Eleven years, sci-fi and very British humour

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 at Holly Kai Park, unless otherwise indicated.

Sunday, March 24th:

12:30 Around the World – A Seanchai Library Celebration

Seanchai Library celebrates its anniversary with an afternoon’s journey of imagination and adventure around the world, in partnership with Radio Riel.

Mixing stories and music and presented at Seanchai’s Story Glen, the event schedule comprises:

  • 12:30 – Stories in Voice: taking place at the Seanchai Library Gle, featuring Seanchai Library Founder Derry McMahon with Bear Silvershade, and Shandon Loring.
  • 13:00 – International Folk Tales with Radio Riel: broadcast on the Seanchai Library’s home stream and on Radio Riel, featuring Da5id Abbot, Faerie Maven-Pralou, and Caledonia Skytower.
  • 14:00-17:00 – Around The World, a DJ Challenge: live from the Glen & Broadcast on Radio Riel, with:
    • 14::00-15:30: Elrik Merlin.
    • 15:00-16:00: Ktadhn Vesuvino.
    • 16::00-17:00: Gabrielle Riel.

This is the third collaboration of this kind between Radio Riel and Seanchai Library. In March 2018, as part of Seanchai Library’s Volume Ten tenth anniversary celebration the two produced The Bagpipe Challenge – Beyond Loud. Then at the end of that year, Radio Riel joined Seanchai Library in marking the end of the 2018 Dickens Project with Reflections on a New Year in the same three-hour format.

Join Seanchai Library at the Story Glen as they celebrate their 11th anniversary in-world and with the support of Radio Riel

18:00 Magicland Storytime: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Have you heard? Willie Wonka is releasing five golden tickets in candy bars! Charlie Bucket may have a chance to find one as Caledonia Skytower continues Roald Dahl’s classic, live on stream!

Monday, March 25th 19:00: The World Of Ptavvs

Gyro Muggins returns to Larry Niven’s Known Universe to read the first novel Niven ever set within it  – given it was actually he first full-length novel. Within it, he lays many of the seeds, human and alien that would come to define that universe, its characteristics, traits and races.

A reflective statue is found at the bottom of one of Earth’s oceans, having lain there for 1.5 billion years. Humanity’s experiments with time manipulation lead to the conclusion the “statue” is actually an alien caught within a “time slowing” field.

Larry Greenberg, a telepath with highly developed and honed abilities is asked to participate in an attempt to make contact with the alien. This involves Greenberg and the “statue” being places within a single time slowing field, the effect of which is to nullify the one shrouding the alien.

The the new field in operation, Greenberg finds himself in the company of Kzanol, a member of a race called the Thrint. Powerfully telepathic, the Thrint once rules the galaxy pure through their mental powers and the ability to bend the minds of others to their own will. However, in the time that Kzanol has been trapped the result of a malfunction aboard his ship which forced him to abandon it and fall to Earth protected by the stasis field of his space suit, the Thrint were facing a revolt by all the races they had enslaved.

As a result of this, the Thrint had determined to wipe out every race in the galaxy using a thought amplifier. Now, his own mind mixed with that of Kzanol, Greenberg sets out with the alien with the aim of using the weapon to enslave every mind in the solar system…

Tuesday, March 26th 19:00: The Library is Dark

No stories this evening.

Wednesday, March 27th 19:00: My Word! Frank Muir and Dennis Norden Selected Writings

Frank Muir (l) and Dennis Norden (r) posing for a publicity photo. Credit: Getty Images

Frank Muir CBE (1920-1998) and Dennis Norden CBE (1922-2018) many not be familiar names to many, but they were one of the top comedy writing duos – and successful writers, authors, presenters and entertainers – in the UK working both on radio and television.

Together they wrote BBC Radio‘s Take It From Here for over 10 years, and then appeared on BBC radio quizzes My Word! and My Music for another 35.

Muir was additionally a writer on the 1960s satire programmes That Was The Week That Was, which launched the television career of David Frost (perhaps most internationally recognised for his interview with President Nixon following the latter’s resignation from office), and The Frost Report., again featuring David Frost. Muir went on to become Assistant Head of Light Entertainment at the BBC in the 1960s, and was then London Weekend Television‘s founding Head of Entertainment. However, he is probably most fondly remembered in the UK as a team captain on the  long-running BBC 2 witty comedy quiz series Call My Bluff, and as a voice-over artist in a number of famous UK television commercials.

