American fairy tales, Russian myths, fishing & furry aliens

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 in Nowhereville, 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, May 21st: 13:30 Tea-Time with L. Frank Baum

Lyman Frank Baum (May 15th, 1856 – May 6th, 1919) was an American author best known for his children’s books, particularly The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and its sequels (14 novels in all). His prolific output included 55 novels, 83 short stories,  over 200 poems and at least 42 scripts.

In 1901, twelve of his stories were published in anthology form by the George M. Hill Company under the title American Fairy Tales, the move designed by Baum and his publisher to capitalise on the success of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

The 12 stories comprise The Box of Robbers, The Glass Dog, The Queen of Quok, The Girl Who Owned a Bear, The Enchanted Types, The Laughing Hippopotamus, The Magic Bon Bons, The Capture of Father Time, The Wonderful Pump, The Dummy That Lived, The King of the Polar Bears. and The Mandarin and the Butterfly.

All 12 are noted for the ironic or nonsensical morals attached to their ends and their satirical, glib, and tongue-in-cheek  tones that gives them an appeal to adult readers. They are also the subject of Tea-Time with L. Frank Baum, with Kayden OConnell, Corwyn Allen, Glori, and Caledeonia.

Monday, May 24th: 19:00 Saturn Rukh

In an unspecified time in the future, a team of astronauts is sent to Saturn on what could be a one-way mission. Financed by a multi-national consortium, their mission is to establish a factory in to upper reaches of the planet’s atmosphere where it can “mine” Saturn’s abundant helium to produce “meta” (nitro-stabilised metastable helium), a powerful propellant.

If they are successful, each of the astronauts stands to earn a billion dollars on their return to Earth. The catch? They only have sufficient fuel to reach Saturn – they must use the factory to produce the fuel needed to make their return to Earth.

However, things go awry when the mission enters the Saturnian atmosphere – and crash-lands on the back of an enormous creature that “swims” through the atmosphere. Another of the creatures – which appear to be semi-intelligent and which the astronaut dub “Rukh” – swallows some of the mission’s equipment, leaving the team with no choice but to attempt to establish communications with the creatures and attempt to recover their equipment.

Join Gyro Muggins as he reads the last full-length novel by physicist and author Robert L. Forward.

Tuesday, May 25th

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

Music, poetry, and stories.

19:00: Old Peter’s Russian Tales

Journalist Arthur Ransome – who would later gain fame for Swallows and Amazons, – travelled between England and Russia either side of the 1917 revolution. His initial reason for doing so was to escape his marriage. However, he became fascinated by the Russian language and life, particularly old folk tales.

In 1912 he came across a collection of translations of tales into English, but found the language and style exceptionally poor. However, he was captivated by the richness of the material, noting it differed from both Scandinavia, Brittany, Wales and Scotland.

So in 1914, he set about collecting tales and translating them for himself whilst in Russia, with a volume of stories published under the title Old Peter’s Russian Tales in 1916, when he was staying in Vergezha, on the River Volkhov.

Now Willow Moonfire brings these tales to Seanchai Library.

Wednesday, May 26th, 19:00: Carl Hiaasen’s Skink

A native Floridian, Carl Hiaasen  is an American journalist who focused on political issues (notably corruption, environmental issues and other wrong-doings) within his home state. Starting his career in the 1970s , he became renowned for being exceptionally outspoken – even against his own employers.

Carl Hiaasen. Credit: Joe Rimkus Jr.

During the 1980s, he started writing fiction in his spare time, achieving initial success with three co-authored novels published between 1981 and 1984, as well as writing several non-fiction titles.

In 1987, his second novel, Double Whammy introduced the “trailer park star tenant” and private eye, C.J. Decker, which Hiaasen fondly refers to as “the first (and possibly only) novel ever written about sex, murder and corruption on the professional bass-fishing tour.” Among the cast of characters mixed into Double Whammy is one Clinton Tyree, the one-time governor of Florida, who abandoned his office and now lives as a outdoorsman (and partaker of roadkill cuisine) in the Everglades and the Florida Keys, using the pseudonym Skink.

Skink went on to become a recurring character in a further seven of Hiaasen’s novels to date, with all the books in which he features being gathered together under the general title of SKINK, with several of them being been among the 20+ works of fiction and non-fiction by Hiaasen to appear on the New York Times best-seller list.

Join Kayden Oconnell as he introduces Hiaasen ‘s writing and the tales in which Clinton “Skink” Tyree moves to a Second Life audience.

Thursday, May 27th 19:00: Little Fuzzy

Ktadhn Vesuvino reads the book by H. Beam Piper that spawned a series by him and other science fiction authors about a small, furry species dubbed Fuzzies.

Little Fuzzy charts the discovery of small furry species on the planet Zarathustra and the attempts by humans to determine whether or not they are sentient. If they are, then their planet will be declared a protect aboriginal  world. However, The Company has desires to control the planet and its resources.

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