#Fandom5: Five Fictional Pets I'd Like to Adopt

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.

Two weeks in a row, guys! I might be getting the hang of this whole “meme participant” thing. But oh man, this week’s 5 Fandom Friday is another difficult one. The topic is Fictional Pets I’d Like to Adopt. I keep thinking of robots I want to “adopt”, which aren’t really pets (but but but… BAYMAX!). And yet that’s what I’m going to start with and see if I can come up with some actual animals as I go along.

K-9 from Doctor Who

So he’s a robot, but at least he’s in the shape of an animal, so that’s got to count for something, right? I would love to have a pet dog that could essentially take care of itself and didn’t need to be fed. Plus he could help me out in tight jams with the lasers he shoots from his nose. And it’s like having a link to the internet at all times with me.

abu.jpg

Abu from Aladdin

Ever since I saw Aladdin for the first time, I wanted a pet monkey. Abu is the best. He can get snacks and be sneaky when necessary. Plus he looks pretty spiffy in his little vest and fez.

Appa from Avatar: The Last Airbender

I would never have to be stuck in traffic again!! I would just hope on Appa and fly to wherever my destination was. Plus he’s warm and cuddly in case I ever get stuck outside at night.

Gromit from Wallace & Gromit

If I were to have a real dog, I would want him to be a super smart inventor dog who could create things that would help me not have to do daily chores like washing the dishes. Gromit is the smartest of all smart animals and yet remains completely silent. We could compete on who has the best look of absolute disdain though…

Chewbacca from Star Wars

I don’t know how much he would appreciate being regulated to pet, but this was Fernando’s choice. It would be awesome to have a Wookie as my co-pilot in daily life, plus he would get the things off of tall shelves that even Fernando can’t reach on his own.

Runner Up: Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon

Apa bumped him from the main list because Apa can fly me around with a little more security than Toothless, but dude, a DRAGON! A FRIENDLY dragon too! Who doesn’t want a friendly dragon as a pet?

So those are my picks for fictional pets. Which ones would you love to have waiting for you at home each night? Are you more of a direwolf person or a dragon person?

Also don't forget that we're hosting a contest to win one of two boxes of Comic Con swag with books, t-shirts, posters, buttons and more. Make sure to enter here!

Review: The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas

Tune back in tomorrow when Sherry Thomas stops by to answer a few qustions on her The Burning Sky blog tour!

The Burning Sky
Sherry Thomas

Balzer + Bray
I received an electronic ARC of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review.
Releases September 17, 2013
464 pages
YA / Fantasy / Magic

Find it on Goodreads

Order it from Amazon

It all began with a ruined elixir and an accidental bolt of lightning…

Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she's being told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of The Realm. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the greatest mage tyrant the world has ever known. A suicide task for anyone let alone a sixteen-year-old girl with no training, facing a prophecy that foretells a fiery clash to the death.

Prince Titus of Elberon has sworn to protect Iolanthe at all costs but he's also a powerful mage committed to obliterating the Bane to avenge the death of his family—even if he must sacrifice both Iolanthe and himself to achieve his goal.

But Titus makes the terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been only a means to an end. Now, with the servants of the Bane closing in, he must choose between his mission and her life.

I honestly can’t fathom a fantasy book with any more incongruent fantasy tropes all smashed together into a whole. You have magic carpets with travel by book! Element bending and dragons! Magic wands and Pegasi! Steampunk-ish goggles and flying golden chariots! Mystical visions and immersive faerie tale training grounds for dragon slaying! Cricket and cross dressing!

Okay, maybe those last two aren’t fantasy tropes per se, but they are just two of the many things, when put on a list together, appear to be the results of throwing darts at a board of fantasy elements from other wide ranging epic worlds. With so many of these elements thrown at me early on, it was a little different to get comfortable with The Burning Sky, but don’t get me wrong – this is a fun book if you don’t think too much on the holograms in Victorian England parlors or there is an industrial potions conglomerate for all your potion needs.

Of course it starts with a wayward girl who is the Chosen One – the best elemental mage to ever walk the Earth and she doesn’t even know it yet. After a particularly stunning accidental demonstration of her strength, the leader of the realm – a grumpy conceited teenage prince – swoops in to be her mentor and figuratively hold her hand on her impending journey. Together they must learn to trust each other to take down the big bad overlords of Atlantis that is led by a seemingly immortal evil doer conveniently named the Bane.

