Adventures in strange worlds with Seanchai Library in Second Life

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.

Monday, March 30th 19:00: The Ugly Little Boy

Gyro Muggins reads a tale that started life as a short story by Isaac Asimov, and was later expanded into a full length novel by Asimov writing in collaboration with Robert Silverberg.

A 21st century time travel experiment results in a Neanderthal boy being pulled from his time. The intention is to study the boy and understand how his kind lived. However because of the potential for time paradoxes, the boy must be kept in a within a stasis module, a place physically separated from modern time; but he must still be cared for. So the company behind the experiment hires a children’s nurse, Edith Fellowes, to look after him

Initially horrified by the child, Edith comes to forms a bond with him, discovering he is intelligent and capable of both learning and love. However, to Stasis – the company behind the experiment – the boy is little more than a commodity to be observed and with a story to be sold to the media. As such, he is only of value for as long as there is public interest in his story. When that fades, the company determines the child must be returned to his own time, his place to be taken by a subject from another era. But Edith knows that, thanks to all she has taught him, his own time is no longer a place he is equipped to survive within, and determines she must take action to protect him.

Tuesday, March 31st 19:00: Dream in the Sand

With Ktadhn Vesuvino.

Wednesday, April 1st, 19:00: The Phantom Tollbooth

Finn Zeddmore reads Norton Juster’s fantasy adventure for younger readers.

For Milo, everything is a bore and all activities little more than a waste of time. Then one day he arrives home in his usual state of disinterest, only to find a package waiting for him. He has no idea where it has come from or who might have sent it, but is clearly intended for him, given the label. Opening it, he discovers a small tollbooth and a map of “the Lands Beyond,” illustrating the Kingdom of Wisdom.

Reading the limited instructions – that warn him to have a destination from the map in mind – and thinking the package to be some kind of game, he sets the tollbooth up, decides Dictionopolis should be his destination, and propels the accompanying little car through the tollbooth.

Immediately he finds himself driving an actual car through a city that is clearly not his own. Here he discovers he must remain focused, lest his thoughts wander, and his journey wanders as well; a lesson he only discovers when he does daydream and finds himself in the Doldrums.

Also as he travels and meets new friends, so he also realises something else: life is far from boring or dull; it actually offers much to be discovered.

Thursday, April 2nd: Real Challenge

Shandon Loring reads USA Today’s best-selling author Anthea Sharp‘s 2019 short story set within her science fiction / fantasy Feyland series that has been described as “Ready Player One with faeries.”

Spark Jaxley may appear to have the life of a superstar gamer, but she’s actually among an elite group of guardians who carry a secret and a burden as they engage in an unseen confrontation unseen and unknown to the world at large. The Realm of Faerie exists, and its dark magic is desperate for a foothold in our mortal realm.

In Real Challenge, first published in 2019 as a part of the the anthology of gaming stories Game On: A Gamelit Anthology, Spark has made it to the gaming world championships, ready to give her all in a competition where the stakes are high  and the gaming fierce.

But sometimes the true challenge isn’t what you think; for Spark, it means her entire future is riding on the outcome – will she make the right choice?

Also in Kitely – grid.kitely.com:8002:SEANCHAI).

Seanchai Library: celebrating a dozen years in SL

Seanchai Library

Sunday, March 22nd sees Seanchai Library celebrating 12 continuous years of bringing stories, literature, poems and more to life in Second Life and beyond through the spoken word.

Founded in 2008, Seanchai Library has presented thousands of storytelling events across the grid, and in the process, raised thousands of real US dollars for numerous charities. Starting life as the West of Ireland Library and Cultural Centre, a part of the West of Ireland Charity Estate, the Library has, from the beginning, sought to create a different kind of Library from others found in virtual spaces.

Rather that establish a virtual place where the written word might be read – generally via note card, which has its own limited formatting issues – the Library’s Founder, Derry McMahon decided to offer a presence where stories – original, short or long, novels, poems, great works, classic tales, and fables from all genres could be shared live, in voice; the intimacy of a well told story bringing an added dimension and depth to the listener’s experience, further stirring their imagination.