Norden partnered in writing with Muir for more than 50 years, writing and producing radio and television shows for some of the top entertainers in the UK in those mediums during the 1960s. As a writer in his own right, Norden penned a number of Hollywood film scripts, including Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell and The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom, and wrote, narrated and starred in A Child’s Guide To Blowing Up A Car – a behind-the-scenes featurette showing how a stunt used in the James Bond movie Thurderball was put together, and which now appears on the 2006 ‘Ultimate Edition’ Thunderball DVD. Norden is perhaps most famously known for It’ll be Alright on the Night, his show featuring out-takes and bloopers from film and television, which ran from 1977 through to 2006, much of the material from which was “borrowed” by NBC in the Unites States for Dick Clarke’s Bloopers.

Join with Corwyn Allen. as he celebrates these two great British writers.

Thursday, March 28th 19:00: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

With Shandon Loring. (Also in Kitely grid.kitely.com:8002:SEANCHAI).

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Celebrating SL Women 2019

Celebrating SL Women 2019

In 2018, as a means of celebrating International Women’s Day, Kyoko (Samara Barzane) and Brooke Brandenburg of the Confederation of Democratic Simulators (CDS), established a means of honouring women in SL who have contributed to “making SL a better place through their contributions.”

We wanted to do something a bit more than just a celebration so we came up with the idea of honouring ten Second Life women. And that’s what we are doing. Last year was a roaring success. So here we are again!

– Kyoko describing the Celebrating SL Women event

Nominations for come from a mix of names submitted by the event organisers and their assistants, CDS residents and – for this year, suggestions from the 2018 awardees. Names are then filtered down on the basis of some basic criteria, including the fact that the final list must comprise women who are still active in Second Life, until 10 honourees were agreed upon.

For 2018, those honoured were Treacle Darlandes, Sudane Erato, Rosie Gray, Kikuyu Kikutsuru, Nuala Marcus, Marianne McCann, Caryl Meredith, Bryn Oh, Strawberry Singh and Robin Sojourner Wood.

2019 Honourees

On Saturday, March 23rd, between 12:00 noon and 14:00 SLT, a special event will be held at the Gallery Barzane recognising this years honourees. they are:

  • Callipygian Christensen, an active member of the CDS community, an artist and DJ.
  • Laetizia Coronet: historian, aviator, photographer, modeller, and storyteller through her Flickr pages and her SL profile.
  • Gentle Heron, a founder and volunteer of the Virtual Ability community in Second Life, and mentor to users with disabilities.
  • Delia Lake, CDS resident, landscaper, educator and published author.
  • Leondra Larsson, teacher, mentor, and advocate for people with disabilities, work now works with Guardian At Litum as an advocate for children in dire circumstances.
  • Theresa Linden, Concierge in Second Life Customer Support.
  • Gabrielle Riel, community builder and founder of Radio Riel.
  • Elizabeth Tinsley, executive director of Fantasy Faire.
  • Imajika Wirefly, Director of Events for Survivors of Suicide.

It is my sincere privilege to say that the tenth person selected to be honoured in 2019 is myself.

2019 Honourees

I’m honoured to be included among such a diverse and richly talented group, and would like to pass on my genuine thanks to the  residents of CDS, and to this year’s organisers, Kyoko and Emilia Avindar for considering and selecting me.

I look forward to seeing and meeting my fellow honourees at the reception on March 23rd, between 12:00 noon and 14:00 SLT, and I hope those of you who can will join us at Gallery Barzane.

About the Confederation of Democratic Simulators (CDS)

Currently comprising six regions, the Confederation of Democratic Simulators (CDS) is the oldest, continuously-running democratic estate in Second Life.Loose themed on Germanic, Alpine, Tuscan, or Mediterranean styles, the regions present an all-encompassing government based on citizen participation, with elections to the the Representative Assembly held each six months, and the work of the Representative Assembly supported in its work by a Scientific Council.  This governing structure is not role play, as might appear to be the case: it is more a residents co-op, not unlike the way apartment buildings are managed in real life, where every landowner is a “citizen” and is granted the right to vote and be elected to manage the overall space.

Among the goals for this project are: to enable ownership of high-quality public, private, and open-space land; create a themed yet expressive community of public and private builds; and implement novel democratic forms of self government within Second Life.

