WFTM Podcast Episode 4: A New Hope (For Comic Con)

In episode 4, Fernando and Leslie discuss the San Diego Comic Con schedule, what panels they’re most excited about seeing, the pilots on their showing schedule, the assortment of authors and much, much more. Comic Con is next week and we are so excited! We also talked about how Inside Out made us feel and our thoughts on Killjoys and Humans as well as what made us happy in the last week.

Download it from the iTunes store here!

We’re now on Stitcher as well!! If Stitcher is your chosen app of podcasting choice, listen to the Working for the Mandroid podcast here

So what’s in Episode 4?

News:

Watson the Robot Chef Wants to Help You Make Dinner

Comic Con!!

Um… Backstreet Boys invading Comic Con? NOOOOO - My brain can’t handle it.

Walking Dead, Game of Thrones & Star Wars all at once

Lots of awesome authors at the Con this year

Pilots we really want to see

Our Must Panels

From NYTimes.com: Comic Con, Defending Fantasy Culture and, Now, It’s Brand

What We’re Watching:

Inside Out movie review

The Killjoys on Syfy

Humans on AMC

What Leslie’s Reading:

Nothing discussed this week. Just finished up some things from last week.

What’s Making Us Happy:

Fernando: Comic Con, of course

Leslie: Mr. Robot on USA and eating at Chi’lantro

 

Follow us on Twitter @WorkforMandroid and @fernborrego

Email your questions, concerns, thoughts and comments to WorkingfortheMandroid@gmail.com

 

Intro & Outro Music is “Robot Army” by Quiet Music for Tiny Robots, provided via freemusicarchive.org through a Creative Commons License

Teaser Tuesday: Fairest by Marissa Meyer

It has been a terrible, no good, very bad day. Then I came home and found this lovely in my mailbox.

Now it is a much better day. This hard cover of Fairest is really pretty, inside and out. Here are the end pages, which shows the palace on the Moon.

And of course, here is the first page.

 

So instead of putting together a Random Tuesday, I'm going to dive head first into Fairest and pretend today never happened. I leave you with the opening.

She was lying on a burning pyre, hot coals beneath her back. White sparks floated in her vision but the mercy of unconsciousness wouldn't come.

I'm so excited!

Author Blog Tour Interview & CONTEST: Meet Jeth from Mindee Arnett's Polaris

Welcome to Working for the Mandroid's stop on the tour for Mindee Arnett's Polaris. This is the second book in her space heist sci-fi YA series that started with the awesome Avalon. The tour is being hosted by the lovely ladies over at Rockstar Book Tours. You can see the full tour schedule here. Make sure to stick around to the end of the post to enter to win a copy of both Avalon and Polaris.

I am beyond excited to have Jeth, the charmingly rougish space thief protagonist stop by for a few questions. Take it away, Jeth!

 

Hey Jeth! Thanks for stopping by Working for the Mandroid. I know it can't be easy taking the time to stop by a book blog when you're in the middle of a fight against the ITA and all sorts of other nefarious sorts. How are you and the crew doing today?

Hey, thanks for having me. It makes for a nice break from all the nefarious sorts you mentioned. But I’ve got to admit things are tough. We’re broke and looking for work. Only without Hammer, jobs are a lot harder to come by.  But don’t count us out just yet. Giving up is against our nature.

You and your crew seem to constantly be running from one group of baddies or another. What do you do to let off a little steam and prevent yourself from going crazy?

Well, unfortunately there’s not a lot do aboard a spaceship beyond video games, music, and video shows. Back at Peltraz Spaceport, we would unwind at the arcade, the menagerie, dance clubs. All kinds of stuff. My personal favorite spot to let off steam was the shooting simulator. Marksmanship is one of my hobbies. It’s come in handy in my line of work.

Do you think there are any other aliens out there other than the Pyreans? What would you hope they'd be like?

You know, I think it’s possible. As far as what I hope they’d be like…um…perfectly harmless? Alien fluffy bunnies? So long as they don’t want to eat us or anything, then I’m good.

It's adorable how you get along with Cora and help keep her calm by reading her faerie tales. Do you have a particular favorite from childhood that maybe your mom read to you?

Hansel and Gretel. What can I say? I like horror stories, and this one has it all—children lost in the woods, cannibalistic witch, murderous stepmother. But it’s definitely on my don’t-ever-read-to-Cora list.

I really admire the family you've created for yourself with your crew and the loyalty you seem to inspire in this group of ragtag teenagers. What does it take to become part of the Avalon family?