From the telling of its first story in March 2008, Seanchai has grown to become the foremost voice storytelling group in Second Life. In 2010, the Library joined the Community Virtual Library (CVL) estate in Second Life, where it officially adopted the name Seanchai (pr. Shawn-a-kee – A traditional Irish storyteller/historian) Library. Since then, Seanchai has expanded its programme and virtual presence.  Notable points in the Library’s history include:

  • (2014) Expanded to the OpenSim / Hypergrid enabled Kitely, offering a range of programmes and events to a broad audience of virtual world users.
  • (2014) presented the first virtual / physical world presentation in what would become their EXPLORE programme to build partnerships with educational and arts institutions to use virtual platforms as tools for audience development, education, exploration, dramaturgy, and more. Explore The Great Gatsby, presented via Kitely and in partnership with the Tacoma Little Theatre (TLT), in Tacoma, Washington state. To date, three such programmes have been produced, with more in the planning stages pending funding.
  • (2015) In partnership with CVL, Seanchai Library established a presence on (the now defunct) InWorldz grid, which operated for two years prior to both CVL and Seanchai withdrawing from InWorldz.
  • (2017) Seanchai Library relocated to Holly Kai Park as part of the integrated arts programming at the Park.

Over the years, Seanchai has made numerous immersive storytelling presentations across Second Life, in addition to their Sunday-through-Thursday sessions hosted at their headquarters. These have included presentations of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds, an annual trip to Victorian England with The Dickens Project, special events so celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, International Talk Like a Priate Day and more. They have shared their talents with numerous groups and events across Second Life.

Today, Seanchai Library remains as productive as ever, offering anyone in Second Life the opportunity to enjoy the long tradition of spoken-word stories from all genres, as read by their talented staff, volunteers and guests.

Seanchai library celebrates 12 years of storytelling

To mark their 12th anniversary, Seanchai Library is offering a mix of stories and music through the afternoon of Sunday, March 22d, the programme comprising:

  • From 13:00 SLT – Volume 12: 
    • Shandon Loring reads The Leprechaun’s Gold by Pamela Edwards.
    • Elrik Merlin an Da5id Abbot with Trouble in the Works by Harold Pinter.
    • Kayden Oconnell and Caledonia Skytower with The Seller of Dreams by Henry Beston.
    • Corwyn Allen with Dr. and Mrs. Watson at Home: a Comedy in One Unnatural Act by Loren D. Estleman.
    • Aoife Lorefield with Selected Poetry.
  • 14:00-15:00 SLT – Radio Riel DJ Challenge #4 – Celtic: music & Dancing in Ceiliuradh Glen as three DJ’s take three different views of the theme, broadcasting from The Glen on Radio Riel:
    • 14:00:Elrik Merlin.
    • 15:00: Ktadhn Vesuvino.
    • 16:00: Gabrielle Riel.

Seanchai in the Coming Week

And why not join Senachai Library during their normal weekly schedule. As always, all times SLT, and events are held at the Library’s home at Holly Kai Park, unless otherwise indicated.

Sunday, March 22nd, 18:30: The Secret Garden

Caledonia Skytower continues this classic of children’s literature  by Frances Hodgson Burnett, first published in 1911, at the Golden Horseshoe in Magicland Park.

Orphaned after losing her parents in a cholera epidemic, young Mary Lennox returns to England from India, entering the care of her uncle Archibald Craven, whom she has never met.

Up until this point, Mary’s childhood had not been happy; her parents were selfish and self-seeking, regarding her as a burden over which they were not obliged to hold much responsibility. Not overly healthy herself, she is as a result  a temperamental, stubborn and unmistakably rude child – and her arrival at Misselthwaite Manor and the relative gloom of Yorkshire’s weather does little to improve her mein.

Her disposition also isn’t helped by her uncle, who is strict and uncompromising, leading to Mary despising him. But her uncle’s story is itself filled with tragedy, particularly the loss of his wife. As she learns more about her uncle’s past, so Mary also finds out about a walled garden Mrs. Craven once kept, separated from the rest of the grounds and which, since her passing has been kept locked by Mary’s uncle, the door leading to it kept locked, the key to it buried somewhere. 

Finding the missing key and the now hidden door, Mary enters the garden, and her passage into it starts her on a journey of friendship and discovery, one that leads her to the thing she never really knew: family.

Monday, March 23rd 19:00: The Ugly Little Boy

Gyro Muggins reads a tale that started life as a short story by Isaac Asimov, and was later expanded into a full length novel by Asimov writing in collaboration with Robert Silverberg.

