Previewing The Dickens Project 2020

The Dickens Project 2020

The Dickens Project, a seasonal celebration of the life, times and work of Charles Dickens with a focus on what is perhaps his most famous story, A Christmas Carol, officially opens to the public on Friday, December 4th 2020.

An annual event since 2012 (and which grew out of a special presentation made in 2008), the Dickens Project offers an annual mix of reading, storytelling, music, events and activities, each year introducing something new to the mix to add a little more magic for visitors to enjoy – and 2020 is no exception.

Organised by Seanchai Library, The Dickens Project presents visitors with an immersive environment evocative of Victorian England in Dickens’ time and which is both home to settings from A Christmas Carol and stage upon which a range of events and activities take place throughout the Project’s month-long run. This year, as one of the elements, a second region is added to be mix, offering visitors even more to explore and discover.

Every year The Dickens Project intentionally blends the familiar features of previous years with new things waiting to be discovered. It helps our loyal visitors feel like they are coming home, gets them excited about what’s new, and encourages them to share the experience with their friends. That’s our goal. Each year the Dickens Project is just a little different. This year, with a second region, there is a lot that is fresh and new.

Caledonia Skytower, Seanchai Library

The Dickens Project 2020

The project’s programme of events runs on a weekly basis, with activities for each week announced via the project’s calendar page. However, highlights include:

  • Two scenic regions to explore and enjoy.
  • Over 60 hours of live music, spoken word, dance events and performances.
  • Opportunities for both RP and Non-RP guests.
  • Dozens of performers, presenters, and special guests including Patch Linden himself.
  • Educational and interpretive content featuring different aspects of Victorian life.
  • Horse rambler tour, rideable horses and carts, and a hot air balloon ride.
  • Idle Rogue Productions with a new edition of their Midnight Dinner show.
  • Misfit Dance & Performance Arts present A Very Misfit Christmas.
The “new for 2020 elements” include:
  • Two regions.
  • The Victorian Horse Experience & The Mine Interactive.
  • Virtuoso Performing Arts presents Beatrix Potter.
  • SL Hawks Aerobatics Ghost Flights of Christmas. – an air show based A Christmas Carol, to be performed over the waters of Dickens Harbour.
  • Invitational and Open Art Shows.

The Dickens Project is also very much a community event, and in respect of this, the 2020 Edition will include Radio Riel, and Innsmouth SL, whilst The Community Virtual Library will feature aspects of Victorian life from clothing, workers conditions, Dickens in Spanish, to The London Exhibition, in a dedicated information district.

For those wishing to explore more of Victorian life, there are the interactive experiences The Horse in Victorian London and The Mine, with the latter including a ride through a mine with Sultan the pit pony and his coal carts – “Sultan” being the name of one of the last pit ponies in Wales.

“Sultan” the pit pony – The Dickens Project 2020

Of course, no edition of the The Dickens Project would be complete without Carol Week, which sees a part of A Christmas Carol read each day in a “story tour” that visits the corresponding parts of the main Project region that have been inspired by those same parts of the story. This week of readings culminates in a further Project tradition, The Big Read, a relay-style reading of all of Dickens’ novella, featuring the voices of up to 12 storytellers. This year taking place on Sunday, December 20th, at noon (SLT), The Big Read follows the equally popular Fezziwig’s Ball, which for 2020 will take place in the Opera House on Saturday, December 19th.

A further new aspect to this year’s Edition are the special art shows. the first of these, the Open Art Show is currently accepting requests to participate from Second Life artists, and you can read more about this in The Dickens Project 2020: call for artists, with applications being accepted through until December 13th.

The second art event – the Invitational Show – opens on Saturday, December 5th, at 14:00 SLT, and features the 2D and 3D art of CybeleMoon, Iris Okiddo and Silas Merlin, who present images and sculptures evocative of the Victorian era and its winters, and a small collection from yours truly that recalls past Dickens Project events.