2019 Home and Garden Expo in Second Life

via slhomeandgardenexpo.com

The 11th Home and Garden Expo (HGE) in support of Relay for Life of Second Life and the American Cancer Society, is currently open, and will remain so until Sunday, April 7th, 2019. Taking place across ten regions (Hope 1 through 10) and the new Linden Homes preview region, the event offers some of the finest in home, garden, and furnishing designs available across the grid.

With over 100 exhibitors taking part, the event offers something for anyone who is looking for a new home, ideas for furnishing and décor, wishing to improve their building (or other) skills, or who just wishes to keep abreast of the latest building / home trends in Second Life.

The Home and Garden Expo Theatre

As always, the Expo there will be a range of events and activities, including entertainment and dancing, classes, a dedicated gacha region, talks and discussions, artists, and more. There is also:

  • The Silent Auction – featuring some stunning prizes – visit the auction boards in-world.
  • The Expo Hunt: follow the hints, visit all the main expo regions (in any order you choose), and pay L£10 for each prize (all proceeds to RFL of SL).
  • Visit the Home Decorating Competition and watch as the finalist decorate their assigned homes (March 20th – March 28th) and then vote on which you like the best (March 29th – 5th April), with the winners announced on April 6th.
  • Participate in the Lantern Ceremony at the main theatre. This ceremony goes back to 2012, when Alchemy Immortalis created the Blue Willow lanterns especially for the Home and Garden Expo. It became the custom to release them each day at 4pm, and people would gather to watch and reflect as the lanterns rose slowly into the air.

Don’t forget as well, that you can see a preview of the first designs for the new Linden Homes that will be made available to premium members in the near future.  You can also read more able these homes in my New Linden Homes Preview.

The first designs for the new Linden Homes for Premium members can be previewed at the Home and Garden Expo

About the Expo

The Home and Garden Expo raises money for Relay For Life of Second Life (RFL of SL). Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society’s signature fund-raising event, and RFL of SL is one of its virtual counterparts. 100% of registration fees, sponsorship fees and donation items are paid to Relay For Life of Second Life. 50% of the proceeds from the gachas will be paid to RFL and 100% of the L$10 hunt items.

Fantasy Faire 2019: a region teaser and a call to bloggers

via Fantasy Faire

Fantasy Faire, the largest fantasy-related event to take place in Second Life, opens its portals on Thursday, April 18th and runs through until Sunday, May 5th, 2019 inclusive. It will bring together everyone with a love of fantasy  – enthusiasts, creators, performers and designers  – for eleven days of commerce, special events, live music concerts and more, all to help raise funds for Relay for Life of Second Life.

All of the sixteen regions and their designers have yet to be announced in full, but nine have been outlined as a teaser:

  • Bayounimba  by Sweetgwendoline Bailey and Mondi Beaumont: a place that has gone from art and light within a forest to a place of darkness and swamp, where half-remembered echoes might still be found.
  • Department Discarded Curiosities by Mayah Parx: a place of whimsical clutter, collected and tossed aside, where colour and curiosity reside.
  • The Light of Valoth by Kilik Lekvoda: a once glorious city once protected by Nature, but now reclaimed by her.
  • Midas by Alia Baroque: where rivers meet, the jewel of the ancient world is born. Follow the trail of incense through baths and gardens to meet the one that will touch your heart of gold.
  • Nightshade Blossoms by Rowan Thursday and Kylie Todriya: a window on a land forgotten by time lit by lanterns and starlight.
  • Sanguinely Garden by Eldowyn Inshan and Katz Republic: humanity destroys its own environment. and the animals and plants are building a new home. The garden with its inhabitants shows them a new way.
  • The Shrine Tree by Marcus Inkpen and Sharni Azalee: a place of Dark Mystical Fantasy where sunset colours the world and the occult, mystical, Gothic and spiritual might be found.
  • Tensors’ Flying Market by Lrriven: a place of endless antiquities and curiosities,  one of the Dreaming’s most wondrous of destinations.
  • Twilight Spring by Searlait Nitschke:  a place of worship for Dark Elves and Drow, where dance, music, and celebration might be found.
Fantasy Faire 2018: Erstwhile

Call to Bloggers

On Monday, March 18th, 2019, applications to be a 2018 Fantasy Faire blogger opened, with the announcement reading in part:

Faire blogging should stem from the same source the Fairelands do: inspiration and imagination. There are no obligatory assignments. Instead there are challenges. We do not want to force anyone to do anything, we want to inspire, dare, encourage: challenge.