A 21st century time travel experiment results in a Neanderthal boy being pulled from his time. The intention is to study the boy and understand how his kind lived. However because of the potential for time paradoxes, the boy must be kept in a within a stasis module, a place physically separated from modern time; but he must still be cared for. So the company behind the experiment hires a children’s nurse, Edith Fellowes, to look after him.

Initially horrified by the child, Edith comes to forms a bond with him, discovering he is intelligent and capable of both learning and love. However, to Stasis – the company behind the experiment – the boy is little more than a commodity to be observed and with a story to be sold to the media. As such, he is only of value for as long as there is public interest in his story. When that fades, the company determines the child must be returned to his own time, his place to be taken by a subject from another era. But Edith knows that, thanks to all she has taught him, his own time is no longer a place he is equipped to survive within, and determines she must take action to protect him.

Tuesday, March 24th 19:00: Goblin Lake

During the Thirty Years’ War, a soldier named (of course) Jack is, for a prank, thrown into a lake whose waters are said to change anything they touch. Beneath the surface, Jack finds a whole other world where time passes rather differently, falls in love with the king of the lake’s daughter.

But – what is fiction, and what is reality?

With Willow Moonfire.

Wednesday, March 25th, 19:00: The Phantom Tollbooth

Finn Zeddmore reads Norton Juster’s fantasy adventure for younger readers.

For Milo, everything is a bore and all activities little more than a waste of time. Then one day he arrives home in his usual state of disinterest, only to find a package waiting for him. He has no idea where it has come from or who might have sent it, but is clearly intended for him, given the label. Opening it, he discovers a small tollbooth and a map of “the Lands Beyond,” illustrating the Kingdom of Wisdom.

Reading the limited instructions – that warn him to have a destination from the map in mind – and thinking the package to be some kind of game, he sets the tollbooth up, decides Dictionopolis should be his destination, and propels the accompanying little car through the tollbooth.

Immediately he finds himself driving an actual car through a city that is clearly not his own. Here he discovers he must remain focused, lest his thoughts wander, and his journey wanders as well; a lesson he only discovers when he does daydream and finds himself in the Doldrums.

Also as he travels and meets new friends, so he also realises something else: life is far from boring or dull; it actually offers much to be discovered.

Thursday, March 26th

19:00: Bane and Balm, A Fae Tale of Eire

Shandon Loring reads Jenna Elizabeth’s Johnson’s short story. Also in Kitely!  Find teleport from the main Seanchai World grid.kitely.com:8002:SEANCHAI.

21:00 Seanchai Late Night

Contemporary Sci-Fi-Fantasy with Finn Zeddmore featuring stories from sources including Escape Pod, Light Speed, and Clarkesworld on-line magazines.

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with Seanchai Library

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 15th: Celebrating and Dancing in the Green

Marking the upcoming Saint Patrick’s Day, Seanchai Library will be at Murphy’s Pub on Chiaroscuro Isle.

  • 13:00 – Celebrating the Green: stories read by Dubhna Rhiadra, Aoife Lorefield, Corwyn Allen, and Kayden Oconnell.
  • 14:00 – Dancing the Green at the square outside Murphy’s Pub with Aoife Lorefield at 14:00 and Caledonia Skytower at 15:00.

Monday, March 16th 19:00: The Ugly Little Boy

Gyro Muggins reads a tale that started life as a short story by Isaac Asimov, and was later expanded into a full length novel by Asimov writing in collaboration with Robert Silverberg.

A 21st century time travel experiment results in a Neanderthal boy being pulled from his time. The intention is to study the boy and understand how his kind lived. However because of the potential for time paradoxes, the boy must be kept in a within a stasis module, a place physically separated from modern time; but he must still be cared for. So the company behind the experiment hires a children’s nurse, Edith Fellowes, to look after him.

Initially horrified by the child, Edith comes to forms a bond with him, discovering he is intelligent and capable of both learning and love. However, to Stasis – the company behind the experiment – the boy is little more than a commodity to be observed and with a story to be sold to the media. As such, he is only of value for as long as there is public interest in his story. When that fades, the company determines the child must be returned to his own time, his place to be taken by a subject from another era. But Edith knows that, thanks to all she has taught him, his own time is no longer a place he is equipped to survive within, and determines she must take action to protect him.

Tuesday, March 17th 19:00: Saint Patrick’s Day

At Ceiliuradh Glen, Seanchai Library.

18:30: Corwyn Allen Live!

With Gyro Muggins.

19:10: 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.