The Dickens Project 2020 Edition: Invitational Art Show

To keep up-to-date on the Project and its daily events, be sure to keep an eye on the Seanchai Library website and the Dickens Project calendar.

About Seanchai Library

Seanchai Library (pronounced Shawn-a-kee, which means “Storyteller” in Irish Gaelic.) was founded in March of 2008 in Second Life. The program remains dedicated to promoting the power of stories to transform and inspire through live voice presentations: “We bring stories of all kinds to life, in Second Life and other virtual worlds.”

In presenting The Dickens Project 2020 Edition, Seanchai Library acknowledge the support and sponsorship of Linden Lab and the particular support of Patch Linden and the Land Team.

Links and SLurls

Note that The Dickens Project regions are rated Moderate. Note that SLurls will be available for use from 07:00 SLT on Friday, December 4th.

Of girls, princes, and the life of a Christmas ghost

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.

Monday, November 30th, 19:00: The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate

As Calpurnia Virginia Tate, aka Callie Vee, turns 13 in 1900, she revels in studying science with her cantankerous grandfather, with whom she co-discovered a new plant species in The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. But a life of science doesn’t seem to be in her future: although her family is rich and her six brothers can pursue their educations and follow their dreams, Callie can’t.

Destined from her unfortunate birth as a female for life as a Texas debutante and wealthy matron, she’s furious as she feels the doors of the gilded cage closing in on her in a world where the fact that she’s smarter and harder-working than her brothers doesn’t matter a bit.

As she tries to keep her tender-hearted brother Travis, who keeps bringing home strays. And Callie has her hands full keeping the wild animals – her brother included – away from her mother’s critical eye. Whether it’s wrangling a rogue armadillo or stray dog, a guileless younger brother or standoffish cousin, the trials and tribulations of Callie Vee will have readers laughing and crying and cheering for this most endearing heroine.

With Caledonia Skytower.

Tuesday, December 1st

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

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

19:00: Nine Princes in Amber

Carl Corey wakes in a medical clinic, with little to no knowledge of who he is or how he got there. Fearing he is being over-medicated and kept against his wishes, he overpowers staff and discovers his stay is being paid for by his sister, one Evelyn Flaumel, whose address is on the hospital’s records.

Fleeing the clinic, he makes his way to his sister’s home. Here, with the aid of a pack of tarot cards and a confession from his sister, he learns that his name is actually Corwin (and she is Flora), and they are two of 14 siblings – nine male and five female.

One of those brothers, Random, arrives, pursued by strange, vicious creatures, that force Corwin to join him into fighting them to the death.  During the battle, Corwin makes another discovery – he has super-human strength.

After the fight, Random reveals more truths to Corwin – notably that he and his siblings are of royal descent from a planet called Amber, a parallel world to Earth from which he has been cast into exile.

Random reveals that their father, king Oberon, has vanished, and the throne is therefore open, and persuades Corwin in a quest to claim it. However, to do so, they must travel through the realms of Corwin’s brothers and sisters in order to reach Amber, and the journey reveals to Corwin his family’s ruthless and Machiavellian nature – a nature he shares -, and that the path to the throne is a route of force and betrayal.

Join Corwyn Allen as he reads the first volume in Roger Zelazny’s Chronicles of Amber series.

Wednesday, December 2nd 19:00: Jacob T. Marley Pt 1

Marley was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it …

These are the words that open what is arguably Charles Dickens’ most recognised work, world-wide, the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and his journey from miser to redemption.

But who was Jacob Marley?

In A Christmas Carol, we know a small amount about him: his was Scrooge’s business partner who died some seven years prior to the events of A Christmas Carol, and he was apparently every bit as miserly, given his post-death doom of having to wander the Earth entwined by heavy chains and money boxes forged as a result of his greed, and he was allowed to appear to Scrooge to warn him of his forthcoming nocturnal visitors, has been doomed to wander the Earth.

Through this tale, R. William Bennett offers a new twist on Dickens’ popular tale, delving into Marley’s life and his relationship with Scrooge, examining the two men and why their time together resulted in Marley’s after-death cursed wanderings, but which ultimately offered Scrooge a chance for redemption.

