#Fandom5: Five Fictional Vehicles I'd Love to Travel In

Welcome to my attempt at 5 Fandom Friday, where I try to contribute to a weekly meme but usually forget. This fun weekly postathon is hosted by The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick. If you’re interested in joining up, check out future posting topics here.

I thought this week’s topic would be super easy because who doesn’t want to ride in fictional vehicles? But then I realized I don’t know the names of a lot of fictional vehicles (for some reason Snowpiercer keeps coming to mind and that is definitely NOT a fictional vehicle I want to ride in), so let’s see if the internet can help me find five. This Wikipedia page is incredibly helpful.

The TARDIS from Doctor Who (preferably with 10 as pilot)

I’m pretty sure if this posting topic was a poll, the TARDIS would win by a huge landslide. Who doesn’t want to travel through all of time and space to see exciting and amazing things? Boring people. People who we do not want to be friends with. They probably don’t like cookies either.

The Batmobile

Because that would mean that I was chillin’ with Batman and that could be cool (or deadly). I’d want it to be like the Nolan ‘verse tumbler for extra security reasons.

Firefly

Mostly so I could hang out with the awesome crew and take part in exciting heists, but being in space would be really cool too if I were on a reliable ship like this.

The Dirigible from The Finishing School series by Gail Carriger

Going to a ladies’ finishing school sounds terrible unless it’s really secret code for turning you into a Victorian badass spy lady. I don’t remember if the dirigible-that-is-a-school has a name or not, but it would fulfill my latent desires to A) go to boarding school, and B) live on a moving vessel that is not a cruise ship for a weird length of time.

The Millennium Falcon from Star Wars

Because it would probably be Fernando’s second choice (after the TARDIS of course), and we could have space adventures with Han and Chewie.

Runner Up: A Jaeger from Pacific Rim

This is a runner up because I can honestly say the idea of riding in a jaeger is terrifying, but it would be pretty badass too. Especially if I didn’t have to fight a giant glowy monster and just romp around the ocean instead.

So what fictional vehicle would you like to ride in and who would you want as the pilot? Are you a TARDIS fan or would you prefer a jaunt in a spaceship? Anyone else think the Impala from Supernatural doesn't count because it's a real car?

#Fandom5: Five Spinoffs I'd Like to See Get Made

This is my first stab at a 5 Fandom Friday, despite being a part of the Female Geek Bloggers page on Google+ (where it was originally introduced) for over a year. No matter how hard I try, I just seem to always suck at planning ahead on Working for the Mandroid. In an attempt to turn over a new leaf, here’s my first attempt to contributing to 5 Fandom Friday with the five spinoffs I’d like to see get made.

The Supernatural Prequel Show of My Dreams

The Powers That Be over at Supernatural attempted to create a spin off last year. It was an epic disaster of the most monstrous variety. Rather than actually do a spin off with a character or event that had previously been mentioned on the show, they tried to do some weird Romeo & Juliet story with characters that completely destroyed the rules and mythology developed in the many years of the show. Instead of that disaster, I want a prequel show either set in the time of Rufus and Bobby learning to fight monsters or even John learning the ropes of hunting while baby Sam and Dean are stuck in motel after motel (though a show about that sort of child abuse might be difficult to make work). It could be a western set in the time of the Colt being developed or even about the first hunters or how about how Mama Winchester great up in the hunter life and decided to give it up. It’s a rich universe with many potential spin off options, but Bobby and Rufus would be my favorite.

Hawkeye – the Fraction/Aja version

Let’s give Hawkeye his own film, but instead of the quiet serious Hawkeye from the current Avengers movie ‘verse, let’s have the down on his luck Clint from Matt Fraction and David Aja’s current comic run. I would love to see him and Kate Bishop try to figure out life without superpowers in a world with cosmic monsters and magic. It would be full of one liners and sarcasm, plus, of course, boomerangs.