Wednesday, March 18th, 19:00: The Phantom Tollbooth

Finn Zeddmore reads Norton Juster’s fantasy adventure for younger readers.

For Milo, everything is a bore and all activities little more than a waste of time. Then one day he arrives home in his usual state of disinterest, only to find a package waiting for him. He has no idea where it has come from or who might have sent it, but is clearly intended for him, given the label. Opening it, he discovers a small tollbooth and a map of “the Lands Beyond,” illustrating the Kingdom of Wisdom.

Reading the limited instructions – that warn him to have a destination from the map in mind – and thinking the package to be some kind of game, he sets the tollbooth up, decides Dictionopolis should be his destination, and propels the accompanying little car through the tollbooth.

Immediately he finds himself driving an actual car through a city that is clearly not his own. Here he discovers he must remain focused, lest his thoughts wander, and his journey wanders as well; a lesson he only discovers when he does daydream and finds himself in the Doldrums.

Also as he travels and meets new friends, so he also realises something else: life is far from boring or dull; it actually offers much to be discovered.

Thursday, March 19th, 19:00: Liath Luachra: The Pursuit

Based on the Fionn legends.

Ireland, 189 A.D. Liath Luachra and her band of warriors rush to rescue the kidnapped wife of their employer. Facts are a bit hazy, the employer is unpleasant, but Liath and her men are barely surviving and need the job. As always with an O’Sullivan story, the landscape is almost a character in the tale.

With Shandon Loring, also in Kitely – grid.kitely.com:8002:SEANCHAI).

Advanced Announcement – Seanchai Celebrates a Dozen

On Sunday, March 22nd, Seanchai Library will mark its 12th anniversary with an afternoon of festivities.

Solving a mystery, time travel and youthful journeys in 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 at Holly Kai Park, unless otherwise indicated.

Sunday, March 8th

13:30: Tea-Time Special: Death on the Nile

First published in 1937, Death on he Nile is one of Agatha Christie’s most famous and enduring Hercule Poirot murder mysteries. The book has been the subject of multiple theatrical, film and television adaptations, most of which had by necessity condensed elements of this tale of love, jealously, and betrayal to more readily fit the requirements of their format.

Now, Seanchai Library continues to present the opportunity to enjoy the story in full – and within a setting inspired by the novel, as Corwyn Allen, Da5id Abbot, Kayden Oconnell, Gloriana Maertens, and Caledonia Skytower bring Christie’s characters once more to life for us to enjoy.

The Karnak – Death on the Nile

In this, the final part of the story, Poirot reveals the who and the why of the murders and thefts that have dogged the cruise of the cruise of the steamer Karnak during its cruise along the Nile.

To be followed by a post-read party featuring DJ Elrik Merlin.

18:30: The Secret Garden

Caledonia Skytower continues this classic of children’s literature  by Frances Hodgson Burnett, first published in 1911, at the Golden Horseshoe in Magicland Park.

Orphaned after losing her parents in a cholera epidemic, young Mary Lennox returns to England from India, entering the care of her uncle Archibald Craven, whom she has never met.

Up until this point, Mary’s childhood had not been happy; her parents were selfish and self-seeking, regarding her as a burden over which they were not obliged to hold much responsibility. Not overly healthy herself, she is as a result  a temperamental, stubborn and unmistakably rude child – and her arrival at Misselthwaite Manor and the relative gloom of Yorkshire’s weather does little to improve her mein.

Her disposition also isn’t helped by her uncle, who is strict and uncompromising, leading to Mary despising him. But her uncle’s story is itself filled with tragedy, particularly the loss of his wife. As she learns more about her uncle’s past, so Mary learns about a walled garden Mrs. Craven once kept, separated from the rest of the grounds and which, since her passing has been kept locked by Mary’s uncle, the door leading to it kept locked, the key to it buried somewhere. 

Finding the missing key and the now hidden door, Mary enters the garden, and her passage into it starts her on a journey of friendship and discovery, one that leads her to the thing she never really knew: family.

Monday, March 9th 19:00: The Ugly Little Boy

Gyro Muggins reads a tale that started life as a short story by Isaac Asimov, and was later expanded into a full length novel by Asimov writing in collaboration with Robert Silverberg.

A 21st century time travel experiment results in a Neanderthal boy being pulled from his time. The intention is to study the boy and understand how his kind lived. However because of the potential for time paradoxes, the boy must be kept in a within a stasis module, a place physically separated from modern time; but he must still be cared for. So the company behind the experiment hires a children’s nurse, Edith Fellowes, to look after him.