With Shandon Loring.

Thursday, December 3rd

19:00: Jacob T. Marley Pt 2

With Shandon Loring. Also in Kitely!  Find teleport from the main Seanchai World grid.kitely.com:8002:SEANCHAI.

21:00: Seanchai Late Night

Finn Zeddmore presents contemporary sci-fi and fantasy from such on-line sources as Light SpeedEscape Pod, and Clarkesworld magazines.

Friday, December 4th: The Dickens Project 2020 Edition Opens

I’ll be previewing this year’s event later in the week.

The Dickens Project 2020: call for artists

The Dickens Project 2020

Since 2012, The Dickens Project, organised and run by Caledonia Skytower and the Seanchai Library team, has presented an end-of-year seasonal celebration the life and works of Charles Dickens.

Running throughout December, the Project presents a range of events and activities that include live readings, music, dancing and more, all of which takes place in a special Victorian themed region and culminates in a week of readings of one of the most popular of Dickens’ stories A Christmas Carol. It’s an event that now attracts some 3,000 unique visitors annually, with some 44% of those visiting in 2019 returning more than once to explore the region and participate in activities.

This year, The Dickens Project will be opening its doors to the pubic on Friday, December 4th, and I’ll have a special preview later in the week. However, ahead of the opening, the Project is presenting the opportunity for Second Life artists and photographers to particulate in the first ever Dickens Project (non-juried) Art Show.

Specifically, artists are invited to submit up to two pieces of art that include one or more of the following:

  • Scenes taken at,or inspired by, The Dickens Project over the years.
  • Scenes depicting a Victorian Christmas.
  • Scenes of natural winter beauty.

In addition, the Project has limited space for suitable 3D pieces of art that can form a part of the show.

Note that submitted pieces cannot be offered for sale, but all artists will have to opportunity to provide information about themselves, their art and where it might be seen / purchased.

Exhibition Dates

  • Applications: Tuesday, December 1st through Sunday, December 13th inclusive.
  • Set-up: December 14th / 15th.
  • Exhibition opens: Wednesday, December 16th.
  • Opening celebration: 14:00-16:00 SLT, Friday, December 18th, with DJ Gabrielle Riel, broadcasting live on Radio Riel Main Stream.
  • Exhibition closes: Sunday, January 3rd, 2021.

How To Apply

Applications should be made via note card to Willow Moonfire (Starlight Despres). Please include the following information:

  • Your full SL  user name (not your Display Name).
  • Your time zone or best Second Life times to contact you.
  • One of the following:
    • A low-resolution thumbnail “preview” of the piece(s) you wish to submit.
    • An on-line link to where the image(s) or similar samples of your work might be viewed (e.g. Flickr).
  • A brief description of your art & biographical notes on yourself.
  • If relevant,links to any website, Flickr stream or other on-line portfolio you use and any SLurl to your in-world studio / gallery.

Please note that display space is limited, and if the event is over-subscribed, the number of artists able to participate may be capped.

3D artists wishing to participate in the Art Show should contact Willow Moonfire (Starlight Despres), who will also deal with general enquiries on the Show.

A girl, weird women, spirits, and princes

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, November 22nd, 14:00: The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate

As Calpurnia Virginia Tate, aka Callie Vee, turns 13 in 1900, she revels in studying science with her cantankerous grandfather, with whom she co-discovered a new plant species in The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. But a life of science doesn’t seem to be in her future: although her family is rich and her six brothers can pursue their educations and follow their dreams, Callie can’t.

Destined from her unfortunate birth as a female for life as a Texas debutante and wealthy matron, she’s furious as she feels the doors of the gilded cage closing in on her in a world where the fact that she’s smarter and harder-working than her brothers doesn’t matter a bit.

As she tries to keep her tenderhearted brother Travis, who keeps bringing home strays. And Callie has her hands full keeping the wild animals – her brother included – away from her mother’s critical eye. Whether it’s wrangling a rogue armadillo or stray dog, a guileless younger brother or standoffish cousin, the trials and tribulations of Callie Vee will have readers laughing and crying and cheering for this most endearing heroine.

