Female PIs, alternate history, intrigue, and a soccer match

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, June 13th, 13:30: Candy Matson–YUkon 2-8209

“Candy Matson, YU 2-8209.”

These were the words spoken at the start of every episode of NBC’s West Coast radio show of the same name, which ran from mid-1949 through until mid-1951. The “YU 2-8209” referred to the telephone number for Candy Matson, a private investigator operating out of her apartment  Telegraph Hill, San Francisco.

Created by Monty Masters and starring his wife Natalie Parks as the voice of the heroine, each week the story saw Candy pick up a case that would take her to an actual location in San Francisco – notably the Bay Area – possibly in the hope of attracting local sponsors.

Intelligent, tough and fearless, Candy rarely resorted to the use of her gun, but instead relied on her wits and intelligence, frequently dispatching her adversaries not with an uppercut, but with hard evidence and a caustic quip to see them into the hands of the law – which generally came in the form of Lt. Ray Mallard (voiced by Henry Leff), who frequently worked the same cases in an official capacity and was Candy’s understated love interest. Also helping out would be Candy’s best friend and assistant, Rembrandt Watson (voiced by Jack Thomas).

While the show only ran for two years, Candy Matson is generally regarded as the finest of all female PIs on US radio, and you can catch up with her adventures at Seanchai Library via the voices of Corwyn Allen, Gloriana Maertens, Elrik Merlin, Kayden Oconnell, and Caledonia Skytower.

Monday, June 14th 19:00

In 1914, the world is divided into Darwinists and Clankers. The Darwinists have evolved genetics to make animals more useful to humans. The Clankers have built their society on machinery technology.

When the Leviathan, a living whale flying ship, arrives in Constantinople, a city where Clanker culture and Darwinst principles intersect in the most intriguing ways, Dr Barlow and Deryn Sharp deliver their precious cargo to the Sultan as part of a peace-keeping mission, only for things to suddenly take a left turn. Now the only way to save themselves in this hostile, politically-charged city is for Dr Barlow to offer up the thing that matters most: Leviathan itself.

Meanwhile, Prince Aleksandar Ferdinand, the would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne following the murder of his father, escapes from his prison camp and once more goes on the run with his men and the Loris, while Count Volger stays behind to fend-off the pursuit, forcing Alek to take on new responsibilities.

Thus, fate once again sees to it that both Deryn and Aleks must re-evaluate their precarious situations in the world…

Join Gyro Muggins as he returns to Scott Westerfield’s alternate history of Earth.

Tuesday, June 15th

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

Music, poetry, and stories.

19:00: What Abigail Did That Summer

It is the summer of 2013 and Abigail Kamara has been left to her own devices. This might, by those who know her, be considered a mistake.

While her cousin, police constable and apprentice wizard Peter Grant, is off in the sticks chasing unicorns Abigail is dealing with her own mystery: teenagers around Hampstead Heath have been going missing but before the police can get fully engaged the teens return home – unharmed but vague about where they’ve been.

Aided only by her new friend Simon, her knowledge that magic is real and a posse of talking foxes that think they’re spies, Abigail must venture into the wilds of Hampstead to discover who is luring the teenagers and more importantly – why?

Join Corwyn Allen as he reads Ben Aaronovitch’s latest novel.

Wednesday, June 16th, 19:00: Carl Hiaasen’s Skink

A native Floridian, Carl Hiaasen is an American journalist who focuses 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 continues a journey with Hiaasen’s characters.

Thursday, June 17th

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.

21:00: Seanchai Late Night

Contemporary Sci-Fi-Fantasy with Finn Zeddmore.

Friday, June 18th, 19:00: Terry Pratchett’s Unseen Academicals

Football in Ankh-Morpork is not as we might know it. Rather than being comprised of rules and played within a recognisable ground, it is far more akin to the somewhat violent mob football of medieval Europe.

Not that this is a concern for the elderly, mostly indolent and (some might be tempted to think) somewhat inept old wizards making up the faculty staff at the city’s school of wizardry, the Unseen University. Until, that is, their very handsome annual endowment becomes subject to their playing the game themselves.

Thus, Archchancellor Mustrum Ridcully sets out a two-pronged strategy: to ensure the city’s version of football is restructured with proper (and favourable?) rules, and to put team preparations at the university in the hands of the talented candle dribbler, Mr. Nutt and his assistant, Trevor Likely, the son of the city’s most famous (if deceased – did I mention the game can be violent?) player, who are in turn supported by Glenda Sugarbean, who runs the university’s night kitchen and her assistant Juliet Stollop.

Except Mr. Nutt soon discovers he has problems of his own to deal with, and Trevor has promised his Mum he’ll never get involved in the game.  Meanwhile, Glenda has the daily responsibility of baking the Discworld’s best pies, and Juliet is about to find herself whisked towards the heights of fame as a fashion model, thus potentially leaving the team a little short on practical advice…

Join Caledonia Skytower as she presents the 37th novel in the Discworld series, and possibly one of its greatest satirical undetakings encompassing football, academia, traditions, the fashion industry, politics, love, fandom, and which mixes in more serious themes of identity, crab mentality and self-worth.