Initially horrified by the child, Edith comes to forms a bond with him, discovering he is intelligent and capable of both learning and love. However, to Stasis – the company behind the experiment – the boy is little more than a commodity to be observed and with a story to be sold to the media. As such, he is only of value for as long as there is public interest in his story. When that fades, the company determines the child must be returned to his own time, his place to be taken by a subject from another era. But Edith knows that, thanks to all she has taught him, his own time is no longer a place he is equipped to survive within, and determines she must take action to protect him.

Tuesday, March 10th 19:00: Very Far Away from Anywhere

Ursula le Guin remains best know for her intelligent science fiction and fantasy stories. However, Willow Moonfire brings us one of her books that steps away from that genre entirely.

If you’d like a story about how I won my basketball letter and achieved fame, love, and fortune, don’t read this. I don’t know what I achieved in the six months I’m going to tell you about. I achieved something, all right, but I think it may take me the rest of my life to find out what.

So begins a moving coming-of age tale, centred on 17-year-old Owen, who is in the middle of his senior year in high school. A loner and intellectual, Owen is an introspective young man who hasn’t found any deep connections to anyone; only his interest in science offers a point of focus for him. While he does spend time with his two closest friends, is a member of various groups at school and enjoys sports, he looks upon that side of his life as a fiction, no more real to him than the pretend utopian world of Thorn, a place he created in his imagination whilst a child.

But Thorn is no longer a place of escape for him; it has become beyond his reach as he moves towards adulthood, and he must now face turning the “fiction” of the physical world into a reality in which he can function and move beyond the potential breakdown he might otherwise face, escape the threat of repeating the lives of his parents and take control of his destiny.

Wednesday, March 11th, 19:00: The Phantom Tollbooth

Finn Zeddmore reads Norton Juster’s fantasy adventure for younger readers.

For Milo, everything is a bore and all activities little more than a waste of time. Then one day he arrives home in his usual state of disinterest, only to find a package waiting for him. He has no idea where it has come from or who might have sent it, but is clearly intended for him, given the label. Opening it, he discovers a small tollbooth and a map of “the Lands Beyond,” illustrating the Kingdom of Wisdom.

Reading the limited instructions – that warn him to have a destination from the map in mind – and thinking the package to be some kind of game, he sets the tollbooth up, decides Dictionopolis should be his destination, and propels the accompanying little car through the tollbooth.

Immediately he finds himself driving an actual car through a city that is clearly not his own. Here he discovers he must remain focused, lest his thoughts wander, and his journey wanders as well; a lesson he only discovers when he does daydream and finds himself in the Doldrums.

Also as he travels and meets new friends, so he also realises something else: life is far from boring or dull; it actually offers much to be discovered.

Thursday, March 12th:

19:00: The Lord of Pengersick Castle

With Shandon Loring, also in Kitely – grid.kitely.com:8002:SEANCHAI).

21:00: Seanchai Late Night

contemporary sci-fi and fantasy with Finn Zeddmore.

Time travel, coming of age and adventures 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 at Holly Kai Park, unless otherwise indicated.

Sunday, March 1st 13:30: Tea-Time Special: Death on the Nile

First published in 1937, Death on he Nile is one of Agatha Christie’s most famous and enduring Hercule Poirot murder mysteries. The book has been the subject of multiple theatrical, film and television adaptations, most of which had by necessity condensed elements of this tale of love, jealously, and betrayal to more readily fit the requirements of their format.

Now, Seanchai Library continues to present the opportunity to enjoy the story in full – and within a setting inspired by the novel, as Corwyn Allen, Da5id Abbot, Kayden Oconnell, Gloriana Maertens, and Caledonia Skytower bring Christie’s characters once more to life for us to enjoy.

The Karnak – Death on the Nile

So, why not join Poirot as he cruises aboard the river steamer Karnak in a trip along the Nile – although a tour of the sights is unlikely to be high on his priorities given murder has now claimed three victims, and theft appears to have joined the voyage!

Monday, March 2nd 19:00: The Ugly Little Boy

Gyro Muggins reads a tale that started life as a short story by Isaac Asimov, and was later expanded into a full length novel by Asimov writing in collaboration with Robert Silverberg.

