Miss Marple, Miss Fisher, Mr Spock, and Brother Juniper

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, June 14th,13:30: Tea-Time with Miss Marple

Anyone who murdered Colonel Protheroe,’ declared the parson, brandishing a carving knife above a joint of roast beef, ‘would be doing the world at large a favour!’ It was a careless remark for a man of the cloth. And one which was to come back and haunt the clergyman just a few hours later – when the colonel was found shot dead in the clergyman’s study. But as Miss Marple soon discovers, the whole village seems to have had a motive to kill Colonel Protheroe.

Tea-Time with Miss Marple

Seanchai Library continues a 6-week run featuring Agatha Christie’s Miss Jane Marple, starting with The Murder at the Vicarage, which marked her first appearance in print.

So please join Aoife Lorefield, Da5id Abbot, Caledonia Skytower, Corwyn Allen, Gloriana Maertens, Kayden Oconnell, Willow Moonfire in a little corner of St. Mary Mead, in Second Life.

Monday, June 15th, 19:00: Spock’s World

Gyro Muggins reads Diane Duane’s take on a classic figure from science fiction.

In the 23rd Century…

On the planet Vulcan, a crisis of unprecedented proportion has caused the convocation of the planet’s ruling council, and led to Starfleet ordering the U.S.S. Enterprise to the planet in the hope that its first officer, and Vulcan’s most famous son, can help overcome the issues the planet faces.

As Commander Spock, his father, Sarek, and Captain James T. Kirk struggle to preserve Vulcan’s future, the planet’s innermost secrets are laid open, as is its people’s long climb to rise above their savage pre-history, merciless tribal warfare, medieval-like court intrigue to  develop and adhere to o’thia, the ruling ethic of logic, and to reach out into space.

For Spock, the situation means he is torn between his duty to Starfleet and the unbreakable ties that bind him to Vulcan. Confronted by his own internal conflicts, he must quell them and prevent his world – and possibly the entire United Federation of Planets – from being ripped apart.

Tuesday, June 16th

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

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

19:00: The Bridge of San Luis Rey

With Willow Moonfire.

On Friday noon, July the twentieth, 1714, the finest bridge in all Peru broke and precipitated five travellers into the gulf below.

Thus begins Thorton Wilder’s second, and 1928 Pulitzer Prize winning novel. Influenced in part by Wilder’s own conversations with his deeply religious father, and inspired by Prosper Mérimée’s one-act act play, Le Carrosse du Saint-Sacrement, Thorton described the novel as a means to pose the question, “Is there a direction and meaning in lives beyond the individual’s own will?”

The bridge of the novel’s title and opening is a fictional Inca rope bridge, and its collapse is witnessed by a Franciscan friar, himself about to cross over it. A deeply pious man, Brother Juniper finds his faith challenged by the tragedy, and as a result embarks upon a “mission” to prove that it was divine will rather than chance that led to the deaths of those who fell with the bridge.

Over the course of six years, he compiles a huge book on the lives of those who perished, much of it obtained through interviews with those who knew them, in an attempt to to show that the beginning and end of the lives of those lost in the tragedy might be a a window into the will of God, and that the beginning and end of every life is in accordance with God’s plan for the individual.

Thus, within his book, he records the lives of those killed, as presented in succeeding chapters of the novel, mapping all that led them to their fate. The novel itself weaves a story through time, from the opening tragedy, then back to the lives of those who perished, then forward to the book’s reception by the church, then back once more to the events that immediately followed the tragedy and before Brother Juniper embarked on his quest.

Through this, we not only witness the lives of those lost, but also Brother Juniper’s own fate as a result of his efforts – a fate itself foretold within his book, and which again leaves one pondering the question Wilder set in writing the novel: is there indeed direction in our lives beyond our own will – and if so, is it rooted in the divine, or humanity’s own attitudes of a given time?

Wednesday, June 17th, 19:00: The Phryne Fisher Mysteries

Corwyn Allen brings us stories about Kerry Greenwood’s Australian heroine of the 1920s, possibly made popular to a globe audience through the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s series, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.

Phryne Fisher is rich, aristocratic and far too intelligent to be content as a flapper in the Jazz Age. She collects men, fast cars and designer dresses. she flies, dances, shoots and has a strong bohemian outlook on life. But no matter how delicious the distractions, Phryne never takes her eyes off her main goal in life: bringing down villains.

Thursday, June 18th

19:00: Quotients: Tasty Morsels of Fantastic Fiction

With Shandon Loring reads Tad William’s short story. Also in Kitely – grid.kitely.com:8002:SEANCHAI).

21:00: Seanchai Late Night

Contemporary Sci-Fi-Fantasy featuring stories from Escape PodLight Speed, and Clarkesworld Magazines as well as other source. with Finn Zeddmore.

The Truth about Trees in Second Life

The Truth About Trees

Currently open at Focus Magazine is The Truth About Trees, another thought provoking exhibition by Milena Carbone. It offers something of a multi-media installation, combining images and text (accessed via links to web pages), bound together by themes of life, ecology, harmony, and nature, and carries a vein of religious metaphor.

There is a path through the exhibition that starts to the right of the entrance beyond the window with a text element, and then proceeds counter-clockwise around the walls to the exit. The opening text is that of a dialogue Milena had with a friend in Australia who witnessed the 2019 brushfire there first-hand. It serves not just as a reminder of those events, but also that the Australian brush is a part of nature; a living environment in which we either share or seek – for better or more often for worse – try to dominate.

From here the story unfolds as pairings of image and a link to a story element, each to be taken in turn. It’s a story that mixes fable, the story of creation, the balance of nature. Folded into this are cosmic themes such as our place in the universe, raised through a story around ʻOumuamua, the first known interstellar object to have been detected passing through our solar system.

The Truth About Trees

It’s a story that enfolds the images presented in the exhibition and reaches beyond them to pictures also found in the web pages of individual stories. In part it follows themes those who know Milena’s work will find as being familiar: questions about God, he nature of God’s existence the aforementioned issues of ecology, nature and harmony. However, these themes are not just presented through the stories – or perhaps mythology might be a better term – but also through the setting of the exhibition itself.

The latter appears as a walled garden with a central apple tree surrounded by police crime scene tape. The metaphor here is clear: the Garden of Eden, the Tree of Knowledge, the transgression against God’s will in the taking of the Apple and the fall of human kind from grace.

But here as well the metaphor in deeper than may first appear: were we really created in God’s image? If so, then were we not as flawed as God from the outset? If so, then was the crime committed by Adam and Eve not so much the eating of the apple against God’s orders, but rather God’s own failure in not making us better than just imbuing us with “his” own frailties; frailties that have prevented us living in the kind of natural harmony that has marked the rest of his creation?

The Truth About Trees

Involved, rich in detail, theme and substance, The Truth About Trees will remain open through the rest of the month.

SLurl Detail