We are looking for bloggers that genuinely love the Faire and cherish the fleeting time the Fairelands visit our realm. Since the application is mostly about getting into the early access, we are focusing on bloggers who take pictures in the sims, or of the sims. Studio-work is not dependent on if the sims are laggy or not, after all. We are also searching for bloggers with strong ties to RFL, who are passionate about the Relay and willing to write about it. I am also always, always looking for and favouring good writers and storytellers.

If you would like to chronicle the Faire, make sure you complete the blogger application form (also produced below) BUT! – don’t hurry there right away; as with past Fantasy Faires, there are a few little extra things to consider!

Bloggers are additionally invited to participate in one or more challenges. These are not obligatory, and anyone  – official blogger or otherwise – is free to participate in them. They are:

  • Faire Folk – create a Fairelands character based on one of the Faireland region themes, and bring that character to life through photography and / or writing
  • My New Shiny – merchant-focused blogging from a personal perspective.
  • I Remember – write about your favourite Fairelands of the past.
  • Faire Life – get involved in a Faire event – roleplay, literary workshop, attending a dance or other performance – and write about it.
  • Why I Relay – share a personal reason why you Relay.

Those applying can also apply to write for the official Fantasy Faire website. This has no influence on the actual blogger selection for the Faire, and should be filled only if you are truly interested.

So, if you are interested, make sure you check-out all the information for bloggers and that you complete the application form, either below or on the official Fantasy Faire website.

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Additional Links

A Quiet Man, an alien, and Irish 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 at Holly Kai Park, unless otherwise indicated.

Sunday, March 17th: 13:30 The Quiet Man

Released in 1952, John Ford’s The Quiet Man is regarded as a classic Irish-American romantic comedy / drama. Starring John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara (and assorted members of their RL families!) and Barry Fitzgerald, it is a popular choice among critics and film-lovers.

The screenplay for the film was drawn in a large part from a short story of the same name originally published in 1933 in the Saturday Evening Post, and penned by Irish author, Maurice Welsh. Together with a number of other short stories by Walsh, The Quiet Man was gathered into a single volume of his short stories, The Quiet Man and Other Stories, which dealt with many recurring characters living in rural Ireland of the 1920s, and set against the backdrop of the civil unrest which affected the country at that time, while examining the complexities and occasional intrigues of life, love and Irish traditions.

Join Caledonia Skytower as she reads Walsh’s original tale of The Quiet Man, Paddy Bawn Enright to Mark St. Patrick’s Day.

Monday, March 18th 19:00: The World Of Ptavvs

Gyro Muggins returns to Larry Niven’s Known Universe to read the first novel Niven ever set within it  – given it was actually he first full-length novel. Within it, he lays many of the seeds, human and alien that would come to define that universe, its characteristics, traits and races.

A reflective statue is found at the bottom of one of Earth’s oceans, having lain there for 1.5 billion years. Humanity’s experiments with time manipulation lead to the conclusion the “statue” is actually an alien caught within a “time slowing” field.

Larry Greenberg, a telepath with highly developed and honed abilities is asked to participate in an attempt to make contact with the alien. This involves Greenberg and the “statue” being places within a single time slowing field, the effect of which is to nullify the one shrouding the alien.

The the new field in operation, Greenberg finds himself in the company of Kzanol, a member of a race called the Thrint. Powerfully telepathic, the Thrint once rules the galaxy pure through their mental powers and the ability to bend the minds of others to their own will. However, in the time that Kzanol has been trapped the result of a malfunction aboard his ship which forced him to abandon it and fall to Earth protected by the stasis field of his space suit, the Thrint were facing a revolt by all the races they had enslaved.

As a result of this, the Thrint had determined to wipe out every race in the galaxy using a thought amplifier. Now, his own mind mixed with that of Kzanol, Greenberg sets out with the alien with the aim of using the weapon to enslave every mind in the solar system…

 

Tuesday, March 19th 19:00: The Shadow at the Gate

Caledonia Skytower reads one of her original Irish tales from her first publication, A Trio of Irish Tales.

Wednesday, March 20th 19:00: Selections from Wind on the Willows

With Faerie Maven-Pralou.

Thursday, March 21st 19:00: The Lady of Finnegan’s Hearth 2

With Shandon Loring. (Also in Kitely grid.kitely.com:8002:SEANCHAI).