Well, there’s nothing that matters more to me than loyalty. We get into a lot of tight spots. I’ve got to know the people with me have got my back. You’ve also got to pull your own weight, pitch in. I suppose being an orphan doesn’t hurt any. Nearly all of us are.  Crew is just another word for family in my book.

Oddly enough I read about your latest adventures while on a ship myself, though mine was on the ocean. Joining you for your adventures helped me forget about my sea sickness. Is there a space equivalent of sea sickness and how do you and your crew deal with it?

Yeah, there is something similar. Whenever something goes wrong with the anti-gravity system, it can wreak havoc on the stomach and head. Fortunately, we always have Flynn around to fix it. If it’s got a plug, battery, or wires, Flynn can get it running.

You and Sierra make a great couple, but living and working together in a spaceship must be difficult. How do the two of you make things work without wanting to rip each other's heads off from being around each other all the time?

Oh, that’s easy. I never give her reason to want to kill me. I mean, whoever would want to kill me? Just kidding. Don’t answer that. Honestly, even though we share a cabin most nights, we still have our own individual cabins. So whenever we need alone time we can get it. But the truth is, Sierra is so easy to be around that it’s rarely an issue. For me, at least. She gets me better than I get myself.

Some day, when you're finally rid of the ITA and the mobsters who all want to utilize your skills, what do you imagine doing with the rest of your life? Settling down? Becoming a respectable spaceship captain? Going on not-so-lawful adventures?

Exploring. That’s what I want to do. I want to be free to find new things and just see what’s out there. But truthfully, so long as I have my ship I’ll be happy doing anything.

Thanks for your time, Jeth! Stay safe and if you ever need a hideout on First Earth, Mandroid's house has a safe room you can hide in and we have cookies!

Thanks for having me. I’ll definitely take you up on the cookies.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To celebrate Jeth's visit, we're giving away a signed copy of both Avalon and Polaris, so you can read up on all of Jeth's space adventures. The contest is opened to US mailing addresses only. Good luck!

 

Title: POLARIS

Author: Mindee Arnett

Pub. Date: January 20, 2015

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Pages: 432

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Find it: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads

 

Jeth Seagrave and his crew of mercenaries are pulled into one last high-stakes mission in this breathtaking sequel to Mindee Arnett’s fascinating and fast-paced sci-fi thriller Avalon.

Jeth Seagrave and his crew are on the run. The ITA, still holding Jeth’s mother in a remote research lab, is now intent on acquiring the metatech secrets Jeth’s sister Cora carries inside her DNA, and Jeth is desperate to find the resources he needs to rescue his mother and start a new life outside the Confederation. But the ITA is just as desperate, and Jeth soon finds himself pursued by a mysterious figure hell-bent on capturing him and his crew—dead or alive.

With nowhere to run and only one play left, Jeth enters into a bargain with the last person he ever thought he’d see again: Daxton Price, the galaxy’s newest and most fearsome crime lord. Dax promises to help Jeth, but his help will only come at a price—a price that could mean sacrificing everything Jeth has fought for until now.

The conclusion to the story Mindee Arnett began in her acclaimed novel AvalonPolaris is a dangerous journey into the spaces between power and corruption, life and death, the parts of ourselves we leave behind, and the parts we struggle to hold on to. 

 

About Mindee:

Mindee Arnett lives on a horse farm in Ohio with her husband, two kids, a couple of dogs, and an inappropriate number of cats. She’s addicted to jumping horses and telling tales of magic, the macabre, and outer space. She has far more dreams than nightmares.

 

Website/Twitter/Facebook/Goodreads

 

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

1/12/2015- Bewitched BookwormsInterview

1/13/2015- The Eater of Books!Review

1/14/2015- Nerdophiles Guest Post

1/15/2015- Blogging Between the LinesReview

1/16/2015- Working for the MandroidInterview                                                                                             

 

Week Two:

1/19/2015- The Cover ContessaGuest Post

1/20/2015- Spiced Latte ReadsReview

1/21/2015- Such a Novel IdeaInterview

1/22/2015- Reading YA RocksGuest Post

1/23/2015- Word SpelunkingReview

http://www.rockstarbooktours.com/2015/01/tour-schedule-polaris-by-mindee-arbnett.html

Trailer Park Friday: Adventuresome Robots, Space Shenanigans, Retellings & More

It's chilly and rainy here today, and it looks like it's going to be a wet weekend. But we just discovered that The Lego Movie is on HBO, so I have a feeling a lot of things are going to be awesome despite the weather. Let's watch some videos to get this weekend started.

