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, July 27th, 19:00: Colossus
Gyro Muggins reads the 1966 future cold war novel by Dennis Feltham (DF) Jones.
Charles Forbin has dedicated ten years of his life to the construction of the supercomputer, Colossus, rejecting romantic and social endeavours in order to create the United States of North America’s (UNSA, a nation encompassing both America and Canada) first artificially intelligent defence system.
Colossus is capable of taking and analysing data rapidly, allowing it to make real-time decisions about the nation’s defence needs. But the system soon exceeds even Forbin’s expectations; it is able to take far more information and process it far faster than he and his team at the Colossus Programming Office believed would ever be possible.
Such is the system’s apparent abilities, the President hands off full control of the UNSA’s ballistic missile capability, together with other defence protocols, to Colossus and makes the announcement to the world that he has ensured peace.
But then the USSR announces that it has a defence supercomputer of its own – Guardian – with capabilities similar to that of Colossus. Then the two computers demand they be allowed to communicate directly – and proceed to do so at a rate that is well beyond the understanding of their respective development teams.
And neither system takes it kindly when Forbin and his Russian opposite number, Academician Kupri, both disable their ability to communicate directly and then seek to remove them from control of UNSA and USSR nuclear missiles…
Tuesday, July 28th:
12:00 Noon: Russell Eponym, Live in the Glen
Music, poetry, and stories in a popular weekly session at Ceiluradh Glen.
19:00: The Golden Apples of the Sun
Willow Moonfire reads from an anthology of 22 short stories by Ray Bradbury, first published in 1953, and which takes its title from the final line of the poem The Song of Wandering Aengus by W.B. Yeats. Originally published in 1897 under the title A Mad Song before gaining its proper name until 1899. A romantic poem about an old man recalling a magical encounter with a silver trout that turned into a beautiful young girl after he caught it, only for her to vanish, the poem ends with the stanza:
Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.
Of these lines, Bradbury said, “Maggie [his wife] introduced me to Romantic poetry when we were dating, and I loved it. I love that last line in the poem, and it was a metaphor for my story, about taking a cup full of fire from the sun.”
Wednesday, July 29th, 19:00: Whittington
Caledonia Skytower reads Alan Armstrong’s 2006 Newbery-Honor winning tale.
Whittington is a roughneck tom cat who arrives one day at a barn full of rescued animals and asks for a place there. Present at the barn is a menagerie of animals and young Ben and Abby, whose grandfather owns the barn and does the rescuing.
To earn his place, Whittington tells the tale of his famous ancestor, the nameless cat who brought Dick Whittington to the heights of wealth and power in 16th-century England. In telling his story of how his ancestors saved and elevated Whittington, this tom-with-a-chip, elevates another little boy above his fear of learning to read.
Thursday, July 30th
1900: Philip Marlowe’s The Finger Man
With Shandon Loring. Also in Kitely – from the main Seanchai World grid.kitely.com:8002:SEANCHAI.
21:00: Seanchai Late Night
Finn Zeddmore presents contemporary science fiction and fantasy from such on-line sources as Escape Pod, Light Speed, and Clarkesworld magazines.