A 21st century time travel experiment results in a Neanderthal boy being pulled from his time. The intention is to study the boy and understand how his kind lived. However because of the potential for time paradoxes, the boy must be kept in a within a stasis module, a place physically separated from modern time; but he must still be cared for. So the company behind the experiment hires a children’s nurse, Edith Fellowes, to look after him.

Initially horrified by the child, Edith comes to forms a bond with him, discovering he is intelligent and capable of both learning and love. However, to Stasis – the company behind the experiment – the boy is little more than a commodity to be observed and with a story to be sold to the media. As such, he is only of value for as long as there is public interest in his story. When that fades, the company determines the child must be returned to his own time, his place to be taken by a subject from another era. But Edith knows that, thanks to all she has taught him, his own time is no longer a place he is equipped to survive within, and determines she must take action to protect him.

Tuesday, March 3rd 19:00: Very Far Away from Anywhere

Ursula le Guin remains best know for her intelligent science fiction and fantasy stories. However, Willow Moonfire brings us one of her books that steps away from that genre entirely.

If you’d like a story about how I won my basketball letter and achieved fame, love, and fortune, don’t read this. I don’t know what I achieved in the six months I’m going to tell you about. I achieved something, all right, but I think it may take me the rest of my life to find out what.

So begins a moving coming-of age tale, centred on 17-year-old Owen, who is in the middle of his senior year in high school. A loner and intellectual, Owen is an introspective young man who hasn’t found any deep connections to anyone; only his interest in science offers a point of focus for him. While he does spend time with his two closest friends, is a member of various groups at school and enjoys sports, he looks upon that side of his life as a fiction, no more real to him than the pretend utopian world of Thorn, a place he created in his imagination whilst a child.

But Thorn is no longer a place of escape for him; it has become beyond his reach as he moves towards adulthood, and he must now face turning the “fiction” of the physical world into a reality in which he can function and move beyond the potential breakdown he might otherwise face, escape the threat of repeating the lives of his parents and take control of his destiny.

Wednesday, March 4th, 19:00: The Phantom Tollbooth

Finn Zeddmore reads Norton Juster’s fantasy adventure for younger readers.

For Milo, everything is a bore and all activities little more than a waste of time. Then one day he arrives home in his usual state of disinterest, only to find a package waiting for him. He has no idea where it has come from or who might have sent it, but is clearly intended for him, given the label. Opening it, he discovers a small tollbooth and a map of “the Lands Beyond,” illustrating the Kingdom of Wisdom.

Reading the limited instructions – that warn him to have a destination from the map in mind – and thinking the package to be some kind of game, he sets the tollbooth up, decides Dictionopolis should be his destination, and propels the accompanying little car through the tollbooth.

Immediately he finds himself driving an actual car through a city that is clearly not his own. Here he discovers he must remain focused, lest his thoughts wander, and his journey wanders as well; a lesson he only discovers when he does daydream and finds himself in the Doldrums.

Also as he travel and meets new friends, so he also discovers something else: life is far from boring or dull; it actually offers much to be discovered.

Thursday, March 5th: 19:00 Stag Hunt

Shandon Loring reads Laura DeLuca’s 2013 novel of history and pagan times.

In ancient Britannia, Eartha’s brother Balen has been in love with Princess Galiene since they were children. Upon the death of the High King, the tribesmen of the realm vie for the throne, and with it, the hand of the fair princess. They do so but hunting the King Stag: for the warrior who brings down the stag will be named defender of the land.

Balen enters the hunt in a desperate attempt to show himself worthy of Galiene’s attention. But he has a rival who is determined to keep him and Galiene apart. And so with the fates her brother and her dearest friend, and even her very nation hanging in the balance, Eartha must do the unthinkable to ensure her brother’s victory in the hunt.

Also in Kitely – grid.kitely.com:8002:SEANCHAI).

River trips, gardens, journeys and crows 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 at Holly Kai Park, unless otherwise indicated.

Sunday, February 23rd

13:30: Tea-Time Special: Death on the Nile

First published in 1937, Death on he Nile is one of Agatha Christie’s most famous and enduring Hercule Poirot murder mysteries. The book has been the subject of multiple theatrical, film and television adaptations, most of which had by necessity condensed elements of this tale of love, jealously, and betrayal to more readily fit the requirements of their format.

