Solving a mystery, time travel and youthful journeys in 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, March 8th

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

In this, the final part of the story, Poirot reveals the who and the why of the murders and thefts that have dogged the cruise of the cruise of the steamer Karnak during its cruise along the Nile.

To be followed by a post-read party featuring DJ Elrik Merlin.

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, March 9th 19:00: The Ugly Little Boy

Gyro Muggins reads a tale that started life as a short story by Isaac Asimov, and was later expanded into a full length novel by Asimov writing in collaboration with Robert Silverberg.

A 21st century time travel experiment results in a Neanderthal boy being pulled from his time. The intention is to study the boy and understand how his kind lived. However because of the potential for time paradoxes, the boy must be kept in a within a stasis module, a place physically separated from modern time; but he must still be cared for. So the company behind the experiment hires a children’s nurse, Edith Fellowes, to look after him.

Initially horrified by the child, Edith comes to forms a bond with him, discovering he is intelligent and capable of both learning and love. However, to Stasis – the company behind the experiment – the boy is little more than a commodity to be observed and with a story to be sold to the media. As such, he is only of value for as long as there is public interest in his story. When that fades, the company determines the child must be returned to his own time, his place to be taken by a subject from another era. But Edith knows that, thanks to all she has taught him, his own time is no longer a place he is equipped to survive within, and determines she must take action to protect him.

Tuesday, March 10th 19:00: Very Far Away from Anywhere

Ursula le Guin remains best know for her intelligent science fiction and fantasy stories. However, Willow Moonfire brings us one of her books that steps away from that genre entirely.

If you’d like a story about how I won my basketball letter and achieved fame, love, and fortune, don’t read this. I don’t know what I achieved in the six months I’m going to tell you about. I achieved something, all right, but I think it may take me the rest of my life to find out what.

So begins a moving coming-of age tale, centred on 17-year-old Owen, who is in the middle of his senior year in high school. A loner and intellectual, Owen is an introspective young man who hasn’t found any deep connections to anyone; only his interest in science offers a point of focus for him. While he does spend time with his two closest friends, is a member of various groups at school and enjoys sports, he looks upon that side of his life as a fiction, no more real to him than the pretend utopian world of Thorn, a place he created in his imagination whilst a child.

But Thorn is no longer a place of escape for him; it has become beyond his reach as he moves towards adulthood, and he must now face turning the “fiction” of the physical world into a reality in which he can function and move beyond the potential breakdown he might otherwise face, escape the threat of repeating the lives of his parents and take control of his destiny.

Wednesday, March 11th, 19:00: The Phantom Tollbooth

Finn Zeddmore reads Norton Juster’s fantasy adventure for younger readers.

For Milo, everything is a bore and all activities little more than a waste of time. Then one day he arrives home in his usual state of disinterest, only to find a package waiting for him. He has no idea where it has come from or who might have sent it, but is clearly intended for him, given the label. Opening it, he discovers a small tollbooth and a map of “the Lands Beyond,” illustrating the Kingdom of Wisdom.

Reading the limited instructions – that warn him to have a destination from the map in mind – and thinking the package to be some kind of game, he sets the tollbooth up, decides Dictionopolis should be his destination, and propels the accompanying little car through the tollbooth.

Immediately he finds himself driving an actual car through a city that is clearly not his own. Here he discovers he must remain focused, lest his thoughts wander, and his journey wanders as well; a lesson he only discovers when he does daydream and finds himself in the Doldrums.

Also as he travels and meets new friends, so he also realises something else: life is far from boring or dull; it actually offers much to be discovered.

Thursday, March 12th:

19:00: The Lord of Pengersick Castle

With Shandon Loring, also in Kitely – grid.kitely.com:8002:SEANCHAI).

21:00: Seanchai Late Night

contemporary sci-fi and fantasy with Finn Zeddmore.

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