Join Caledonia Skytower at the Golden Horseshoe for another Magicland Story  Time.

Monday, November 23rd, 19:00: The Dark Bright Waters

Gyro Muggins reads Patricia Wrightson’s second novel charting the life of Wirrun of the Inlanders.

First encountered in The Ice Is Coming, when Wirrun set out on a quest to overcome the rise of the ancient enemy of Australia, the ice-bearded Ninya, the young janitor now has a reputation as a Hero among the Inlanders (Wrightson’s fantasy view of the Australian Aboriginals). It’s not a title he appreciates; he would much rather just get back to his janitorial work.

But the spirits of the land are restless: Yunggamurra, a river spirit is lost, so uses her siren-like powers of song to draw to herself those who might might take her home. Her singing come to Wirrun’s ears, and those of an elderly aboriginal emissary, and he realises he must journey to the very heartlands of Australia to better understand what he is feeling.

This he does, with the old emissary and his friend Ularra. Once there, he discovers that a storm is indeed rising within the domain of the spirits, and he is uniquely placed to both find Yunggamurra and prevent the coming storm. And so his new adventure begins.

Tuesday, November 24th

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

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

19:00: Woman’s Weird: Strange Stories by Women, 1890-1940

With Willow Moonfire.

Wednesday, November 25th, 19:00: Nine Princes in Amber

Carl Corey wakes in a medical clinic, with little to no knowledge of who he is or how he got there. Fearing he is being over-medicated and kept against his wishes, he overpowers staff and discovers his stay is being paid for by his sister, one Evelyn Flaumel, whose address is on the hospital’s records.

Fleeing the clinic, he makes his way to his sister’s home. Here, with the aid of a pack of tarot cards and a confession from his sister, he learns that his name is actually Corwin (and she is Flora), and they are two of 14 siblings – nine male and five female.

One of those brothers, Random, arrives, pursued by strange, vicious creatures, that force Corwin to join him into fighting them to the death.  During the battle, Corwin makes another discovery – he has super-human strength.

After the fight, Random reveals more truths to Corwin – notably that he and his siblings are of royal descent from a planet called Amber, a parallel world to Earth from which he has been cast into exile.

Random reveals that their father, king Oberon, has vanished, and the throne is therefore open, and persuades Corwin in a quest to claim it. However, to do so, they must travel through the realms of Corwin’s brothers and sisters in order to reach Amber, and the journey reveals to Corwin his family’s ruthless and Machiavellian nature – a nature he shares -, and that the path to the throne is a route of force and betrayal.

Join Corwyn Allen as he reads the first volume in Roger Zelazny’s Chronicles of Amber series.

Thursday, November 26th: Library Closed

The library is closed for US Thanksgiving Day.

Princes, Faeries and other strange tales in Second Life

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.

Tuesday, November 17th, 19:00: Woman’s Weird: Strange Stories by Women, 1890-1940

With Willow Moonfire.

Wednesday, November 18th, 19:00: Nine Princes in Amber

Carl Corey wakes in a medical clinic, with little to no knowledge of who he is or how he got there. Fearing he is being over-medicated and kept against his wishes, he overpowers staff and discovers his stay is being paid for by his sister, one Evelyn Flaumel, whose address is on the hospital’s records.

Fleeing the clinic, he makes his way to his sister’s home. Here, with the aid of a pack of tarot cards and a confession from his sister, he learns that his name is actually Corwin (and she is Flora), and they are two of 14 siblings – nine male and five female.

One of those brothers, Random, arrives, pursued by strange, vicious creatures, that force Corwin to join him into fighting them to the death.  During the battle, Corwin discovers he has super-human strength.

After the fight, Random reveals more truths to Corwin – notably that he and his siblings are of royal descent from a planet called Amber, a parallel world to Earth from which he has been cast into exile.