Batgirl & Nightwing

I don’t care if it’s television or a movie, but I need Barbara Gordon and Dick Grayson being awesome, in love and kick ass in some visual medium. They are my big untouchable ship, and I want everyone in the universe to see why. If it were up to me, Batman would stay far, far away and it wouldn’t be a grim and gritty Nolan-esque version. I want fun and adventure and adorableness, thank you.

Lord Akeldama’s Adventures in Society

From the Soulless Manga series

From the Soulless Manga series

If you are unfamiliar with Lord Akeldama, he is the fabulous society vampire and advisor to Alexia Taribotti, the most wonderful heroine of Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series of steampunk novels. His are some of the best scenes in the series, and like Cassandra Clare did with Magnus Bane, I would love a series of short stories about the many adventures he’s had in high society throughout the years.

How Furiosa Became a Badass

I wasn’t a huge fan of Mad Max: Fury Road, partly because it made me car sick and partly because it had no plot. Going from Point A to Point B and back to Point A is not enough plot for me. I wanted to know more about the characters rather than just have them be ciphers or stand-ins for more developed ideas. I want to know Furiosa’s story, how she grew up, how she learned to take care of herself, and how she became the driver of a war rig. And don’t tell me to read the prequel comics. Those don’t exist. They were also burned in a fire I started with my mind.

Comic Con 2012: Day 1 - Women of Steampunk, Yet Another Sherlock Holmes and Celebrity Sightings

Day 1 is done and over with at least officially. There is some sort of techno dance party happening outside our hotel that I think will make it impossible to sleep, which I'm not looking forward to, but whatever. Today was a pretty calm day. There weren't a lot of big huge panels (at least not unless you're a Twilight fan), so we got into everything we wanted to, picked up some cool swag along the way and even had time to have a real sit-down meal.

Today's haul: not as big as preview night, but so much awesome. I luckily got the super secret Gail Carriger swag, which turned out to be an advanced copy of the first book in her upcoming YA series, Etiquette & Espionage. My squeal of delight amused the guy from Orbit/Hachette immensely. Other highlights was a signing of Eve & Adam by Michael Grant & Katherine Applegate and ARC giveaways of Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes. I also learned a piece of information that, if I'm super lucky on Saturday, will make this the best con ever.

As far as panels went, I started off the day with the ladies of Steampunk, quite possibly the most fashionable panel of the Con. It's also probably the only panel where the panelists will be drinking tea out of tiny little porcelian cups and eating mini scones. The conversation quickly evolved into a discussion of the importance of wearing a properly fitted corset and how much research goes into the writings of such authors as Gail Carriger, Kaja Foglio (Girl Genius), and Anina Bennett (Boilerplate). The fact that the conversation was equal parts about fashion and the awesomeness of science just reinforced why I love steampunk so much.

Fernando and I also attended the screening of Beauty & the Beast, though we got in about 15 minutes into it. From what we saw, I can confidentally say that there is no way I'm going to sit through that entire pilot again. It is cheese all the way through with forced insta-love and the silliest "beast" I've ever seen. It's unfortunate because I like the idea of the "beast" being created by a scientific super soldier experiment, but man, was the cheese excessive.

Then came Elementary, CBS's modern take on Sherlock Holmes with Eli Stone Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu. We'll have a full pilot review of this one later on, but in short, it is by far definitely not Sherlock. And the gender swap of Watson seemed a little forced to serve the plot rather than feeling like a natural fit to the type of story being told. The panel afterward more or less said it was so they could have sexual tension somewhere down the line. I'm on the fence on this one.

I wandered into a panel about comic book podcasters, moderated by Josh Flannagan of iFanboy, I occasionally catch becaus Fernando listens to it. It was really interesting to hear these popular podcasters discuss whether or not what they do should be considered journalism, what makes for proper critiquing and whether or not to include negative reviews in their shows. It was also pretty fun.