New Linden Homes Preview

New Linden Homes preview – available until Sunday, April 7th, 2019

Friday, March 15th marked the opening of the 2019 Home and Garden Expo in support of Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society.

I’ll have a report on this year’s event coming up soon, but for this article I’m focusing on a special element within the event: the preview region for the new Linden Homes continent that will be débuting very soon for Premium members (Patch linden indicated it is just “weeks” away now) as a long awaiting “upgrade” to (and eventual replacement of)  the old 512 sq metre parcel Linden Homes.

I hopped over to the preview region – which is presented just as one of the regions in the new continent will look – as Patch Linden and members of the Linden Department of Public Works were available and taking questions. Rather than go on at great length, I’ve attempted to summarise the key points below.

Note that the preview region will remain open until the end of the Home and Garden Expo on Sunday, April 7th, 2019.

New Linden Homes preview

Launch and Availability

  • No precise launch date has been announced, but Patch indicated it is now “weeks” away for the initial deployment.
  • When launched, the new Linden Homes will be available to all Premium members, and will not be tied to any new Premium tier option.
  • Obtaining a new Linden Home will follow similar lines to the current Linden homes – using a web page to make an initial choice of home type, before selecting the style of house when in-world.
  • Premium users will be able to swap between house types, just as they can with current Linden Homes.
  • When launched, the new Linden homes will be made available on a new continent  – apparently to be called  Bellisseria (according to the covenant).
    • This continent will form a “bridge” between two of the existing Mainland continents (which continents has yet to be announced) to form “a larger contiguous continent”.
  • In time, as take-up of the new Linden Homes increases, the existing Linden Homes mini-continents will be retired and removed from the grid, with those remaining on them rather than obtaining a new linden Home being encouraged to move.
The new Linden homes include houseboat options, couple with moorings for boats

Parcels and Houses

  • Linden Homes (and houseboats) will be provided on 1024 sq m parcels.
    • Premium members must have 1024 sq m of available tier to obtain a home.
    • Premium members are limited to one Linden Home per Premium account.
    • Parcels will have a total of 351 LI for use by those using them (houses and houseboats do not count towards the total).
  • Parcels will be made available in themed areas, and house types will be in keeping with the theme.
    • Parcel terraforming is not permitted.
  • Each parcel will be managed by a mailbox, which will offer four house styles in keeping with the overall theme / type.
    • Houses may not be removed, modified, exchanged, set or deeded to group, or transferred.
    • All of the house styles are deigned to provide garden / yard space.
    • Houseboats include moorings for boats.
  • Additional buildings or structures are allowed as long as they are in theme and meet the height restrictions.
    • Privacy walls or fences should match the theme and extend no more than 4m above ground level.
    • All other structures should not extend higher than 15m above ground level or sea level, whichever is higher.
    • Note that house styles are presented with boundary walls / hedgerows / both for privacy
  • The interiors of Linden Homes can be decorated to residents’ likings. The exteriors should always remain in theme.
  • Types and styles of houses / houseboats include interior / exterior décor options, working curtains / blinds and house control system.
  • Skyboxes are permitted, providing they are above 2000m altitude.
Individual house styles (4) for a given type can be selected from the mailbox associated with a parcel

There is also a new covenant for these linden home, that can be viewed via About Land when visiting the preview region.

General Impressions

The new houses are well presented and offer a good choice of style  – unsurprisingly a good step up from the very long-in-the-tooth current batch of Linden Homes (first introduced in 2010), and I’m personally quite enamoured of the houseboats with their moorings.

Providing infrastructure to the new regions – roads, parks, coastline, beaches, rivers, etc., will hopefully help build more of a community feel to the new Linden Homes than the approach taken with the first series, and in this, providing houses that sit within their parcels and with privacy boundaries (walls / hedgerows) to me both increases the sense of ownership and also the look and feel of these developments being a residential development. True, the privacy is only visual (you’ll need parcel privacy) and the shape of the houseboat parcels tended to make these feel a little crowded, but on the whole, the layout appears to work.

Patch’s indication that the new homes will be part of a “bridge” between two existing continents came as a surprise, and seems to suggest the SSP regions where Linden home development work is being done may be relocated prior to the new Homes starting to be offered.

The Linden Homes preview offers some hints as to the landscaping found within the new continent regions

SLurl Details