Random reveals that their father, king Oberon, has vanished, and the throne is therefore open, and persuades Corwin in a quest to claim it. However, to do so, they must travel through the realms of Corwin’s brothers and sisters in order to reach Amber, and the journey reveals to Corwin his family’s ruthless and Machiavellian nature – a nature he shares -, and that the path to the throne is a route of force and betrayal.

Join Corwyn Allen as he reads the first volume in Roger Zelazny’s Chronicles of Amber series.

Thursday, November 19th

19:00 The Faerie Girl and other Stories: Six Magical Tales

From the USA Today bestselling author Anthea Sharp, comes a collection of enchanting, mystical tales.

Delight in the award-winning story The Sea King’s Daughter (inspired by The Little Mermaid), follow the ill-fated adventures of a goblin who falls in love, and take heart in the hope that unlikely heroes can – with a bit of faerie magic – change their own destinies

Includes: The Faerie Girl, The Sea King’s Daughter, Brea’s Tale, The Faerie Invasion, Goblin in Love, and The Tree of Fate and Wishes.

With Shandon Loring, also in Kitely – take the teleport 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 Light Speed, and Clarkesworld magazines.

Spirits, siblings and weird tales

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.

Monday, November 9th, 19:00: The Dark Bright Water

Gyro Muggins reads Patricia Wrightson’s second novel charting the life of Wirrun of the Inlanders.

First encountered in The Ice Is Coming, when Wirrun set out on a quest to overcome the rise of the ancient enemy of Australia, the ice-bearded Ninya, the young janitor now has a reputation as a Hero among the Inlanders (Wrightson’s fantasy view of the Australian Aboriginals). It’s not a title he appreciates; he would much rather just get back to his janitorial work.

But the spirits of the land are restless: Yunggamurra, a river spirit is lost, so uses her siren-like powers of song to draw to herself those who might might take her home. Her singing come to Wirrun’s ears, and those of an elderly aboriginal emissary, and he realises he must journey to the very heartlands of Australia to better understand what he is feeling.

This he does, with the old emissary and his friend Ularra. Once there, he discovers that a storm is indeed rising within the domain of the spirits, and he is uniquely placed to both find Yunggamurra and prevent the coming storm. And so his new adventure begins.

Tuesday, November 10th:

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

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

19:00: Woman’s Weird: Strange Stories by Women, 1890-1940

With Willow Moonfire.

Wednesday, November 11th, 19:00: Nine Princes in Amber

Carl Corey wakes in a medical clinic, with little to no knowledge of who he is or how he got there. Fearing he is being over-medicated and kept against his wishes, he overpowers staff and discovers his stay is being paid for by his sister, one Evelyn Flaumel, whose address is on the hospital’s records.

Fleeing the clinic, he makes his way to his sister’s home. Here, with the aid of a pack of tarot cards and a confession from his sister, he learns that his name is actually Corwin (and she is Flora), and they are two of 14 siblings – nine male and five female.

One of those brothers, Random, arrives, pursued by strange, vicious creatures, that force Corwin to join Random into  fighting them to the death – during which Corwin discovers he has super-human strength.

After the fight, Random reveals more truths to Corwin – notably that he and his siblings are of royal descent from a planet called Amber, a parallel world to Earth from which he has been cast into exile.

Random reveals that their father, king Oberon, has vanished, and the throne is therefore open, and persuades Corwin in a quest to claim it. However, to do so, they must travel through the realms of Corwin’s brothers and sisters in order to reach Amber, and the journey reveals to Corwin his family’s ruthless and Machiavellian nature – a nature he shares -, and that the path to the throne is a route of force and betrayal.

Join Corwyn Allen as he reads the first volume in Roger Zelazny’s Chronicles of Amber series.

Thursday, November 12th, 19:00 Bernard Evslin’s Monsters and Mythology

 Shandon presents another remarkable tale from ancient Greece in Amycus, Part 2. Also in Kitely – take the teleport from the main Seanchai World grid.kitely.com:8002:SEANCHAI.