Maxwell Grantly

Magical stories from an independent author

Archive for the category “Pfaffenthal”

Story-Telling of the Future

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Originally, story-telling would occur by word-of-mouth. Then, with the invention of the printing press, paper-based books were soon to be developed and the novel was born. More recently, with advances in technology, audio books became popular. Today, with the popularity of digital information, people can now read digitalised eBooks on an electronic device.

You may agree that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to predict how story-telling will proceed into the future. However, could it be that the reading experience may become more interactive, with the reader becoming a participant in the story?

If this is the case, this picture may give you an appetite of what we might expect in the very near future. The children in this photograph have been inspired and taught by Hauptmann Weydert. They are following a projection of a story, by author Maxwell Grantly, upon a screen at the back of the studio as the plot is being read by the youth leader. At the same time, the children are exploring a digital reconstruction of the story’s setting on their own individual computer within Hauptmann Weydert’s IT studio. They have even been able to interact with different characters from the story at the same time, talking to them and playing a range of basic games.

Who knows how the reading experience may develop in the more distant future!

(Picture Credit: Hauptmann Weydert)

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Transmedia Story-Telling

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Today at 14:00 Luxembourg time (13:00 Greenwich Mean Time) a group of children from the Luxembourg Eich day care centre had an opportunity to listen to a retelling of Maxwell Grantly’s “Fire Starter!” story. At the same time, they were also able to wander around a digital reconstruction of the setting of the story to meet some of the characters from the book. You can see, in the image attached to this post, that they even had the chance to met the baby dragon that had just escaped from one of the chimneys in Pfaffenthal.

The crowd were able to wander around the digitally created streets of old Luxembourg, to the baby dragon’s favourite place: the smoke house. There was even a chance at the end of the story-telling session for a quick game of ‘chase’ around the streets of 1867 Pfaffenthal.

If you would also like to explore the streets that feature in the stories of Maxwell Grantly, firstly you will need a programme that will run on your PC or iMac. To do this, you’ll need to download some free 3D browsing software: the Second Life Viewer. You can download this viewer by clicking on the orange button at this link:

https://secondlife.com/support/downloads/

(Hint: this viewer runs best on a modern computer. If your computer is slow or very old, your experience may be sluggish.)

Next, after you have downloaded this viewer, just launch the software and then click on the link below, called a slurl. This slurl will transport you directly into the middle of a computer-generated reconstruction where you can explore the locations that feature in many of the stories of Maxwell Grantly. If you time your visit well, you can even meet the very characters that appear within these stories and chat with them one-by-one, in real time.

Here is the slurl that leads you into the heart of the city:

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Pfaffenthal%20Vauban/132/124/26

Enjoy yourself and who knows, you might even be lucky and meet Fingers, the pickpocket from Maxwell Grantly’s trilogy about this character.

(Sensible Internet advice: You may also meet other Second Life users, book readers and many sorts of other people from all around the globe, who are using the viewer at the same time. Many of these will be friendly and welcoming but there are times when you may cross the path of someone who is not. Sadly, I cannot control the actions of any other visitor to this three-dimensional world. It is for this reason, I would always advise that you do not allow children to wander about using this CGI software, without appropriate adult supervision.)

Fire Starter!

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I am very pleased to announce a new free eBook by Maxwell Grantly: “Fire Starter!”

When a series of fires broke out around the city, the finger of suspicion pointed to William Marley: the chimney sweep. Was he negligent with his sweeping duties? However, as is common with stories by Maxwell Grantly, all is not as you might expect it to be. Read “Fire Starter!’ to find out how William solved the riddle of the numerous chimney fires and, by doing so, saved the city’s inhabitants from their burning misery.

If you are interested in reading “Fire Starter!” you may like to know that this story can be downloaded free of charge from the iBooks store or from Kobo. Sadly, the software at Amazon does not allow a zero pricing and so (if you use a Kindle) you may also download this story – but at a very small charge. Just type “Maxwell Grantly” into the search bar at any of these three sites.

The Christmas Penny

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Have you ever wandered down the street and seen a shining new penny laying in the gutter?

This illustrated story tells the adventure of two Victorian street urchins, who found a whole new penny, one Christmas in New Babbage, and saw Professor Jiggers’ Flea Circus. As with all stories by Maxwell Grantly, things never go according to plan.

If you are interested in reading The Christmas Penny, it can be downloaded free of charge from Barnes & Noble, Blio, iBooks, Inktera, Kobo, Lulu and Smashwords. Sadly, the software at Amazon does not allow a zero pricing and so (if you use a Kindle) you may also download The Christmas Penny – but at a very small charge. Simply type “Maxwell Grantly” or “The Christmas Penny” into the search bar at any of these eight sites.

