River trips, gardens, journeys and crows in Second 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 unless otherwise indicated. Note that the schedule below may be subject to change during the week, please refer to the Seanchai Library website for the latest information through the week.

Sunday, February 23rd

13:30: Tea-Time Special: Death on the Nile

First published in 1937, Death on he Nile is one of Agatha Christie’s most famous and enduring Hercule Poirot murder mysteries. The book has been the subject of multiple theatrical, film and television adaptations, most of which had by necessity condensed elements of this tale of love, jealously, and betrayal to more readily fit the requirements of their format.

Now, Seanchai Library continues to present the opportunity to enjoy the story in full – and within a setting inspired by the novel, as Corwyn Allen, Da5id Abbot, Kayden Oconnell, Gloriana Maertens, and Caledonia Skytower bring Christie’s characters once more to life for us to enjoy.

The Karnak – Death on the Nile

So, why not join Poirot as he cruises aboard the river steamer Karnak in a trip along the Nile – although a tour of the sights is unlikely to be high on his priorities given murder is a fellow passenger.

18:30: The Secret Garden

Caledonia Skytower continues 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, February 24th 19:00: Out of the Silent Planet

The first novel in C.S. Lewis’s classic sci-fi trilogy which tells the adventure of Dr Ransom who is kidnapped and transported to Mars.

In the first novel of C.S. Lewis’s classic science fiction trilogy, Dr Ransom, a Cambridge academic, is abducted and taken on a spaceship to the red planet of Malacandra, which he knows as Mars. His captors are plotting to plunder the planet’s treasures and plan to offer Ransom as a sacrifice to the creatures who live there, and his discovers that he is special as he comes from the ‘silent planet’ – Earth – a world whose tragic story is known throughout the universe…

Join Gyro Muggins for more.

Tuesday, February 25th 19:00: The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains

Willow Moonfire reads from Neil Gaiman’s Tale of Travel and Darkness

Two men, bearing both guilt and secrets, and not really known to one another, set out on a journey to reach the Misty Isle where, it is said, there lies a cave filled with gold from which a many might take as much as he can carry.

One bears guilts he can both forgive and not forgive of himself, the other bearing his own secrets. The reasons for the guilt and the secrets gradually come to the fore as they travel across a landscape as bleak and as hard as their lives. Along the way, they encounter others, travellers,  householders, and a ferryman. They are similarly hard and suspicious, and also reflect the Jacobite landscape of Scotland where they reside.

Over time, MacInnes, the taller of the two and the one that knows the way to the cave, reveals more of it to his smaller, guilt carrying companion, warning that the cave carries a particular price for those who seek it: It strips away a little bit of anyone who enters.

Wednesday, February 26th, 19:00: A Matter of OF Dreams

Ktadhn Vesuvino reads a further story from the Liaden Universe.

Thursday, February 27th

19:00 A Pocketful of Crows

The bonny brown girl, lives in the forest, unnamed, untamed. Her people, the “travelling folk”, have no need of towns, or houses, or linens. Nor of each other, save at occasional seasonal gatherings. The Brown Girl lives in the wild, inhabits the wild creatures when she wants to hunt in the forest, or soar through the sky.

Then one spring day, the day before May Day, she meets William, a young royal, and quickly falls in love. Though she denies being in love, and swears to remain wild, William insists on giving her a name, Malmuira, the Dark Lady of the Mountains.

“Thus are you named, my brown girl. Thus do you belong to me.”

Join Shandon Loring as he continues this tale of love, loss and revenge. Following the seasons, A Pocketful of Crows balances youth and age, wisdom and passion and draws on nature and folklore to weave a stunning modern mythology around a nameless wild girl. Also in Kitely – grid.kitely.com:8002:SEANCHAI).

21:00 Seanchai Late Night

A special session this week with Shandon presenting Frederick Pohl’s The Day of the Boomer Dukes.

A man of many faces in Second Life

The Lost Unicorn: Razor Cure

Open through until Sunday, March 22nd at the Lost Unicorn Gallery is Razor Cure: Man of Many Faces, an exhibition of art by Razor Cure.

