Circuses, gardens, trees, daughters and seas

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, January 26

13:30: Tea-Time at the Night Circus

Caledonia Skytower and Kayden Oconnell read selections from Erin Morgenstern’s 2011 tale about a circus that suddenly arrives without warning. One day a field is empty, the next the circus, with big top and paraphernalia is just there. Called Le Cirque des Rêves, it is only open at night and offers visitors a unique experience full of breathtaking amazements.

But behind the scenes, lies a fierce competition – a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors.

Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. But Celia and Marco tumble head-first into love – a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons of the circus, hang in the balance, one as precarious as the swings used by the acrobats who entertain without a net.

18:30: The Secret Garden

Caledonia Skytower reads this classic of children’s literature  by Frances Hodgson Burnett, first published in 1911, at the Golden Horseshoe in Magicland Park.

Orphaned after losing her parents in a cholera epidemic, young Mary Lennox returns to England from India, entering the care of her uncle Archibald Craven, whom she has never met.

Up until this point, Mary’s childhood had not been happy; her parents were selfish and self-seeking, regarding her as a burden over which they were not obliged to hold much responsibility. Not overly healthy herself, she is as a result  a temperamental, stubborn and unmistakably rude child – and her arrival at Misselthwaite Manor and the relative gloom of Yorkshire’s weather does little to improve her mein.

Her disposition also isn’t helped by her uncle, who is strict and uncompromising, leading to Mary despising him. But her uncle’s story is itself filled with tragedy, particularly the loss of his wife. As she learns more about her uncle’s past, so Mary learns about a walled garden Mrs. Craven once kept, separated from the rest of the grounds and which, since her passing has been kept locked by Mary’s uncle, the door leading to it kept locked, the key to it buried somewhere. 

Finding the missing key and the now hidden door, Mary enters the garden, and her passage into it starts her on a journey of friendship and discovery, one that leads her to the thing she never really knew: family.

Monday, January 27th 19:00: The Integral Trees

Dispatched on a mission of exploration, the Earth ship Discipline, operated by the the all-powerful State, encountered a strange phenomenon: a torus-like ring of gas and dust surrounding a neutron star. Within the torus, the crew discover a thriving ecosystem of plant and animal lifeforms that have evolved to living continually in a state of free-fall.

Despite being overseen by the ship’s AI system, Sharls Davis Kendy, from which they received advice and information, the crew abandoned the Discipline in favour of living among the plants and trees of the torus, which they call the Smoke Ring.

Now, 500 years later, the descends of the original crew have formed a tribal society focused around some of the trees of the system. Adapted to free-fall life, their societal structures are sharply divided, with “wars” common among them, as well as stronger tribes raiding or enslaving weaker tribes, whilst in all of them, artefacts from the original mission are sought-after and venerated. 

In the midst of a round of aggression between various tribal factions, one group find themselves aboard an original craft from the Discipline and caught in space beyond the Smoke Ring, where the Discipline and Kendy are still waiting – and Kendy is willing to provide assistance.

Join Gyro Muggins for more.

Tuesday, January 28th 19:00 The Daughter of Odren

For fourteen years, Weed, as she is called, the daughter of Lord Garnet, has brought offerings to the standing stone. Alone in a shallow valley, she implores the stone not to forget her. To remember who he is and the life he led. To wait until the day he will be avenged.

Now the day has finally arrived. After fourteen long years of waiting, he will have his revenge and she will have her father back.

Or will she?

Willow Moonlight reads Ursula LeGuin’s Earthsea Cycle 6.5.

Wednesday, January 29th, 19:00:The Starless Sea

Caledonia Skytower reads selections from Erin Morgenstern’s novel.

Deep beneath the surface of the Earth and upon the shores of the Starless Sea, lies a network of tunnels and rooms filled with stories and tales. The ways into this secret place are many, but hidden, and perhaps set for just one individual to find. They exist where least expected: on the floors of forests, behind doors inside private homes or around alleyway corners or within mountain caves – almost anywhere in which they cannot be anticipated.

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is searching for his door, though he does not know it. He follows a silent siren song, an inexplicable knowledge that he is meant for another place.

When he discovers a mysterious book in the stacks of his campus library he begins to read, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, lost cities, and nameless acolytes. Suddenly a turn of the page brings Zachary to a story from his own childhood impossibly written in this book that is older than he is…

Thursday, January 30th

19:00 The Furies Part 2

Myths and Legends with Shandon Loring. Also in Kitely – grid.kitely.com:8002:SEANCHAI).

21:00 Seanchai Late Night

Contemporary Sci-Fi-Fantasy from online sources such as Light Speed, Escape Pod, and Clarkesworld presented by Finn  Zeddmore.