This week, Seanchai Library joins with Fantasy Faire to present stories of fantasy and science fiction throughout the week and the Fantasy Faire LitFest. Join them at the LitFest region of Trollhaugen.
Monday 22nd 19:00: Selections from the Works of Ursula Le Guin
Gyro Muggins presents selected excerpts from two different works by the late author Ursula Le Guin: Left Hand of Darkness and The Lathe of Heaven.
Published in 1969 as a part of the Hainish Cycle,Left Hand of Darkness established Le Guin’s status as a major author of science fiction. The novel follows the story of Genly Ai, a native of Earth and the envoy of the Ekumen, a confederation of planets that includes Earth. He is sent to the planet Gethen (also know as Winter), to persuade the nation states of that world to join the Ekumen, but he is stymied by his lack of understanding of Gethenian culture: the people there are ambisexual, with no fixed sex, something that plays a powerful role in the culture of Gethen, which Ai finds hard to understand. And then there is the intrigue he finds…
Originally published in serial form by Amazing Stories in 1971, The Lathe of Heaven is set in Portland, Oregon in the year 2002. Now a city of three million inhabitants and continuous rain, in a United States now an impoverished nation, as is much of the world, thanks to the impact of global warming. For Portland, this means the poorer inhabitants to have kwashiorkor, or protein deprivation. Within this environment, a battle of wits ensues between a psychiatrist and a patient with psychic dream powers.
Tuesday, April 22nd 19:00: Nothing But Trolls!
From Neil Gaiman to J.K. Rowling, as well as more traditional adventures, Caledonia Skytower presents a troll’s eye perspective
Wednesday, April 23rd 19:00: Celebrating Ursula K Le Guin
Seanchai Library joins Litfest’s celebration of the life and works of Ursula K. Le Guin.
Thursday, April 24th: 19:00: Halloween in April – X-Files: The House On Hickory Hill
With Shandon Loring and Calaedonia Skytower. (Also in Kitely grid.kitely.com:8002:SEANCHAI).
Sl photography is a popular subject – as any casual glance through Flickr with the search tags of “virtual worlds”, “SL” “Second Life” and similar will reveal. There are many styles and subject matter of SL photography to be sure, but it not unreasonable to say that fantasy art is one of the more popular fields of endeavour, be it through avatar studies or the recording of the many fantasy environments that have graced the platform over the years.
It’s therefore fitting that Fantasy Faire embraces this wellspring of individual creativity each year by offering Second Life photographers and artists the opportunity to display their work. And one again, Fantasy Faire 2019 offers two gallery spaces where art can be appreciated.
The first can be found at Fairelands Junction, and is itself in two parts: the image gallery, located in the ruined structure that houses the Fairelands portals, and the Worldlings display, located in the rock formation upon which the ruins sit. The second gallery can be found within the Genesia Arts and Performance region.
Forty 2D artists are presented within both the gallery spaces, and as with previous years, the focus for art is on avatars and fantasy, with the official blog noting:
The galleries focus on various fantasy avatars within Second Life, celebrating the freedom from the mundane, showing how in here you can be whatever you wish to be, your true self.
The focus continues to be variety in fantasy forms, inspiration in character creation and talent in photographic arts.
A full list of the artists participating in the exhibition can be found in the link above, so I won’t repeat the list here. However, what I will say is that the art is remarkable for its richness of imagination and presentation. Many pieces are obviously influenced by popular fantasy genres – there are a number that clearly draw from the Likes of J.R.R. Tolkien and G.R.R. Martin, for example. This isn’t a critique, as it is always interesting to see people put their own slant on popular fantasy; but for me the magic of many of the pieces is in their depiction of settings entirely born from the imaginations of their creators – such as with The Call of the Forest, by Aleriah (shown above).
The art at Genesia is displayed within yet another remarkable region setting by Haveit Neox & Lilia Artis, as the Art and Performance region at this years Faire. This stands as a work of art in of itself, and should be explored for its incredible creativity, both above and below the water, and the way it offers a link to past Fantasy Faires in its overall design.
