whilst still leaving room for the “unfinished” line down the east side of the continent’s western “finger” without causing any feeling of crowding. Or perhaps the new regions will eventually be placed to the south of that western finger, although that might put them a little too close to the channel running to Jeogeot (unless they are linked directly to it).
The second question is more intrinsic to Bellesseria as a whole. while houses along the cost are being picked up – they did so after the houseboats had gone. So, simply provisioning more houseboats possibly runs the risk of the continent’s inland areas remaining under-populated unless they are made more inviting.
Is the slow initial take-up of houses simply that the initial selection wasn’t seen as attractive enough, or was it down to something more fundamental? A lack of ability to link them to the continent’s road structure, for example or – as I noted in Making a (Linden) houseboat a home – is it the general lack of additional amenities people might appreciate having, such as a few airstrips scattered around to offer people the attraction of being able to rez and fly their light ‘planes off of the grass. Or perhaps some of the houses along the rivers could have small boat access to the water (although this could create issues of its own).
Time will tell on both of these questions, but in the meantime – and again assuming the move is to address the demand – the potential of more houseboats becoming available in the (hopefully!) not too distant future could well be as welcome as the recent moves by the Lab to deal with issues of banlines across the new region.
Note that SLurl to the Fairelands are listed at the end of this article, rather than being embedded in the text.
The largest fantasy-related event to take place in Second Life, Fantasy Faire 2019, opened its gates to fairelanders at 13:00 SLT on Thursday, April 18th, and will remain open through until Sunday, May 5th, 2019 inclusive. Formal events will run from April 18th through until Monday, April 29th, after which the regions will be open to viewing, photography and shopping until May 5th – although there could be some special surprises during those final days!
This year the Faire is spread across 16 regions (including the entertainment and Quest regions), and as always, there is a packed programme of activities and events. As always, the regions offer richly imaginative environment in which to spend time, some of which are wholly new to the fairelands, while others offer echoes of past Fairelands – as is only fitting, given the theme for this year is The Builders.
Take Faireholm, the build by Kayle Matzerath, for example. A marvellous city where colour reigns and the light of the Sun is paid tribute in a harmonious setting that focuses on the great castle. Bright and gay, its winding streets are a joy to wander – and they carry within them a strong echo of the much-loved Luminaria, Kayle’s build from Fantasy Faire 2013 (and now, as Meauxle Bureaux, the home of the Linden Department of Public Works Moles – see Among the Moles of Lumenaria).
Similarly, Alia Baroque’s Midas, whilst an entirely unique build, carries within its motifs memories of The Golden Delta from 2016, while the tall buildings, all be they of an entirely different architectural heritage, bring to mind the those of The Rose (2017), and the terraced green lawns offer a soft whisper of 2014’s Magnificat. More Whispers of the past can be found in the colours and tones of The Shrine Tree, by Marcus Inkpen and Sharni Azalee, which bring to mind the colours of 2017’s Dawn’s Promise. Thus, a visit to this year’s Fairelands carries with it the sweet fragrance of past travels.
But so to does it hold places that are wholly new to eye and memory. Take Tensor’s Flying Market, a remarkable souq-like bazaar, held aloft by great engines that power mighty propellers, perhaps drawing their power from the crystals embedded in the base of the great platform on which the market resides. But as high has Tensor’s Flying Market may well float, it still sits beneath the quite stunning bulk of Trollhaugen’s carven mountain, home to this year’s LitFest (see my preview of that event for more).
Trollhaugen is just one of the six events regions within this year’s Fairelands, as detailed at the end of this article in the links. One of these – Genesia, by Haveit Neox & Lilia Artis is another setting that maintains a link with Fairelands of the past through its design that extends both above and bloew the waves of Linden water. Joining this year’s Faire, and building on 2018 is Urafiki,by Eclair Martinek and Grace Loudon, home to this year’s One Team Initiative, while the dragon-borne party ship, Fairechylde, will be docked at The Celestial Plain by Syn Beresford, home to this year’s live music and DJ entertainment.
And, of course, no Fantasy Faire would be complete without the Fairelands Junction, another fabulous design by Saiyge Lotus. As ever the junction provides the logical starting-point for explorations, containing as it does portals to all the other regions, as well as the remembrance wall, and The Worldlings – windows onto the Fairelands That Could Be.