Then came Simon & Schusters' panel about upcoming titles. Unlike last year, there weren't really any surprises (at least to me). The Clockwork Princess cover was "revealed" though technically it was revealed yesterday via Twitter. Otherwise it was just a glorified raffle for stacks of books. Unfortunately I did not win Scott Westerfeld's entire back catalog, which makes me kind of sad, Fernando pretty happy and my suitcase a little less likely to be overweight on the return flight home.

After Day 1 was done at the convention center, Fernando and I chased Bat signals around town along with several other people. Somehow that turned into a last second trip two miles away to claim a Mondo special edition The Dark Knight Rises poster. Earlier Fernando also got a special edition Game of Thrones poster (pics forthcoming), so all in all, I'd say it was a good day.

And that's not taking into account that Seth Green nearly ran into me in the exhibit hall because he was filming something on his camera phone. Somehow us running into or nearly running into Seth Green has become an annual event. That dude is everywhere.

Now I am sleepy, so return tomorrow for more updates.

In My Mailbox #16: Books All Over the House

There are currently books all over my house. I mean, there are usually books all over the house, but it seems much worse than the usual library books in three places, new review books scattered in the office and on the kitchen counter, and the overflow of books from my personal library. It seems like my couch has been replaced by books and my coffee table and my bed... it's getting ridiculous.

It's been a very long time (three months!) since I did an In My Mailbox post and I know there was some to-do in the blogosphere with The Story Siren, though I have no idea what it was or how it was resolved (if it was resolved). Despite that, I already have a series of IMM posts, so I'm just continuing it here whether I link up on Sunday or not.

I'm not even going to attempt a comprehensive listing of all the books that have crossed my doorstep in the last three months. Instead here are the books that I've received in the last three weeks, excluding e-books. That's a whole 'nother post all on its own.

 

For Review

         

Why Does Batman Need Shark Repellent? by Brian Cronin

The New New Rules by Bill Maher (this one is for Fernando to review)

Waking the Witch & Spellbound by Kelley Armstrong

Tyrannosaurus Lex by Rod L Evans (for my inner English major geek)

Thanks to Plume & Penguin for their generosity.

     

 Doctor Who: Shada by Douglas Adams and Gareth Roberts

Blackwatch by Jenna Burtenshaw

The Darkening Dream by Andy Gavin

Kingdom by Anderson O'Connell (for a blog tour later this month)

Thanks to Penguin, HarperCollins, Anderson O'Connell and Andy Gavin.

 

From the Library

   

 Shadowcry by Jenna Burtenshaw

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

 

Purchased

 

Soulless: The Manga by Gail Carriger

Locke & Key Volume 4: Keys to the Kingdom by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

Review: Heartless by Gail Carriger

Heartless (Parasol Protectorate #4)
Gail Carriger

Orbit (2011)
374 pages
Paranormal / Steampunk / Mystery

Purchase it from Amazon here

Towards the end of the book, one of the tertiary characters in Gail Carriger’s Heartless captures all the wonderful qualities of Lady Alexia Maccon, the protagonist of this wonderful series, all in one statement:

“Who else would be standing in the middle of a street on full-moon night with a raging ruddy fire behind her, waving a parasol around?”

The best thing about Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series – and there are many wonderful things about this series – is her domineering leading lady.  Even on the occasions when she needs to be rescued, she never backs down and still usually remains a thorn in her enemy’s side until everything returns to her liking.  When facing entrapment within a burning warehouse district, only Alexia would think to bust a street lamp and use her parasol to hit a burning coal into a warehouse full of fireworks to alert people of her plight.  She is always finding herself in the most ridiculous, unladylike of situations, and she always comes out on top.  Alexia Maccon is my hero.