The gallery space for Genesia sits on the outer path of the region, with art displayed on rock walls or held aloft by elephants and stork-like birds, the path leading the way around to the main performance area.
Meanwhile, the 3D Worldlings art can be found, as noted, in Faireland Junction. Described as the “Fairelands That Could Be”, the Worldings are seven realms-as-dioramas suggesting possible Fairelands as imagined by their creators: Kerryth Tarantal, Faust Steamer, Colemarie Soleil, Bonny Greenwood, Ameshin Yossarian, Bee Dumpling and Beryl.
These dioramas – at least one of which is interactive – offer windows into the imaginations of the Fairelands (and region) creators behind them. Whether any of them might be expanded out to become a full Fairelands setting in the future is open to question; but I admit, I wouldn’t mind seeing Faust Steamer’s idea (above) fleshed out and given form!
I often am prone to comment with these art exhibitions that when it comes to the 2D art – and allowing for the subject being that of fantasy avatars – it’s a shame that the net isn’t cast a little wider to more generally encompass fantasy settings in Second Life; there are, after all, a fair few. There is also as vast catalogue of images of past Fantasy Faires – so it would be nice to see some broader celebration of fantasy art that can be created within SL beyond a purely avatar focus.
Nevertheless, given how easily an art exhibition can be overlooked with so much else occurring at Fantasy Faire, I do very much recommend that anyone who enjoys Second Life art and photography stop by the galleries at Fairelands Junction and Genesia.
Note that SLurl to the Fairelands are listed at the end of this article, rather than being embedded in the text.
The largest fantasy-related event to take place in Second Life, Fantasy Faire 2019, opened its gates to fairelanders at 13:00 SLT on Thursday, April 18th, and will remain open through until Sunday, May 5th, 2019 inclusive. Formal events will run from April 18th through until Monday, April 29th, after which the regions will be open to viewing, photography and shopping until May 5th – although there could be some special surprises during those final days!
This year the Faire is spread across 16 regions (including the entertainment and Quest regions), and as always, there is a packed programme of activities and events. As always, the regions offer richly imaginative environment in which to spend time, some of which are wholly new to the fairelands, while others offer echoes of past Fairelands – as is only fitting, given the theme for this year is The Builders.
Take Faireholm, the build by Kayle Matzerath, for example. A marvellous city where colour reigns and the light of the Sun is paid tribute in a harmonious setting that focuses on the great castle. Bright and gay, its winding streets are a joy to wander – and they carry within them a strong echo of the much-loved Luminaria, Kayle’s build from Fantasy Faire 2013 (and now, as Meauxle Bureaux, the home of the Linden Department of Public Works Moles – see Among the Moles of Lumenaria).
Similarly, Alia Baroque’s Midas, whilst an entirely unique build, carries within its motifs memories of The Golden Delta from 2016, while the tall buildings, all be they of an entirely different architectural heritage, bring to mind the those of The Rose (2017), and the terraced green lawns offer a soft whisper of 2014’s Magnificat. More Whispers of the past can be found in the colours and tones of The Shrine Tree, by Marcus Inkpen and Sharni Azalee, which bring to mind the colours of 2017’s Dawn’s Promise. Thus, a visit to this year’s Fairelands carries with it the sweet fragrance of past travels.
But so to does it hold places that are wholly new to eye and memory. Take Tensor’s Flying Market, a remarkable souq-like bazaar, held aloft by great engines that power mighty propellers, perhaps drawing their power from the crystals embedded in the base of the great platform on which the market resides. But as high has Tensor’s Flying Market may well float, it still sits beneath the quite stunning bulk of Trollhaugen’s carven mountain, home to this year’s LitFest (see my preview of that event for more).
Trollhaugen is just one of the six events regions within this year’s Fairelands, as detailed at the end of this article in the links. One of these – Genesia, by Haveit Neox & Lilia Artis is another setting that maintains a link with Fairelands of the past through its design that extends both above and bloew the waves of Linden water. Joining this year’s Faire, and building on 2018 is Urafiki,by Eclair Martinek and Grace Loudon, home to this year’s One Team Initiative, while the dragon-borne party ship, Fairechylde, will be docked at The Celestial Plain by Syn Beresford, home to this year’s live music and DJ entertainment.