Free to Download: Professor Nibbler’s Most Amazing Mouse Circus

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Have you seen a real live mouse circus? If you have, you’re very lucky indeed, as very few other people have ever seen one. Sometimes a mouse circus will travel around the country as part of a travelling fair. As part of the performance, the mice will climb upon tightropes, perform amazing acrobatics and scamper about doing all sorts of incredible things.

When Professor Nibbler brought his most amazing mouse circus to Luxembourg, two homeless children (Jacob and Molly) were enchanted by the posters that were pasted across the city. They both yearned to see the mice perform and so devised a plan to earn enough money to see the show. However, as is common with other stories from Maxwell Grantly, things don’t go according to plan.

Discover how Jacob and Molly got to see the most amazing mouse circus in the world, by reading Maxwell Grantly’s latest story: Professor Nibbler’s Most Amazing Mouse Circus. (Available to download free of charge from iTunes, Kobo, Lulu and Smashwords.)

Professor Nibbler’s Most Amazing Mouse Circus

This is the the start of a new free eBook, by Maxwell Grantly. You can find all Maxwell’s stories, free to download, on iTunes, Kobo, Lulu, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords. Professor Nibbler’s Most Amazing Mouse Circus will be available to download, free of charge, later this month.

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Alfred and the Broken Flute

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I am very pleased to announce the release of my latest children’s eBook: Alfred and the Broken Flute.

This free eBook can be downloaded from either iBooks, Kobo or Smashwords. (There is a small charge when downloading from Amazon and so I am sure that you may find the other sites more advantageous.)

I do hope that you may enjoy entering my bizarre fantasy world, as you read this crazy tale.

Alfred and the Broken Flute

Alfred wasn’t like other children; he had no mother or father to look after him. Alfred only owned an old top hat and a small wooden flute. Therefore, Alfred would earn his keep by playing his flute on street corners, to collect donations from passers-by. However, one day, Alfred’s life was to turn upside down when two local villains decided to kidnap him and sell him to a local mine owner, Mr. Slugger. This was how Alfred’s flute became broken.

Discover what happened and find out whether Alfred ever managed to regain his freedom from the two thugs.

In common with many stories by Maxwell Grantly, things rarely ever go according to plan.

The Time-Travelling Mirror

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You may already know that I am active, assisting Hauptmann Weydert with an online computer-generated three-dimensional reconstruction of 1867 Luxembourg. Just recently this project developed a most unusual twist, linking the past with the present.

Visitors to two local history museums in Luxembourg are already able to wander through a digital reconstruction of the Pffafenthal district of the city, using virtual reality headgear or computer screens. As they meander through the city’s streets, they are able to witness first-hand the architecture and layout of the city, as it appeared one hundred and fifty years ago.

Now this computer generated reconstruction has a very usual addition: a time portal to the current city of Luxembourg in the form of a ‘mirror’. The surface of this ‘mirror’ displays a live stream, taken from a webcam mounted in a shop front in modern day Luxembourg. At the same time, a computer screen has been placed within the very same shop window, showing time-travelling visitors to the museum wandering around the very same position, but one hundred and fifty years in the past. This means that, as museum visitors explore the digital reconstruction of their city, they are able to look at a live stream of the very same location, outside in the modern day streets of today. However, the passers-by in the streets are also able to use the computer screen to peer back into the antics of the museum time-travelling visitors, as they explore the city one hundred years in the past.

So time-travelling museum visitors are able to view the modern-day Luxembourg citizens and, at the same time, these modern-day citizens can watch the time-travelling museum visitors. The two different parties are even able to communicate using text, animations or basic gestures.

Isn’t that a really incredible concept!

The Pfaffenthal Adventure

Work is continuing on the Pfaffenthal comic project. The completion date for this publication is set for midyear 2017. I hope that this video clip may whet your appetite.

Pfaffenthal Update

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Next year (2017) will be the 150th anniversary of the Second Treaty of London.

For people living outside Luxembourg, this date will have very little significance. However, for those who live and work in Luxembourg, the year 2017 will be an important opportunity to celebrate the reaffirmation of the neutrality of their city and a chance to remember the starting of a new chapter of this important European location.

The Second Treaty of London was an international treaty signed on 11 May 1867. It was agreed in the aftermath of the Austro-Prussian War and the Luxembourg Crisis and it had wide-reaching consequences for Luxembourg and for the relations between Europe’s Great Powers.

As part of the many celebrations planned for 2017, I am currently working with a team from across the whole of Europe; helping in the production of a transmedia comic strip set in a computer generated reconstruction of the 1867 city. The story revolves around a young Luxembourgish boy named Steft and it explains how his vivid imagination caused him to cross the paths of many different characters in and around his home city of Luxembourg.

If all goes to plan, the comic strip will be released some time next year and it is hoped that it may be a unique way of retelling the stories of the inhabitants of this important European City.

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