Now, Seanchai Library continues to present the opportunity to enjoy the story in full – and within a setting inspired by the novel, as Corwyn Allen, Da5id Abbot, Kayden Oconnell, Gloriana Maertens, and Caledonia Skytower bring Christie’s characters once more to life for us to enjoy.

The Karnak – Death on the Nile

So, why not join Poirot as he cruises aboard the river steamer Karnak in a trip along the Nile – although a tour of the sights is unlikely to be high on his priorities given murder is a fellow passenger.

18:30: The Secret Garden

Caledonia Skytower continues this classic of children’s literature  by Frances Hodgson Burnett, first published in 1911, at the Golden Horseshoe in Magicland Park.

Orphaned after losing her parents in a cholera epidemic, young Mary Lennox returns to England from India, entering the care of her uncle Archibald Craven, whom she has never met.

Up until this point, Mary’s childhood had not been happy; her parents were selfish and self-seeking, regarding her as a burden over which they were not obliged to hold much responsibility. Not overly healthy herself, she is as a result  a temperamental, stubborn and unmistakably rude child – and her arrival at Misselthwaite Manor and the relative gloom of Yorkshire’s weather does little to improve her mein.

Her disposition also isn’t helped by her uncle, who is strict and uncompromising, leading to Mary despising him. But her uncle’s story is itself filled with tragedy, particularly the loss of his wife. As she learns more about her uncle’s past, so Mary learns about a walled garden Mrs. Craven once kept, separated from the rest of the grounds and which, since her passing has been kept locked by Mary’s uncle, the door leading to it kept locked, the key to it buried somewhere. 

Finding the missing key and the now hidden door, Mary enters the garden, and her passage into it starts her on a journey of friendship and discovery, one that leads her to the thing she never really knew: family.

Monday, February 24th 19:00: Out of the Silent Planet

The first novel in C.S. Lewis’s classic sci-fi trilogy which tells the adventure of Dr Ransom who is kidnapped and transported to Mars.

In the first novel of C.S. Lewis’s classic science fiction trilogy, Dr Ransom, a Cambridge academic, is abducted and taken on a spaceship to the red planet of Malacandra, which he knows as Mars. His captors are plotting to plunder the planet’s treasures and plan to offer Ransom as a sacrifice to the creatures who live there, and his discovers that he is special as he comes from the ‘silent planet’ – Earth – a world whose tragic story is known throughout the universe…

Join Gyro Muggins for more.

Tuesday, February 25th 19:00: The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains

Willow Moonfire reads from Neil Gaiman’s Tale of Travel and Darkness

Two men, bearing both guilt and secrets, and not really known to one another, set out on a journey to reach the Misty Isle where, it is said, there lies a cave filled with gold from which a many might take as much as he can carry.

One bears guilts he can both forgive and not forgive of himself, the other bearing his own secrets. The reasons for the guilt and the secrets gradually come to the fore as they travel across a landscape as bleak and as hard as their lives. Along the way, they encounter others, travellers,  householders, and a ferryman. They are similarly hard and suspicious, and also reflect the Jacobite landscape of Scotland where they reside.

Over time, MacInnes, the taller of the two and the one that knows the way to the cave, reveals more of it to his smaller, guilt carrying companion, warning that the cave carries a particular price for those who seek it: It strips away a little bit of anyone who enters.

Wednesday, February 26th, 19:00: A Matter of OF Dreams

Ktadhn Vesuvino reads a further story from the Liaden Universe.

Thursday, February 27th

19:00 A Pocketful of Crows

The bonny brown girl, lives in the forest, unnamed, untamed. Her people, the “travelling folk”, have no need of towns, or houses, or linens. Nor of each other, save at occasional seasonal gatherings. The Brown Girl lives in the wild, inhabits the wild creatures when she wants to hunt in the forest, or soar through the sky.

Then one spring day, the day before May Day, she meets William, a young royal, and quickly falls in love. Though she denies being in love, and swears to remain wild, William insists on giving her a name, Malmuira, the Dark Lady of the Mountains.

“Thus are you named, my brown girl. Thus do you belong to me.”

Join Shandon Loring as he continues this tale of love, loss and revenge. Following the seasons, A Pocketful of Crows balances youth and age, wisdom and passion and draws on nature and folklore to weave a stunning modern mythology around a nameless wild girl. Also in Kitely – grid.kitely.com:8002:SEANCHAI).

21:00 Seanchai Late Night

A special session this week with Shandon presenting Frederick Pohl’s The Day of the Boomer Dukes.