And, of course, no Fantasy Faire would be complete without the Fairelands Junction, another fabulous design by Saiyge Lotus. As ever the junction provides the logical starting-point for explorations, containing as it does portals to all the other regions, as well as the remembrance wall, and The Worldlings – windows onto the Fairelands That Could Be.
You can find the background notes on all the 2018 Fairelands regions here, or by visiting their individual pages on the Fantasy Faire website.
The KNH Hope Hostel
In 2018, Fantasy Faire took to its heart a special project initiated by the American Cancer Society: the Kenyatta National Hospital Hope Hostel. The first ACS Hope Lodge to be established outside the United States, and in a country where cancer mortality is almost 80%, this centre will serve more than 1,000 cancer patients annually, providing free temporary housing and integrated hospital services, such as post-operative care and pain management. Allowing them to access care and support in a manner they might not otherwise be able to receive.
You can read more about the KNH Hope Hostel project in Fantasy Faire 2018: supporting the KNH Hope Hostel, and in my more recent update from December 2018. However, the impact fund-raising efforts at Fantasy Faire have had on this ground-braking project – and on the ACS management team – cannot be over-stated. In fact, the funds raised by Fantasy Faire in 2018 became the focal point of far wider efforts to support the Hope Hostel project, as Kristen Solt, Managing Director of the American Cancer Society’s Global Health Initiatives Programme indicated in an open letter to all Fairelanders:
Such a groundbreaking project called for an innovative approach to fundraising … and for the first time, we would ask a Relay For Life team to focus on a specific project. That team was Fantasy Faire and in 2018 you answered the call by raising $50,000 dollars. We were all energised by your success!
It also inspired others around the world to join in the effort. This enabled us to expand our goals for the project. We nearly doubled the number of beds in the hostel, allowing for thousands more patients to access this home away from home. With your help, our Kenyan partners will begin construction in July on the KNH Hope Hostel.
As Kirsten goes on to note, the money raised by Fantasy Faire 2018 and Second Life Relayers has already made a lasting difference to many cancer sufferers and their families in Kenya:
Thanks in large part to Relayers in Second Life, we’ve been able to launch the Patient Navigator program at KNH which in the last year has given FOUR THOUSAND Kenyans access to better information and assistance. Think about that number for a moment: four thousand people! Ask yourself how many family members they each have. How many friends and loved ones? There are tens of thousands of people in Kenya today whose lives are already better because of you.
Further thanks to Fantasy Faire and all Fairelander has also been offered by Dr. Esther Munyoro, head of the Pain and Palliative Care Unit at Kenyatta National Hospital, by way of a video message.
Hence why, this year, Fantasy Faire will again support the KNH Hope Hostel.
Role-Play and Table-Top Gaming
2019 will once again there will be numerous opportunities for role-play within the Fairelands. Three groups are offering themed role-play, weaving tales and offering anyone with an interest with the chance to participate.
The Bubo Owls: lost children with few memories of their former homes and how they got to the Fairelands who have taken up residence in Tensor’s Flying Market, and unwitting “middle men” in a three-way war.
In addition, the NeoVictoria Project will be holding a series of out-of-character events where visitors can talk about players from the NeoVictoria community about the project, the story-world and how to get involved. There will even be a stage where folks can practice role-playing. See the Meet’n’Greet schedule for more.
Those interested in role-play can also attend a series of role-play classes taking place at Bayounimba.
2019 will also see the return of table-top gaming, an activity added to Fantasy Faire in 2018. Catch the full schedule if you’re interested in joining in.
Keep abreast of all things Fantasy Faire – music, auctions, literary, performance, and of course the infamous Jail and Bail rounds – through the Fantasy Faire Website, the Fantasy Faire 2019 events calendar and Fantasy Faire radio.
Note:as this is a preview piece, SLurls will be added once Fantasy Faire has opened its doors on April 18th, 2019.