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Author Tour Guest Post: Resa Nelson, Author of the Dragonslayers Series, About Killing Dragons

We are honored to have Resa Nelson, author of the Dragonslayers series, visiting Working for the Mandroid for a third time as part of her blog tour for the latest and final book in the series, The Dragon's Egg. If you'd like to see her previous guestposts, you can find her essay on why she creates dragons without wings here and how she uses physical research to write scenes. You will also find links to free downloads and coupon codes at the end of her guest post.

Now I'm happy to have Resa here to share how she manages to kill dragons despite being a pacifist who also loves dragons. Welcome, Resa!

How to Kill Dragons When You’re a Pacifist Who Loves Dragons
by Resa Nelson

I’m a lifelong pacifist.  I hate violence, but my novels are violent because I think it’s important to be honest about the world we live in and show the consequences of violence.

I also love animals, both real and imaginary.  When I was a little girl, you could find me in the children’s section of the public library.  I read every fairy tale in that library and then went on to read folk tales.  Eventually, that led me to fantasy.  I’m an especially big fan of dragons.  So how can a pacifist write a series of books about dragonslayers?

I drew upon two different cultures:  European (whose dragons are deadly and dangerous) and Chinese (whose dragons are wise and benevolent).  Although all dragons look alike in my Dragonslayer series, I decided to create two distinct types of dragons.

The first type of dragon is pure animal, whose instincts are to eat and stay alive at any cost.  That means devouring crops, leaving people to starve.  Even worse, it means killing and eating people.  In my Dragonslayer series, there’s a rumor that these dragons used to be lizards whose overinflated opinions of themselves resulted in their growing into giant lizards.  Maybe this rumor is true.  Maybe it isn’t. 

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Author Tour Guest Post: Resa Nelson, Author of the Dragonslayer Series

Back in January author Resa Nelson stopped by Working for the Mandroid as part of her tour for the first two books in her Dragonslayer series. Now she's on tour in support of the third book in the series, The Stone of Darkness, and she's visiting us again. You can learn more about the Resa and the Dragonslayer series at her website, www.resanelson.com. She's also giving out a couple of short stories in her Dragonslayer universe to introduce new readers to her world. You can find the link to download the e-sampler at the end of her post. Now it's time for dragons!


Why Create Dragons Without Wings?

by Resa Nelson

My 4-book Dragonslayer series takes place in a world where dragons, ghosts, and shapeshifters are real.  But my dragons have no wings.  They don’t breathe fire.  And there are two different types dragons:  one is an overgrown lizard, and the other has the power to change between the shape of a lizard and the shape of a mortal. 

But why create dragons without wings?

When I write my novels, I feel like I’m really in that fantasy world that I’m creating, watching everything unfold around me.  It feels real.  It feels like something that could truly happen – or maybe something that already has.  I want my readers to experience what I experience.  I want to bring them in that world with me.  So I make my fantasy worlds as realistic as possible.

I did a lot of research for my Dragonslayer series (from taking a course in blacksmithing to learning how to use medieval weapons), and while making my way through stacks of history books about the Middle Ages, I came across something peculiar.  From Roman times until as recently as the 1600s, respectable people like government officials and priests have reported dragon sightings.

That got my attention.  I believe they saw something.  Maybe they mistook a real animal for a dragon.  Maybe they saw something like a pelican or a great blue heron flying in the sky and mistook it for a dragon.  Or maybe what they called a “dragon” is an animal that we know by a different name.  Could it be that what we know as crocodiles or alligators were once called dragons?

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I Do Not Read Books (4): A Clash of Kings by George RR Martin

The following post is part of an on-going yet randomly occurring series of book reviews from Fernando, my webmaster/taste tester/getter of things on high shelves.  He doesn't read a lot of novels, thus the title of the series. However, if he continues to enjoy the books he reads, I might turn him into a reader yet!

A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire #2)
George RR Martin

Random House (1999)
1009 pages
Epic Fantasy / Dragons / Magic

Purchase a copy from Amazon

Well here we are again. I have managed to read through the next installment in George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series: A Clash of Kings

The title says it all. When last we left the world of the seven kingdoms, it was in complete and total chaos. 