A Second Life photographer with a lean towards self portraiture, Razor doesn’t so much present characters and settings in eye-catching images, but actually inhabits the character he creates. some of these are born entirely of his imagination, others inspired by film or legend, while all of them reveal a man in love with stories, as he notes in writing about himself:

I go by Razor Cure, the name itself semi-borrowed from a book I was reading when I made my SL account … I came to SL for naughtiness, after my favour game, City of Heroes, died (and its back now, woo!) and ended up getting into picture taking. Now most of my time here is spent hunting for cool new outfits and attachments, exploring sims, tweaking poses…

The Lost Unicorn Gallery: Razor Gallery

This love of inhabiting characters and telling stories is very much in evidence in the pictures selected for this exhibition. Within it, we can join with Harry Potter at Hogwarts, ride a magic carpet with a Prince of Persia, watch as a Baby Groot borrows a certain stone-laden gauntlet, confront a Joker-esque villain or a masked anarchist; all of whom are framed in in a manner that sets them within a story our imaginations can unfold.

Alongside of these are pieces that might be regarded as more “traditional” avatar studies: the ring master, the cowboy, the hunter, and characters from fantasy. But again, Razor makes them characters he can inhabit, rather than just offer them as static studies, again making them stories in art.

The Lost Unicorn Gallery: Razor Cure

Man of Many Faces sits within the main hall of the Lost Unicorn and several of the surrounding halls. This both provides plenty of space for Razor’s art without overwhelming the visitor whilst also offering gentle encouragement to explore the other gallery spaces and the art and artists they have to offer.

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A Little World with a touch of Voodoo Land in Second Life

Little World, February 2020 – click any image for full size

Back in September 2018 we visited Little Havana and its neighbour, Voodoo In My Blood. The former was a joint design led by Sofie Janic, the latter largely the work of Megan Prumier. You can read more about that trip here).  Given the length of time that has passed, together with catching an image taken by Cecilia Nansen whilst she visited the region set me to thinking a return might be in order.

Little Havana has now gone – possibly for a while, given the amount of time since our last visit – and it has been replaced by Little World, a design again led by Sofie, together with Abaracdabra, and that is apparently still under construction. It’s a place very different to Little Havana but it retains the same photogenic attractiveness that has already brought it to the attention of SL photographers.

Little World, February 2020

The landing point sits on the south side of the region on the bridge linking it to Voodoo Land (which was called Voodoo In My Blood back in 2018, and of which more anon). From here, a road climbs to the east behind tall buildings with their backs to the water, steps point the way north and up to where an urban scene sits under a default sunset sky.

Neon is very much the order of things here, bright signs thrusting out into a narrow street that is in places made narrower by parked vehicles. Street-side eateries fill the air with steam from cooking foods, while steel shutters denote places of business that have closed for the night. Overall, the sense that this is a little corner of Japan is strong along this street – but that’s not to say the build as a whole is meant to represent a location in Japan.

Little World, February 2020

A second north-south street is home to an open market, rich with fruit, vegetables, fish, flowers and, in a throwback to times past, VHS tapes. While the signage on the buildings either side might be Japanese, the price tags and signs in the market are distinctly western. Thus, the sense that Little World is a melting pot of influences in the way of so many urban centres around the globe so often are.

Connecting the two streets at their northern ends is a cobbled square offering an open air café and a space for music. West of this sits an echo of Little Havana in the form of a narrow ribbon of beach. Little fishing boats that look to be more for decoration then for fishing sit moored against a deck sitting over the waves.

Little World, February 2020

While the buildings are shells, Little World offers many opportunities for photography, with locations further brought to life thanks to the local “residents” – human and feline! Photos are welcome at the region’s Flickr group.

Across the bridge, Megan Prumier’s Voodoo Land remains much as we remembered it from 2018. There’s a “new” store area on the west side, with Voodoo still sitting on the east side of the region overlooking the bay. South of this, the region retains its run-down Americana look, complete with ageing buildings and its tired, open beach front that is packed with detail and extends around to a fun fair in the south-west corner.

Little World, February 2020

There are other subtle changes here as well – the high pier and boat moorings have gone, but a new English-style pub appears to have been plonked down on the hedgerows and paved paths on the west side of the region. I’m assuming this is a temporary location for the pub, and that it may yet be moved.  There’s also an underground section I don’t remember from 2018 – but that could have simply been missed during that visit.

Like Little World, Voodoo Land presents multiple opportunities for photography and exploration, with both making for an ideal joint visit.

Voodoo Land, February 2020

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