Adventures in strange worlds with Seanchai Library in Second Life

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.

Monday, March 30th 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 31st 19:00: Dream in the Sand

With Ktadhn Vesuvino.

Wednesday, April 1st, 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, April 2nd: Real Challenge

Shandon Loring reads USA Today’s best-selling author Anthea Sharp‘s 2019 short story set within her science fiction / fantasy Feyland series that has been described as “Ready Player One with faeries.”

Spark Jaxley may appear to have the life of a superstar gamer, but she’s actually among an elite group of guardians who carry a secret and a burden as they engage in an unseen confrontation unseen and unknown to the world at large. The Realm of Faerie exists, and its dark magic is desperate for a foothold in our mortal realm.

In Real Challenge, first published in 2019 as a part of the the anthology of gaming stories Game On: A Gamelit Anthology, Spark has made it to the gaming world championships, ready to give her all in a competition where the stakes are high  and the gaming fierce.

But sometimes the true challenge isn’t what you think; for Spark, it means her entire future is riding on the outcome – will she make the right choice?

Also in Kitely – grid.kitely.com:8002:SEANCHAI).