** WARNING IF YOU HAVE NOT READ A GAME OF THRONES, DON'T READ THIS REVIEW YET**

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Guest Post: Resa Nelson, author of the Dragonslayer series

Today Working for the Mandroid is hosting author Resa Nelson on her blog tour for the Dragonslayer series.  Make sure to stick around to the end to see how you can receive a free mini e-book of "Dragonslayer Stories" and how to enter to win copies of the first two books in the series,  The Dragonslayer's Sword and The Iron Maiden.  You can learn more about the Resa and the Dragonslayer series at her website, www.resanelson.com.  Take it away, Resa!


How Physical Research Helped Me Write a Specific Scene

by Resa Nelson 

In addition to doing library research for my 4-book Dragonslayer series, I did a good amount of physical research.  Because my main character is a female blacksmith, one of the most important things I did was take a course in blacksmithing.  During my 10-week course, I took notes about everything I saw, smelled, tasted, heard, and touched.  I paid close attention to the changes a fire goes through while you're building it.  I absorbed the different colors iron takes while it's heating and what those colors mean.  I embraced specific details, like the fact that when you hammer iron, something called “slag” flakes out of the iron.  Slag is an impurity within the iron and it emerges in a seemingly magical way when you hammer iron.  But I had one very specific blacksmithing experience that I called upon when I wrote the first book (The Dragonslayer's Sword) in my series.

Our teacher gave us an assignment that would take two classes to complete.  It's common for blacksmiths to forge their own tools, and we were told and shown how to make a pair of tongs.  You use tongs to pick up a piece of iron out of the fire, place the iron on the anvil, hold that iron on the anvil while you hammer it, and plunge it into water to quench it.  Tongs are like a pair of scissors in that there are two pieces riveted together so you can open and close them.  During the first class I forged the first half of the tong and felt thrilled with the result.  It had come out exactly the way I'd envisioned it.  Happily, I looked forward to the next class where I'd forge the second piece and then rivet the two pieces together.  How exciting that I'd then be able to use a tool I'd made myself!

But the next week nothing went right.  It started with the fire.  Usually I have a good touch with fire.  I'd learned how to build a good forging fire and keep it going.  But my fire was … well … weird.  It burned inconsistently and didn't seem to get hot enough, no matter what I did.  I'd put the bar of iron in and let it heat for the time it needed to get to a good forging heat, but when I'd pull the iron of the fire it wasn't hot enough so I'd have to stick it back in the fire and let it keep heating.  After doing this several times, I felt irritated.  So I left it in much longer than usual, determined to get it to the right heat.

When I pulled the iron out of the fire, it glowed yellowish white and threw off sparks like a 4th-of-July sparkler.  My heart sank.  Our teacher had warned us against overheating iron and had described the warning signs.  I knew immediately that my iron had overheated - it was ruined.  Useless.  All I could do was throw it away.  And it was too late in the class to get started on a new piece.  I had not only ruined the day's work - I'd ruined the entire pair of tongs.  I felt heartbroken.

Long after my course ended, I was working on the first book in the Dragonslayer series and needed my main character to feel frustrated and angry and hopeless while she worked.  Immediately, I remembered my ruined tongs.  One of the chapters in The Dragonslayer's Sword begins with my main character overheating and ruining a piece of iron, and that scene comes from direct experience. 

Ironically, I think sometimes it's more important to fail than succeed.  If I'd made my pair of tongs easily and effortlessly, I never would have had the experience of overheating iron and would have struggled to come up with a scene where my main character gets upset because she fails.

 During this blog tour I'm telling lots of stories about the research I've done for my Dragonslayer series.  You can find out where I've been and where I'm going next by checking my website (http://www.resanelson.com), my Facebook page (Resa Nelson & The Dragonslayer's Sword), or following me on Twitter (ResaNelson).

If you'd like to sample my work for free, you can download a free “mini” ebook called “Dragonslayer Stories” from my website at http://www.resanelson.com/files.  No cost, no obligation, nothing to sign up for, no information gathering.  I like giving away samples of my work so you can decide for yourself whether you like it or not.  If you do, you can enter to win a copy of the first two books in my series, which I'll give away at the end of this tour on Feb. 14.  To enter, just send email to ResaBonusGifts@aol.com.  (I won't keep your email address - this just makes it easier for me to keep track of entries.)  I'm also doing a book giveaway on GoodReads, so you can enter to win there at http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/19270-the-dragonslayer-s-sword

 

About Resa:

Resa Nelson has been selling fiction professionally since 1988. She is a longtime member of SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) and is a graduate of the Clarion SF Workshop. 