You can find the background notes on all the 2018 Fairelands regions here, or by visiting their individual pages on the Fantasy Faire website.
The KNH Hope Hostel
In 2018, Fantasy Faire took to its heart a special project initiated by the American Cancer Society: the Kenyatta National Hospital Hope Hostel. The first ACS Hope Lodge to be established outside the United States, and in a country where cancer mortality is almost 80%, this centre will serve more than 1,000 cancer patients annually, providing free temporary housing and integrated hospital services, such as post-operative care and pain management. Allowing them to access care and support in a manner they might not otherwise be able to receive.
You can read more about the KNH Hope Hostel project in Fantasy Faire 2018: supporting the KNH Hope Hostel, and in my more recent update from December 2018. However, the impact fund-raising efforts at Fantasy Faire have had on this ground-braking project – and on the ACS management team – cannot be over-stated. In fact, the funds raised by Fantasy Faire in 2018 became the focal point of far wider efforts to support the Hope Hostel project, as Kristen Solt, Managing Director of the American Cancer Society’s Global Health Initiatives Programme indicated in an open letter to all Fairelanders:
Such a groundbreaking project called for an innovative approach to fundraising … and for the first time, we would ask a Relay For Life team to focus on a specific project. That team was Fantasy Faire and in 2018 you answered the call by raising $50,000 dollars. We were all energised by your success!
It also inspired others around the world to join in the effort. This enabled us to expand our goals for the project. We nearly doubled the number of beds in the hostel, allowing for thousands more patients to access this home away from home. With your help, our Kenyan partners will begin construction in July on the KNH Hope Hostel.
As Kirsten goes on to note, the money raised by Fantasy Faire 2018 and Second Life Relayers has already made a lasting difference to many cancer sufferers and their families in Kenya:
Thanks in large part to Relayers in Second Life, we’ve been able to launch the Patient Navigator program at KNH which in the last year has given FOUR THOUSAND Kenyans access to better information and assistance. Think about that number for a moment: four thousand people! Ask yourself how many family members they each have. How many friends and loved ones? There are tens of thousands of people in Kenya today whose lives are already better because of you.
Further thanks to Fantasy Faire and all Fairelander has also been offered by Dr. Esther Munyoro, head of the Pain and Palliative Care Unit at Kenyatta National Hospital, by way of a video message.
Hence why, this year, Fantasy Faire will again support the KNH Hope Hostel.
Role-Play and Table-Top Gaming
2019 will once again there will be numerous opportunities for role-play within the Fairelands. Three groups are offering themed role-play, weaving tales and offering anyone with an interest with the chance to participate.
The Bubo Owls: lost children with few memories of their former homes and how they got to the Fairelands who have taken up residence in Tensor’s Flying Market, and unwitting “middle men” in a three-way war.
In addition, the NeoVictoria Project will be holding a series of out-of-character events where visitors can talk about players from the NeoVictoria community about the project, the story-world and how to get involved. There will even be a stage where folks can practice role-playing. See the Meet’n’Greet schedule for more.
Those interested in role-play can also attend a series of role-play classes taking place at Bayounimba.
2019 will also see the return of table-top gaming, an activity added to Fantasy Faire in 2018. Catch the full schedule if you’re interested in joining in.
Keep abreast of all things Fantasy Faire – music, auctions, literary, performance, and of course the infamous Jail and Bail rounds – through the Fantasy Faire Website, the Fantasy Faire 2019 events calendar and Fantasy Faire radio.
Note:as this is a preview piece, SLurls will be added once Fantasy Faire has opened its doors on April 18th, 2019.
On Thursday, April 18th, Fantasy Faire will open for 2019, and will remain open through until Sunday, May 5th, 2019 inclusive. Throughout this entire period, the Faire and the Fairelands will be host to the fifth annual Fantasy Faire Literary Festival (LitFest).
Lying deep within the Fairelands is Trollhaugen, the home of the LitFest. A magical realm and very special location for the Festival, it is a place where the magic of the spoken word will weave tales of wonder, relate stories of great adventure and daring; where talks by authors, discussions, creative writing sessions and performances will all take place. In addition, literary hawks and writers will be encouraged to join daily LitFest tours of the Fairelands and afterwards compose pieces related to their travels.