On Thursday, April 18th, Fantasy Faire will open for 2019, and will remain open through until Sunday, May 5th, 2019 inclusive. Throughout this entire period, the Faire and the Fairelands will be host to the fifth annual Fantasy Faire Literary Festival (LitFest).
Lying deep within the Fairelands is Trollhaugen, the home of the LitFest. A magical realm and very special location for the Festival, it is a place where the magic of the spoken word will weave tales of wonder, relate stories of great adventure and daring; where talks by authors, discussions, creative writing sessions and performances will all take place. In addition, literary hawks and writers will be encouraged to join daily LitFest tours of the Fairelands and afterwards compose pieces related to their travels.
The full LitFest schedule is now available, but here are some preview highlights to whet appetites!
Guest Of Honour and Authors
The special guest for this year’s festival is the Hugo, Sturgeon, Locus, and Campbell Award winning author of dozens of novels; over a hundred short stories; and a number of essays, Elizabeth Bear. She will be appearing at the LitFest as follows:
14:00 SLT on Tuesday, April 23rd: in an interview and discussion about her work as a novelist, writer and futurist, doubtless touching on her upcoming new novel, The Red-Stained Wings (The Lotus Kingdoms Book 2), which will be released on May 28th, 2019.
14:00 SLT on Friday, April 26th: reading an extract for her work.
The Litfest will also feature two published authors who are also Second Life residents:
Milk Wood Writer’s Dash and NaPoWriMo Fantasy Writing Prompts
Want to hone your writing skills? Join in with one of the following:
Milk Wood Writer’s Dash (Friday April 19th through Sunday, May 5th, 06:00-06:30 and 18:00-18:30): spend 15 minutes writing poetry or prose based on a writer’s prompt. When time is up, everyone exchanges their writings with one another.
NaPoWriMo Fantasy Writing Prompts (Friday, April 19th, and Monday April 22nd through Friday April 26th, 08:00-09:00 SLT): April is National Poetry Writing Month, and participating poets are asked to write a poem a day for the month of April – so why not do so in-world with like-minded poets?
Ursula K. Le Guin Day
On Wednesday, April 24th, Litfest marks the life and works of the late author, Ursula K. Le Guin, regarded as one of America’s foremost writers of speculative fiction, including science fiction works set in her Hainish Universe, and the Earthsea fantasy series. In a career spanning 60 years, she produced more than twenty novels, over a hundred short stories and many volumes of poetry, literary criticism, translations, and children’s books.
In addition, and ahead of Ursuala Le Guin day, on Monday, April 22nd between 19:00-20:00 SLT, Seanchai Library’s Gyro Muggins will be reading selected excerpts from Le Guin’s Left Hand of Darkness, in which a human envoy arrives on the planet known as Gethen aka “Winter”; and from The Lathe of Heaven, where a battle of wits ensues between a psychiatrist and a patient with psychic dream powers.
Arrivals and Departures
On Thursday, April 25th from 14:00 SLT at the FaireChylde performance area, there will be a special performance of Arrivals and Departures, the story film by CEH Productions. Based on a short story written by Caledonia Skytower and recorded for Fantasy Faire Radio as part of Fantasy Faire 2018, the film was shot at a reproduction of Fantasy Faire 2018’s Erstwhile Station.
The popular Fantasy Faire LitFest Tours will once again be taking place, leaving daily from the LitFest home base of Trollhaugen to explore the Fairelands and seeking the stories they have to tell as well as their special secret places and details. Each tour will be guided and accompanied by music, as some of the Faire’s best loved DJs offer selections of music, especially chosen for each of the regions visited.