Resa was also the TV/Movie Columnist for Realms of Fantasy magazine for 13 years and was a contributor to SCI FI magazine. She has sold over 200 articles to magazines in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Her first novel, The Dragonslayer's Sword, was nominated for the Nebula Award, the highest honor in science fiction and fantasy. It was also a Finalist for the EPPIE Award. This medieval fantasy novel is based on a short story first published in the premiere issue of Science Fiction Age magazine and ranked 2nd in that magazine's first Readers Top Ten Poll.The Dragonslayer's Sword is Book 1 in a 4-book series. Book 2, The Iron Maiden, was recently published. Book 3 is scheduled for publication in Summer 2012.

Resa's standalone novel, Our Lady of the Absolute, is a fantasy/mystery/thriller about a modern-day society based on ancient Egypt. Midwest Book Review gave this book a 5-star review, calling it "a riveting fantasy, very highly recommended."

In real life, Resa is a fan of chocolate, travel, summer, museums, ballet, movies, and Broadway musicals (her favorites are Les Miserables and Wicked).  She lives in Massachusetts.

 

About the Dragonslayer series:

The Dragonslayer's Sword (Book 1)

For Astrid, a blacksmith who makes swords for dragonslayers, the emergence of a strange gemstone from her body sets in motion a chain of events that threaten to destroy her life. Her happiness is shattered when her lover--the dragonslayer--disappears without a trace, and the life that she knows and loves implodes without warning.

Astrid lives in a world of shapeshifters whose thoughts have the power to change not only themselves but others. Everything Astrid knows to be true is called into question when she learns the truth about her past and the mysterious family from which she was separated as a child.

Reality turns inside out as Astrid gradually learns the truth about the people she loves as well as those she disdains. With the fate of dragons, ghosts, and slaves in foreign lands resting on her shoulders, Astrid faces the challenge of deciding who she is and how she will stand up inside her own skin. Will she withdraw and hide from the world that has disappointed her so much...or will she rise to lead others to freedom and peace? 

The Iron Maiden (Book 2)

Astrid is reluctant to travel the winter route beyond the Northlands, even though it's her duty. She'd rather stay home in her village, surrounded by friends and neighbors. Ignoring the bonds of tradition, she decides to spend the cold winter months in the warmth of her blacksmithing shop. Why should she leave the comfort of her cottage to serve and protect foreigners who might raid and harm her native Northlands?

Everything changes when a traveling merchant steals Starlight, the first dragonslayer's sword Astrid forged and her last link to her sweetheart DiStephan. Having no time to alert her friends, Astrid races in pursuit of the merchant, determined to reclaim Starlight as her own and return home in time for dinner. Instead, her quest leads her to new lands, unexpected friendships with foreigners, and a harrowing encounter with the damage done by the followers of a new god that considers women as nothing more than servants to men. All the while, she must be ready to face any dragon traveling the winter route.

In Book 2 of the Dragonslayer series, Astrid must learn that deciding who she is isn't a decision she can make just once. It's a decision she must make every day. 

Resa Nelson has been selling fiction professionally since 1988. She is a longtime member of SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) and is a graduate of the Clarion SF Workshop. 
 
Resa was also the TV/Movie Columnist for Realms of Fantasy magazine for 13 years and was a contributor to SCI FI magazine. She has sold over 200 articles to magazines in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Her first novel, The Dragonslayer's Sword, was nominated for the Nebula Award, the highest honor in science fiction and fantasy. It was also a Finalist for the EPPIE Award. This medieval fantasy novel is based on a short story first published in the premiere issue of Science Fiction Age magazine and ranked 2nd in that magazine's first Readers Top Ten Poll.The Dragonslayer's Sword is Book 1 in a 4-book series. Book 2, The Iron Maiden, was recently published. Book 3 is scheduled for publication in Summer 2012.

Resa's standalone novel, Our Lady of the Absolute, is a fantasy/mystery/thriller about a modern-day society based on ancient Egypt. Midwest Book Review gave this book a 5-star review, calling it "a riveting fantasy, very highly recommended."

In real life, Resa is a fan of chocolate, travel, summer, museums, ballet, movies, and Broadway musicals (her favorites are Les Miserables and Wicked).  She lives in Massachusetts.