Big Hero 6 is already out in theatres and I've already seen it, but this hand-drawn trailer from Japan makes me want to see it another half a dozen times. Oh Baymax...

Ascension is a mini series that will air on Syfy over three nights in December. It's supposed to be a space opera that could potentially become a series if the mini series does well. It has a bit of an Downton Abbey in space with the class war element to it. It starts December 15.

Pitch Perfect is one of those comfort movies that I will always watch when I find it on television. Now there's going to be a sequel and the first trailer has come out. I don't know how it could match up to the first one, but I still am excited to see it.

Yet another faerie tale live-action movie is being released, this time for Cinderella. Doesn't look like it has much special about it to me, but it's pretty. It comes out March 13.

A new trailer for Insurgent was recently released and it looks like the second movie in the Divergent series might be as exciting as the second book was. It's also going to be full of greenscreen CGI, which could turn out not so great. It comes out March 20.

We started with an adorable robot and we end with a less adorable, but just as entertaining robot. This is Chappie, by Neill Blomkept, the guy who made District 9. This could be a really entertaining robot film even if Hugh Jackman has bad hair. I'm also becoming very fond of Dev Patel. This film comes out March 6, so I think it's going to be my new "must see" movie to look forward to.

 

What videos have caught your eye this week? Any 2015 movies you're eager to see right now? Link them up in the comments!

Mini Review: Burn Out by Kristi Helvig

Burn Out
Kristi Helvig

EgmontUSA
I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review.
Released April 8, 2014
272 pages

Find it on Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indie Bound

A futuristic blend of Beth Revis's Across the Universe and Lenore Appelhans's Level 2, Burn Out will satisfy the growing desire for science fiction with a thrilling story of survival, intrigue, and adventure.

Most people want to save the world; seventeen-year-old Tora Reynolds just wants to get the hell off of it. One of the last survivors in Earth's final years, Tora yearns to escape the wasteland her planet has become after the sun turns "red giant," but discovers her fellow survivors are even deadlier than the hostile environment.

Holed up in an underground shelter, Tora is alone--her brilliant scientist father murdered, her mother and sister burned to death. She dreams of living on a planet with oceans, plants, and animals. Unfortunately, the oceans dried out ages ago, the only plants are giant cacti with deadly spines, and her pet, Trigger, is a gun--one of the bio-energetic weapons her father created for the government before his conscience kicked in.

When family friend, Markus, arrives with mercenaries to take the weapons by force, Tora's fury turns to fear when government ships descend in an attempt to kill them all. She forges an unlikely alliance with Markus and his rag-tag group of raiders, including a smart but quiet soldier named James. Tora must quickly figure out who she can trust, as she must choose between saving herself by giving up the guns or honoring her father's request to save humanity from the most lethal weapons in existence.

Oh, Burn Out, you started with so much potential. Our heroine Tora is potentially the last living person on a burned up and abandoned Earth beneath a sun on the verge of dying. She lives in a bunker beneath the wasted landscape that her father built before his unfortunate with her only company being her memories of her younger sister and an arsenal of guns that her father developed for the government before hiding them away. It’s the beginning of a potentially interesting story of a girl who is all alone in possession of some of the most destructive weapons in the galaxy.

Then an old sketchy associate of Tora’s father shows up to take her to another world if only she’d turn over the arsenal for him to sell to the same government, now relocated, that destroyed her family. When she refuses, he returns a little while later with a crew of mercenaries to take the weapons by force. This is the point where any potential this book might have was demolished in the laser crossfire.

Tora is set up as a headstrong independent young woman with a strict moral code that will prevent her from ever allowing her father’s weapons to end up in the hands of the enemy (and in this case, anyone other than her is an enemy). The world has been described as deadly in every way, and she’s survived within it on her alone for years. That she suddenly goes from potential badass to whishy-washy damsel in distress is unfortunate.

None of the characters in Burn Out manage to maintain any sense of personality or motivation for very long before they do complete 180s and become someone else. One moment these mercenaries are attempting to kill Tora, the next they want to be buddies with her and she is a-okay with it. One minute she’s adversaries with a character, who tries to throw her out of a moving spaceship, and then the next chapter they are besties. It’s all very confusing and impossible to the point where all the characters feel like masks put on different character traits as the plot dictated rather than an actual person filled in by their personalities.

