Messiahs, music, short stories nuns and a space smuggler

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.

Monday, May 25th 19:00: Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Gyro Muggins reads Richard Bach’s 1977 novel.

Donald William Shimoda styles himself a latter-day messiah. He quit his job as a mechanic to offer people the miracle of flying through the cloud-washed air between the cornfields of Illinois and blue infinity of the skies overhead. But the people want the thrill of the the flight more than they want to understand the miracle of flight or the truth of Donald’s words.

Donald first comes to the attention of fellow barnstormer and disillusioned writer Richard when the latter witnesses Shimoda dealing with a grandfather / granddaughter pair who arrive at the the makeshift farm airstrip where both men are due to fly their biplanes. Normally, it is the younger people who are keen to fly with the barnstormers, but here it is the grandfather who wants to soar in Shimoda’s biplane whilst the granddaughter is terrified by the idea.

Richard watches as Shimoda talks to the granddaughter, gently uncovering the cause of her fear, calming her to the point where she is ready to fly. Drawing close to the older man, Richard becomes friends with him, and together the two men become brother aviators, Shimoda teaching Richard to become – reluctantly – a messiah and miracle-worker in his own right.

Tuesday, May 26th,

12:00 Noon: Russell Eponym, Live in the Glen

Music, poetry, and stories in a popular weekly session at Ceiluradh Glen.

19:00: Selections from The Wind’s Twelve Quarters

Willow Widlfire reads selections from this collection of short stories by American writer Ursula K. Le Guin, which the author described as a “retrospective”. First published in 1975, it brought together 17 previously published stories, four of which were the germ of novels Le Guin would later write, two of which are represented here and which between them offer insights into the origins of her Earthsea realm.

First published in the January 1964 issue of Fantastic, the short story The Word of Unbinding first introduces the islands of Earthsea as they are each subdued by the dark wizard Voll. Seen through the eyes of another wizard, Festin, the story unfolds around his attempts to stop Voll, only to have his own not inconsiderable powers be rebuffed each time until finally, Festin realises the truth behind Voll power – and the way to undo it. A way that has a terrible price. 

The Rule of Names, published in Fantastic in April 1964, takes us back to Earthsea, and to the rural island of Sattins Island in a convoluted tale of magic, school teachers, secret names, superstitions, dragons, lost treasures and unexpected outcomes. It is centred on the arrival on Sattins Island of a stranger from the archipelago, bent upon mischief-making. His target is the island’s resident magician nicknamed Underhill, widely regarded as incompetent. The stranger believes Underhill holds the key to his being able to reclaim the dragon-stolen treasure of his ancestors. It turns out he is absolutely correct in Underhill being the key to the treasure’s loss, but not in the manner the stranger anticipated.

Wednesday, May 27th, 19:00: A Nun in the Closet

What do two Benedictine nuns, a secretive man-on-the-run, a Tibetan monk, three hippies, members of the Mafia and children of migrant workers have in common? Why, A Nun in the Closet, of course.

When a cloistered monastic community of nuns inherit an old house with 150 acres in up-state New York courtesy of a mysterious benefactor, they are at a loss as to what to do. Sister John and Sister Hyacinthe are therefore dispatched to give the property the once-over and report back. A simple enough assignment, except neither Sister is entirely prepared to deal with all that they find.

From hippies on the lawn to suitcase stuffed with money sitting at the bottom of a well, disguised cocaine and a wounded man who has hidden himself in a closet to avoid Mafia hitmen, not to mention strange apparitions in the night, It might have been better had Sister John and Sister Hyacinthe remained cloistered in the abbey.

But it is amazing what two nuns can achieve armed only with their faith and boundless energy – up to and including a shocking revelation or two about ghosts, gangsters – and murder.

Join Caledonia Skytower as she reads Dorothy Gilman’s 1986 mystery.

Thursday, May 28th 19:00: Han Solo: A Star Wars Story

Young Han Solo finds adventure when he joins forces with a gang of galactic smugglers and a 190-year-old Wookie named Chewbacca. Indebted to the gangster Dryden Vos, the crew devises a daring plan to travel to the mining planet Kessel to steal a batch of valuable coaxium. In need of a fast ship, Solo meets Lando Calrissian, the suave owner of the perfect vessel for the dangerous mission: the Millennium Falcon.

With Shandon Loring and Caledonia Skytower. Also in Kitely –


My condolences to Seanchai Library and the family and friends  of VT TORVALAR on their loss. VT now continues to share his gifts as a storyteller and actor beyond this mortal veil.