As a preternatural, she can turn any supernatural entity back into a human temporarily through skin-to-skin contact, so of course, she married a giant, uncouth Scottish werewolf, who is Alpha to the only pack of werewolves around London.  There is almost always someone trying to kill her, normally a vampire who is threatened by her “soul stealing” ability, and now that she’s pregnant with a werewolf’s child, the attacks have increased.  Yet she takes this all in stride and goes about her day as though she isn’t constantly being attacked by mechanical killer insects, exploding teapots and zombie porcupines.  Nothing is going to slow her down, not even an eight month pregnant belly (or, in some cases, going into full out labor).

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Review: Soulless, Changeless, & Blameless by Gail Carriger

In preparation for Monday’s review of Gail Carriger’s Heartless, how about a set of mini reviews for the previous novels in the Parasol Protectorate series?

I must warn you: I love this series.  It makes me giddy that it will be five books when I originally thought there would only be three.  I love that a new one comes out every six months or so.  I love the main character, Alexia, her grumpy werewolf husband, her flamboyantly fabulous vampire friend, Lord Akeldama, and all the magic gadgets provided by the wonderfully French Madame Lefoux.  Carriger created a world that I want to be a part of, a world where alpha werewolves have to attend polite dinner parties and vampires are the prime purveyors of all knowledge, both useful and gratuitous.  Add in dirigibles and a dash of steampunk, and who wouldn’t want to live in that world?

Even though, in the first novel, many of the characters seem like clichés, I didn’t mind because of the world they lived in and, above all, the literary flourishes that made me actually laugh out loud.  A lot of these current paranormal romance and young adult novels could be saved by a little bit of cleverly stylized writing.  Carriger manages to find her voice early on and maintains it consistently throughout the series.

I think my favorite thing about this series is that Gail Carriger utilizes steampunk elements in stride.  Even when ridiculous, such as in the case of the mechanical killer ladybugs, she still manages to keep the quirkiness from overpowering the main plot or overshadowing the characters.  I’ve begun to appreciate that more as I read more novels that attempt to mix steampunk with the supernatural.

Since we’re talking about three consecutive books in a series, spoilers do arise.

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Waiting on Wednesday: Heartless by Gail Carriger

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Breaking the Spine and serves to showcase those pesky books that aren’t released yet, but that we’re eagerly awaiting!

I’ve been pushing Gail Carriger’s The Parasol Protectorate series on to anyone who’ll listen to me give the spiel about how awesome the series is without rolling their eyes at the mention of vampires and werewolves.  Currently my copies of Soulless, Changeless, and Blameless are in my sister-in-law’s possession, so I can’t reread them while eagerly awaiting the fourth book in the series, Heartless.  Thankfully it's coming out on Friday!

Heartless
Gail Carriger
Orbit – releases on July 1
400 pages
Buy it here from Amazon

 

Lady Alexia Maccon, soulless, is at it again, only this time the trouble is not her fault. When a mad ghost threatens the queen, Alexia is on the case, following a trail that leads her deep into her husband's past. Top that off with a sister who has joined the suffragette movement (shocking!), Madame Lefoux's latest mechanical invention, and a plague of zombie porcupines and Alexia barely has time to remember she happens to be eight months pregnant.

Will Alexia manage to determine who is trying to kill Queen Victoria before it is too late? Is it the vampires again or is there a traitor lurking about in wolf's clothing? And what, exactly, has taken up residence in Lord Akeldama's second best closet?

 

I mean, how much fun does that sound?  The first three novels were exciting, well-paced, and unlike anything I’ve had the luck of reading before.  It’s a raucous combination of the Victorian manners of Jane Austen mixed with the best of current urban fantasy.  There aren’t any cliché love triangles, just werewolves with bad manners, incredibly well-dressed vampires with flouncy young servant boys, and one of my favorite strong female protagonists that I’ve read lately.  Read these books and pick up Heartless on Friday.

And, seriously, zombie porcupines?  I’m all in.

 

This is a bit of a cheat as Amazon is already “selling” it as of yesterday, but my pre-order hasn’t shipped yet, so I consider it still outside my possession.

 

Description from Goodreads.com