I also felt the pacing was off, never really getting up and running before it came to the end. This could have potentially be from my e-ARC having two copies of the book back to back so that as I came to the conclusion of the book, my Kindle showed that I was hitting 50% and I assumed there was much more to the story. Even if that hadn’t set me up for thinking there was much more story ahead, Burn Out ends just as it hints of a plot actually really beginning.

The lack of consistent characterization and the rotating motivations made this a very difficult book to get sucked into. It’s a short, fast read that could potentially lead to a series with much more meat, but this first volume lacks any hook to keep me reading further.

Review: Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci

If you're interested in hearing from the author, she stopped by Working for the Mandroid last week as part of her tour! Read her thoughts on aliens and science fiction influences and enter to win a copy of Tin Star here.

Tin Star
Cecil Castellucci

Roaring Brook Press
I received an ARC from the publisher in return for an honest review.
Releases February 25, 2014
240 pages
YA / SciFi / Aliens

Find it on Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indie Bound

On their way to start a new life, Tula and her family travel on the Prairie Rose, a colony ship headed to a planet in the outer reaches of the galaxy. All is going well until the ship makes a stop at a remote space station, the Yertina Feray, and the colonist's leader, Brother Blue, beats Tula within an inch of her life. An alien, Heckleck, saves her and teaches her the ways of life on the space station.

When three humans crash land onto the station, Tula's desire for escape becomes irresistible, and her desire for companionship becomes unavoidable. But just as Tula begins to concoct a plan to get off the space station and kill Brother Blue, everything goes awry, and suddenly romance is the farthest thing from her mind.

Stranded on a space station with only various alien races to keep you company? I am there! The idea behind Tin Star captivated me from the moment I first heard of it. A teenage human girl left on her own to deal with alien races and space politics to survive is not something regularly found in YA lit. I hadn’t read any of Castellucci’s previous books, so I was really intrigued to see what she was about.

Tin Star opens with Tula standing on the dock of a space station questioning Brother Blue, the leader of her group of colonists, on why their supply of grain has been uploaded from the ship when they’re about to leave for their new home. Brother Blue doesn’t take this questioning very lightly and beats her to death (he thinks), leaving her in an alcove for a space janitor to find later. He makes a big powerful speech that clearly marks him as a conman and the leader of a cult to the reader, loads up everyone on the ship and sends them on their way while he goes on a separate ship.

A lot of space politics are floating just beneath the surface of this book. At the beginning Earth is an isolationist planet, so that anyone who leaves to colonize other planets or associate with aliens are banned from ever returning. Later on the Imperium – the intergalactic governing body, I think – has convinced the Earth to join them with Brother Blue acting as one of their key ambassadors.

While there’s some explanation between what distinguishes the more respected Major alien races from the Minor alien races, the politics are kept in the shadow so that they don’t bog down the story. At its core Tin Star is a story of revenge – Tula getting revenge for being left behind and for the tragic outcome of her family at Brother Blue’s hands. The politics just allow for the right players to be in the right place at the right time.

Read More

Trailer Park Friday: Legos, Space Travel, Damien Wayne & More

We finally went to see Frozen last week and in front of it was a trailer for The Lego Movie. I had seen commercials for it, but not a full trailer. I now am kind of in love with this movie. It comes out February 7 and will hopefully be super silly.

Red Rising is an upcoming book by Pierce Brown from Random House that have been getting a lot of buzz. It's about a color-coded caste system, people working on Mars and other scifi goodness. It comes out on January 28 and here is its official television commercial

I don't think even Amy Pond can get me to see this horror film. Oculus is based on a short film and just from this preview trailer, it looks kind of terrifying. It is supposed to come out on April 18. Also when did WWE start financing films?

This next one I am very excited about even though this teaser trailer gives you absolutely nothing. FX is adapting Guillermo del Toro's The Strain book series into a television show starting this summer and hopefully it will be awesome.

DC can't get their live action films up and running, but they're still putting out animated features every few months. This is the first I've heard of Batman & Son being turned into an animated film. I personally prefer Damian work alongside Dick Greyson, but yeah, okay, Bruce Wayne works too. It'll be released on DVD sometime in the spring.

And finally, I have had this video opened in a tab for ages and yet always forgot to include it when Fridays rolled around. Not longer! It's a short 7 minute science fiction film called Beyond by Raphael Rogers about a girl with the ability to withstand intergalatic teleportation.

That's all from me this week. What videos have caught your attention? Share them in the comments!