The OF Blog: May Book Contest

Sunday, May 04, 2008

May Book Contest

Over the past year or so, I have received well over 100 review copies, in both galley and finished form formats, of all sorts of genre books. While I have tried my best to at least read part of the books I receive even if it might be months, if ever, before I review and/or mention them in passing here, on occasion I receive books that for a variety of reasons I feel I cannot review adequately, whether it be due to it being of a style that does not appeal to me personally or (more often) because I receive the concluding or middle volumes in a multi-volume series and I don't have the spare cash to buy what might be umpteen books just to be able to review one final volume.

So I decided that I would give some of these books away to people here. But I didn't want to have a blind draw, since that reduces interaction between myself and the people who visit here. I decided that I would take a few contests posted on a few blogs I visit regularly as a model and I would reward creativity more than the luck of the draw.

The first contest (there might be 2-4 of these in each of the coming months) is for two recent hardcover releases of books coming out in May. The first is the concluding volume to a trilogy by Margaret Weis, called Amber and Blood. This is a Dragonlance series book scheduled to be released on Tuesday, so if there are those reading this who are fans of her work, this might be an excellent chance for you to win (I project odds to be better than 3%, which are more in your favor than on most blind draw contests). The second book is the penultimate third volume in Katharine Kerr's The Silver Wyrm quadrilogy, called The Shadow Isle. It too is being released this Tuesday, May 6th.

How to win: Responding via email (click on my Profile for it) or in the Comments section here, answer the following question to the best of your ability (photo/pic links are acceptable, but not required):

"How could a squirrel or hamster best defeat a dragon in armed combat?"

Remember, the most creative/amusing answer wins both books! And please be sure to include your snail mail address in your response, which ought to be labeled "May Book Contest."

I'll choose winners on May 15, that being my next pay day, and will mail them the following Saturday. If you have any questions and/or snide remarks, feel free to make them here in the Comments section.

Edit: I forgot to specify that due to me paying for the shipping costs, it'll have to be US/Canada residents only. Sorry. And if you would, please leave an email contact for me, so I can notify the winner that I'll need his/her mailing address.

Update: Kaldric (who is a regular at wotmania) was chosen as the winner, as his answer was concise and it amused me greatly. Thanks for all who participated (and yes, there were more than two entrants, as some submitted their entries via email).

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

something the likes of:
"Heresy was asleep at the bottom of the crevasse, its huge head resting on a flat rock by the creek while it took the sun. It was veritably a terror inspiring creature. As it dreamed, small flames could be seen ocasionally spurting from it's nostrils. Squire Nuts saw the beast and thought it was useless, he was about to turn around and climb up the branch it had came down to the ravine's edge to see, when The Knight of Almods came crawling fast by its side and took a peak. It thought for a moment and then climbed back up the tree. 'well, good thing we picked an oak'; 'uh?' was Nuts only thought before the slender squirrel went up and came back with an acorn.
'Now, what are you up to you crazy rodent!?' 'wait and see mah boy' was the only answer, as KoA started running along the side of the ravine towards a broken and jagged slope down the ravine. 'I`m not going down there, especially not in all this snow! it's bound to either swallow two squirrels or if it's compacted it'll be slippery!' 'oh, I'm counting on that' said KoA, and once there climbed up a rock, and simply started making a snow ball around the acorn. Once it was thrice the size it had already been, and still holding, he knew the snow would hold, and started rolling it down the slope. Whistling while it gathered momentum -and more snow- KoA smiled while Nuts scratched it's tiny balls and wondered if his master had finally gone over the top. And over the top the now huge snowball -with an acorn for core- went, it hit a small rock on the broken slope and rolled it, gathering it to its own descent, then increasing the volume of the rock-acorn-snow ball as it rolled down hitting more rocks, bigger and bigger, until a gigantic wave of snow, rock -and acorn- went down the slope ripping off trees and everythign in its path. The noise was unbearable for the tiny squirrels, but Heresy was deep asleep. Not many things threatened dragons, especially where no men dwelt, so it felt safe from the ravages of nature, and truth be told the avalanche's roar was much like any other snow only avalanches it had weathered over this long winter. Little did it suspect the different nature of this hard-cored wave of slush.
When it hit, it was filled with rocks, trees, hard ice, loose mud and very dirty snow. and of course, an acorn. It was this last that tipped the balance you see...the rocks hit the dragon and stunned it, pinning it to the bottom of the ravine, and blocking the creek's path, which made the water hit the dragon at the same time as the ice and mud whilst it roared in sudden shock and pain. Frightened, the beast tried to roll but the trees in the sludge helped hold it to its makeshift prison-once bed. The rest of the falling heavier debris trapped and covered the dragon except it's head which was pinned as it roared at the sky so it was looking up when the second wave of slush and ice hit it, coming in at its mouth as it prepared to fire jets of fire. The small orifice it had on each chemical gland was barely opening as it received a mouthful of fire quenching winter mud-snow. The dragon would have still had a chance, what with the powerful force of it's mighty weapon...had it not beeb for the acorn. It had rolled down and out of the mass of ice, so, bereft of the mass that had held it, it had wedge in a small crack over the dragon's head, but its trashing had hit the sheer wall of a rock that it was using as wind shield, and this finally dislodhged the acorn...it went straight down the mighty gullit and wedged again...in the squirt-hole of the methane gland as it was trying to get rid of the accumulated gas. Now the hold bladder of the dragon was full to bursting and the spark organ (galvanic in nature and capable of generating a spark even under water) chose that precise instant to produce a spark. The force of the held gas popped the acorn and flung it away imbibing it in the inner soft membrane of the dragon's snot, making the beast roar, and trash. This in turn made the rest of the rock fall onto it pinning its jaws closed...at the same time the gas forced itself out of the bladder, ripping the dragon's gland as the squirt hole was too marrow for the accumulated gas now. The result was that the dragon snout filled with gas all at once...and there was a spark lit in there. The explosion ripped the dragon's head off and threw it all the way up the ravine, where a couple of squirrels watched in awe the rewards of their small work. 'wow' said Squire Nuts' you have got to be the luckiest SoB yet to be born a squirrel..."

Casi Marero

Larry said...

Wonderful! :D

Kaldric said...

A squirrel taking on a dragon in armed combat would indeed have little chance of winning the contest. With proper equipment, assistance, and preparation, however, it can be done. Few squirrels are solitary creatures, and often can call upon their fellow squirrel friends to aid in such a quest. The ideal encounter would catch the dragon off guard. With a sufficient number of squirrel helpers and a great supply of acorns, the squirrel army can pelt the dragon from the safety of the trees without too much difficulty. If magic is available, the acorns could be enchanted to deal even greater damage to the dragon, thus needing either less time or fewer allies. The squirrels' small size and great agility will be useful defenses against the larger and more clumsy opponent.

If the squirrel must work alone, then it can simply use its deus ex machine gun and blow the dragon away.

As for the hamster, let's be honest--it doesn't stand a chance, unless it manages to get stuck in the dragon's windpipe as it is swallowed. But I'm not sure we could count that as a win for the little guy.

Larry said...

Yes, squirrels are tricksy like that. Good one :D

 
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