The full LitFest schedule is now available, but here are some preview highlights to whet appetites!
Guest Of Honour and Authors
The special guest for this year’s festival is the Hugo, Sturgeon, Locus, and Campbell Award winning author of dozens of novels; over a hundred short stories; and a number of essays, Elizabeth Bear. She will be appearing at the LitFest as follows:
14:00 SLT on Tuesday, April 23rd: in an interview and discussion about her work as a novelist, writer and futurist, doubtless touching on her upcoming new novel, The Red-Stained Wings (The Lotus Kingdoms Book 2), which will be released on May 28th, 2019.
14:00 SLT on Friday, April 26th: reading an extract for her work.
The Litfest will also feature two published authors who are also Second Life residents:
Milk Wood Writer’s Dash and NaPoWriMo Fantasy Writing Prompts
Want to hone your writing skills? Join in with one of the following:
Milk Wood Writer’s Dash (Friday April 19th through Sunday, May 5th, 06:00-06:30 and 18:00-18:30): spend 15 minutes writing poetry or prose based on a writer’s prompt. When time is up, everyone exchanges their writings with one another.
NaPoWriMo Fantasy Writing Prompts (Friday, April 19th, and Monday April 22nd through Friday April 26th, 08:00-09:00 SLT): April is National Poetry Writing Month, and participating poets are asked to write a poem a day for the month of April – so why not do so in-world with like-minded poets?
Ursula K. Le Guin Day
On Wednesday, April 24th, Litfest marks the life and works of the late author, Ursula K. Le Guin, regarded as one of America’s foremost writers of speculative fiction, including science fiction works set in her Hainish Universe, and the Earthsea fantasy series. In a career spanning 60 years, she produced more than twenty novels, over a hundred short stories and many volumes of poetry, literary criticism, translations, and children’s books.
In addition, and ahead of Ursuala Le Guin day, on Monday, April 22nd between 19:00-20:00 SLT, Seanchai Library’s Gyro Muggins will be reading selected excerpts from Le Guin’s Left Hand of Darkness, in which a human envoy arrives on the planet known as Gethen aka “Winter”; and from The Lathe of Heaven, where a battle of wits ensues between a psychiatrist and a patient with psychic dream powers.
Arrivals and Departures
On Thursday, April 25th from 14:00 SLT at the FaireChylde performance area, there will be a special performance of Arrivals and Departures, the story film by CEH Productions. Based on a short story written by Caledonia Skytower and recorded for Fantasy Faire Radio as part of Fantasy Faire 2018, the film was shot at a reproduction of Fantasy Faire 2018’s Erstwhile Station.
The popular Fantasy Faire LitFest Tours will once again be taking place, leaving daily from the LitFest home base of Trollhaugen to explore the Fairelands and seeking the stories they have to tell as well as their special secret places and details. Each tour will be guided and accompanied by music, as some of the Faire’s best loved DJs offer selections of music, especially chosen for each of the regions visited.
The Tours for 2019 will be as follows (all commence at 17:00 SLT unless otherwise indicated):
Thursday, April 18th
Region 1 – Fairholm
Friday, April 19th
Region 2 – Light of Va’loth
Saturday, April 20th
Region 3 – Nightshade Blossoms
Sunday, April 21st
Region 4 – Sanguinely Garden
Monday, April 22nd
Region 5 – Bayounimba
Tuesday, April 23rd
Region 6 – The Shrine Tree
Wednesday, April 24th
Region 7 – Department of Discarded Curiosities
Thursday, April 25th
Region 8 – Twilight Spring
Friday, April 26th
Region 9 – Tensors’ Flying Market
Saturday, April 27th
Region 10 – Midas
Monday, April 29th
Region 11 – Fairelands Junction
Tuesday, April 30th
Region 12 – Urafiki
Wednesday, May 1st
Region 13 – Genesia
Thursday, May 2nd
Region 14 – Trollhaugen
Friday, May 3rd
Region 15 – The Celestial Plain
Saturday, May 4th
Region 16 – Thornfast
Keep up with all the news and information on the LitFest and Fantasy Faire through the Fantasy Faire website.