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.
Monday, March 7th, 19:00: A World Out of Time
After being cryogenically frozen in the 1970s to await a cure for his (then) incurable cancer, Jaybee Corbell awakes after more than 200 years – to find his own body destroyed and his mind and memories transferred into the “mindwiped” body of a criminal. And that’s is not all that has changed: the Earth is now overseen by an oppressive, totalitarian global government called “The State”, and Corbell’s existence is to be determined by a “checker”; if he is found wanting, he will be discarded.
However, Peerssa, the checker, recommends Corbell as ideal fodder in The State’s attempts to seek out exoplanets suitable for terraforming – whether he wants to join the programme or not. Disgusted by his treatment, Corbell works out a way to take control of his one-person ship on its otherwise one-way mission, and heads toward the galactic core. Entering suspended animation, he is unaware his vessel skims close enough to the super-massive black hole at the centre of the galaxy to experience time dilation.
Emerging from his suspended state, and believing only 150 years have passed, Corbell returns to the solar system to find it again vastly changed: more than three million years have passed, and the Sun has become a bloated red giant, and Earth – well, Earth appears to have been relocated to an orbit around Jupiter, whilst humanity itself had endured extensive changes; and Corbell must face an entirely new set of challenges if he is to survive.
Gyro Muggins resumes reading Larry Niven’s novel.
Tuesday, March 8th
12:00 Noon: Russell Eponym
With music, and poetry in Ceiluradh Glen.
19:00: Haroun and the Sea of Stories
Caledonia Skytower reads the fifth of Salman Rushdie’s major publications and his first since The Satanic Verses.
Written for the younger reader, but with plenty with it suited to older ears, it is of an allegorical nature and addresses a number of societal problems, particularly those found in the Indian subcontinent.
Dedicated to Rushdie’s son, the book looks at the issues it raises – including that of censorship (unsurprisingly, given the reaction following the publication of The Satanic Verses in 1988) – through the eyes of Haroun Khalifa, the son of a doctor and master storyteller.
Both father and son are struck by afflictions related to Haroun’s mother deserting them; Haroun has a form of attention-deficit disorder, whilst his father is prone to bouts of depression. Both can only be relieved of their afflictions should Haroun’s mother, Soraya, return.
Before then, however, Haroun is set for an adventure and discovery.
Thursday, March 4th 19:00: Irish Legends: The Battle of Clontarf
On April 23rd 1014, an army by Brian Boru, High King of Ireland clashed with one comprising the combined forces of Sigtrygg Silkbeard, King of Dublin; Máel Mórda mac Murchada, King of Leinster; Sigurd of Orkney and Brodir of Mann. It is said to lasted from sunrise to sunset, with army of Brian Boru routed the Irish-Viking alliance to declare victory, although up to 10,000 were killed on both sides – including Boru and both his son and grandson.
The battle was an important event in Irish history and is recorded in both Irish and Norse chronicles. In Ireland, the battle came to be seen as an event that freed the Irish from foreign domination, and Brian Boru was hailed as a national hero, with the man and the battle becoming the stuff of legend, bring seen as an ending of foreign dominion (in this case the Vikings) over Ireland and becoming something of a rallying call during the English rule in Ireland. However, historians would dispute this, seeing it as more of an Irish civil war, with Norsemen actually fighting on both sides.
But however one views it, there is no doubting the battle has become the stuff of legend, and Shandon Loring brings us the tale in voice.