The Tours for 2019 will be as follows (all commence at 17:00 SLT unless otherwise indicated):
Thursday, April 18th
Region 1 – Fairholm
Friday, April 19th
Region 2 – Light of Va’loth
Saturday, April 20th
Region 3 – Nightshade Blossoms
Sunday, April 21st
Region 4 – Sanguinely Garden
Monday, April 22nd
Region 5 – Bayounimba
Tuesday, April 23rd
Region 6 – The Shrine Tree
Wednesday, April 24th
Region 7 – Department of Discarded Curiosities
Thursday, April 25th
Region 8 – Twilight Spring
Friday, April 26th
Region 9 – Tensors’ Flying Market
Saturday, April 27th
Region 10 – Midas
Monday, April 29th
Region 11 – Fairelands Junction
Tuesday, April 30th
Region 12 – Urafiki
Wednesday, May 1st
Region 13 – Genesia
Thursday, May 2nd
Region 14 – Trollhaugen
Friday, May 3rd
Region 15 – The Celestial Plain
Saturday, May 4th
Region 16 – Thornfast
Keep up with all the news and information on the LitFest and Fantasy Faire through the Fantasy Faire website.
One of the fun elements introduced to Fantasy Faire in 2015 was the opportunity to nominate and then vote for the King and Queen of the Fairelands and their (strictly non-human) Chancellor. Nominations came from across all realms of fantasy, with the top five for the positions of king and queen (human or human-looking nominations only) and chancellor, went forward for a public vote-off during the course of the Faire.
The event has since become a staple of the Faire, and it is once again back for 2019, with nominations now open. It’s important to note that this has nothing to do with avatars or people per se, but is a fun election purely for characters from works of fantasy, with the “winners” announced at the end of the Faire.
Nominees can be from written fantasy, graphical novels, cartoons, films, television or radio series, and from genres such as fairy tales, high fantasy, magical stories, urban fantasy, vampire sagas or steampunk, etc. The only major requirements are that nominations for king and queen must be human (or human-type) characters, whilst nominations for chancellor are restricted to non-human (or non-human type) characters, and that the winners from the previous year are no eligible for re-election.
How It Works
Nominations are made between now and the end of Saturday, April 20th, 2019 (23:59 SLT), using the form below.
The top five nominees for each role – king, queen and chancellor – will be selected for a final vote-off.
During the Faire, people will have the opportunity to vote for their favourites.
There is a fee payable for voting, but all money raised will go to Relay for Life.
The winners will be announced at the Fantasy Faire Live Auction on Sunday, April 28th, 2019.
2018: king: Gandalf; queen: Galadriel; chancellor: Totoro (these three are not eligible for nomination again in 2019).
Update: The Merchant Application Form is now available – click here if you’re interested.
Fantasy Faire, the largest fantasy-related event to take place in Second Life, has announced both the theme for the 2019 event and its dates.
Once again raising money for the global work of the American Cancer Society as a part of the Relay for Life of Second Life 2019 season, Fantasy faire will this year have the theme of Builders of Hope.
2019 marks the eleventh year for Fantasy Faire, which has traditionally been slated to run eleven days each year, but this year it will be a little different, as the press release announcing the event notes:
Fantasy Faire has always officially lasted eleven days, and in recent years we’ve been fortunate to have a few extra days added. This year we’re making it official: our formal programming will still conclude with our One Team dance party marathon on Monday, April 29th, but now we invite you to join us for an additional week of shopping, questing, and exploring as the Fairelands will be open through Sunday, May 5th. That’s a total of eighteen days of the Faire – and you never know when something unexpected might happen in that final week!
So in total, Fantasy Faire will run from Thursday, April 18th through until Sunday, May 5th, 2019, inclusive.
As with previous years, Fantasy Faire 2019 will comprise 10 shopping regions hosting 200 of Second Life’s top Fantasy Creators, offering the most comprehensive opportunity for fantasy shopping. In addition, there will be a further six regions focusing on entertainment, the Fairelands Quest, art, the Fantasy Faire Literary Festival, and the Worldling Collection.
All of the regions will be designed and themed by some of Second Life’s top designers, making the event a must-see even if fantasy isn’t a major part of your life. And throughout it all, there will be opportunities to show your support for ACS and the global work of cancer treatment, care and prevention via direct donation or by purchasing some of the many items participating merchants will be selling, with all or part of the proceeds going to RFL of SL and the American Cancer Society.
As always, I’ll be doing my best to provide updates and relay news on Fantasy Faire through the pages of this blog – but to keep right up-to-date on things, be sure to visit the Fantasy Faire website, and follow the event via the social media links below.