Hindsight: Jon Courtenay Grimwood and neoAddix
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Competition: DRM Babelfish and other Classic Companions

Babelfish[Sorry, we're a day behind in the drawing - winners will be notified Wednesday!]

Tor have made the move to go DRM-free with all their eBooks - past, present and future. To celebrate the unmanagement of their digital rights and the launch of their new online stores, they're giving out five Babelfish. 

The original Babelfish, as per Douglas Adams, was a squishy little critter that hung out in your ear and translated for you (I would've given my left arm to have one while taking high school French).

These Babelfish are, dare I say it, even better. They're fishy USB drives, loaded up with the entire Tor back catalog: over 160 books, including the complete sets of Douglas Adams, China Miéville (Red Tentacle winner and repeat Kitschies nominee), Mark Charan Newton and Adrian Tchaikovsky, plus great novels (new and classic) by Douglas Hulick (Golden Tentacle finalist), Adam Nevill and Arthur C. Clarke. 

For some reason, Tor are trusting us to dispose of one properly, so here goes:

Tell us your favourite animal companion from science fiction and fantasy. Every answer will be entered into a drawing, and the winner swims home with the DRM Babelfish. 

We did a little brainstorm (is it a 'barnstorm' if animals are involved?) and here are a few favorites from Anne, Bex and me to get you started:

  • Curdle from China Miéville's UnLunDun
  • The giant trilobites from Mark Charan Newton's Villjamur series
  • Sloth from Lauren Beukes' Zoo City
  • Llayn from Lloyd Alexander's Prydain
  • Nimitz from David Weber's Honor Harrington series
  • Temeraire from Naomi Novik's Temeraire books
  • Daybat from China Miéville's Railsea
  • The Fire-Lizards of Pern
  • Fiddle from Diana Wynne Jones' Charmed Life

Competition ends on Monday, 13 August at noon (London time). The fish is for UK participants only (sorry). However, we'll be handing out some other, electronic-like, spot prizes for the best answers, so overseas entrants should still play along! Multiple entries are encouraged as is (polite) debate.